The 26th edition of the Vienna Rainbow Parade was in full swing on Saturday afternoon. At around 1:00 p.m., the demonstration procession and its vehicles set off to take the usual route, starting from Rathausplatz, in the opposite direction of travel and to demonstrate for the rights of gays, lesbians and transgender people. The organizers are expecting more than 250,000 participants.
After circumnavigating the ring, the participants will gather at 6:00 p.m. for a final rally at Rathausplatz. In addition to a video message from Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, they can expect speeches from MPs Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic (Greens) and Mario Lindner (SPÖ) as well as a speech from NEOS Deputy Mayor Christoph Wiederkehr.
Ernst-Dziedzic spoke up in the afternoon via broadcast and reminded that violence against members and institutions of the LGBTIQ community had increased all over Europe. This development does not stop at Austria either, according to the green human rights spokeswoman. For weeks there have been increasing attacks by individuals, but also organized by ultra-right groups. “This must finally be taken seriously.”
SPÖ federal party leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner sees the rainbow parade as an important sign of cohesion and solidarity throughout Austria. “The rainbow parade shows the whole diversity of our society,” says Rendi-Wagner, who took part in the parade. And Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) also reminded via Twitter that “queer people are affected by violence and discrimination – worldwide, but also in Austria”. Vienna therefore sets “clear signs of solidarity, acceptance and visibility” every year.
In addition to the parade, there was an extensive supporting program with guided tours in the Kunsthistorisches Museum or the Albertina, a special screening in the Film Museum, Beach Days or medical lectures are also offered on this exceptional day of Vienna Pride. The focus this year is on the Russian war of aggression and the solidarity of the LGBTIQ community with Ukraine, with the motto “Pride against hate – make love, not war!”. According to the Vienna State Police Headquarters, around 630 officers were deployed to secure and enable Vienna Pride.