Court: EuroPride can continue as planned
EuroPride may start in Amsterdam on Saturday and continue as planned, the court ruled in a lawsuit brought by local residents worried about disturbances and inconvenience. The court rejected all of the residents' objections, AT5 reports. Over the past weeks the group of local residents were in consultations with the EuroPride organizers and Mayor Eberhard van der Laan over their concerns. They mayor and organizers committed to taking extra measures to limit inconvenience, but these were not enough for the residents who turned to court. In addition to crowds and the long duration of the festival, the European version of Gay Pride, the residents complain about the noise. They worry about long nights without sleep. According to the city's lawyer, Van der Laan gave sufficient reasons for why EuroPride must be held in the city center and sufficiently explained the extended opening hours of bars in the area. Te court swept all of the residents' objections off the table. The Amsterdam police and mayor are extra alert to irregularities surrounding the festival this year, as various international developments showed that extra vigilance is necessary. These developments include a mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando in which 49 people were killed, Istanbul deciding to cancel its Gay Pride festival and a growing intolerance against LGBT's, the Telegraaf reports. A spokesperson for Van der Laan told the newspaper that "all developments are being followed closely, including those abroad". The city authorities is in close contact with the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security. Last month a pro-ISIS group called for attacks during Gay Pride events. But according to Lucien Spee, one of the organizers of the Amsterdam event, it is now extra important to stand up for freedom. "I understand the fear. But we won't let ourselves be bullied away."