Thirty arrested at Amsterdam Pride Parade;100,000 visitors

Amsterdam Pride canal parade, 5 Aug 2017
Amsterdam Pride canal parade, 5 Aug 2017Photo: @la_holandesa / Twitter

A massive 100 thousand people turned out to watch the Canal Pride parade in Amsterdam on Saturday, the traditional highlight of the nine-day long Amsterdam Pride festival. The police arrested a total of 30 people, 13 for crimes the rest for less serious offenses like public drunkenness, the police said in a statement on Sunday.

The police spoke of a successful Pride without major incidents. Three pickpockets were caught red handed. Ten other people were arrested for assault, threats, theft with violence and insult. A Polish man was arrested based on an extradition request from Poland. The other 17 arrests were for mild offenses like public drunkenness. According to a police spokesperson, 17 is not a remarkable number and very common for a normal Saturday night.

The Amsterdam police specifically mentioned a remarkable moment on Zeedijk, where a man was injured. The emergency workers needed space to treat him. Bystanders and guards formed a wide circle around the victim, so that the first responders could do their work in peace. "This was a nice form of cooperation." the police said in their statement.

The boat parade went well, with nice weather and 100 thousand visitors, spokesperson Danny de Vries of Pride Amsterdam said to ANP after the event. For the first time the parade, consisting of 80 boats this year, traveled in the opposite direction, from Oosterdok to Westerdok. This was intended to prevent holes in the procession. And according to De Vries, this strategy worked. 

The theme of the parade was This Is My Pride. The prize for most theme appropriate boat went to the boat of travesty act Dolly Bellefleur, according to The boat contained 60 Dolly "clones" and the jury found that they best represented the "togetherness idea of the self-chosen family", jury chairman Cornald Maas said, according to the newspaper.

The prize for best statement went to Scouting Netherlands for their message that young LGBTQ people "are also safe with the organization". And the best design award went to the W-hotel boat. "Extravaganza in sublime form. Gold and glitter without becoming ordinary", Maas said.

The Iranian boat, which was set to participate for the first time this year, ended up not taking part in the parade because of the large number of people on the boat. "Unfortunate, because they had an important statement. But safety goes before everything", De Vries said. In Iran gay people face torture and the death penalty.

A music festival closed the 22nd edition of Pride Amsterdam on Sunday, according to AD. Thousands of people gathered on Dam Square to watch performances by different artists and DJs.