Pedophile group tries to carve out a spot at Pride, angering many

The Pride walk in Amsterdam, the official kickoff of Pride Amsterdam, 27 July 2019
The Pride walk in Amsterdam, the official kickoff of Pride Amsterdam, 27 July 2019Photo: Gemeente Amsterdam/Twitter

The police confiscated flyers handed out by pedophile group Kinderbevrijdingsfront during the Pride Walk in Amsterdam on Saturday. According to the police, the flyers were seized because of bystanders' severely upset reactions to them. "This man handed out flyers in the Vondelpark and the organization of the Pride Walk did not want that", a police spokesperson said to Het Parool.

"They are not part of Pride Amsterdam. We do not want our name to be associated with this", a Pride spokesperson said to Het Parool. The representitive confirmed that they were approached by the group for inclusion in the Pride celebrations. A spokesperson for the group told the newspaper that he consulted with Pride about "modest participation" in Pride Amsterdam, but "we were immediately called criminals, just for our orientation". 

Kinderbevrijdingsfront, which translates to 'Children's Liberation Front' in English, aims to draw attention to the rights of pedophiles. The group believes that Pride Amsterdam should also be open to people who are attracted to children, according to the newspaper.

The police were called in when the man ignored security guards' instruction to leave, the spokesperson said to Het Parool. The police decided not to let emotions run any higher. "Public order threatened to be disturbed. Because there were strong reactions to the flyers, they were confiscated. The man then left voluntarily. He was not arrested and may come collect the flyers at a later date, as is customary when objects are temporarily seized in the interest of public order", the police spokesperson said. The flyers were confiscated after consultation between the police, the Public Prosecutor, and the municipality of Amsterdam.

It is unclear exactly who is behind the Kinderbevrijdingsfront. Several sources told Het Parool that it is only one man. The group has used Twitter account @pedopride2019 and a hashtag on the social media platform to spread its claim that people who are sexually attracted to children "should be part of Pride and welcome to the community". The Twitter account has since been suspended. 

A spokesperson for Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema told the newspaper: "The municipality is aware of the announced action by this person. Together with the Public Prosecutor and the police we are on top of it. We are keeping a close eye on the man and will take immediate action in the event of impending disruptions to order or the committing of criminal offenses."