Pride demonstration against anti-LGBTQ violence canceled over crowding fears

Rainbow flags hanging on a building in Amsterdam
Rainbow flags hanging on a building in Amsterdam Photo: massonforstock/DepositPhotos

The organization of Pride Amsterdam decided to cancel a demonstration against anti-LGBTQ violence on Museumplein on Saturday over concerns that the square would become too crowded. "We don't want to cause unnecessary trouble," a spokesperson for the organization said to ANP. Amsterdam will be taking a number of crowd managing measures this weekend. 

The demonstration was part of Pride Amsterdam's alternative program for this year, as the regular boat parade and parties had to be canceled due to the coronavirus. The planned program for the demonstration will still be shown on Pride TV on Saturday. "Stay at home in front of the tube," the organization said.

According to the spokesperson, the demonstration was planned at a time when the city was not yet so busy. As the lockdown measures eased, more and more people visited Amsterdam over the past weeks, making it difficult to maintain social distancing. 

The municipality of Amsterdam announced extra crowd management measures in the city over the weekend. While there will be no Pride parties this weekend due to the coronavirus, the municipality still expects that people will come to the city to celebrate Pride. The nice weather is also expected to draw more people to the streets.

Access to areas with many LGBTQ-related restaurants and bars will therefore be somewhat limited over the weekend, with people only allowed in if there is room. This applies to Reguliersdwarsstraat and Halvemaansteeg. Cars will partly be banned from Spuistraat if the street becomes to crowded. Extra hosts will be deployed to Zeedijk and Warmoesstraat to manage crowds. And the municipality made agreements with LGBTQ-related catering establishments to strictly work on reservations only this weekend.

There will be no boat parade this weekend, but the municipality is still deploying extra enforcement officers on the canals to prevent crowds and nuisance. The police will also be extra strict regarding noise and alcohol use on the street.