Gay rights bike ride attacked in Albania

First event of it’s kind in southern European nation is attacked by youths

Gay rights bike ride attacked in Albania
15 May 2012

The first LGBT rights event in Albania, a bicycle ride, was attacked by explosives yesterday.

In a video of the incident, six explosions and a hate-filled shout is clearly audible, but the brave activists cycle on along a central boulevard in capital Tirana.

The organisers said some youths had jumped out and thrown explosives at them, they were thankful to the police for protecting them and that they were not scared off their mission.

‘This is just the beginning,’ said Xheni Karaj, executive director of The Alliance Against Discrimination of LGBT, one of the organisations involved in the bicycle ride. ‘We will continue with other activities.’

The event was sponsored by EcoVolis, who not only provided the bicycles, but gave the event public commercial endorsement.

The group, that include Albanian organisation Pro LGBT, are now planning more activities: an open forum with students in the town of Vlora and an exhibition of portraits of LGBT people in Tirana.

‘It’s important that the LGBT community now start to break the wall of fear and the silence,’ said Karaj.

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