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Singapore police ban LGBTI fun run, citing ‘public order’ threat

Singapore’s Police Force has refused to give a permit for this weekend’s Pink Run, claiming the event was not in the interest of maintaining public order
Singapore's Marina Bay Sands in the evening
Photo by Someformofhuman

An LGBTI fun run planned for Saturday will not be held after the Singapore Police Force refused the event a permit – effectively banning it.

The Pink Run was going to be held as part of the 10th IndigNation LGBTI pride festival being held throughout August in Singapore.

2014 marked seven years since organizers first attempted to hold a fun run, which was broken up by a group of plain clothed police officers.

Organizers were hopeful that seven years later attitudes had changed but when they applied for a permit for the Pink Run they were told that they were championing a ‘socially divisive’ issue and that their application had been turned down.

‘The purpose of the proposed event you have stated in your application is related to LGBT advocacy, which remains a socially divisive issue,’ Singapore Police Force compliance management officer Loi Yong Tang wrote back to the event’s organizers.

‘We regret to inform you that your application is rejected in the interest of public order.’

Instead he directed organizers to use the only place in the city of Singapore where unapproved protests may be held – Speakers Corner in Hong Lim Park, where Singapore’s other major LGBTI pride event, Pink Dot, is held each year in June.

Pink Run organizer Nicholas Deroose said people could still run on the day if they wanted to but advised against doing so as a formal group.

‘The Pink Run is officially cancelled because we do not have a police permit to carry on with the activity,’ Deroose posted on the event’s Facebook page yesterday.

‘I have sent some follow up questions but they have yet to be answered. Calls have also been unanswered. However, people are still free to show up and run in their own personal capacity. There are no laws against running. You just won’t be a participant of the Pink Run.’

However he hasn’t given up on obtaining official permission for the event at a future IndigNation festival.

‘I hope to try again next year,’ he said.

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In the future (2015), I hope fun run organizers find a way to sell/distribute uniform blank Hot Pink T-Shirts ahead of the event. That way after it is cancelled by police, individuals will still be able to run in a show of solidarity.