South Africa: Joy as Soweto Pride set to return after 2016 “coerced” cancellation

Soweto Pride, one of the most significant and historic LGBTI events in South Africa, will return on 30 September, following last year’s shock cancellation.

The welcome news was announced by the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) on Friday, after what it admitted was a “challenging” year.

“FEW staff members have worked tirelessly to ensure that Soweto Pride continues in 2017,” said the organisation. Their remarkable efforts see this year’s Soweto Pride categorisation as a low risk event. This enables FEW to continue to grant access to the much required safe and celebratory spaces for LGTBI persons.”

FEW said that, “in the spirit of the coerced cancellation of Soweto Pride 2016, the theme for 2017 is ‘Reclaiming our right to organise!’”

Last year’s event was cancelled just days before it was set to take place when the authorities threatened to shut it down. At the time, FEW described the demands as “a deliberate attempt by state entities to discourage and stamp out all forms of political protest”. 

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