Madrid saw one of its most politically charged Gay Pride parades in recent years on Saturday, with hundreds of thousands of people rallying under the message “not one step back” in protest of the far-right group Vox, which is seeking to roll back LGBTQI rights.
According to organizers, around 1.6 million people attended the annual march, which left from the Paseo del Prado avenue at 6.30pm. The government delegation in Madrid, meanwhile, put the figure at 400,000.
This year, the parade – the climax of the Madrid Pride celebrations – was led by the first generation of LGBTQI activists, to honor the trailblazers who won greater rights for the community under the Spanish dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
“Everyone who is here today is fighting against the forces of LGBTQIphobia. In a fight, they will always find us on our feet,” said Boti García, 63, the former president of the National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transexuals and Bisexuals (FELGTB), which organizes Gay Pride along with the Madrid Association of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (COGAM).