LGBT Police Refuse to Take Part in Pride Parade Starting in Paris No-Go Suburbs

Gay and lesbian police officers take part in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) visibility march, the Gay Pride, under the rain on June 28, 2014 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

An LGBT police group has stated it will not be taking part in a Pride parade in Paris which is set to start in the no-go suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis, over fears regarding officer safety.

The police LGBT group FLAG! released a statement this week saying that due to safety concerns for officers, they would not be participating in the Pride march this year.

Johan Cavirot, the president of the association, was clear that the reason for the move was due to the fact that the march will start from the commune of Pantin this year, saying: “It will leave Pantin, in Seine-Saint-Denis, to reach République through neighbourhoods where police officers are not always welcome,” French LGBT magazine Tetu reports.

“The route of the march coupled with the terrorist threat and attacks with weapons towards the forces of law and order require that the securing of the procession of FLAG! is much more important than in previous years in order to guarantee the safety of our members,” Cavirot added.

Cavirot added that many officers were also exhausted due to the Wuhan virus pandemic, but promised officers would take part in the Pride parade in 2022.

Matthieu Gatipon, the spokesperson for Inter-LGBT, which is organising the Pride parade, had said the choice to start in the no-go suburbs of Paris was to “deconstruct prejudices about the suburbs and highlight the associations of Seine-Saint-Denis that do a lot of work. We have no doubt that the march will be very well received.”

The commune of Pantin made news in recent months due to the closure of the Pantin mosque following the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty last October by a Chechen refugee.

After Paty had shown cartoons of the Islamic prophet, Mohammed, during a lesson on freedom of expression, the Pantin mosque had shared a “fatwa” video from the parent of one of the pupils at Paty’s school as part of a social media campaign against the teacher.

The mosque apologized for sharing the video but was later shut down for a six-month period following the public beheading of Paty.

Attacks on police have also increased in general across France, with a February report claiming that in the last 20 years, violent attacks on officers have doubled.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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