Berlin – 20,000 people are expected on Saturday in a week for the 43rd Christopher Street Day (CSD) in the capital. It is the first major event that is allowed again in Berlin during the corona pandemic. After the CSD was only allowed to take place online last year due to the pandemic, it will go through the capital on July 24th under the motto “Save our Community – Save your PRIDE”.
This time it goes through the eastern part of the city for the first time. “We are happy to be back on the streets, to make the community visible again,” said Ulli Pridat of the CSD board on Wednesday at the presentation of the program in the Admiralspalast. Violence and hate crimes against people from the LGBTQ scene have increased enormously in the past year. Therefore, it is high time to give those affected a loud voice again with the CSD.
However, according to Pridat, there will be restrictions. Because this time the train is not intended as a party, but as a protest event. A mask requirement applies, a minimum distance must be observed and the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the train should be avoided. The route through wide streets was also chosen in such a way that large crowds of people can be avoided. And there will only be five trucks on which only speakers will ride. In 2019 there were around 80 vehicles.
Which streets does the parade go through?
According to the organizers, every Berliner or visitor to the capital is allowed to join the parade. Larger “foot groups” should, however, be registered. The meeting point for this year’s CSD is at 12 noon in the eastern part of the city: on Leipziger Strasse between Charlottenstrasse and Axel-Springer Strasse – at the height of the Spittelmarkt.
The protest march will pass the Federal Council and then the memorial of the homosexuals murdered by the National Socialists and the Holocaust memorial. There you will walk along in silent memory without music, said Pridat. The CSD is led past the Brandenburg Gate in the direction of the Victory Column and ends between the Wittenbergplatz underground station, Nollendorfkiez and Martin-Luther-Straße. A final rally is not planned.
After the event, the participants should be directed to the Regenbogenkiez. The police will block roads there, including Fuggerstrasse, says CSD board member Frank Sperling. It is also a contribution to help the hosts badly affected by the pandemic. The organizers also want to set up sufficient toilets.
In order to make the event safe for every participant, there were meetings with the police, the hosts and those responsible from the districts in the run-up to the event. “Everyone was very cooperative,” says Ulli Pridat. If more than 20,000 participants take part in the CSD, the event will not be canceled. It is then important to continue to adhere to the hygiene measures. There will be enough folders to help implement the concept.
In the past, up to 85,000 participants took part in the CSD train. A million people lined the streets at the party.