After two years of pandemic-related restrictions, the organizers are now expecting the largest Christopher Street Day (CSD) demonstration in the city's history. More than 250,000 people should set a loud signal for more diversity, tolerance and respect on Saturday, as the organizing association Hamburg Pride announced.
"After two years of restrictions due to the corona pandemic and bicycle demos, we feel a great longing for the regular CSD in the community," said the co-chairs of the association, Nicole Schaening and Christoph Kahrmann.
More groups signed up than ever before. A total of 82 groups, including clubs such as FC St. Pauli and political parties, are to march through Hamburg city center on a route of around four kilometers. The starting point will be Lange Reihe in the St. Georg district, and the end point will be Gänsemarkt.
30 trucks should also be part of the demo train, it said. In addition to Hamburg's Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) and the Deputy Mayor Katharina Fegebank (Greens), the Federal Government's Queer Commissioner, Sven Lehmann (Greens), is expected to attend.
"We've come a long way in the fight for equal rights and acceptance, but still not far enough," said Lehmann. That is why this year's motto of the CSD parade is particularly important. It reads: "On the road! Diversity instead of violence”. “Every day there are at least three attacks against queer people, the number of unreported cases is significantly higher. That makes me sad and angry," says Lehmann.
"Even in Hamburg, the queer community cannot always feel safe on the open street and we are not prepared to accept this development," said Schaening and Kahrmann. That is why politicians are now demanding more measures to protect the community from hate and violence.
The police warns of significant traffic obstructions and advises arriving on foot, by bicycle or with local rail transport on Saturday. All other road users should drive around the area around Hamburg city center as far as possible.
A three-day CSD street festival around the Binnenalster is scheduled to start on Friday morning – with a large stage and information and gastro stands. The musical highlights include performances by singer Jasmin Wagner aka Blümchen and former "Vampire Diaries" actress Kat Graham.
For the CSD finale, the events after the demonstration should shift to the St. Pauli district. According to the organizers, the Pink Pauli Festival is the biggest CSD closing party that has ever been held in Hamburg. In a total of 15 clubs and bars on the Reeperbahn, people will be partying until late at night.
As part of Pride Week, which traditionally started a week ago with the "Hamburg Shows Flag" campaign, rainbow flags will continue to fly at City Hall, museums and churches until Monday. With its six colorful stripes, it is considered a symbol of the queer community.
The CSD - internationally often called "Pride" - is reminiscent of the events of 1969 in New York: Police officers stormed the "Stonewall Inn" bar on Christopher Street and triggered a multi-day riot by gays, lesbians and transsexuals.