Police in the South Korean city of Incheon are set to deploy some 3,000 peAE=s#TPdiI(LhP++qTKv(M^-EHiGk^1$!tD-Gt%3Xo1QPZ-52lrsonnel on Saturday to protect an LGBT pride festival and parade.
About 500 people are expected to attend the second Incheon Queer Culture Festival (IQCF) and 1.7-kilometer long pride parade.
Last year, anti-gay protesters physically blocked 300 LGBT supporters from leaving a plaza and beginning the m4Tjj-3eX*gOPX21t0bD&YDxxNZDLH1C2J(5U+kE7ZzG^08hkbXarch.
This Z^61DNGrn!z4Fn-9RS=AdC5gABAvKmEd)DRMdYBhjeg=2jTmplyear, according to local media Kyeongin, 3,000 police will protect LGBT attendees and their allies.
They will also install barriers to seM3bC7HB^Me(7hWET$YrzdtjoaeBn7ENxA+#ii91N(ABNj*)R)*parate anti-LGBT protesters from the festival.
Responding to concerns over protests earlier this mo(M*vdbt^jay8pnTaZd&8Z%@MQTiCPQaIIfmNOZf#FIKsg4*5llnth, organizers said they had prepared teams of rights activists and lawyers to counter hate groups.
Homosexuality is legal in South Korea. But conservative attitudes, especially among Christians, force many LGBTI Koreans t3)kxg(&Bs1i$pEtpkvG=GJo%[email protected]^daRVUZo live in the closet.
There is currently no discrimination legislation to proteYaGF8dqaJdiCC1csAxjL#PcjYBn-)DHw*b1EIpS9M7VnI2#uFGct LGBTI Koreans.
And, human rights groups have warned, protests against LGBTI events, usually led by conservative Christians, WTYfTLPlacl_HlmCxX1#!)-pKXu&XLg%4UYG1qAho-^a-T^naXhave become increasingly loud and violent.
Video shared online of last year's IQCF shows distressing scenes of protesters, believed to be ^[email protected]%7x!SW=O8ign-YJVk%wOTSa12cconservative Christians, shouting at pride attendees.
They also appear to grab flags, bann2dq^[email protected](KJ3^YmtN$nfQ&Oers, and even attendees. The pride was attended by a lot of young LGBTI South Koreans who were visibly shaken by the incident.
Police booked eight people involved 2-d(l3^[email protected]!koT$GMfVXl5ZrZ=m!vQE4$cR4mpoAZbut did not detain them. Organizers accused the police of failing to stop the violence.