Here to Stay The 15th Jerusalem Pride March July 21st
Here to Stay
The 15th Jerusalem Pride March conducted tomorrow, Thursday July 21st, produced by the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH) is the biggest to ever march the city. Officials assess tens of thousands of people to participate in this year's march, dedicated in memory of Shira Banki. The main evet is hosted by award winning actress Gila Almagor, preforming artists include Singer Dikla and popular TV host Assi Azar.
The Jerusalem Pride March will be held in the 15th time this year, produced by the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH), One year after the stabbing attack, resulting in 16 years old Shira Banki's murder and 5 other injuries. In spite of background voices calling for incitement and hatred trying to sabotage preparations, the event will be executed as planned. Officials assess tens of thousands of people to attend. The organizers are calling public to participate and take part at the largest assembly for human rights.
The Gathering starts tomorrow at 16:20 in "Gan HaPaamon" (Bell Garden) the March's starting point. Marching route passes through the streets: Keren Hayesod, King George, Meir Shacham, Rabbi Akiva, Hillel, and Menashe Ben Israel ending at "Gan Haatzmaout" (Liberty Garden).
Opening stage speakers includes LGTBQ community leaders from Haifa and Beer Sheva, Also, a special Gay Wedding ceremony of Yotam & Yochai will take place at the occasion. Haya Biton, JOH chairman, will be announcing march starts.
During the march participants will be invited to lay flowers for Shira at the point where the murder took place, at the corner of King George and Washington streets. Shira's Father, Ori Banki, calls out to all marchers: "Everyone who cares for tolerance in Jerusalem and all of Israel- Will and should find themselves in this year's March. You are invited to bring flowers, we will lay them where a knife once stabbed last year.
At the ending point marchers will gather around the main stage at "Gan Haatzmaout" (Liberty Garden). The main event will be hosted by the Israel prize winner actress Gila Almagor. Numerus speakers from the LGTBQ community will speak to the crowd including JOH volunteers and other significant Jerusalem community members. Singer Dikla will perform few of her songs.
After screening memorial video for Shira Banki, her parents, Ori and Mika, will give speech to the public at 20:10 at the end of their speech the crowd will stand in a minute of silence in her memory. Assi Azar, a known TV host who is a LGTBQ community activist will give speech at the end of the assembly.
"Jerusalem of Love":
As part of the March preparations, JOH launched this morning a special campaign designed to strengthen the LGTBQ community in Jerusalem for the upcoming March. Famous Israeli opinion leaders participating are: TV host Assi Azar, Model Rotem Sela, Actress Ania Bukstein, Actor Roy Bar Natan, Desinger Yuval Kaspin, Actress Michal Tzafir, TV Host Korin Gidon and much more. They all took a photo of themselves holding a sign stating "Jerusalem Of love" "We support Jerusalem Pride March".
Sarah Kala- Meir, CEO of JOH mentioned:
"Attending this year's march is more important than ever. JOH and local LGTBQ community had suffered a lot in the past year since last Pride March's murder. Community member are still suffering daily abuse and discrimination, moving from curses on the street, Rainbow flags burnt and sometimes even physical violence. Unfortunately, we still hear voices of hatred these days, trying to prevent us from executing the Pride march, deny us from our right to march for equality and tolerance. I call all LGTBQ community members from all over the country – come unite with us tomorrow, I call everyone who believe in human rights, regardless their religion, race, sex, or sexual orientation- march with us tomorrow, help us to bring light to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, against all darkness and evil."
The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH) is a LGTBQ community center of Jerusalem and its surroundings. JOH is a cardinal part of the city's social and cultural infrastructure. Established in 1997, the non-profit organization grew from rising needs of the local community. Over the years, the establishment became the largest services provider for LGTBQ community in Israel. Other than The Gay Pride Parade, the center is devoted to nurture the community, promoting educational projects, striving to make a social change. The JOH also provides health care services for thousands of people every year.
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