Admonish Police for Using Tear Gas at LGBT Pride Event

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Target: Governor of Istanbul Hüseyin Avni Mutlu

Goal: Condemn the unnecessary and harsh tactic of using tear gas against a small, peaceful celebration.

Turkish police in Istanbul deployed the use of tear gas as well as a water cannon on LGBT pride marchers last week after government officials banned the parade, supposedly due to Ramadan, that was scheduled to begin that day shortly before it was supposed to begin. According to a local LGBT news source, marchers improvised and instead of holding an official parade, people came together for a “small, impromptu celebration on side streets.”

Videos show police spraying water cannons on marchers who were simply waving a pride flag as well as using tear gas to forcibly remove a woman who was sitting on the edge of the street. These actions demonstrate a lack of respect for the LGBT community in Istanbul and they need to be condemned.

Sign this petition to show your support for the LGBT people who complied with the government officials’ banning of the parade and only wanted a chance to celebrate with a small gathering. Moreover, signing the petition will signify that you will not stand for the harassment of LGBT people who are acting peacefully.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor of Istanbul Hüseyin Avni Mutlu,

I am writing this letter to you to express my disapproval of how LGBT pride marchers were treated when police were called to disperse the small, peaceful, and joyful crowd. After government officials canceled the pride parade due to Ramadan only hours before it was scheduled to begin, marchers improvised a “small, impromptu celebration on the side streets.”

The LGBT community only wanted to express its pride and I do not believe that the police should have used tear gas and water cannons. The people were demonstrating peacefully and deserved to be treated with patience and tolerance by the police.

The actions of the pride marchers did not warrant the actions of the police. The LGBT community in Istanbul deserves to be treated with respect, especially when they are simply demonstrating pride of their sexuality in a peaceful manner that does not jeopardize anyone’s safety or deny anyone the right to practice their religion.

The actions of the police signify that Istanbul does not respect LGBT people enough to let them continue an “impromptu” parade without anyone feeling like they are in danger. They should not have to fear harsh treatment from the police.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: International Rainbow Fund

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