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Statement from members of the Student Executive - #FreeThePride5

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Edinburgh Napier Student Association officers stand in solidarity with #FreeThePride5, and other activists who faced police violence at Glasgow Pride 2017.

Thousands descended on Glasgow for the weekend event with Nicola Sturgeon becoming the first serving First Minister to speak at a Pride event. It was Scotland’s biggest LGBTQIA+ festival. However, there were several arrests made at the event.

Pride itself began as a protest, and as a resistance against the state’s violation of LGBTQIA+ rights. The protest against police brutality was a peaceful attempt by a small group of people, who were immediately pushed aside by uniformed officers. Activists were tackled to the ground and arrested by police with excessive force. One activist was reportedly choked and another stated that they were wrestled to the ground and inappropriately restrained. Five were arrested, put into cells, and faced court.

We are concerned that their arrest silences the voices in the community.  We are concerned that those that have witnessed this may fear to speak out in future after seeing the brutality. We are concerned about the threats that Ellie Mulreany, our Equality and Diversity officer, is having to go through for speaking out and protesting.

We call for Glasgow Pride and Glasgow police to publish an apology for the trauma caused towards activists during the incident. We would like to ask for them to drop all charges against the five people arrested and provide appropriate compensation to the activists affected by their actions.

We would like to invite all other Student unions to show solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ friends.

Peaceful protest like this should always be welcomed and encouraged at Pride.

In Solidarity,

Manish Khatri (Student President ENSA 2017-18)

Ellie Mulreany (Equality and Diversity Officer ENSA 2017-18)

Georgia Moran (Activities Officer ENSA 2017-18)

Franziska Baumann (Sighthill Campus Officer ENSA 2017-18)

Lu Jimenez Martinez (Sighthill Campus Officer ENSA 2017-18)

Krishna Prakash Sharma (Merchiston Campus Officer ENSA 2017-18)

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