An LGBTQ+ march took place in Lithuania’s second largest city Kaunas for the first time on Saturday.
The march took place amid heavy police presence, which blocked side streets and courtyards leading to the Laisvės Avenue in the town centre.
The event, which gathered some 2,000 people, saw scuffles break out with counter-protesters, who blocked the path along Laisvės Avenue, threw eggs, hurled insults at the LGBTQ+ community, and clashed with the police. Eighteen people were detained.
The event took place following the organisers’ legal battle against the local authorities, which denied permission to stage the rally, citing security concerns and infrastructure works. The court ruled in the organisers’ favour, but the municipality appealed the decision. A day before the event, the court ruled again against the municipality, ordering it to approve the march.
The rally finished in late afternoon with a joint reading of a manifesto issued by Kaunas Pride organisers, calling on the government to ensure “legal and social guarantees for all, regardless of marital status, gender identity or sexuality”.