Norway police seek delay to Pride events after gay bar shooting

People bring flowers and rainbow flags to pay tribute to the victims as they take part in a spontaneous Pride parade, following a shooting at the London Pub, a popular gay bar and nightclub, after the official event was cancelled, in Oslo, Norway, June 25, 2022.  REUTERS

OSLO — Norwegian police said on Monday all Pride events across the country should be delayed, citing security concerns after a deadly weekend rampage by a gunman at a gay bar in Oslo.

Police had initially approved a planned gathering outside Oslo Town Hall on Monday by the city’s LGBTQ community to honor the victims of the attack.

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But they later advised organisers to cancel the event, which was expected to draw a large gathering. Norway raised its terrorism threat assessment to its highest level after Saturday’s attack, which left two dead and 21 wounded.

Police also urged Pride events nationwide to be canceled, citing information from Norway’s police intelligence service, PST, without giving details.

Pride events should be delayed “until further notice”, since the queer community is considered part of the “enemy” by extremist Islamists, National Police Chief Benedicte Bjoernland said in a statement.

Oslo Pride, one of the backers of Monday’s demonstration and the organiser of annual Pride celebrations that had been due to take place on Saturday, confirmed it would cancel the gathering.

“We are sorry that once again we have to say that a Pride event must be cancelled,” it said in a statement. “It is wrong, as the police claim, that this was meant to be a small event. We understand that people are now frustrated and still want to gather.”

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