HELSINKI, NORWAY — (09-11-22) — LGBT solidarity was on full display on Saturday when hundreds of people marched through the Norwegian capital in honor of the Pride parade that was canceled in June after the deadly shooting outside a popular gay bar.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jan Gahr Stoere was among the several Norwegian politicians who took part in “The Rainbow Train” that passed through the central Oslo nightlife district where murder victim, Zaniar Matapour and several others were shot and killed by two men outside the London Pub on June 25, 2022. Just hours before the planned start of the Pride parade.

Norwegian citizen Matapour is currently being held on suspicion of attempted murder, murder and terrorism. According to investigators, his motive for the shooting remains unclear but said that this case is leaning towards being ruled a hate crime.

Organizers of the “Rainbow Train” march said that Saturday’s event wasn’t meant to be a substitute for the original Pride parade that was scheduled for June 25, but rather a show of solidarity for Norway’s LBGT community.

“It is absolutely fantastic,” Oslo Pride spokesman Dan Bjoerke told Norwegian news agency NTB. “There is a sea of ​​people who will show everyone that it is love that wins. We must have diversity, we must have a society where people can be allowed to be themselves without fear.” said Bjoerke.

Prime Minister Jan Gahr Stoere told NTB…“We are taking back the streets. It’s not the Pride parade we had planned for June but this is a celebration that is important for people to be able to express these important values,” said Stoere.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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