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Thousands March Through City Centre in Annual Pride Parade

As Grampian Pride kicks off, marchers showed solidarity with pro-Palestinian protest

By Kirsten Koss

Crowds marching in colourful attire.
Thousands line Upperkirkgate. Photo Credit: Kirsten Koss

Waving rainbow flags and dressed in bright clothes, thousands of Aberdonians turned out for the annual Grampian Pride Parade- which celebrates the region’s LGBTQ+ community.


The event, organised by local charity Four Pillars, returned for the fifth time today. The march, which began at Holburn Junction at 11 AM, lasted for more than a  mile before finishing at Marischal College.


The number of spectators have soared in recent years, with the 2023 event attracting more than 8500 people, double the attendance at its inaugural event in 2018.


According to Four Pillars, the event’s aim is to “bring the local and wider community together, welcoming everyone from North East Scotland”. One look at the parade marching down Union Street, and it appears Four Pillars have more than achieved their aim.


Local band Guarana led the parade, as a chorus of samba drums echoed through the streets of Aberdeen as thousands proudly marched down Union Street. 

Marchers carried bright rainbow signs, while activists at the front donned signs calling for equality for the trans community.

Photograph of the front of the parade. Thousands line the streets,
Activists at the front of the parade. Photo Credit: Kirsten Koss

NHS Grampian proudly took up much of the front of the parade, with hundreds of individuals waving the ‘proud to be NHS Grampian’ rainbow flags. The health board were followed by a delegation from Aberdeen City Council, Robert Gordon University and trade unions Unison and EIS.


Despite the ongoing general election campaign, the Scottish Greens and the Liberal Democrats could be seen in the crowd, with local MSP Maggie Chapman waving a large Scottish Greens flag.

“Freedom for us all”

Pro-Palestine protestors holding signs.
Pride meets Palestine. Photo Credit: Kirsten Koss


One participant holds a sign in support of Palestine.
One participant holds a sign in support of Palestine. Photo Credit: Kirsten Koss

As the crowd reached the corner of Union Street and Union Terrace, they crossed paths with pro-Palestine activists carrying out their weekly protest outside the branch of banking giants Barclays. 

According to a leaflet distributed by a member of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, protestors allege that the bank “is facilitating and profiting from […] the killing of Palestinians”.


Individuals in the Pride Parade could be heard shouting “no pride in genocide” with one person in the crowd proudly holding a sign reading: “freedom for us all!”.


Some of the protestors remained outside of the bank, with groups such as Living Rent joining in as the crowd chanted “free free Palestine”, which was followed by a “Israel is a terrorist state. Viva viva Palestina!”


Crowds gather around the stage at pride.
The pride village at Duthie Park. Photo Credit: @KirstySNP / X.

The pride event continued at Duthie Park, with the ‘Grampian Pride Village’ taking place from 13:00.

Multiple performers appeared at the free event, including headliner Cheryl Hole (of RuPaul fame) and Eurovision stars Subwoolfer.

Footage Credit: gwyn.not.gwen on Instagram


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