The COC Eindhoven* (an organisation that raises awareness about homosexuality) has filed a report with the police after a group of twenty people were attacked at a COC building on Saturday night. A volunteer of the interest group for lgbti’s was hit.
The police confirm that a report has been made and say they are conducting an “extensive investigation”. The municipality speaks of a “terrible incident”.
The incident happened in the evening around 19:00. At that time, there was a meeting for young people up to eighteen years old in the premises of the COC building on Prins Hendrikstraat. A group of strangers walked past the building and pulled off the rainbow flag. The volunteer who called them on it received a blow to the head.
According to COC president Benjamin Ector, the incident did not last long. “They were walking down the street, it didn’t seem like a deliberate action. But as soon as they saw the rainbow flag, they pulled it off”.
According to the COC, these were soccer supporters. “A group of 20 men in black clothing came walking down the street with a lot of cheering and roaring. One of them climbed on the shoulders of another man and they took the flag off”, the Eindhoven COC president said. “It was a tremendously scary situation. We are still anxious. Young people also don’t dare show themselves on the streets wearing rainbow clothes or carrying rainbow flags”.
PSV was to play Excelsior later in the evening, and the perpetrators themselves used the word PSV, according to the COC. The police cannot yet say anything about the identity of the perpetrators. However, a video has surfaced in a closed Telegram group (Ultras not Reds) of (allegedly) PSV supporters burning a rainbow flag after their club’s game, Saturday night after the match against Excelsior (Rotterdam).
According to the Queer 040 Foundation, an organisation founded last year to contribute to the integration and emancipation of LGBTQ+ people in Eindhoven, the flag in question is the one stolen from the COC. This is extra wry because just last week the soccer club spoke out against verbal chants from fans of cup opponent Spakenburg, calling PSV’s Xavi Simons a homosexual. “Hate speech in the stadium now turn into hate acts”, Ector said. “Already in the street they tried to set the flag on fire”.
Based on the video footage, the president of COC Eindhoven cannot confirm with certainty that the flag was stolen. “What is certain, however, is that our flag is gone”.
Deputy Mayor Rik Thijs: “A group of young people thought they had a safe place here to talk about their sexuality. Something they might not be able to do at home. Their gathering has been cruelly disrupted. This is terrible. We cannot and will not tolerate this in Eindhoven”.
Queer 040 calls on the KNVB, PSV and the Philips Stadium to raise the Eindhoven Pride flag as a statement. This flag, designed in-house, was made especially for the first Eindhoven Pride Walk on June 10. Queer040 donated the first flag to the COC on Easter Monday. “It would actually only be provided on 1 June, but the COC is already allowed to hang it now”, Johan Stribos, chairman of the Queer 040 Foundation, said.
* Ed~ COC Nederland is striving for a diverse and inclusive society that works on equality and empowerment so that people can fully participate and develop to their full potential, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and sexual characteristics, and doing all that is related to this or may be conducive thereto.