Violent Protest Strikes Gay Film Festival in Jakarta

September 29, 2010  |  1:18pm

Members of the Islamic Defender Front donned masks yesterday and threatened to set fire to a venue at the Q! Film Festival in the Indonesian capitol city if screenings failed to halt.

The protesters called the international film festival blasphemy and chanted homophobic war cries. Despite the protests, the festival celebrates its ninth installment with the Jakarta event, opening last week and scheduled to run until Wednesday evening. The fest shoots to raise awareness and tolerance of gay issues. “We’re still going to go on,” John Badalu, the festival’s co-founder and this year’s director, told Jakarta Post. Unfortunately, though, some of last night’s showings ground to a halt.

Despite permanently ceased Q! fest screenings at the French cultural center and the Japan Foundation, screenings at the police-guarded Goethe Institute German Cultural Centre shall continue, the center’s program assistant told The Guardian.

This isn’t the first time the Islamic Defenders Front voiced its anti-gay views. The group has a history of attacking transvestites with primitive weapons as well as bringing violent havoc to bars.

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