KOCHI: After a gap of three years, Kochi’s iconic Marine Drive on Thursday witnessed a slew of protests, under the banner of social media collective Kiss of Love, against Wednesday’s moral policing incident involving Shiv Sena workers.
Hundreds of activists including writers and painters gathered at Marine Drive, responding to a protest call by Facebook group Kiss of Love. The protestors raised slogans against Shiv Sena and ‘moral policing.’
Various other organisations, including the People Against Fascism and the Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad, also participated in the protest, where several pairs locked their lips. The agitation began with a street play against the self-proclaimed moral cops. It was followed by the ‘kissing protest.’
“We stand together against the hatred prevailing in society. Nothing can put out the fire in our hearts,” said writer Lasar Shine. Terming it a ‘warning’ to all those who spread hatred in society, Lasar said the protest was against intolerance in the form of racism, sexism and discrimination against gender minorities.
Members of the LGBT community who gathered at the venue in support of the protesters raised slogans against the discrimination allegedly meted out to them by the police, and demanded withdrawal of Section-377 of the IPC.
The venue witnessed tense moments when a group of BJP-Yuva Morcha workers marched along the Marine Drive walkway, raising slogans against the ‘kissing’ protestors and the Shiv Sena. Timely intervention by the police prevented the activists from entering the venue.
In the morning, the DYFI had staged a protest titled ‘Sneha Iruppu’ (Friendly Sitting) against the moral policing incident. The protest was inaugurated by CPM district secretary P Rajeev.
Youth Congress activists also took out a march to the venue, alleging the Shiv Sena engaged in moral policing with support of the state government. Anwar Sadath MLA; KPCC leaders Joseph Vazhackan, Benny Behanan and Deputy Mayor TJ Vinod attended.