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“Stop the hate! And give us our license to love!” You can hear it all around you in the crowd. The slogans are shouted in every language – the French say “Unis, face à l’homophobie!” – in English it is “Shoulder to shoulder against homophobia!” German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, every language in the city is used, in hand-written placards, in voices, in beating drums. And thousands of hearts intertwined with love for gays and love for democracy, love for life. Their own lives, for that matter. Sometimes it feels like ten thousand hearts.

“Fight the fear!”

The Swiss people are on strike. A strike of love against the legislation proposed by the far right. Some of the people here today are only 15 years old. They know where they stand. They are for gays, they are for love.

“Fight the fear!”

They are not afraid. They are against the fear. They are against hate against gays, they are for love.

“Stop the hate!”

“Amnesty!”

“Justice for all!”

“Gay marriage is democracy, democracy is love!”

Until this point, the rally had been peaceful. Hundreds of demonstrators had arrived by bicycle, tram, car. They have charged up the escalators, through the streets. But now, here, where they are blocking roads, people are hurrying forward. Teenagers, the elderly, mothers with children. Many are here with their partners. Long hair blowing in the wind, wearing chunky shoes, jeans or smart-ish dress.

It’s like the end of the world, like the end of history is truly upon us. Like the end is here, in this middle of the road, small town in the middle of the world, in this small country in the middle of Europe. That makes it all the more beautiful. That makes it all the more perfect. That makes it all the more real. That makes love win, no matter how hard it is to feel that way.