Saturday, 28 May 2011

Video: Moscow Pride 2011 shut down, arrests, violence

By Paul Canning

The sixth Moscow gay pride has been closed down by the same methods the others were, by a combination of police, neo-nazis, orthodox religious fanatics and babooshkas - the latter group rumoured to have been bused in by police or Moscow city authorities. There was some violence.

Arrests of foreign activists Dan Choi, Andy Thayer and Louis-Georges Tin (source: loganmucha).

32 people in total were reportedly arrested, 18 were part of the gay march. Peter Tatchell tweeted:

Neo-Nazis identified me for attack. Police gave no protection. I had to escape down alleys to avoid bashing.
Nikolai Alekseev, pride organiser, avoided arrest and was hidden in a safe house. Dan Choi extensively tweted from the police station and he and the other two foreigners were released after a couple of hours, the Russians after them. A journalist for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Elena Kostyuchenko, was hospitalised after being attacked by a fascist.

Andy Harley at UKGayNews is liveblogging as well as Gay Belarus, and

Russian blog reaction is being tracked at

No reports as of a few hours after the event of British or US embassy observers or statements.

Update, May 29: Still no reports of US or UK embassy statements. Peter Tatchell has accused Moscow police of collusion with Nazis. A petition has been started calling for a statement from Hillary Clinton.

Update, May 29: The State Department has issued a statement:
We note with concern that in Moscow on Saturday, May 28, a peaceable demonstration of Russians advocating for the rights of gays and lesbians, joined by international supporters, was forcefully disrupted by counter-protesters, and that Russian security forces then detained people from both groups, including American citizens. Some protestors were seriously injured according to media reports.

Freedom of assembly is a fundamental right all members of the OSCE committed to, including in the Moscow declaration and as recently as the Astana summit. As nationwide legislative elections approach, constraints on the ability of Russian citizens peacefully to gather and express their views will be closely watched in evaluating the integrity of the electoral process. We call on Russian authorities to work with municipal officials to find better ways to safeguard these fundamental freedoms.

An earlier video focused on the opposition, including showing one teenage woman giving a Nazi salute.

This video most clearly shows the violence meted out to the Russians.

This video shows confrontations between gay rights supporters and fascists - with the gay rights supporters being hauled off by the police.

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