Sunday, 26 June 2011

Assaults, arrests at St Petersberg Slavic Pride

Homophobe attacking Alexander Sheremetyev, an organizer of the Pride
Source: GayRussia.Ru

Saturday 25 June was the second attempt by LGBT activists of St. Petersburg to host an annual Gay Pride March. Last year's attempt was banned by the city hall. Despite the ban, two dozen LGBT activists defied the ban and walked in front of the famous Hermitage Museum. The police arrested 5 participants.

The same scenario happened this year as the Pride was again banned and organizers again said they will not cancel their plan. As was announced 24 June during a press-conference, the banned Pride started at 2pm at the statue of Peter the Great in the center of the city. 20 people showed up for the event and 14 were arrested. One was assaulted by a homophobe (can be seen in the photo) and one at the police station by a police officer.

This year, St. Petersburg Pride is hosting the third Slavic Gay Pride. Slavic Gay Pride is a union of Russian-Belarusian-Ukrainian Pride organizers. Previous Slavic Gay Pride in Moscow (2009) and Minsk (2010) were banned and participants were arrested.

Arrest of Nikolai Alekseev
At the 24 May press conference it was announced that next year's Slavic Gay Pride will take place between Finland and Russia.
"We believe that by starting in Finland, we might finally have a chance to march legaly at least for the first part," said organiser Nikolai Alekseev.
In a press release the President of the IDAHO Committee Louis-Georges Tin called for a protest from the French government.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is being lobbied to condemn the arrests at an LGBT Pride month event taking place today in Washington DC.

Yesterday during Berlin Pride a protest took place outside the Russian Embassy. Next weekend one is planned for London.
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