August 14, 2017

LGBT Gassed Activists in Moscow had to Face the Far Right and the Police(follow up)

While sunbathers lounged on St. Petersburg’s Field of Mars on a scorching summer day, a different crowd wrapped in rainbow flags gathered at the park for a different reason: to defend their rights.
Around one hundred activists waving rainbow flags and banners gathered at midday on Saturday to mark St. Petersburg’s eighth Gay Pride, in what organizers said was the largest turnout since 2010. They were watched closely by riot police.
“Everyone has his own reason to come to the pride,” says Sveta, a lesbian activist. “Many of my friends didn’t come because they were afraid to be discriminated at work, to lose their job or get expelled from the university.”
Since the introduction of a so-called “gay propaganda” law in 2013, the LGBT community has been increasingly marginalized. The law punishes disseminating information considered to be “homosexual propaganda” to a fine of up to 500,000 rubles ($8,000).    
This is a follow up from yesterday's breaking story:
While Police Looked on, Gay Activists Got Pepper Gassed at St Petersburg, Russia

He said four proposals to hold the parade in different locations were rejected, three of which supposedly because of construction work at the locations. 
“If you read the papers, they are doing some very intensive construction work in those streets,” he said. “But if you go there nothing is happening and nothing has even started.”
Activists hope the parades will raise awareness and put LGBT rights on the political agenda before elections in March 2018.
An openly homosexual politician Sergei Troshin, from the liberal opposition party Yabloko, which this year voiced their support for LGBT ahead of local elections in September elections.
A handful of protesters waved the orange-and-black flag of St. George’s, a symbol of Russian patriotism, while condemning the LGBT pride.
A handful of protesters waved the orange-and-black flag of St. George’s, a symbol of Russian patriotism while condemning the LGBT pride. Francesca Visser and Andreas Rossbach
Prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny has also made the repealing of the anti-gay propaganda law part of his presidential election campaign.
As participants dispersed after the march, a group of nine men attacked activists and journalists with pepper spray. Around ten people were reportedly injured, including Radio Liberty reporter Ksenia Klochkova and photojournalist David Frenkel.
OVD-Info said one participant, Anna Grabetskaya, was detained for disobeying police orders while holding a banner that read “I love my wife.”
The Moscow Times

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