Moscow Gays to Defy Police & Neo-Nazi Threats
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They risk arrest and violent attack From a press release: Moscow – May 27, 2011 Moscow Gay Pride Parade 2011 1 PM, Saturday, May 28, The Kremlin, at the gates to the Tomb of the […]
The Neo-Nazis in Russia are really scary. This year after the terrorist attack on Moscow’s airport the Neo-Nazis beat all people in Moscow who looked not Russian/European and several people got seriously injured. One result of Putin’s very nationalistic politics. I guess the decision of the European curt of Human Rights change nothing. Germany of course will not complain about it as the economic relations with Russia are considered much more important. Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder may even be appointed to the board of directors of Gazprom, somehow just as the new gas pipline between Germany and Russia is completed. Just disgusting…
Anyway take care!
My statement at the Press Conference on the Day Before Moscow Pride 2011
Introduction by Nikolai Alekseev, President of GayRussia:
[Switching from Russian to English]…and the third time you are here in Moscow, and we are very grateful for your support and the support of his organization. Andy, you have the right to round up all that is being said.
Thank you, Nikolai.
I too am honored to be in Russia and to be a guest of GayRussia , Russia being one of the first countries of the world, in the early part of the last century, to remove all the laws against homosexuality – unfortunately that situation did not persist. But that is an achievement of the Russian people that should be recognized by the LGBT movement internationally.
Now last fall, GayRussia won a sweeping legal victory in the European Court of Human Rights. But unfortunately there was no effective implementation of that decision, as we’ve seen with the repeated ban of Moscow Pride. And that was a failure, not only the Russian judicial system, it was a failure of the European judicial system.
We in the United States have faced a similar situation where, just a little over 50 years ago, the courts decided that racist segregation was illegal, and yet there was no effective implementation of that sweeping decision. That sweeping decision was only implemented through the so-called “Freedom Rides” of the Civil Rights Movement which shook the American judicial system to its core, and actually transformed America, not just for African Americans, but for everyone who lives in the United States. And that I believe is what GayRussia is doing today, because while the European Court system has failed through the banning of Moscow Pride, GayRussia, by going forward with the demonstration tomorrow is actually broadening and deepening Russian democracy and is doing a tremendous service not just to LGBTs in Russia and internationally, but to Russian democracy itself. And for that, all of the Russian people owe a deep debt of gratitude to GayRussia.
Finally, I have to say a few words about the silence of the Obama administration, because the rationalization that was used by the Russian government for saying that Gay Pride had to be banned in Russia tomorrow was that they could not provide the security for the demonstrators, and yet this great nation, one of the most powerful military nations on the earth, can certainly provide security when President Obama and others come to Russia, but yet they say that they cannot provide security for pro-civil rights demonstrators.
That is a shame on Russian democracy, and it is a shame that President Obama has failed to speak out in defense of GayRussia, that Secretary of State Clinton has failed to speak out in defense of GayRussia, and that if there are injuries tomorrow, if there are arrests tomorrow, that will be to the shame of the United States government and President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton for not speaking out now, before that potential tragedy occurs.
History will remember the silence of the Obama administration at this crucial juncture in Russian democracy and I for one am ashamed to be in any associated with the United States government when it makes that failure of supporting democratic freedoms here in Russia.
I am, though, very honored to be here with the people of GayRussia and the other international participants and I will be very honored to participate in Gay Pride tomorrow. Thank you very much.
By our count, 18 pro-lgbt demonstrators were arrested today (15 Russians and 3 internationals), as were an unknown number of fascists who tried to attack us. A fascist tried to slug me, but missed. One of our Russian friends was injured and taken to the hospital, but not in serious condition. We were very worried that the police would simply allow the fascists to beat us to a pulp. That this did not happen is a victory, of sorts.
The pro-gay European Court of Human Rights decision is now revealed as a piece of toilet paper, soiled. The European Court and the Russian gov’t look very bad, and President Obama and Sec’t of State Clinton look like hypocrites for failing to say anything about the events today. Before the demo, our Russian friends were told by the U.S. embassy that they would simply “monitor the situation.” Lot of help that was.
Russian LGBTs unfortunately still have a lot of work ahead of them. The Russian gov’t continues to thumb its nose at world opinion, as does the U.S. gov’t in this and many other matters.
PS Shortly before the demo today I received a report from Dallas that it the telephone of the Russian embassy in Washington was constantly busy. My friend then called the Houston consulate and got through to someone who had apparently received several previous calls and was pretty nasty with him. The U.S. gov’t may not give a shit, but at least many people in the U.S. do.