Belarus | Gay Pride | Video

Riot Police Violently End Gay Pride Parade In Belarus

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Yep, another gay pride parade in Eastern Europe ends in violence. This one in Minsk, Belarus.

The AP reports: "Riot police on Saturday broke up the demonstration and arrested several dozen participants, beating some of them and throwing them on the ground. The organizers said that their goal was to attract public attention to the violation of sexual minorities' rights in Belarus."

Marchers reportedly carried a 40 foot long rainbow flag and chanted “No to Homophobia!,” “Equal Rights, No Compromises!,” “Homophobia is a Disease!” Anti-gay protesters even threw eggs into the crowd of marchers.

UK Gay News has been in Belarus blogging in anticipation of the parade over the last couple of days. They were there when the march finally took place for all of 10 minutes and when it abruptly ended. They report:

1111 "15:08 Minsk had its gay pride march.  For just 10 minutes, 40  Belarusians and Russians waived a 12 meters long rainbow flag for a short march of approximately 200 meters.  They were at first met by a large group of journalists, photographers and TV crew.  But when they reached the first crossing point, they were trapped by several vans of anti-riot police.  Suddenly, the doors of the vans opened and anti-riot officers ran towards the participants. “I never saw anything of the kind” said Nikolai Alekseev by mobile phone.  “They were brutal and violent” he added.  Another participant who did not want to be named said: “It was like a group of wild dogs”.  The march ended with most of the participants being arrested and violently beaten.  A few managed to escape but the police ran after them."

There's remarkable footage of police aggressively ripping the 40 foot long rainbow flag out of the hands of the parade's participants and of the arrests that followed. Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Comments

  1. Sick!

    Posted by: Zo | May 15, 2010 1:58:36 PM


  2. My heart goes out to my brothers in Belarus. This happened to me during an Act Up march in Minneapolis. It was a frightening, dangerous, and empowering experience. By the time I was involved in Act Up, they had developed an acute understanding of legal rights and procedures. I had amazing legal help. I pray these brave souls do as well.

    Posted by: Breathturns | May 15, 2010 2:17:06 PM


  3. Belarus is a corrupt hellhole. I'd be saving my money to move ANYWHERE else in Europe.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 15, 2010 2:18:08 PM


  4. Horrible. And what's worse - not a single US news outlet will pick up on it...

    Posted by: Richie | May 15, 2010 2:27:41 PM


  5. For anyone who thinks the pride parade is irrelevant in SF, LA, or NY, remember this, most of the world still wants to beat the crap out of us.

    Posted by: mintylaramie | May 15, 2010 3:26:00 PM


  6. We should all carry signs to remember Minsk at our own gay pride parades this summer.

    Posted by: hephaestion | May 15, 2010 3:44:56 PM


  7. When even Condoleeza Rice calls a country an "outpost for tyranny," you got to know it is sime kind of urinal of a nation.

    Posted by: canddieinnc | May 15, 2010 3:47:41 PM


  8. I think the actions of the police in this situation are completely deplorable. However, to be fair, I didn't see anyone being beaten, and there sure did seem to be lots of cameras around to capture any violence that would have happened. I know that violence has taken place at other attempts at Pride Parades in former Soviet states, but I didn't see it here. All the same, I agree with MINTYLARAMIE that this video highlights the importance of holding GLBT Pride Parades in more enlightened places like NY, LA, SF, etc...

    Posted by: peterparker | May 15, 2010 5:05:37 PM


  9. And, yet, in the Land of the Free, we still have some little gay girls decrying that GetEqual dared interrupt the President; that Dan Choi and others dared engage in nonviolent civil disobedience at the White House.

    These Belarusian gays shame American gay complacency and cooperation with our own second class citizenship!

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | May 15, 2010 5:20:37 PM


  10. That´s TERRIBLE! Now I´m pretty scared for our first gay pride that´s happening next saturday here in Slovakia. I know a LOTs of people is against it and today (exactly week before): Christians marched through our capital to protest next weeks parade!!! FUCK*NG JESUS FREAKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hope everything goes alright...

    Posted by: Matty | May 15, 2010 6:32:35 PM


  11. To all the brave marcher in Belarus... good luck. We are behind you..pretty far behind it seems, but behind.
    To MATTY. ... and a ton of good luck you you in Slovakia.. do let us know. If you tweet I am LOrion on twitter too.

    Posted by: LOrion | May 15, 2010 7:18:38 PM


  12. Interesting that the pride is billed as "Slavic Pride," and all the chants seem to be in Russian, rather than Belarusian. Bravo for them to do this in one of the most authoritarian and homophobic countries in Europe.

    Matty: but surely Slovakia will prove to be more like Czech Republic (one of the most gay-friendly countries) than, say, Belarus! Vienna is practically visible from your new bridge!!

    Posted by: Kevinvt | May 15, 2010 7:25:23 PM


  13. KEVINVT: We´re NOTHING (!) like our Czech brothers. They´re so much more open and free to this stuff and it´s still a huge thing in Slovakia. We´re very Christian country and there´s no out celebrity (that I know of). Even words "gay" or "homosexual" are not that commonly used. It´s almost always "queer". Even in media...it´s pretty terrible...I just want to get out of here.

    That´s why I always hate when someone says that Europe is so open and stuff, but I have to live in one of these few fucking exepctions.

    But from what I´ve heard, there is supposed to be police (on our side) so I hope it will go smoothly, but I´m still very scared that something will go wrong.
    And because of that parade, I´m kinda preparing to come out to my parents finally, so...

    Posted by: Matty | May 15, 2010 7:43:31 PM


  14. Good luck Matty, our thoughts are with you.

    Posted by: hoydengirl | May 15, 2010 10:16:40 PM


  15. Those poor people that were put on the bus! You can just imagine them being crated off to some warehouse and being tortured, like in a movie like "Hostel" or something. My heart goes out to them in that and other countries like it.

    Posted by: Brad | May 15, 2010 11:29:09 PM


  16. we can easily drop a bomb on the police department when we gain full control.

    Posted by: ty | May 16, 2010 2:15:24 AM


  17. Amen, laramie. It is important. Eastern europe is about a hundred years behind its western counterpart. However, nowadays, one doesn't have the luxury of transitioning into enlightenment. It will be swift and brutal.

    Posted by: TANK | May 16, 2010 2:36:04 AM


  18. Matty - no matter what happens, you are very brave and honorable to stand up for yourself, and in the process, you stand up for us all. Be safe.

    Posted by: Freddy | May 16, 2010 3:12:24 AM


  19. I thought it was the job of the police to protect and defend it's citizenry (of which, I might add, these pride parade participants consisted). Not attack them. What were they protecting the rest of the citizenry from? Enlightenment?

    Posted by: Another Mike | May 16, 2010 11:50:55 AM


  20. Matty - Yes, you may be more like Hungary, where there are right wing parties and neo-Fascists with eggs. But the police, at least, should protect marchers as they did in Hungary, as they did in Croatia. You're in the EU, you have euros, they've got to do it or the fellow Europeans will scream.

    Belarus is another matter. Lukashenko is the last preserve of Soviet style authoritarianism (OK, maybe not the last...). But the very word "protest" or "demonstration" is enough to get you thrown in jail there, no matter for what.

    PS One of my favorite gay bars was in Bratislava -- dating to at least 2001: Apollon?

    Posted by: Kevinvt | May 16, 2010 7:38:39 PM


  21. That video is terrifying

    Posted by: KFLO | May 16, 2010 8:46:45 PM


  22. This is the result of economic, political, and social backwardness many decades of communist dictatorship brought to Russia/Eastern Europe. The areas in Europe with the worst problems of xenophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, etc., are Eastern Europe, including the old East Germany. This is also the center of neonazi skinheads in Europe, and the world. A STARK contrast to western Europe, even 'Catholic' countries like Italy, Spain, Ireland.

    Posted by: John in Boston | May 16, 2010 10:24:15 PM


  23. Matty: I've read a bit more about the SK pride opposition & looked at the facebook group "Som zásadne proti zvrátenému pochodu homosexuálov v Bratislave" -- looks like you have some support though, among the haters...

    send me an email or at least post about what happens next week!

    Kevin

    Posted by: Kevinvt | May 17, 2010 10:38:07 AM


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