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St. Petersburg Queerfest Hit With Additional Closures and Attacks from Anti-gay Activists & Police: VIDEO

Queerfest

As we reported earlier, the International Queer Culture Festival in St. Petersberg had a rough opening week - with a series of disruptions by numerous anti-gay activists - including lawmaker (and leading sponsor of Russia's anti-gay propaganda ban) Vitaly Milonov. Now, however, it has become clear that the roadblocks being placed on the festival are coming from more than just anti-gay activists, but from Russian police as well. 

In an updated post, GLAAD reports that QueerFest has faced additional venue closures and harassment - with police attempting on Wednesday to shut down a press conference ironically titled "Who is Shutting Down QueerFest?" Festival organizers have stopped openly publishing festival venues and have begun streaming events through an online video feed. 

Organizers have shared a video of the opening ceremony attack, which you can watch AFTER THE JUMP...

You can also head over to GLAAD to see the timeline of anti-gay incidents at Queerfest. 

Continue reading "St. Petersburg Queerfest Hit With Additional Closures and Attacks from Anti-gay Activists & Police: VIDEO" »


Anti-gay Activists Disrupt St. Petersburg QueerFest, Attack Festival Goers With Gas: VIDEO

Queerfest2

The International Queer Culture Festival's kick off in St. Petersburg on Thursday was disrupted by anti-gay activists - including lawmaker Vitaly Milonov [pictured below] and others associated with the Russian Orthodox faith.

MilonovReported Polina Andrianova, one of the QueerFest organizers:

About 20 hooligans sprayed guests with green substance and some sort of putrid gas. At one point, two foreign guests were being pulled into the venue by the security while being pulled out by their feet by the perpetrators.

The police, who carried themselves professionally, were taking numerous statements by the victims, while St. Petersburg ombudsman urged more people to document violations.

Andrianova also reported on the on-going struggle to secure a location for the festival - as venues continue to cave to anti-gay pressure and cancel on organizers.

Molinov, you may recall, was a leading sponsor of Russia's bill banning homosexual 'propaganda.' Molinov also called for a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year - or as he called it the "Sodom show" because of drag performer Conchita Wurst's participation. 

Check out a video of the festival - including a brief apparance by Molinov, AFTER THE JUMP...(note: Russian language)

Continue reading "Anti-gay Activists Disrupt St. Petersburg QueerFest, Attack Festival Goers With Gas: VIDEO" »


St. Petersburg Pride Rally Denied Permission Takes Place Without Violence

A Gay Pride event took place without any violence in St. Petersburg, Russia, last Saturday, reports The Moscow Times.

SppLast week, event organisers Ravnopraviye said that they intended to hold the rally despite officials denying a request for permission.

The rally happened on the Field of Mars square, a newly created free-speech zone in the city. While The Moscow Times said that 24 people took part, Queer Russia estimated the number to be around 150.

Police accompanied activists both to and from the rally.

During the rally, activists talked about the need to respect civil rights and thanked the police for their protection.

According to Pink News, some attendees were detained for carrying placards depicting images and sayings which fell under Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.

The law, signed by Vladimir Putin last June, bans the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors.

At least six people were arrested at two gay pride rallies in Moscow last May.


Russia Designates LGBT Rights Group As A 'Foreign Agent'

Coming out russia

On July 21st, a court in St. Petersburg, Russia designated LGBT rights group Coming Out as a “foreign agent,” reports 76Crimes.com.

Organizations registered as "foreign agents" in Russia are subject to extra governmental audits and other measures that limit their efficacy.

Coming Out has been fighting the designation for 16 months.

Following the ruling, the group issued a statement on Facebook which reads in part:

"The label 'foreign agent' on all the public materials of the organization would be a sign for wider society that the idea of protecting the rights of LGBT people is something 'foreign', and, therefore unnecessary and even harmful. An organization registered as a 'foreign agent' would also be subject to extra governmental audits, and further measures that would limit its capabilities to work.

"'Coming Out' will appeal the court’s decision, but there is no guarantee that the organization will not be registered by the Ministry of Justice in the nearest future, as it happened also with five major human rights organizations.

"This decision marks an end of the 16-month saga during which 'Coming Out' invested considerable time, effort, and resources to explain to the courts, mass media, and the general public that defending universal human rights of Russian citizens is in the interests of those citizens, and of Russia. We are hoping that, regardless of the final outcome, this message was able to reach the hearts and minds of many people.

According to The Advocate, although Coming Out did not directly mention Russia's ban on "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" as the source of the initial complaint, reports suggest that the law has created an untenable situation for LGBT Russians.


10 LGBT Activists Arrested in Sochi Protest in Moscow's Red Square: WATCH

Arrest

Earlier today we reported on the arrest of four LGBT activists protesting Sochi in St. Petersburg. Among them was Anastasia Smirnova, coordingator of a coalition of six Russian LGBT advocacy organizations.

Now, Russian media reports that 10 more LGBT activists have been arrested in Moscow: Elena Kostyuchenko, Anna Annenkov, Lynn Reid, Knicks Nemeni, Olga Mazurova, Gleb Warrior, Tarja Polyakova, Daria Starshinina and two Swedish nationals.

Watch video of the arrests, AFTER THE JUMP...

At least 23 people have been detained in Moscow, according to reports.

Continue reading "10 LGBT Activists Arrested in Sochi Protest in Moscow's Red Square: WATCH" »


Four LGBT Activists Arrested at Sochi Protest in St. Petersburg

The Russian LGBT Network reports that four activists have been arrested following a protest in St. Petersburg:

SmirnovaJust now in St.Petersburg 4 LGBT-activists, including one pregnant woman, were arrested. Among the activists were Anastasiya Smirnova (pictured) and Aleksandra Semenova.

The activists were making photos with a banner "Discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic Movement. Principle 6. Olympic Charter" to support the company held today all over the world.

All the arrested will be taken to the 16th police department.

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