St. Petersburg Hub




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.

Developing...

(image facebook)


Masked Men Attack LGBT Organization in St. Petersburg, Russia, Injuring Two People

One man was blinded and a young woman was injured with a baseball bat in an attack on an LGBT community center in St. Petersburg, Russia over the weekend.

A press release from LaSky St. Petersburg (via the Russian LGBT Network): Aa

At about 19.20 on Sunday, November 3, 2013 the "Rainbow Coffee" traditionally held at the community center of the project LaSky-St.Petersburg was attacked by two assailiants. They entered community center pretending to be "looking for a friend". Then one of them pulled a pneumatic gun and opened fire while the other was brandishing a baseball bat. Two persons were injured in the attack. A young man, who was shot in the face and has got a bullet stuck in his eye, was taken to the hospital. Doctors say his prognosis is not good -- his injured eye will hardly be recovered. A second victim was a young lady who was injured by baseball bat.

"Rainbow Coffee" is a weekly social event for LGBT-youth and heterosexual allies aiming to support free non-judgmental communication of participants. About 25-30 people were attending the last meeting. It is not the first time when all kinds of homophobic groups in social networks pay vicious attention to the project LaSky-Saint-Petersburg providing services for HIV and other STD prevention on MSM. About a month ago several homophobic vk.com pages posted calls for actions against LaSky community center. Today's attack is a result of escalation of homophobic climate in the city. Those who foster the feelings of hatred on the ground of sexual orientation or gender identity including politicians and religious leaders must be accounted for it.

This attack aimed at the office of organization for prevention of HIV and STD is an indication that pogrom-makers progressed from attacking activists during street rallies to attacks on closed private social events. Human Rights defenders of the city are following this incident with an intense attention and will press for just and fair investigation of this homophobic hate crime.

Adds activist Anastasia Smirnova:

"Pogroms are becoming a reality -- now it is not migrants, but the St Petersburg office of LaSky, HIV/AIDS organization for MSM. Two masked men with traumatic guns attacked LaSky's 'rainbow' social just 40 minutes ago. The police arrived on site and left right away saying that they did not see any evidence of the crime. Two guests of the social were hospitalized.

(image from 2010 protest in St. Petersburg)


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