Main | Saturday, June 29, 2013

RUSSIA: Violence And Dozens Of Arrests At St. Petersburg Pride Demonstration

Dozens were arrested today at a gay pride demonstration in St. Petersburg, Russia where anti-gay protesters assaulted and pelted the attendees with eggs.
Media reports estimated that several dozens of LGBT activists came to the Field of Mars (Marsovo Pole) in the city’s downtown to rally for gay people's rights in Russia. The event was attended by some 200 of anti-gay activists urging to ban the rally and throwing eggs at their opponents.

“After the complaints of local residents, representatives of the local administration and the police warned the protestors that their protest was illegal and asked them to leave,” a police spokesperson said. Police officers then broke up the protest and arrested dozens of gay rights activists, the spokesman added.

The Russian LGBT network said on its Facebook page Saturday that several activists were beaten up by their opponents during the event, and more than 50 held by the police. Eight of the anti-gay activists were detained as well, the police said. One of the police officers was injured while trying to detain an anti-gay activist, local Fonatanka.Ru news website reported.
Gay Star News has more.
Five Russian gay couples, who yesterday in a historical legal move applied for marriage licenses, were also taking part in today's march and are now under police custody. The chair of St. Petersburg Pride and Equality organization Yury Gavrikov and his partner Maksim were one of the couples arrested. Dimitry Chunosov, who along with his partner partcipated in yesterday's application for marriage license, was reported to have been beaten up by the anti-gate protestors. Gavrikov, who knew he was likely to face arrest for organizing today's gay pride march, could face double penalties as an LGBT individual and leader of an LGBT organization who breached the local and federal Russia's gay gag laws.
Below is video of the arrested couples attempting to register for a marriage license. Many more photos of today's rally and arrests are here.

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