Sunday, 27 April 2008

First time in Belarus: rainbow flag at Chernobyl protest

*via Petrelis Files, via gay Belarus advocacy organisation TEMA

More than a thousand people took part in the opposition’s march staged on the occasion of the 22nd Chernobyl accident anniversary in Minsk on April 26. It was a first time in a history, when rainbow flag used on political public event in Belarus.

The crowd started gathering at the square in front of the National Academy of Sciences at 2 p.m. and a short rally followed. Leaders of opposition had did speeches.

Sergey Androsenko, 19y.o. gay - leader of Gay Youth Association, stay with big rainbow flag in the center of crowd. Anarchists promise to protect gays on this event if somebody will try attack them.

The crowd then walked some two miles on sidewalks from the square to a church built to commemorate Chernobyl victims at the intersection between Arlowskaya and Karastayanavay Streets. [...]

After reaching the church, the crowd observed a minute of silence for those who died of illnesses caused by the Chernobyl fallout and laid flowers at a monument commemorating the victims. The demonstrators started dispersing shortly afterward.
Police did not interfere and no arrests were reported.

This case definitely will become a part of Belarusian LGBT history as a date of beginning of cooperation between civil society and LGBT movement, and the date of proud when LGBT activists didn’t afraid to become visible.

Svyatoslav Sementsov

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