Russian gay activists were once again not allowed to stage Gay Pride parade, but they were able to hold a brief protest action in Moscow on 1 June. According to reports, overall the action passed without violence, with few, mainly anti-gay far-right protesters detained. What was remarkable that despite an incident with barricaded gay activists, police behaviour was different this time. Alexey Davidov, Russian gay activist who was briefly detained by the police said that "he was treated well".
When told he could leave, he was advised to be careful when leaving, the militia being concerned for his safety. An anti-gay protester also in the bus passed comment to the militia that "these gays are not men". The militia replied with a question: "Did you serve in the military yourself?". No was the reply from the protester. "So don't say you are a man," the militia replied.
Photos below via UKGayNews which did a remarkable job of live blogging from Russia's capital throughout the day.
*Gay activists fooled the Moscow authorities by unveiling their banners and flags in front of the statue of Tchaikovsky, arguably the most famous Russian in history who was homosexual.
(photo © 2008 GayRussia.ru)
*The banner hanging from an apartment opposite Moscow City Hall. It reads: "Rights for Gays and Lesbians " and "Homophobia of Mayor Luzhkov should be prosecuted"
For next year, Russian gay activists plan to coincide Moscow Gay Pride with Eurovision 2009 which will be held in Russia (either Moscow or St Petersburg). It is a very clever move, as even homophobe mayor Luzhkov (if Eurovision takes place in Moscow) would hardly be able to ban gay related event surrounded by thousands of LGBT people from throughout the Europe. He would otherwise face an inevitable major European scandal. If only for Russia's 'pride', thanks to Eurovision, Russian gay activists has the most real chance to date to stage a proper Gay Pride event next year.