The Russian and Belarusian Gaypride "Slavic Pride" was brutally broken down by special Police Forces this Saturday in Minsk. Although all 7 Russian and Belarusian activists are now free, they were fined and protocoled for taking part in an "unauthorized protest". After a fews minutes the peaceful protest march was harshly put an end to by special forces. Here are some videos:
Minsk finally had its non authorized gay pride march on Saturday afternoon at 2.30 pm local time.
For around 10 minutes, a group of approximately 40 Russians and Belarusians walked 400 meters in the center of the city waiving a 12 meters long rainbow flag.
The participants were shouting slogans against homophobia such as “Homophobia is a disease” and “Gay Equality. No Compromise”, the latter being the motto of the Slavic Pride.
Participants were followed by a large group of journalists. A witness spotted more than 10 video cameras recording the group walking on Surganova Street.
But while the event was going on peacefully, the Pride marchers were met by several vans full of anti riot police at the first crossing point.
“Suddenly, the doors of the vans opened and anti-riot police officers ran on all of us” said Nikolai Alekseev by phone from Minsk.
“I never saw anything of the kind even in Moscow before” he added.
Another participant who did not want to be named said “It was like a group of wild dogs”.
Anti-riot police forces were running after all those who were trying to escape. Among the detainees are also two organizers of St Petersburg’s Pride and at 6 others Russians and Belarusians arrested at the event. Another group of 4 Belarusian including Sergey Androsenko, one of the organizer, was arrested 30 minutes after the march at a nearby cafe.
“We managed to say what we wanted to say, we managed to unveil the large rainbow flag and walk with it for 10 minutes” said Nikolai Alekseev.
“The reaction of the authorities against this peaceful action is disproportionate as all journalists could witness today that this event did not create any problem to the society or anyone” added Alekseev.
“I am very shocked by all this. Obviously, some journalists told the protesters and the police as we were met with people throwing eggs at us” declared Maria Yefremenkova, organizer of the St Petersburg Pride.
“It was very short but very effective. People were very heroic too take part today” said Nikolai Baev, one of the organizers of Moscow Pride who arrived this morning from Moscow to take part to the event.
In a statement received from Paris, Louis-Georges Tin, President of the IDAHO Committee said “We are outraged to see so much police violence against a peaceful event and we can only admire the courage of these 40 heroes who took part to this march today despite knowing the risks”. Mr Tin said he has been in contact with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking for a diplomatic action to ensure the release of the arrested participants.
GayRussia.Ru, from Minsk.
http://www.gayrussia.ru (also in English)