"We, citizens of our country, were humiliated, having been mistaken for scum, who only participate as crowds of extras at the voting sites and decide nothing. We are not satisfied with such a role! We do not want to tolerate it and be silent!" - this is how Igor Kochetkov, chair of the Russian LGBT-network and a gay activist starts his open letter (automatic translation here >>).
The leader of the largest Russian gay organization declares: "We have a right to protest. Any attempts to stop us are illegal" and adds: "Nowadays, there seems to be a lot of groups and organizations that present themselves as the organizers of tomorrow's meetings. Among them, there are radical nationalists, who voice racist, homophobic and xenophobic mottos. They may use your presence at their events to popularize their celebrity and disseminate their horrible ideas".
It is because of this that Kochetkov is asking the gay-community to be extremely cautious, supporting any forms of protests. He is also warning against participation in any displays of violence or vandalism.
Translated by Alexander Lipovtsev