Gays and lesbians in various cities of Russia participated yesterday in protests "For Fair Elections!", organized into companies by leaders of social organizations or just by themselves. Rainbow flags of gay activists were flown in the forefront of many thousand rally at Prospect Sakharov in Moscow in a group of activists from the "Youth Yabloko". LGBT citizens held slogans saying "Reasonable person ashamed to go with the Nashi and not with gay", "Down with the party of crooks, thieves, and homophobes!" and "The powers are oppressing all minorities. Together we can win!" and other.
The opposition and citizens reacted differently to the emergence of the rainbow flags.
In the northern capital the so-called "systemic opposition" deprived the Russian LGBT Network leaders and members of the organization "Exit" of the microphone. The ban had been passed when the rally had already begun, with the tacit consent of the organizing committee of one of the most homophobic parties in the country - "Fair Russia". As reported in the "Exit's" twitter, a gay activists were muted by the initiative of Oksana Dmitrieva, insisting that her party "does not support your (LGBT - Gay.Ru) motion." "Get out of here ...", provocateurs - said the self-proclaimed "owners" of the rally.
The official Twitter of "exit" suggests that the campaign "For Fair Elections!" in St. Petersburg has actually turned into the particular party rally, and has not been "civic".
"Despite the open homophobia and provocation of some politicians, the visible part of the LGBT movement in a civil meeting was another step towards full integration of the community in the civic life of St. Petersburg" - they said in a statement issued yesterday. "We believe it is important to cooperate with a coalition of community organizations and to express our commitment to democratic values," - added the gay activists.
In Moscow LGBT citizens came to Sakharov Avenue, where the number of protesters reached 30 to 120 thousand people, according to various sources. They were not afraid to deploy rainbow symbolism.
"I was at the meeting December 24 under the rainbow flags, though I didn't know about it in advance - did not know anything, just came over and joined. After the flags were on the street ... a guy came out of the crowd and said "You have flown the flags, you're just lads that you did it!"- telling one of the activists on her own page in the social network "OpenID". She notes that "all people coming up to the LGBT group at the meeting were positive and supportive."
However, the homophobic "Komsomolskaya Pravda" writes the "slender boys" and about how "sodomite had snatched their own piece of democracy" (automated translation here >>.) The correspondent is reporting not without pleasure of "a good portion of the charge of hatred from the Communists."
In Novosibirsk, a gay activist was not allowed to deploy a rainbow flag. Local media are reporting a brawl. "Kommersant" added that the participant who rolled out of the LGBT flag was knocked down and beaten. He was saved by the police intervention. However, according to "Tayga.Info," arrested was the gay activist, and not the attackers.
As a side note, at the opposition forces rally in Moscow on 10 December gay activists were also attacked. As reported earlier, nationalists were offending protesters who came with the rainbow logo. However, other participants of the meeting "recaptured" LGBT people from homo-haters. A week later, gay activists from the "Rainbow Association" have been freely provided at a meeting of the party "Yabloko" by a group of about 10 people.
The Russian LGBT Network has consistently called for gays and lesbians to join the protest movement associated with the results of elections to the Duma. However, leaders of the LGBT Network are asking the gay community to be extremely careful while maintaining some form of protest and political slogans, warning against involvement in violence and vandalism.