Polish Gays Win Right to Hold Pride, But Moscow Pride Once Again Faces Repression
Russian Lesbians and Gays in Moscow are courageously pledging to go forward with gay pride activities this year on Sunday, May 27 despite a vow to repress them by that city’s mayor. Last year’s pride celebration was physically attacked by neo-fascist thugs, Russian Orthodox religious zealots and the local police.
By contrast, in Warsaw, Poland, which itself has faced repression of Pride activities by neo-fascists and local authorities over the past few years, the new mayor of that city has announced that the Pride march will go forward and that for the authorities to repress it would be illegal. Poland had come under fire from the European Union over its repressive activities against Pride in Warsaw and several other cities. GLN is proud to have played a small role in helping up that pressure with a protest in February ’06 against the Chicago visit of Polish President Lech Kaczynski.
Russian gays urgently need and deserve our solidarity. By shining the light of publicity on the thuggery of the Russian state we can begin to put pressure on their leaders to cease their viciousness.
Please take a moment before next Sunday to call the Russian embassy to tell them that people around the world will be watching on May 27th to see whether or not the authorities allow Russian LGBT people to exercise their internationally recognized right to assemble to protest for their rights.
The following are telephone numbers for the Embassy: (202) 298-5700, (202) 939-8907, (202) 939-8913, (202) 939-8918, and (202) 939-8911 Call between 9 AM and 12:30 PM, and 2:30 PM and 6 PM, Monday thru Friday. If you would like to fax a letter of protest, the fax numbers are: (202) 483-7579 and (202) 298-5735
On Friday, May 25th GLN members Rich Wilson and Andy Thayer will discuss the dire situation faced by LGBT people in Moscow and offer suggestions about what we can to help our Russian brothers and sisters. The live call-in show will be at 6:30 6:55 PM on Cable Channel 21 in Chicago.