Sunday, May 27, 2007

Riot Said Fred: Moscow gay march attacked

What a charming place Moscow is these days: Mayor Yuri Luzhkov suggested that gay rights marches are "satanic acts" and banned plans for one in the city; when a group of Russian gays and international sympathisers attempted to protest this decision, gangs of violent thugs attacked them.

And the police? They arrested the targets, not the criminals.

Amongst those injured was Richard Fairbrass, who was punched in the face while talking to Reuters (Right Said Fred were in town to play a gig):

Richard Fairbrass, a gay singer with the British pop group Right Said Fred, was punched in the face and kicked by anti-gay activists while speaking to Reuters in an interview.

"We understand this is a gay event and so we came down here today," Fairbrass said before being hit. Blood dripped from his face after the attack.

Tatu had made an appearance at the start of the rally, but appear to have been away from the trouble; Peter Tatchell was punched in the face and dragged away by two policemen.

The trouble seems to have started from a nasty mixture of nationalists and Russian Orthodox fundamentalists who gathered to shout the usual rubbish about sodomites and disease. Interestingly, the governments of the rest of the world seem quicker to pursue Putin over the selling of possibly unlicensed mp3s than they are about this, and other, increasing abuses of human rights in the country. It seems that you're fine to send your police in to help out with a spot of queerbashing, but if you flog a few dodgy Phil Collins tracks online, then you've just gone too far.


Anonymous said...

If you gay foreigners come, you will be beaten. Stay home and out of our country.

Anonymous said...

And what of the gay _natives_, oh cowardly anonymous?

Anonymous said...

It's frightening that Russia would defy various human rights declarations in full view of the World's Media.

Human rights abuses in private and hushed up are worrying. But those done boldly and openly are even more worrying.

Anonymous said...

You have to admit though that Peter Thatchell deserves to punched. Not because he's gay, just because he's a wanker who outs people against their will instead of just letting people live their life the way they want.

Sarah Ditum said...

I don't recall Tatchell being involved in any outing for some time now - if you have a look on his website, there is a very interesting section on "outing", in which Tatchell states that it is only morally justifiable when the closeted subject has engaged in homophobic activities of some sort. I don't agree with the man on every count, but I admire his conviction and his campaigning ability. In the case of the Moscow protest, he was there to show international support for the human rights cause. No-one there should have been beaten and it is another reminder of the viciousness of Russian civic culture. Btw, did anyone hear Fairbrass on PM today? He sounded pretty rueful about the whole business, and understandably so.

Anonymous said...

"Russia: If you come, you will be beaten."

I believe that's the new promotional motto of the Russian Tourist Council. Ought to bring in tourists in droves!

Anonymous said...


Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Clearly, what you lack in a soul you didn't make up for in education. You'd probably find your idiotic hatred would be marginally more effective if you learned to spell, use the Caps Lock sparingly and didn't treat exclamation marks like they're confetti. You'd still look like a moron, but at least you'd only be leaving yourself open to pity rather than ridicule.

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