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Comment: Peter Tatchell on why he’ll still march at Moscow Pride

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  1. great commentary but should it read as “Moscow” on the headline?

  2. stephen kay 11 May 2009, 5:22pm

    Peter is a hero..well done and thank you.

  3. Brave man. If only more prominent people would go to show that such bigotry is unacceptable.

  4. I hope performers will boycott the event if the authorities resort to violence against the demonstrators.

  5. Simon Murphy 11 May 2009, 6:57pm

    If neo-Nazis or the police attack the parade then I would hope that the eurovision later that night gets cancelled.

  6. Brian Burton 11 May 2009, 7:05pm

    If the Russians can send killers to London to eliminate their enimies, then what atrocities are they caperble of in their own Country? As a Gay Christian, all I can say is, God be with you all in Moscow.

  7. I don’t know why the Russians should get so het up about it.
    Their greatest (arguably) national treasure was homosexual.

  8. Well done, Peter. What a hero we have in our ranks. Wouldn’t it be great if prominent people, people with “profiles”, even magazine celebrities, quickly decided to join Peter and the other Moscow marchers in solidarity. Then it would work, for sure, because the cameras and the media would be there in force to watch, witness, and report.

    If anybody knows a famous name personally SUGGEST IT!

  9. Hmm. Sadly not all countries respond to active demonstration the same way as us. If he is not careful he is liable to get a good kicking in a cell at best, and an awful lot worse if the Russians want to make an example. Sometimes it’s better to just stand back.

  10. DON’T GO! It’s not worth it.

    Or wait until the Eurovision Song Contest.

    All the best.

  11. Peter’s tireless fight for gay rights is an example to us all. I have the utmost respect and admiration for this man.

  12. RobN: “Sometimes it’s better to just stand back.”

    Well, isn’t that what some people in Germany 1939 did? Then we ended up with death camps. Would Stonewall be remembered if they all “just stood back”?

    Lets be honest, regardless of whether you support his tactics, Peter Tatchell is braver than 99.9% of gay men out there, who’s efforts to fight for their equality is limited to vacuously dancing up against some random mutt to Britney Spears in a gay bar.

    As the great Irish statesman Edmund Burke once said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    I wish him well.

  13. Ian Laughlin 12 May 2009, 8:13am

    Mr Tatchell is a credit to the community and the world is a better place for his campaigns. Hopefully with the European media in Moscow for the Song Contest, the authorities will think twice about any anti-gay oppression. If it does occur, then as Simon (above) comments, it will be time to pull the Song Contest.

    Eurovision was created by the European Broadcasting Union (the federation of broadcasters across the continent) in 1956 to promote and celebrate peace, human rights and democracy in the post-war world. If there is a repeat of previous years’ anti-gay attacks, then a small project for the next 12 months might be to persuade the EBU to think carefully about the future of the Russain entry.

  14. RobN wrote: “If he is not careful he is liable to get a good kicking in a cell at best, and an awful lot worse if the Russians want to make an example. Sometimes it’s better to just stand back.”

    RobN, you have here derided all those who have fought bravely and been prepared to pay the price so that you and I can enjoy the freedoms that we now do.

    Peter is no stay-at-home coward nibbling on the creamcakes earnt by others.

  15. Good luck to all who are marching. I’ll be thinking of you.

  16. Pete & Christopher 12 May 2009, 9:56am

    Richard Ian Will & Eddy we can’t agree with you more.

    As a couple of older gay men we remember only too well how things used to be & how they have only imrpoved because of all the fighting that we’ve done.

    Our guess is that Rob is only a young lad, cocky for sure, probably priviledged, & certainly not aware of the horrors of the past.

    The most basic thing gay men like him ought to know at least is that history repeats itself and the state of things as they are today is not guaranteed.

    If we were younger we would be on board a plane to walk with Peter. We’ve done it before many times. Actually it can be very exciting.

  17. @ RobN – You have already been criticised by others here for saying “sometimes it’s better to just stand back”.

    I’m afraid I also agree with those others that it is never better to stand back. It might be safer to stand back, easier to stand back, but never “better” to stand back.

    If the brave protesters in Moscow this weekend get a kicking, or possibly even worse, then they will have their pride knowing they have stood up and made a stand against oppression. The media in this scenario will hopefully be forced to put at least some spotlight on the oppression of human rights in Moscow.

    If they do no protest, then nothing will change. Gay Russians will continue to be harassed, beaten, blackmailed and worse by neo-nazi skinheads and the authorities. The authorities will continue their persecution, as they have done for quite some time now under the current homophobic mayor of Moscow.

    Sadly, whilst it should not have to take incidents to push an issue, we live in a world where pressure by those in power around the world will only be put on Moscow in the event that problems occur.

    Black civil rights in 60s America would never have progressed when they did, had people “stood back”, women’s rights a century ago also would not have progressed had people “stood back”, and gay rights, sadly, will not progress unless people stand up.

    So, as I said at the start, in this situation, it is not better to stand back, it might only be better to do so out of self-preservation, but we should be very very proud of those who are putting their personal safety at risk to help the rights of the rest of our community around the world, and especially in Russia.

  18. #12

    […RobN: “Sometimes, it’s better to just stand back.”

    “…Well, isn’t that what some people in Germany 1939 did? Then we ended up with death camps. Would Stonewall be remembered if they all “just stood back”?……………”….]

    Thanks for that input, #12 WILL.

    I remember this correspondent from the ‘Muslim Poll’ thread earlier this month.
    For some reason, I got up his nose…still dunno why; I got up his co-correspondent’s hooter as well, Canadian Wossisface’s hooter…
    I think (but it may have been someone else) it was because of my childish antics in Sainsbury’s.
    ‘Childish’ the antics may have been; but children’s fairy stories often have not-so-childish messages, confronting demons being one.
    My calculatedly exaggerated and effeminate walk in front of a fully burqa’d party of Muslims in my local supermarket was just such a confrontation, meant to say that in the U.K. ‘anything goes’, within the law, your outlandish dress, from century ‘dot’ and my stupid, affected mockery of gay ‘mincing’.
    I do not like the way you insist your women dress and you do not like gays and their mincing walks; I shall tolerate you; you shall tolerate me; that is the way it works here in Britain.

    The same door you came in through serves equally well as a door through which you may leave; you are not enchained here.

    He -RobN – seemed to think I am a ‘leftie’…(still laughing at that one.)
    Well, all power to your elbow, MR. PETER TATCHELL.
    I only have the guts to do my ‘confronation of demons’ in a safe local supermarket in good old Manchester.
    I was going to say that I would come too but ‘cannot because age and infirmity preclude’ it.
    But that would be a cop out and a lie.

    I wouldn’t come, even if I could, because I WOULDN’T HAVE THE GUTS that you have, despite my 6 foot 7 inch frame and my shovels-for-hands; in fact, precisely BECAUSE of those physical measurements since I’d be the first to be targetted and brought down; I would be seen as a ‘heavy’.
    Mr. Tatchell should be put forward for a knighthood and as many gongs as his stout chest can carry.
    And talking o’ chests…RobN and yer mate….you two belong on a woman.


  19. Peter Tatchell should stay home.

    His blog is read by the global LGBT community and we need him alive and well to fight homophobia with his superb gift of thinking clearly and writing intelligently.

    Peter did not receive the Blue Plaque for endangering his life and weakening the chances of support for the LGBT persons around the world.

    Stay home, Peter, we need you.

    Harvey Milk would not have gone to his office that November day in 1968 if he had known that he was going to be shot dead by a emergumen overdosing on Cheerios. And Harvey Milk was anything but a coward.

    Stay home, Peter, and use your blog to put your message across. Let those who are encouraging you to go to Russia book their tickets now and let them go to the Gay Pride Parade in the land of Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). That’s about the same time we lost Oscar Wilde, isn’t it? And what did the LGBT world gain by that senseless death?

  20. Well Jean Paul, no one wishes harm to come to Peter Tatchell, or anyone else for that matter. But bear in mind, Harvey Milk arguably done as much for Gay Right by his tragic death, as his tireless campaigning in life did. Much good work for the rest of us has been done in his name, and in his memory, and he is an inspiration for another generation of gay rights activists.

    Its the fact that Peter Tatchell is putting himself at obvious risk that brings the much needed attention to the appalling lack of equality in Russia. And Wilde’s memory as a great playwrights has survived in spite of his so called “downfall”, probably more so because of the injustice he had to endure for his orientation. The same can be said for Dr Magnus Hirschfeld and Alan Turing.

    I can’t say I always agree with his tactics, but I admire his tenacity, a tenacity often lacking on other gay people when it comes to fighting for our rights. We need people like Mr. Tatchell because they are willing to go and make a stand where the rest of us are afraid to, not because he’s staying at home… if he did that, would he deserve our respect?

  21. Will (20):

    Don’t you think I understand your point of view and how persuasive it is?

    Read what the Foreign Office has to say in the latest news in PinkNews, and tell me that it is a wise thing to send a man like Tatchell to his death while you are eating your fish & chips safely watching him being killed on TV.

  22. Because of great gay men such as Harvey Milk and Peter Tatchell, the gay life style has become far, far more acceptable over the last ten years or so. Harvey Milk died in representing gay people; Peter Tatchell is prepared to risk physical injury and humiliation in representing us. You are one Big Brave Man, Peter T – go in peace and come back safely.
    If I knew you personally, i’d hug you!

  23. Tony Lambert 12 May 2009, 3:55pm

    Jean-Paul: “to send a man like Tatchell to his death”

    WHAT? Who’s “sending” him to his death? What a total overreaction!!! He’s doing this by himself, no one’s making him, doing it so little diva’s like you can “eat your fish and chips” as you put it. And you’re totally missing the logical and intelligent point Will’s making. Less drama, more reading what he has to say there, sweetie.

  24. Jean Paul, then how do you suggest we get out equality then? Sitting at home “blogging”, afraid to walk the streets for fear some “christian” homophone tries to stone us?

  25. Keith! Your exquisite messages put a smile on my face and make me laugh. Thank you for that.

    And you wrote: “I only have the guts to do my ‘confronation of demons’ in a safe local supermarket in good old Manchester.”

    Well, Peter Tatchell doing it in Russia and you doing in a Sainsbury’s in Manchester: it’s all important ACTION. This little bunny at least salutes you, sir!

    And, yes, if the world were the la-la land of fairytales and just desserts and happy endings where the good always win in the end, Peter Tatchell would be offered all the gongs under the sun. But I’ld like to think that like Benjamin Zephaniah, Paul Schofield (A Man For All Seasons), and a good number of principled others he would refuse such “bribes” from the establishment.


    Will, you make fine points! Thanks for them. As you say, sitting at home and just blogging, as Jean-Paul has urged Peter (and presumably all of us to do), is just so safe and comfortable as to be ineffectual. Of course the printed word has power but at the end of the day battles are fought in the physical space, face to face, and there is nothing wrong with battles, battles move us forward. Gays in Russia have the right to walk as proudly down their main street as we are able to do here in the UK and others can do in certain other countries. (And by the way, Will, don’t get drawn into a debate over this with Jean-Paul. His brain is all over the place. In another thread he shot somebody down by reminding them that is was the drag-queens of Stonewall who had the guts to take physical action and so trigger one hell of an advance for all of us gay men and women all over the world. Peter Tatchell – and hopefully a bunch of gutsy supporters – will of course be doing exactly the same thing in Russia.)

  26. Thanks Eddy, appreciate the comments… and yeah, not much point debating with one so prone to over reaction. The lessons of history are lost on him… maybe he can learn them on Wikipedia, when he’s blogging for our equality.

  27. Everyone, please write to the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest RIGHT NOW and get everybody you know to write to them too.

    “Simon Murphy” has provided the following four addresses in another thread, plus the following excellent template.

    Don’t delay, do it right now, and pass a copy on to friends – including friends in other European countries.


    Subject: Eurovision and the Moscow Gay Pride March


    “Director General – Jean Reveillon”
    “Eurovision Operations Department”
    “Eurovision News & Events”
    “Eurovision Song Contests Unit”


    Dear Eurovision Organizer,

    Today the British Foreign Office advised gay travellers to Moscow to be aware of possible violence at the Gay Pride festival in Moscow this Saturday.

    As you are no doubt aware, the mayor of Moscow regards homosexuals as ‘satanic’ and all past attempts to organise a peaceful protest against the oppression of gay people has met with violence by neo-nazi groups and a refusal by the police to protect the gay community.

    As you are also no doubt aware the Eurovision Song Contest is very popular with gay people. Please be aware that the Russian gay community chose this Saturday to have their parade to coincide with the Eurovision Contest.

    Please confirm that if the police or neo-nazis attack the gay pride parade this Saturday in Moscow that the Saturday night final will be cancelled and declared invalid.

    Eurovision was created in the 1950’s to promote peace among European neighbours.

    With the threat of neo-nazi violence and police collusion in facist oppression against one of the Eurovisions most loyal audiences (the gay audience) organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest must make it absolutely clear that they are opposed to neo-nazism.

    If there is violence against the gay community on Saturday and the competition goes ahead on Saturday night the Eurovision Song Contest would be making a clear statement that it supports violent homophobia

    Yours sincerely,


  28. The Email addresses are:

    “Director General – Jean Reveillon”
    “Eurovision Operations Department”
    “Eurovision News & Events”
    “Eurovision Song Contests Unit”

  29. #25 EDDY…..& WILL….

    “(And by the way, Will, don’t get drawn into a debate over this with Jean-Paul. His brain is all over the place…”


    And here’s me thinkin’ it was just me…!
    Yep, Will, that geezer JP…!

    You’ll be flavour of the month one mo and the next worse than an itch up the Grand Canyon…and do you know what? You won’t even know why..!
    “All over the place” … isn’t in it..!”

    Acadia my fanny!


  30. Pete & Christopher: “Our guess is that Rob is only a young lad, cocky for sure, probably privileged, & certainly not aware of the horrors of the past.”

    You two couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m close to 50 and come from a pretty conventional background. I am also well aware of the “horrors of the past”, but wasn’t sure if you were referring to the holocaust, or one of you breaking a fingernail in the LA back in the 80’s. I just happen to despise right-on socialists that try to represent me and my sexuality. I am quite capable of defending myself.

  31. Ciaran McMahon 13 May 2009, 6:40am

    RobN: “but wasn’t sure if you were referring to the holocaust, or one of you breaking a fingernail in the LA back in the 80”

    Delightful. Simply delightful. Just what we need in here, another bitch with the intelligence of a tomato.

    Well done RobN, nearly 50 years old and STILL behaving like a 14 year old girl with aspirations to be Paris Hilton! A triumph for wisdom in the middle years.

    To Pete & Christopher, ignore him, he well known on this site for being one of the top fools around.

  32. Ciaran: Well considering I’ve never even seen you on here until today, your pearls of wisdom are about as enlightening as a dog turd. WTF has Paris Hilton got to do with anything?

    If you have nothing to say, do us all a favour and keep your gobshite opinions to yourself.

  33. Pete & Christopher 13 May 2009, 11:01am

    Ciaran, many thanks for the warning re. RobN. We agree. 50 years old and behaving as he has = shameful. But there we are. We can’t automatically expect the finest behaviour of all gay people. There will always be a rotten apple or two at the bottom of the bag.

  34. Ciaran McMahon 13 May 2009, 12:28pm

    Then, RobN, you’re as stupid as your are bitchy. I’ve been posting on this site for 4 years. I have confronted homophobic religious nuts like Hank and “reality Check” as well as engaged in many interesting and intelligent conversation with Sister Mary Clarence, Luke, Will, and other regulars here. However, I don’t need to prove all that, its irrelevant to the fact you have consistently shown yourself to be a petty minded twat with very little of substance offer other than stirring s*it.

    If you have nothing intelligent to say, then go read a book before banging your face on a keyboard to regale us all with your puerile “insights”.

  35. Ouch..!
    You tell it like it is, Ciaran..!

    (Getting very ‘off the point’ isn’t it, with all these queenie
    gibe-ettes and gettin’ poysonalls.
    …I wanna read debate and opinion..)
    Can’t have evryfink.

  36. Ciaran McMahon 13 May 2009, 2:24pm

    Keith, agreed. I won’t be bated again.

    The issue at hand is that while there is obviously “mixed feelings” about Peter going to Moscow, I would love to have his courage… more like him fighting for us and there would be fewer gay men trapped in straight marriages cruising parks at 4am when while their wives and kids sleep. We need people like Peter to bring attention to the oppressive nature of most of the world when it comes to LGBT.

  37. So very true all that Ciaran, especially the ‘trapped’ bit and the ‘cruising at 4am in the park…’ bit.
    Why should there be any need for that today..except for the ignorance of the likes of Ian Watson in the Scots Kirk.

  38. Why did Peter Tatchell say he’ll still march in Moscow?

    It’s all right with me , but why did he say he would still march in Moscow?

  39. Today we here in Canada are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality by Bill C-150.

    For the story and video clip of the opinions of today’s politicians, check www dot xtra dot ca.

    I wish Peter Tatchell would see it too if any of you can communicate with him.

    Best regards,

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