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Gay visitors to Moscow told to expect violence

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  1. So we must wait to see how prepared the organizers of Eurovision are to take a stand. Will they think money, or will they think principle?

  2. and given how Graham Norton is the BBCs presenter this year it will be interesting to see how he reacts to the virtual safety indoors in comparison to what looks like being the “gay bashers eurovision” this year outside….maybe he will say something? i think he should if things do get as bad as people are suggesting!

  3. Ian Laughlin 13 May 2009, 6:56pm

    It’s difficult to know what action we can collectively take, apart from donating to Russian gay and progressive organisations who oppose the extremist right that has emerged in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet regime (which, at least, kept the Orthodox Church under control). A number of ideas spring to mind – lobbying the European Broadcasting Union to suspend Russia from future Song Contests; demonstrating at the Russian embassy, lobbying western broadcasters like the US funded Radio Free Europe to beam gay and lesbian programmes in Russian. I guess the key is that we take a lead from what our brothers and sisters in Russia itself would prefer.

  4. Ian Laughlin 13 May 2009, 7:48pm

    Apparently, NOS, the Dutch equivalent of the BBC is the first broadcasting station to prepare to cut transmission of Eurovision if the Russian authorities suppress gay citizens: http://ukgaynews.org.uk/Moscow_Eurovision_Latest.htm

  5. Simon Murphy 13 May 2009, 8:16pm

    First and foremost people need to email the EBU to press them to cancel Saturday night’s show if religious people and neo-nazis attack the parade and the police stand by and let them. Some useful email addresses:

    Director General of EBU: Jean Reveillon: ebu@ebu.ch;
    Eurovision Song Contest Unit: Svante Stockselius: stockselius@ebu.ch

  6. Simon Murphy 13 May 2009, 8:22pm

    Dear Eurovision

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

    Today the organisers of Slavic Pride told the media that the Russian police would refuse to protect gay people if they are attacked by religious extremists and facist groups during the Parade.

    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 in Russia 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 the gay audience and that the Russian gay community chose this Saturday to have their parade to coincide with the Eurovision knowing that the presence of large numbers of foreign, gay Eurovision fans would be in the city.

    Many of these gay Eurovision fans will wish to support the Russian gay movement so effectively Eurovision fans are in danger of serious attack this weekend.

    What is the the EBU doing to address this?

    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.

    I was of the belief that the 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 1 of the Eurovisions most loyal audiences 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 is making a clear statement that it supports violent homophobia

    Yours sincerely

  7. @Simon Murphy

    The Richard Bacon show on BBC5Live is doing a piece on Eurovision after 22.00 tonight.

    There hook iss whether we should be bothering to enter because of our failure rate in recent years but I’ve already e-mailed them to alert them to this issue as another reason why we might want to reconsider participation.

    You might want to forward your letter to the show by using bacon@bbc.co.uk or ring in on 0500 909693.

  8. thanks for those Simon….am full of admiration for those who are gonna be braving it outside those people there av to cope with that sort of discrimination on a daily basis and i do think the least we can all do is to contact those people and say that if things do get so bad that given eurovisions huge gay following they should transfer the final to another country safer for ANYONE who wants to watch it even if it does mean a delay

  9. also eurovision operations department
    kuerten@eurovision.net

  10. I note also that the activists are hoping to persuade those involved in eurovision to wear badges in support of the protesters. I sincerely hope therefore, to see Graham Norton wearing one of these badges. I think it would be the least he could do.

    I also hope that many more performers have the guts to threaten to pull out of the competition in the event of violence. Words in hindsight saying “how terible it was” won’t mean much, but action to show Moscow authorities that homophobia will not be accepted or tolerated by the rest of Europe would be much more meaningful.

  11. Bad news, I am afraid: I have proof that Eurovision fans really are shallow air-heads! I posted messages about the Moscow Gay Pride March on their Forum and while as of last night only 44 read one of my messages (and nobody commented or supported) an enormous 2457 people read the adjacent message to do with singers and about 50 had commented on that! I had a look at their “Comments” and I am afraid they provide positive proof that the average Eurovision fan is horrifyingly shallow. But what did one expect from people who love glitter and smaltz?

    Russian gays and lesbians have grasped at the Eurovision straw. It shows how desperate they are. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to help them at all . . . unless the organizers for some reason turn out to be of a completely different mind to the legion of fans.

  12. Peter Tatchell has apparently arrived in Moscow……along with some other activists they’re trying to get a meeting with the Moscow mayor to stop any confrontations before they happen

  13. No question to stupid right?

    Is there no conversation or action to get either the President of Prime Minister of Russia involved? Russia does have a constitution and they are constantly talking Human Rights at the United Nations.

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