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Moscow: Tatchell released from custody

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  1. Friends,

    Please go to the following page immediately and urge the BBC to take some suitable action tonight during the broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest. There’s a form to fill in at the bottom of the page.

    or just click here

    What else can we do from our computers right now?


  2. Why do I get the feeling that Norton and Lloyd Webber are deliberately pleading ignorance to the gay rights abuses happening under their noses?
    In Norton’s case he’s probably nervous because it’s his very first Eurovision Gig and he doesn’t want to jinx it by getting mired in the politics.
    As for Lloyd-Webber, apart from wanting his song to win, I’m at a bit of a loss.
    Easy to say from the sidelines, but sticking your head in the sand and pretending everything’s fine outside is no longer a viable option when the world’s media is watching.
    I appreciate it puts him in an awkward bind but I think Norton has to ask himself where his loyalties lie, to his new-found role and additional BBC paycheck or to his core fanbase.
    You don’t get to stand firm on gay rights after the world’s media has gone home and stopped paying attention, it’s now or never. Just one statement of solidarity… is that too much to ask?

  3. Pete & Christopher 16 May 2009, 5:23pm

    thanks for link eddy

    have just looked at the BBC video of the Russian security force bullying their way in, arresting the key people, and forcing the rest of the marchers to disperse . . . despite 20 to 30 international cameramen at the scene + consular officials there from major European embassies!

    this is like a flagrant great “WE FUCKING DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT EU HUMAN RIGHTS FOR HOMOS!” right in front of the world press!

    gay men & women people all over the world should go absolutely stark raving ballistic about this!!!!!!!!!!!! what are we gonna do?


  4. Yeah come on Norton, show some bottle. Anyone know him? Anyone know anyone who knows someone else who can text him . . . like over and over again?

  5. Abi Chrisopher 16 May 2009, 5:32pm

    Its a question now for Norton what’s worth the most to you the contract that keeps him a slave or freedom and loyalty. You now need to grow a pair Norton or be an apologist for a homophobic state.

  6. randy smith 16 May 2009, 5:36pm

    Recently I found a hot club
    — S e e k I n g t a l l. C o M —
    Just for hot tall gals and guys to find their cupid. Come on, tall singles. Don’t miss your lover.

  7. Jeez, you smack one down and another jumps up… it’s like decapitating the Hydra.
    Sara White/ Randy Smith/ whatever you’re bloody calling yourself next… stop spamming these threads with your off topic Nightspot plugs. It’s getting tiresome.
    Cough up for a proper advert you miserly muppet… if your nightclub’s as low rent as your advertising campaign I don’t want to know!

  8. George Broadhead 16 May 2009, 6:08pm

    If Norton and Lloyd Webber were at all interested in, or concerned about, lgbt rights, one would have thought they would be well aware of the dire situation for lgbt people in Russia, not to mention other East European states.

    It is difficult not to conclude that they are totally preoccupied with their own celebrity status.

  9. Ian Laughlin 16 May 2009, 6:23pm

    Surprisingly, the largest gay radio station in the UK, Gaydar Radio, which transmits on DAB in the South East and nationally on the internet, has all afternoon been carrying Eurovision “build-up” announcements. Given the seriousness of what has happened, one would have thought that at the least, they would have been reporting on the repression.

  10. …….When asked his opinion on the attitude of Moscow authorities towards the march yesterday, Eurovision host Graham Norton said: “I feel really bad, but I don’t know very much about this”……

    a) You ought to know, it’s your responsibility as a human being;
    b) There’s nothing stopping you from finding out now it’s been brought to your attention; and
    c) Then do your duty as a public figure.

  11. Simon Murphy 16 May 2009, 7:42pm

    I sincerely hope that during the voting the judges from the various countries make a short statement of solidarity with the gay people of Russia. I remember back in January emailing the Eurovision asking them not to award the ceremony to a viciously homophobic, undemocratic city like Moscow. They pretended everything would be fine. Well lo and behold the inevitable happened. Russian authorities have disgraced their country.

  12. I emailed the March organizer Nikolai Alekseev earlier this week and we have exchanged a few emails. I emailed him earlier this afternoon and have had no response. I note on Twitter that Peter (Tatchell) says he’s worried as to Nikolai’s whereabouts. He may well still be in “the custody” of the Russian security forces . . . for WHAT? WHY? Because he was prepared to stand up for the right of Russian gays and lesbians to gather together in peaceful demonstration? It’s worrying. I hope he’s all right. I hope he’s been released and he’s just absolutely exhausted after the last few days and he’s slipped away somewhere to get some sleep.

  13. Let’s not kid ourselves they will be working for the BBC. Peter Tatchell has an article on his website which says;

    The BBC is one of the last bastions of casual homophobia.

    The widely-publicised Stonewall report (which found that Britain’s 1.5 million lesbian and gay licence-paying households receive “astonishingly poor value for money” from the BBC) you might think the corporation would be sensitive to accusations of homophobia. But time after time, its official response is to raise two fingers to gay complaints.

    Like the 4 Poof’s and Stephan Fry, Norton has “sold his soul” to the BBC for money, I would be VERY surprised if he says anything in support of the gay community at Eurovision!

  14. Ian Laughlin 16 May 2009, 8:55pm

    Well said, Craig. The BBC cannot be relied on to challenge the Russian authorities. It is also a major bankroller of the Eurovision Schlong Contest and has a vested interest in seeing it go to air without incident. However, there is some hope that NOS, the State broadcaster in the Netherlands may cut transmission, or that a freethinking act might make a gesture of gay solidarity during their airtime. Let’s hope so.

  15. Complain directly’ish to Graham Norton. If enough people complaint to his agent, he “WILL” get the message!

    Gordon Poole Agency Ltd
    The Limes,
    BS48 3BB
    United Kingdom
    +44 (0)1275 463 222
    E-Mail: agents at gordonpoole dot com

    Dear Graham Norton’s Agent,

    Has Graham “Sold his Soul” to the BBC for money?

  16. I simply cannot believe what is appeing today. Don’t expect Graham Norton to do anyting. The biggest threat t the human rights of gay people the world over is apathy. Go into anygay club across the UK tonight and they will be full of people. Ask them what happened today in Moscow and I would put money on most of them ot knowing r even worse, not caring! Lots of my gay friends are happy to have their civil partnerships without a second though for the fight that it has taken in this country ust to be given a second class system of legal recognition. I hope that at least one counrty tonight makes a stand and does something to demonstrate its disgust at what happened today in Moscow.

  17. Ian Laughlin 16 May 2009, 9:55pm

    Apparently, Graham Norton has made comments over the air during the telecast on BBC-1 television critical of the Russian government’s actions.

  18. Shame on the people of Moscow. Have they learnt nothing from their own history. Are they happy to sit back and watch the gulags re-open for dissenters.

    Today they come for the homosexuals. Tomorrow they will come for you.

    Such a sad, sad day for Russia.

  19. As for Graham Norton, there really are a lot of gay people who ‘live’ in the London/Soho gay bubble, and think that is what the whole world is like.

    Graham Norton is one such person. I’m sure he will justify not saying something, by saying something along the lines of ‘I’m not a politician, or I’m just a presenter…etc…etc…

    Let’s all join Graham Norton and close our eyes, and pretend nothing bad is really happening in Russia.

  20. I am thinking more about Peter than Graham. Let’s hope he not got a black eye like last time.

    All the best.

  21. Graham stated on-air that police heavy-handedness has marred the contest. Hardly a damning condemnation, and so vague that most people will wonder what he is talking about.

  22. @ Ian – The comments were made during a little ‘filmed’ interlude showing sights from Moscow and Russian police behaving in a friendly manner. Even then, all Graham could bring himself to do was to say the police were ‘heavy-handed’ today. But he said nothing whatsoever about the context in which the police were ‘heavy-handed’. His remarks were carefully calculated to be the absolute bare minimum he could have said; an insult to the demonstration. Those people risked an awful lot, and to have a gay man respond in that manner is beneath contempt.

  23. christophersays 16 May 2009, 11:23pm


  24. More power to Peter Tatchell and those with him. Very disappointed in Norton. There was so much he could have done.

  25. It may be a bit late but there is also this email address,, put Graham in the subject line. There will probably still be someone monitoring that address so if enough are sent he should know about it.

  26. Graham Norton just got booted from my TIVO here in the USA!

    Graham Norton of all people should have been willing to stand up for Gay Rights and highlight the plight of our Russian Gay brothers and sisters.


    I shall not forgive you for this.

  27. At about 8.30 last night I decided I ought to watch Eurovision just in case there was some decent statement made against the breaking of the gay rights march. When I tuned in they were up to Song No 15, of the 25. From then until the end of the programme there were two references to the breakup. Both were made in background commentary by Norton. One was (as Dave describes above) when a Russian woman provided an interlude between songs by introducing viewers to how wonderfully well “randomly selected” Moscovites could sing a traditional Russian folk tune. She got various people to sing into a microphone. Amongst these were three Russian soldiers, all smiles and affability. Over this Norton made some comment like “not looking quite so heavy-handed as they did earlier today”. Sometime later on in the contest he made another comment on the breakup, just as lightly. His comments were akin to remarks passed by some wealthy protected old dowager sitting high in a train passing through crowds of peasants. Sort of “Let them eat cake!” in tone.

    On the one hand, Norton did do SOMETHING, although the light and fleeting manner in which he did it did not seek to express the gravity of the situation to the average UK viewer.

    It would be interesting to know if any of the dozens of other commentators, from all the participating countries, made any references. Anybody heard of anything?

  28. well the eurovision last night did have:
    1. graham mentioning the oppresive antics of the russian police ealrier in the day but not the march – which i thought was good.
    2. A russian skit involving police asking cameras not to film which was an ironic bit of humour considering what happened that day.

    I also think the Eurovision thing is just the gayest show in the camp sense of the word – it seems crazy that russia tries to ban march but puts on such a camp extraveganza and cant see the similaritiy

  29. I said above that at least Norton had done SOMETHING. I’m not so sure after scanning Heidi Stephens’ entire blog of the evening in The Guardian! If SHE didn’t GET the light references made by Norton, then no one else probably did either apart from we more-informed readers. So I’m going to remove that 1 bronze star I earlier awarded Graham Norton.

    Heidi Stephens wrote:

    “8.55pm: It’s time for BOSNIA & HERZOGOVINA, and it’s a Bosnian Les Mis! Bring on Susan Boyle. They’ve got the full set of vintage military uniforms, and it’s all a bit marchy, but I’m loving the banging drums. The lead singer who’d be rather dashing if he hadn’t got minging greasy hair. Perhaps they are Bosnia’s answer to My Chemical Romance.

    8.59pm: It’s a random bit with Russian policemen – apparently the rest of Europe is enjoying an ad break right now. Lucky bastards.

    I think I might need to suspend the drinking game, because frankly I’m well on the road to completely twatted. I may fall foul of my own moderators, which would be a first.

    9.00pm: Ooh, we’re back. It’s MOLDOVA – more warbling from a girl called Nelly, who looks like Geri Halliwell in Moldovan national costume (drink, sigh). Either that or she’s auditioning for Peter Pan. She has lots of male backing dancers doing Cossack-style dancing (drink) and shouting ‘hoi hoi’ in a pirate fashion. Is it wrong that I love this? Drink drink drink.”


  30. Did anyone here send in feedback texts? I didn’t see the BBC put up any critical messages on screen.

  31. Robert, ex-pat Brit 17 May 2009, 2:49pm

    In the spirit of the first Stonewall riot in New York, why isn’t Stonewall UK getting actively involved in this? Peter does all the foot work, puts his life on the line while Stonewall remains silent. It has no right using the name of Stonewall by its inaction. Norton is no different than a lot of apathetic, indifferent gay people with their NIMBY (not in my back yard) mentality. Unless it affects them directly, they don’t give a damn.

  32. Mihangel apYrs 17 May 2009, 3:04pm

    It’s becoming obvious that Norton, like Fry, are nice tame queers that the Beeb and Establishment can wheel out when they need unthreatening poofs to front things without rocking the boat.

    Norton goes to homophobic Russia (where he’d be beaten to a pulp outside his celeb bubble), Fry supports MPs in the expenses row. Both are protected from real life, spending time with sycophants and luvvies. Both have forgotten real life

  33. Mihangel apYrs, Sue Mae! What a JOY to read your words, directly above. You’re “bang on”, my friend, in my opinion. I believe both of them are probably acting with an eye out for the day the Great White English Queen bestows a knighthood on them.

  34. Here is a

    full list of guests
    that have been on the
    Jonathan Ross show. All we need to do is contact them about the extent of
    homophobia on the show. Many American actors supports gay rights and may be
    unaware of his homophobia?

    If only we had a list of the ones about to appear on the show?

  35. OK, Craig, excellent. Post this over in the Jonathan Ross threads, both of threads. Now it’s a matter of locating one of those websites that give you addresses of celebrities. I propose using as a basic template that Comment left by someone-or-other re. Ross being awarded a Lavender Award, then questioning why by citing four instances of the homophobic jokes with which he starts every show when introducing the self-styled “Four Poofs”.

  36. Craig

    Thanks for this information . . . a very good idea with regard building awareness of the extent of Ross’s homophobia amongst US actors/performers.

  37. I’ll be away for a thew days now. I’ll have to think of all the homophobia he & the BBC has done (with news stories to back them up), so that when they are contacted, they beleave it.

  38. jonnielondon 17 May 2009, 11:58pm

    Has there been any independent, reliable confirmation as to whether Nikolai Alekseev, one of the Pride Moscow oragnizers, has been released by Moscow police? I’m concerned for his well being.

  39. Jonnielondon, yes he’s been released, it seems, thank heavens, though it hasn’t be widely reported, which suggests a general international lack of interest unfortunately.

    Have never heard of beofre, but they appear to be the only site offering the following rather encouraging news! Must keep an eye on boxturtle from now on.

    LGBT Russians Peacefully March in St. Petersburg, other cities
    by Jim Burroway
    May 17th, 2009
    nbow Flash Mob in St. Petersburg (Valentin Ilyushin/

    In sharp contrast to yesterday’s aggressive breakup of a peaceful Slavic Pride march in Moscow by riot police, a “Rainbow flash mob” of between 100 and 250 LGBT people and supporters marched peacefully today in St. Petersburg.

    The flash mob gathered at Ligovsky Avenue and walked from there to Nevsky Prospect, remaining on the sidewalk and off of the street. Police reportedly gathered to monitor the situation but made no moves to hinder the march. Once the group reached Nevsky Prospect, they released hundreds of balloons into the air with notes attached.

    There were much smaller balloon releases in other cities and towns across Russia, all coordinated to take place at 2:00 p.m. local time. In the southern Ural mountains city of Chelyabinsk, a man holding a half dozen colorful balloons walked down the rain-soaked streets of the main commercial district. His balloons stood out on the drab gray afternoon and attracted the attention of a couple of women. Impressed with the “positive energy” of the colorful balloons and the message of equality and freedom for LGBT people they represented, the two agreed to lend their support and helped to release the balloons.

    Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment these balloon releases achieved was the widespread favorable coverage in the Russian press. The balloon releases were organized as part of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).

    Meanwhile back in Moscow, all of the participants arrested in yesterday’s march have been released. Six, including march organizer Nikolai Alekseev, were held overnight and released at noon today.


  40. Look at the text on the “special forces” uniform ( look carefully in a mirror image !!
    They are OMOH officers !

  41. Sweduk, yes, I thought so too, and “How Ironic!” I thought. However, zoom in and it’s actually “OMON” (Russian Special-Purpose Police).

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