Edinburgh-based LGBT charity the Equality Network will today deliver a card of commiseration to the Russian consulate in Edinburgh regarding this weekend’s violence at Moscow Pride.
Coordinator Jane Carnall said: “We have received messages from Glasgow Pride, Aberdeen Pride, Edinburgh’s Pride Scotia, and from Pride Scotland. Also from the Scottish Gay Police Association and from Unison.”
The card, she added, reads: “The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities of Scotland send our commiserations to Moscow for the failure to hold a peaceful Moscow Gay Pride in 2011, and best wishes for future Pride celebrations.”
The European Court of Human Rights have ruled that Moscow has no right to ban Pride. Both Amnesty International and the Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe have called on the Moscow city authorities to overturn their ban and protect the Pride marchers. Instead, according to eyewitness Peter Tatchell, the police collaborated with anti-gay demonstrators who were there expressly to attack the Pride marchers.
Ms Carnall said: “For six years now, a handful of people in Moscow have tried to exercise their lawful right of free assembly, and hold a Pride march. So far, they’ve always been met with violence and denial by people who think they should be ashamed. It is their government that should be ashamed. To oppose that, we need Pride.”
Fifteen Russian LGBT activists were arrested, and three international LGBT activists, including Lt. Dan Choi, well-known in the United States for his work opposing the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Lt. Choi reportedly said before the march: “In this battlefield [in Moscow], our only weapon is truth. Our only armour is integrity. And our only ammunition is love.”
One of the injured Russians was Elena Kostyuchenko, who wrote on her blog a few days before about the necessity of Pride in Moscow. She also described a typical day with her girlfriend, adding: “This is a very ordinary happiness. And I do not think it is very different from yours.”