Moscow gays will march again in 2008 vows activist
The organisers of the banned Moscow Pride have announced they are already planning next year’s event.
For the past two years a gay march on 27th May has been banned by the city’s mayor.
On Sunday Moscow Pride organisers, MEPs and prominent British gay activists were among 31 people arrested as they attempted to deliver a letter of protest about the ban to the mayor’s office.
Peter Tatchell and popstar Richard Fairbrass were violently attacked by a homophobic gang.
“The 27th of May next year will be on Tuesday. We will celebrate the 15th anniversary of decriminalisation of male homosexuality on the next Saturday,” Pride organiser Nicolas Alexeyev said yesterday.
The violence and police inaction on Sunday has been widely criticised.
The mayors of Moscow and Paris have both condemned the Moscow authorities for banning the gay march.
Mr Alexeyev also announced he intends to stand for election to the Russian parliament in December’s elections.
“This could really change the course of next year’s Pride” he said.
The four MPs and MEPs who attended this year are to invite their colleagues to make the trip to Moscow in 2008.
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“Last year, we were two MPs. This year we were four.
“If we could be 20 next year of at least ten different countries, the event would really be different.
“The pressure would be important and the pride would be more secure,” said German MEP Volker Beck in Moscow yesterday.
The Swedish government has criticised events on Sunday.
“The fact that the demonstration for human rights for LGBT people did not have a permit should not be taken as a cause to view the participants as fair game,” said integration and equality minister Nyamko Sabuni.
“We expect that Russia, as a member of the European Council, shall live up to its democratic core principles.”