Ukrainian LGBT festival cancelled as far-right groups surround venue, chant ‘kill’
The organisers of an LGBT festival in the Ukrainian city of Lviv have been forced to call off the event as a far-right group surrounded the venue.
Chanting “kill, kill, kill”, the aggressive demonstrators surrounded the venue, and threw stones, meaning the event was called off on Saturday.
Around 200 far-right activists surrounded a hotel where 70 participants of the event had taken shelter. After they called the police, only one car was sent, and the festival goers had to be evacuated by bus some time later.
The equality festival, was a regional branch of a Kiev event which was first held in December.
It included literary readings, film screenings and public events, reports the Guardian.
The planning for the event had been difficult, as the police nor the city offered support. Venues later pulled out saying they would only offer their support if the city’s mayor endorsed it.
“Then, the hotel we had booked for people coming from outside Lviv told us we could not stay there,” one of the orgnisers Olena Shevchenko said.
“When we arrived, the administrator told us the city authorities had told them we were perverts, they had Googled us and said people like us should burn in hell.”
The mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovy, wrote on Facebook on Sunday, but only to condemn the LGBT group, rather that offer spport.
“Yesterday’s events in Lviv are a result of a carefully planned provocation. Participants from both sides were conscious or unconscious parts of the whole picture,” he wrote.