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City Hall Authorizes LGBT Rights Rally

‘We hope to have a full-fledged rally rather than be stopped after five minutes like it was last year.’

Published: May 14, 2014 (Issue # 1810)



  • ‘Don’t look for enemies where there are none,’ says a placard carried by activists at last year’s gay rights rally.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

The St. Petersburg LGBT rights movement has urged democratic and human rights groups to join them in recognizing the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia with a rally at the Field of Mars on Saturday, May 17.

Organized by St. Petersburg’s LGBT rights organization Vykhod (Coming Out), the rally — called Rainbow Flashmob — was authorized by City Hall late last week, Coming Out director Anna Anisimova told The St. Petersburg Times.

Activists plan to release colorful balloons into the sky as a symbolic move to combat homophobia and transphobia.

“It will be peaceful, non-protest assembly,” Anisimova said.

“We want to hold not simply an LGBT rights rally, but demonstrate the support of and solidarity within the LGBT community. That’s why we get human rights organizations and other groups to support the event.”

“Love does not delight in evil,” a partial quote from 1 Corinthians 13:6 of the New Testament, will be the main slogan of this year’s rally, Anisimova said.

Anisimova said that she hoped the upcoming rally will occur peacefully, adding that she and the other organizers met with the police on Monday to discuss security at the rally.

“We hope to have a full-fledged rally rather than be stopped after five minutes like it was last year,” she said.

According to Anisimova, the police officers were concerned about possible violence against the demonstrators from anti-gay groups. At the same time, they warned against any violations of the law prohibiting “gay propaganda” among minors passed in St. Petersburg in 2012.

“They warned against provocations,” she said.

“Perhaps they wanted us to have no provocative banners or placards, and maybe not to demonstrate sexual behavior. It’s difficult for me to suggest what they meant, but we said that none of this is being planned.”

Early in the week, there was no campaigning on the Internet against the upcoming rally, Anisimova said.

“There were some aggressive comments on social networks, but no coordinated calls to come to the rally [in order to stop it],” she said.

However, a number of nationalist and Orthodox groups formed a coalition last week called the St. Petersburg Anti-Maidan Staff, aimed at preventing a Ukraine-like revolution in Russia, the Fontanka.ru website reported on May 8.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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