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City Denies Request by Organizers of LGBT Rally

Published: July 23, 2014 (Issue # 1821)



  • A police officer orders organizer Yury Gavrikov to stop the local LGBT Pride rally held on the Field of Mars in June 2013.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / for SPT

City authorities have issued their first refusals to the organizers of the annual St. Petersburg LGBT Pride rally to be held in the city on Saturday, July 26, which is aimed at drawing the attention of the public and the state to the problems of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people and supporting tolerance and equality towards the social group LGBT.

As a response, the organizers, LGBT rights movement Ravnopraviye (Equality), have said they are planning to hold the event in any case, most likely in the so-called Hyde Park, a sector of the Field of Mars, where under a local law public events can be held without a permit after notifying the authorities.

We are confident in our right to public assemblies stated in the constitution and we will insist on it by any means possible, including taking to the street in case of another groundless ban from the city authorities, they said in a statement.

By the end of Monday, city authorities and the administrations of two districts refused to authorize every site in the city center and on Vasilievsky Island proposed by the organizers for holding the rally, said Yury Gavrikov, the chairman of Ravnopraviye.

The refusals were described by Gavrikov as classic. In past years, authorities said that certain sites could not be used due to construction projects in the proposed site, while the rally could not be held in other locations because it would obstruct pedestrians from walking there, violating their rights.

One site was rejected because another event will reportedly be held there from noon to 7 p.m. According to the city government, the authorized event plans to educate the public on mutual understanding and solving problems in various spheres of life, as well as to help the city in forming a civilized society where every person is a useful member of society.

Apparently aiming to humiliate, the authorities offered alternative sites as they are obliged to do by law at remote locations with no public around, Gavrikov said.

One of the suggested sites was the village of Novosyolki near the border between St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, next to a forest, a cemetery and a dumping ground.

The city authorities have now suggested Novosyolki for the St. Petersburg LGBT Pride event for the third year in a row. In a tongue-in-cheek protest, LGBT rights activist Kirill Kalugin reacted by filing an application in which he proposed to hold a march in Novosyolki for declaring the village St. Petersburgs gay district and establish a museum of the history of the St. Petersburg LGBT movement there, Gavrikov said.

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Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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