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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. Petersburg’s gay district” and establish a museum of the history of the St. Petersburg LGBT movement there, Gavrikov said.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The city’s Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during today’s Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


The Zenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the club’s website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBA’s and Capital Legal Service’s event “Arctic Expedition” this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers’ ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



Wednesday, Dec. 24


The Anglican Church of St. Petersburg we will be holding a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. led by Rev Wm. Shepley Curtis of the Episcopal Church. The service will be held at the Swedish Church at 1/3 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.



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