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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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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburgs answer to the United States popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genres authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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