LGBT Pride Marchers Beaten, Arrested in Minsk

photo: Kirill Nepomnyaschiy/GayRussia.ru Used with permission

Riot police cornered and beat the forty participants in the Slavic (LGBT) Pride March held in Minsk, Belarus, on Saturday, arresting a dozen marchers according to on-scene blog reports on UKGayNews.com (which has more photos, video and ongoing updates).

Minsk had its gay pride march.  For just 10 minutes, 40  Belarusians and Russians waived a 12 meters long rainbow flag for a short march of approximately 200 meters.  They were at first met by a large group of journalists, photographers and TV crew.  But when they reached the first crossing point, they were trapped by several vans of anti-riot police.  Suddenly, the doors of the vans opened and anti-riot officers ran towards the participants. “I never saw anything of the kind” said Nikolai Alekseev by mobile phone.  “They were brutal and violent” he added.  Another participant who did not want to be named said: “It was like a group of wild dogs”.  The march ended with most of the participants being arrested and violently beaten.  A few managed to escape but the police ran after them…

The participants who were not been arrested are still under shock.  One can feel that they are proud of what they did today, but you can also feel the stress in their voices after the violent police crack down they suffered.

After the arrests, German, Russian and French diplomats were contacted by parade organizers to intervene on behalf of those being held.

The eight of the twelve arrested for participating in an unauthorized march were released on their own reconnaissance and ordered to appear in court on Monday.  Eighteen skinheads were also arrested.

Saturday’s planned route was altered at the last minute after the parade was banned by the authorities who claimed that the parade was to “too close” to the metro.

Threats of violence hung over the event. Friday night’s opening ceremony which including the screening of the Canadian documentary Beyond Gays: The Politics of Pride was disrupted by anti-gay protesters and a bomb threat. The real time blog updates:

21:47: Qote from Pride organisers: ” The way the Crowne Plaza management is handking the situation is far above all we could ever have dreamed of.   Looks like they are more deternined than us that the show must go on!”

21:40: Bomb alert at Crown Plaza.  Film interrupted.   Police asked to stop the film and relocate to another room within the hotel. “So, we are having a break and relocating.”

21:05: Screening of film now started. Just over 100 braved the protestors to get into the hotel.

20:40: Police and riot police have cleared the entrance to the hotel and have cordoned it off.  Participants are entering, but protsters are standing by in front of the hotel.  The room is already full for the film. Alekseev said that the show will start at 9pm instead of 8pm and asked for the understanding for the delay.

20:05 : Minsk Crowne Plaza Hotel is under siege by a few dozen anti-gay protesters.  The hotel is hosting at 8pm local time the premiere of the Canadian documentary Beyond Gays: The Politics of Pride.   At 8pm, the show did not start and only 40 participants out of the 150 who confirmed their presence could make it into the hotel.

20:00 : The event is probably going to be cancelled. The access to the hotel is blocked.  Only a dozen or so participants could reach the hotel.  The police is expected in the premises.

19:55: Hotel is now under seige.  It is not possible to enter, and not possible to leave.

19:50: The premiere of the movie is scheduled in 10 minutes.  Despite organiers keeping the location secret, Radio Liberty Belarus published the location on its website two hours ago. [Activist] Sergey Androsenko reports that he has been informed by phone that protesters are on a tram, on their way to disrupt the event.

Earlier, Amnesty International sent a statement of support published by Belarusian News Agency BelaPAN. The story said

Belarusian authorities must show greater commitment to its obligations under human rights.

46 Responses to "LGBT Pride Marchers Beaten, Arrested in Minsk"
ThingsComeUndone | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:04 pm 1

Yes arrest the Gay why because they scare you and they are girly. But you don’t see how these two ideas conflict?


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:06 pm 2

Eastern Europe is quite homophobic. probably the only thing American conservatives admire about Europeans.


ThingsComeUndone | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:08 pm 3

So are the Commies using them as scapegoats, the church or is this random skinhead activity which the police tolerate?
Funny the police I’m sure don’t tolerate Muslims in Russia or America forming web sites that talk about bombing or shooting people but in America just say your white hate Obama and your Golden.
Does Russia have a similar hate TV/Radio/Internet network funded by rich people who own the media and government?


newtonusr | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:09 pm 4

“Ah, just like the good old days.”

–The Vatican


Kelly Canfield | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:10 pm 5
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 3

Did you watch the video? It’s not only just police that nabbed the protesters. It was “militsia” – more like SWAT cops.


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:12 pm 6
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 5

Incoming with news Kelly.


ThingsComeUndone | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:15 pm 7
In response to Margaret @ 2

But are they more homophobic than our Mormon/Catholic child molesters?

the LDS Church is a defendant in 10 cases, which have given rise to 15 written opinions. Most are outside of Utah.

The hotspot seems to be Washington State, where a Mormon scoutmaster named Jack LaHolt allegedly abused children in the 1970s. His activity alone generated a third of the written opinions in Mormon civil cases – five opinions [2]. The LDS Church heavily litigating these cases on evidentiary grounds. Also in Washington was a case by the wife of a sex abuser who sued her bishop for granting her a Temple Recommend in order to get married, despite indications that her husband had such proclivities [3], and another case against the Church filed by one of the child victims, where the Church litigated whether it had to turn over its internal report [4]. The other cases are in South Dakota [5], Kentucky [6], California [7], and two in Oregon [8]. Utah had only one civil case involving Mormon sex abuse, and it was quickly dismissed, based on the notion that the Church had no duty to warn [9]. As will become clear, the Church obviously is not having as easy of a time in the cases outside of Utah.

http://mormonmatters.org/2009/09/23/the-growing-mormon-sex-abuse-scandal/

Seems the big churches funding anti gay marriage laws all over America the Mormons and Catholics have a problem thats way way worst than Gays marrying.
Not that I see Gay Marriage as a problem.


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:21 pm 8
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 7

I know there are Mormons living across from me. I’ve even had to put a sign over my door, very specifically forbidding them to knock. They accosted me at my mail box one day with their conversion and love thy neighbor bullsh*t once. As soon as I verified that they were of the LDS, I told them that I didn’t waste my time with narrow minded, bigoted assholes. One of them then had the temerity to ask if I had any friends who would think about joining the LDS church, to which I replied that none of my friends are narrow minded, bigoted assholes either. they’ve left me in peace since then.


Kelly Canfield | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:24 pm 9
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 7

Weirdly, you can’t compare US homophobia with Slavic homophobia, even though they’re both bad.

My best friend besides my partner belch, is Vadim, from a town called Bobrsk in Belarus. I’ve known him for 10 years now, and he’s only been in the US for 11 years after being the equivalent of a Sergeant in the Russian Army Corp of Engineers.

Belarus actually means “White Russia” and it’s like a combination of Wisconsin with Oklahoma. So in Belarus and the Ukraine and Georgia, ethnicity is a Big Deal. Therefore anything to do with sex (as far as publicly admitted) is crazy.


ThingsComeUndone | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:25 pm 10
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 5

Only saw black uniforms I assumed they were cops but ok swat was called into for peaceful protesters? Someone was afraid.

Eighteen skinheads were also arrested.

I did not see a skinhead other than the cops in the film but I assume Lisa gots the facts or my eyes are tired.
Swat means this wasn’t local police doing random harassment someone big enough to call swat gave an order. The Commies need scapegoats I assume they have the same economic problems we have.


ThingsComeUndone | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:27 pm 11
In response to Margaret @ 8

I hope Mexico bans Mormons from visiting their holy land Mitt Romney wants to be anti immigrant well we got cards to play:)


demi | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:27 pm 12
In response to Margaret @ 8

That would do it, I think. Bless your pea pickin’ humanista attitude.


Kelly Canfield | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:29 pm 13

There’s even a whole different color psychology.

Slang for gay in russian is голубой – blue; not pink like we would think.

So in Belarus and everywhere in the Slavic speaking world they’re having the голубой революции, Goluboi Revolutsii, the Blue Revolution.

I found this out the hard way – I sent Vadim and his wife Yelena an email asking them to donate to Act Blue in 2008, and Vadim immediately called me and laughed out loud to my face!


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:31 pm 14

These are the same kind of people that Bill Gates is now insisting the armed forces need to pander to. Don’t people learn from history? I used to know an ex service member who was thrown out of the Army with a bad conduct discharge when it was forcibly integrated because he refused to serve with black soldiers. I don’t see why we now need to pander to the homophobes. Because homophobia is “better” than racism or what? Bigotry is bigotry and no matter what mask it wears, it’s just blind hate. Why are we always forced to accommodate people who hate?


ThingsComeUndone | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:33 pm 15
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 9

Ok there very anti gay but are we sure nobody is encouraging them? Locking up gays before an election for example was a time honored way to clean up the streets in America.

Belarus actually means “White Russia” and it’s like a combination of Wisconsin with Oklahoma

Wisconsin is anti gay? I don’t know anything about Oklahoma


demi | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:33 pm 16
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 13

On topic, And poetic, Kelly Belly.
You are a wonder. You attract Colorful Friends.


Twain | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:34 pm 17
In response to Margaret @ 14

Because they are always the loudest. We have to find a way to turn up the volume.


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:35 pm 18
In response to demi @ 12

You know, I used to be very respectful of peoples’ beliefs but they have refused to reciprocate, pointedly and continually. All bets are off.


Kelly Canfield | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:37 pm 19
In response to demi @ 16

Belarus LOOKS like Wisconsin, but ACTS like Oklahoma, or Kansas even – make sense?

And the Belarus establishment just doesn’t tolerate street dissent. Those kids were brave to march at all, as they KNEW the militsia would be the ones to come and snatch them away, which is exactly what was on the tape.

Snatch the loudmouths, no dissent allowed.


ThingsComeUndone | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:38 pm 20
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 19

Belarus LOOKS like Wisconsin, but ACTS like Oklahoma, or Kansas even – make sense?

Gotcha


demi | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:39 pm 21
In response to Margaret @ 18

I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my previous attempts at trying to be open minded, too. And, also.
I’ve learned that there is just no point in trying to have a civil, rational and open minded conversation with certain kinds of human beans. Fundamental Christians, Fundamental Pissed Offs, and Fundamental Cynics.
My story. Stickin’ to it. At this point.


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:40 pm 22
In response to demi @ 21

Sounds like fundamental teabaggers (but not the fun kind)


Kelly Canfield | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:41 pm 23
In response to demi @ 16

Oh, Hunny!


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:41 pm 24
In response to demi @ 21

And I would add nihilists. I get sooooo sick of people going around crying doom and saying “It’ll never work” and “it’s impossible” and so forth. I wouldn’t even be alive if I had listened to those people.


eCAHNomics | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:43 pm 25

demi | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:44 pm 26
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 19

I’m thinking FABulous Musical. Maybe Hatfull of Rain (musical was 110 In The Shade) meets Cabaret.
What do you think? Loud the Snatchmouths.


ThingsComeUndone | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:45 pm 27
In response to Margaret @ 24

I cry doom a bunch but I usually have an idea for a solution:)


Kelly Canfield | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:46 pm 28
In response to eCAHNomics @ 25

LOL!


eCAHNomics | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:48 pm 29
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 28

Can’t ever think of Minsk without that.


Kelly Canfield | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:49 pm 30
In response to demi @ 26

Loud the Snatchmouths.

Holy Lard, the first thing that popped into my evil brain was

“Loud, The Snatchmouths” to the tune of Handel’s

“Ha – le – lujah!”


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:49 pm 31
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 27

Well there’s an obvious difference between pointing out a problem and saying we’re all doomed and WTF are all of you, (it’s always “you”, never “we”), doing wasting time behind your keyboards and blah, blah, blah. Predictably, THEY are the only ones apparently excused from having to come up with solutions.


demi | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:49 pm 32
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 27

You do not cry doom, you’re to smart and kind for that kind of talk. You do point out problems and you do indeed look for and ask a lot questions.


ThingsComeUndone | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:52 pm 33
In response to demi @ 32

Thanks Demi, Margaret :)


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:53 pm 34
In response to eCAHNomics @ 25

That’s hilarious! Thanks.


eCAHNomics | Saturday May 15, 2010 06:56 pm 35
In response to Margaret @ 34

Thanks. One of my faves.


Petro | Saturday May 15, 2010 07:00 pm 36

Hey, TCU!

Thanks, Ms. Derrick. I think this kind of news undermines the thought that this is the Worst. Country. Ever.

But we’re aspirin’!


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 07:03 pm 37
In response to eCAHNomics @ 35

The problem is, I’m no longer going to be able to think of Minsk without the context of that song now either!


TheLurkingMod | Saturday May 15, 2010 07:03 pm 38

Kelly Canfield | Saturday May 15, 2010 07:06 pm 39

Relative to the post, something I’ve found interesting.

Hanging out with the Russkis for 10 years now, belch and I have something of a status with the community beyond the 2 main families of Vadim and Yelena.

We get invited to all the weddings and birthday parties, and there’s a LOT of birthday parties, let me tell you. And I noticed about 3 years ago that belch and I were the only “English” that were invited to these affairs beyond other “English” that have married into the Russians. I mentioned that to Vadim and his Mom, Svetlana at that birthday party.

Vadim said, “It’s because, not only the music (playing the Chopin and Rachmaninoff etc at the weddings/parties) it’s the Ощущение (oshushenye).”

To which I say “huh?” and he and his mom rapid fired back and forth and Svetlana said “A perception.” Vadim furthered “It’s like you already know how to be Russian, a little bit not-involved, like when we first came to America.”

I got a bit moist in the eye, because what they were saying is “you have to work at belonging too, don’t you?”


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 07:09 pm 40

“you have to work at belonging too, don’t you?”

That is a profound thing to say….


demi | Saturday May 15, 2010 07:13 pm 41
In response to Margaret @ 40

But, the more you have to try, and do — like that voo doo that you do — the more rewards, kisses, taste of the sweet human experience you Yummmmm.


Margaret | Saturday May 15, 2010 07:14 pm 42
In response to demi @ 41

:-)


nahant | Saturday May 15, 2010 07:28 pm 43
In response to Margaret @ 34

Ditto!!


davidb1959 | Saturday May 15, 2010 09:08 pm 44

I’m sorry for those arrested and I have no idea what may or may not have happened to them after the footage shown was taken, but quite frankly I saw nothing especially violent about the arrests. No swung batons, no bleeding faces, no marching riot police in their full regalia, not even any really rough scuffles, hell I’ve seen far worse at many other events including G8 summits and WTO meetings, while the acts show an intolerant Government, and perhaps by nature society, to call what we just saw as violent action does a disservice to others who have been seriously harmed for speaking truth to power


bigbubbabulls | Sunday May 16, 2010 03:58 am 45

What, exactly, were they “proud” of? Not the police, the marchers.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday May 16, 2010 03:27 pm 46
In response to Petro @ 36

Hey petro!


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