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LGBT Pride Rally Held in St. Petersburg Without Incident

Published: July 28, 2014 (Issue # 1821)



  • The scene at the Field of Mars on Sunday was much different than last year's LGBT pride event (pictured) when demonstrators were arrested and beaten by nationalists and ultra-conservative religious groups.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

For the first time, a gay pride event took place without violence in Russia, Radio Liberty reported Sunday.

Some two dozen LGBT activists rallied on Saturday on the Field of Mars in central St. Petersburg, the report said.

Poor attendance has failed to stop attacks in the past: Four similar events held in the city in previous years, most of them unsanctioned, all saw violence by nationalists and religious conservatives.

"The Nazis are busy with Donbass," unnamed event-goers were cited as saying by Radio Liberty. A pro-Russian insurgency ongoing in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine has been the focus of Russian politics in recent months.

Russian LGBT activists have been campaigning to hold a gay pride parade since 2006, but most requests have been rejected, and in 2013, Russia banned "homosexual propaganda" targeting minors.

An LGBT rally had been sanctioned last year for the first time in Russia in the newly created free-speech zone at the Field of Mars. The demonstrators were, however, arrested and taunted by nationalists and religious groups at that event.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

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 today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s 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 city’s 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 Dolan’s 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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