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Neo-Nazis shut down St. Petersburg gay pride march

Slavic Pride

An unauthorized Slavic Gay Pride march in St. Petersburg, Russia, lasted just four minutes on June 25—first attacked by neo-Nazis and then dispersed by the police. Some dozen activists shouting "Russia With No Homophobes" and "Equal Rights With No Compromise" marched to the Bronze Horseman in central St. Petersburg, carrying rainbow flags and posters reading "God is With Us, Hatred With You," "Russians Are Not Homophobes" and "Don't Be Scared: Homophobia Is Curable."

Barely one minute into the event, hooded men identified as neo-Nazis attacked the gathering, punching one activist in the face, and tearing up the posters. Police moved in and arrested the hooded men—and the Pride marchers.

One poster at the event read "Matviyenko! Alcoholism Is a Disease. Homosexuality Is Not"—a referrence to St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko, who the activists declared responsible for "everything that happens" during the event because of local authorities' repeated refusal to grant a permit for the rally. (St. Petersburg Times, June 29)

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