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Protests cancel Moscow gay party


...rotesters began gathering in the street

...rotesters began gathering in the street

2006/05/01. Protesters shouting homophobic slogans and hurling eggs and bottles have forced a Moscow night club to cancel a mass gay and lesbian party. Police kept back the crowd of at least 100 skinheads, nationalists and elderly religious protesters.

Organisers had been hoping to attract about 1,000 people to the "Open Party" at the Renaissance Event Club on Ordzhonikidze Street in the south of the Russian capital.

However, on Sunday, as the final preparations were being made inside, protesters began gathering in the street.

They included skinheads and elderly women carrying Russian Orthodox icons and crosses. Demonstrators chanted "Down with pederasts" and "No perverts here".

An AFP correspondent reports that at least one party-goer was beaten by protesters before being rescued by police but there were no official reports of injuries.

Party organisers say police numbers outside increased only gradually and there was anxiety inside as messages arrived by mobile phone about missiles being thrown at revellers trying to approach the club.

However, the officers were praised by gay rights campaigners for preventing any serious violence.

Special buses laid on took people from inside the club into Moscow city centre.


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