The activities organized by Gay and Human Rights Activists to protest against homophobia in the center of Moscow turned into a clash with SWAT teams and homophobes.
The sound of explosions from burning firecrackers was heard
Around 2:00 PM, the entrance to Alexandrov Garden up to the Grave of the Unknown Soldier was blocked. Access to Red Square was also closed. SWAT teams and the police patrolled Manezh Square. At 2:30 PM the organizers of the Gay Parade unsuccessfully tried to place flowers on the Grave of the Unknown Soldier. Just then, a group of elderly people with icons, and another group of skinheads surged toward the gates and began chanting, Moscow is not Sodom!" and Death to Fags!"
Without a doubt, Gay and Human Rights Activists, among whom were representatives of foreign governments (no more than 10 people), tried to reason with the authorities. Meanwhile, the homophobes arrived. They completely blocked the route to the gates of Alexandrov Garden. Spotted among this Union of Orthodox Standard-bearers," Movement against illegal migration, were flags of the fraction Rodina."
SWAT teams unsuccessfully tried to lead the organizers of the Gay Parade out of the enraged group. Skinheads and Orthodox Fanatics broke through the chains and pounced on Nikolai Alekseev and the grandson of Oscar Wilde, Merlin Holland, and proceeded to tear up the flowers. Insults were flung from the rioters. Among the crowd, representative of the gay organization ILGA Maxim Anmegikyan, Human Rights Activist Peter Tatchell (United Kingdom), organizer of International Day Against Homophobia Georges-Louis Tin (France) are seen.
Gazeta.Ru reports that Yevgeniya Debryanskaya and Nikolai Alekseev, Gay Activists who became initiators of the Gay Parade in Moscow, were arrested. The foreigners, who participated in the unsanctioned activities, were not arrested - at least not at Alexandrov Garden. However, German journalists claim that one of the Deputies of Gungestag was arrested at City Hall.
Thirty minutes later, Gay and Human Rights Activists and Politicians (around 10 people, mostly foreigners) left Manezh Square and headed toward the Governor's Home. There they gave interviews to journalists under a hail of insults and homophobic screams.
At that point, from the direction of the Duma, a group of 30 skinheads ran out into traffic lanes. The sound of explosions from burning firecrackers was heard. Traffic was halted. SWAT teams regrouped and in only a few minutes, forced the hooligans off the street toward the metro. Only a small part of the hooligans were arrested. The rest formed small groups on sidewalks from Tverskaya up to the Governor's Home.
Information from the Human Rights Activists was later received that the arrested gays and lesbians were held in the same bus as the fascists and were subjected to insults and violence.
Around 3:00 PM it was learned that another three tenths of the participants of the Gay Parade were arrested in the area near Trubnaya Square. These participants were planning to march along Petrovsky Boulevard.
Unrest and riots caused by the homophobes arose along the whole length of Tverskaya Street, across from the Government Duma Building, around the Governor's Home, in the center of Tverskaya, on a number of central metro stations, at Pushkin Square. According to preliminary numbers, about 300 people in all took part. These were Cossacks, Priests, groups of elderly people with icons and other religious symbols. They posed in front of cameras, prayed, actively conversed with SWAT team members, asking them to not beat (the arrested youths) hard" because they're anti-fag."
SWAT teams did not arrest everyone - only rioters, who took an active role. Near the statue of Yuri Dolgoruky in a group of foreign participants in the International Conference Against Homophobia, Bashkir Deputy and Human Rights Activist Edward Murzin is noted. Around them, gathered a group of skinheads, Orthodox fanatics, in all about 100 people. More firecrackers exploded. The group again chanted Moscow is not Sodom!," Send the Fags to Camps!" and Death to the Fags!" SWAT teams controlled all entrances to Tverskaya Square. Explosions were further heard. Hoards of journalists. SWAT teams arrested the Human Rights Activists after a group of fascists forced their way to the statue. The fascists were not arrested. With screams of Moscow is not Sodom!" they made their way along Tverskaya.
According to data from the media, around 50 participants in the unsanctioned festivities and 100 hooligans were arrested.
Gays and lesbians are better off not coming the center of Moscow today. As a correspondent from LINA reports, ultra right-winged nationalists, with Deputy of the Duma Kuryanovich at the head, arrived to protest against the activities of sexual minorities and have now split into a few groups. They headed into courtyards and alleys and are catching anyone who, in their opinion, resembles a gay or lesbian."
TV Station NTV and RIA News reported that during the arrests there were seriously injured people; some of them have cracked-open heads and clothes are covered in blood.
Translation by Timofey Grishin