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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 July 2013

St Petersburg Pride rally attacked

Over the weekend of 29-30 June lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people took part in Pride events in various cities in Britain. At the same time a Pride march in Russia was viciously attacked. Michael Johnson reports.

Pride in St Petersburg on 29 June was met with violence, both from anti-gay protestors and the police. Attendees at the Pride rally were pelted with rocks and eggs, shouted down with homophobic chants and attacked by riot police. Dozens were arrested.

For Pride marches and rallies in Russia this is not an uncommon occurrence. Unlike the stereotypical photos you might imagine coming from Pride marches, of revellers and carnivals, from Russia you're more likely to see photos of marchers being dragged off by the police or having abuse hurled at them.

However the attacks this year come following the passing of the 'gay propaganda' law. This law claims to be centred on 'protecting' minors from information about LGBT issues. This bill is similar to Section 28 of the local government act brought in by Thatcher and the Conservatives during the 1980s that basically made it illegal to acknowledge that LGBT people existed within schools and can be seen as a large contributing factor to the amount of homophobic bullying that goes on in schools even today.

Fines

But the 'gay propaganda' law in Russia manages to surpass what Section 28 and its devisors dreamed: making it illegal to 'promote' homosexuality in the media, on the internet, even within viral videos! Anyone believed to be informing minors of LGBT issues may be fined up to 5,000 rubles (around 100) for an individual, up to one million rubles (over 20,000) for a company. Foreigners could be fined the same amount, held in jail and deported!

This law means that, as we saw at St Petersburg, Pride rallies and marches can expect to face even more fierce opposition from anti-gay groups and repression from the state.

Fight repression

It's no coincidence that this law and subsequent repression and censorship comes at the same time as other laws censoring protest (such as laws inspired by the arrest of Pussy Riot activists, banning protests that may offend religious beliefs). It's also no coincidence that Russia's government is facing fierce protests due to corruption.

These laws are a way to further censor and repress the Russian working class. LGBT rights campaigners must join forces with campaigns to defend women's rights and the mass of the working class to fight these repressive laws and campaign for true equality.

The Socialist Party's sister organisation in Russia has a very strong record of fighting these repressive laws and of fighting for an end to prejudice and for a socialist alternative.

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In The Socialist 3 July 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories - cuts, Lib Dems - cuts, Labour - cuts

National Shop Stewards Network seventh annual conference

RMT reaffirms support for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

What the other half get paid

St Petersburg Pride rally attacked

Cameron and Blair's support for Kazakhstan regime blasted

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

65th anniversary of the NHS - How workers won the National Health Service


International socialist news and analysis

Mass street protests as Egypt is swept by revolution and counter-revolution


Socialist Party workplace news

Teachers strike in North West

Rochdale 'Future Directions' strike solid

Model motion from the NSSN

Workplace News in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

'Sick Of Your Boss?' week of action 8-13 July

Fighting back against hated bedroom tax

Letter to student left groups to discuss joint call for a national demo

Impressive national youth organisers meeting

Leeds: Building support for workers in South Africa

The Year of the Paper - boosting the sales of the Socialist

Fighting Fund target smashed!


 

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