No arrests. No police. No skinheads.
I’m pleased to report that the 5th Moscow Pride went extremely well. Waiting in the headquarters, before the Pride, with over 30 Russian, Belorussian, and International activists, everyone was nervous. Looking at the history of the Pride, and the 40 people arrested last year, those participating were fearing the worst, and hoping for the best.
What helped this year was the use of disinformation, which kept the police and skinheads far away from the real action. As the opposition gathered in front of city hall, gay pride activists marched in a different part of the city.
When we got the call the Pride was to begin, everyone quickly went in small groups to the designated area. As soon as activists arrived, the pride began. In Russian, there were shouts of “Russia without homophobes” and “Rights for gays,” while participants grabbed hold of the 20m flag, hand-sewn and brought in from Belorussia.
Moscow Pride 2010, photograph by Charles Meacham
As quickly as it started, everything evaporated. The flag was folded up, and activists dashed in different directions. Police hadn’t arrived yet, but everyone knew they were coming. Only a few minutes after people scattered, and a police van pulled up. But, there was no one to arrest.
Much later, those who participated in the Pride began to gather to celebrate today’s victory. Let’s just say everyone was quite happy, especially proving the Mayor wrong who said no gay pride could take place in Moscow …
Photos to be posted very soon on http://www.walkwithpridenow.com
Video of the pride: