Moscow Pride began as planned last Saturday despite a court-ordered ban on “homosexual propaganda,” which included the day’s pride festivities. After exhausting all legal options to official sanction a gay pride rally and march, Moscow Pride co-founder Nikolai Alekseev told Interfax that he was prepared to be “killed or injured” for the cause.
On Saturday, The Guardian reported that Russian police were quick to squash the beginning of Moscow Pride’s inaugural march, clashing with participants as soon as they unfurled rainbow flags and banners.
“Your rally is not sanctioned,” the police screamed through megaphones. “You’re disrupting passers-by.”
Moscow Pride’s festivities didn’t last long, as about 30 activists—including Alekseev—were arrested immediately. This is the seventh consecutive year he has been arrested for attempting to organize an official gay pride celebration in Moscow.
Yesterday, Alekseev tweeted a photo from the back of a Russian police van, confirming that all arrested parties were promptly released.