PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

So How Is Dan Choi Enjoying Russian Pride, Er… We Mean, Jail?

You may recall that Dan Choi decided to attend today’s Moscow Pride despite the disingenuous claim that Moscovite police could not protect anyone marching from attacking Neo-Nazis. UK Gay News is also offering up to the minute details about the march and the arrestees, which include Choi:

00:45. The day has arrived. And most here are, shall we say, somewhat concerned. And for good reason … in 12 hours, we will face the “triple whammy” of thugs that have publicly vowed to stop Pride going ahead, the police who have a habit of letting the thugs do as they planned before moving in to make arrests of the Pride participants while letting the thugs get away, and the often violent OMON ‘riot police’, about the only remnant from the Soviet era. This has been the experience of most of the previous Moscow Prides. Who knows, the top ‘brass’ at the Council of Europe, together with reported diplomatic pressure over the past week or two, might have persuaded the Russian President to hand down an order to the Moscow Mayor to keep the thugs away and “un-ban” the Pride. Perchance to dream…

10:30. A small number of gay activists are out on “spying” missions in central Moscow (Red Square and City Hall areas). There are reports that groups of thugs gathering. Pride organisers have put out the word that the thugs are wearing black clothes and will surround Pride participants before any attack. Any attack will be made quickly, before the police can intervene…

11:55. Media interest in today’s actions is higher than in the previous years, with news agencies calling the different organisers all the morning trying to find out where to be best located. Communication with foreign participants is being done mostly via Skype…

12:15. Skinheads are reported to be waiting at City Hall. They are in a bus very similar to those used by the police. “I would not be surprised that this is a provocation from the authorities to justify their illegal ban on the basis that the security cannot be guaranteed,” said Nikolai Alekseev…

12:45. 50 skinheads, together with members of the Russian Orthodox Church, have assembled close to the Alexandrovski Gardens. Also there are the police, OMON and army…

13:29. “All participants of Moscow Pride at Alexandrovski Gardens was been “brutally arrested”, Chad Meacham has just reported. The arrest were made as participants arrived at the Gardens. One person, Louis-Georges Tin was allowed to give an interview with the world’s TV and press. No names of those arrested are not known, apart from Anna…

14:00. Andy Thayer is confirmed as having been arrested, along with Dan Choi and Louis-Georges Tin, Anna and three other Russian gay activists….

Surprisingly, Russian police allowed the arrestees to keep their cell phones and Dan has been tweeting in jail. His last tweet was actually about 10 minutes ago, so there will definitely be more as this develops.

Choi’s first tweet is at the bottom, his most recent at the top.