Local activist Thayer arrested again in Moscow during Pride event
News update posted Saturday, May 28, 2011 Windy City Times - LINK
GLN permalink 5-28-2011
Gay Liberation Network ( GLN ) co-founder Andy Thayer is among several people who have been arrested for participating in a banned gay-pride event in Moscow, Russia, organized by GayRussia, according to ChicagoPride.com.
The event took place May 28 in downtown Moscow.
Despite a decision last fall by the European Court of Human Rights that the Russian government's bans of previous Pride events were in violation of the Russian Constitution's guarantee of freedom of assembly, authorities have again barred Moscow Pride this year, according to a GLN press release. In 2009, Thayer was among those arrested at a pride event in that city.
"It is testimony to the courage of GayRussia organizers that they have chosen to go forward with Moscow Pride, despite the authorities' illegal ban on Pride and the lack of every legal protection for Russian LGBTs - of their jobs and housing, for example," said Thayer in the statement.
ChicagoPride.com reported that, according to reports on the GayRussia website, authorities arrested all participants of Moscow Pride, led by transgender Russian citizen Anna Komarova, as the activist tried to stage near the Kremlin Wall.
In addition, an ultra-Orthodox group, described as skinheads, gathered in anticipation of the event and attacked the activists.
GayRussia lead organizer Nikolai Alekseev said that a total of 18 gay rights activists, including three foreign nationals, have been arrested.
Another person who was arrested was former U.S. Army Lieutenant and anti-"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" activist Dan Choi, according to a press release. Choi videotaped proceedings ( which can be seen at http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cQbrjRWcx4 ) and separately tweeted, "Headed to unknown Moscow Station;" "Right ear ringing small bleeding, 8 in the car including me and Andy Thayer;" and "Our time in jail is typically 3 hours to 15 days. Time starts now." Choi continued tweeting at http://www.twitter.com/ltdanchoi .