Organizers of Slavic Pride say that this weekend’s parade in Minsk, Belarus will go on despite a government ban. Via Russian activist Nikolai Alekseyev:
Tomorrow dozens of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Belarusians, alongside straight people, will go to the streets of Minsk to defy the ban and assert their constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. They will show that they are against homophobia and discrimination. They cannot expect protection from the European court of human rights because Belarus is still the only country in Europe which is not a member of the Council of Europe. In contrast to Vilnius last Saturday, they will not be joined by dozens of foreign human rights activists. There will be no European parliamentarians taking part in the Slavic gay pride. There will probably be no foreign diplomats to observe the event. But they will be joined by a group of fellow Russian activists who face similar problems and who will come to show their solidarity. And, most importantly, they will have the courage and unstoppable will to live in freedom, respect and dignity. All of them know the risk they are taking, but they are ready to pay the price. Slavic gay pride will be a celebration of courage and will remind us that Harvey Milk’s ideals are still alive, and still inspire people all around the world to fight injustice and prejudice, even in hostile and suppressive conditions.
Fascists and anti-gay religious groups are expected to protest the parade, as we saw last week in Vilnius, Lithuania.