A new video just released shows police in Russia interrogating and then arresting six LGBT activists who were on the streets of Moscow protesting a bill that would forcibly remove children from LGBT parents or same-sex couples. “Hitler, too, began with gays. No. fascism in Russia,” the activists chanted as the walked down the streets of the historic Arbat district.
The video not only documents that protect is unlawful — or treated as unlawful — in Russia, but that the Russian people are willing to challenge the police if they feel their tactics are extreme — unless the police are dealing with LGBT people or supporters. It also shows that Putin’s war on gays has enabled an “open-season” mentality against LGBT people.
The New York Times last night posted the YouTube video and published this translation, noting “the response of some bystanders, who initially intervened to prevent the police officers from using excessive force, before discovering what the protest was about.”
The clip is not subtitled, but the intervention of the bystanders begins when an older woman steps in and tells the officers, “You can’t act like that.”
She then turns to a man behind her and says, “Hey man, help out.”
The man, wearing a black hat and a leather jacket, then says: “Major. Officer. What did they do?”
A short time later, as the confusion continues, a female protester in a black jacket and a rainbow scarf explains to the woman and an officer, “We are protecting the rights of L.G.B.T.”
The officer asks, “What’s that?”
The protester replies, “Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders.”
The older woman asks, “You’re for them?”
The protester says, “We’re for them.”
The older woman says: “Ohhhhhhhh no. Then no.”
The protester responds, “Hitler started with the gays.”
The older woman says, “This is the decline of morality.”
At a later stage, as a male protester in a blue hat is being pushed into a police car, he shouts, “What law have I violated?”
The officer answers simply, “19,” referring to the law on following police orders.
A female bystander asks, “What did they do to you?”
The male protester says, “Now they’re going to hit me!”
After the police bundle him into the car, an officer says to the female bystander, “We warned him.”
Gay.ru, a Russian LGBT website, reports four of the six activists were arrested, and published their names, adding that one had to be hospitalized.
Image: YouTube screenshot
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