Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

News & Supplemental  

Bet Pussy Riot Won’t Be Protesting Against This!

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. The new drive is a 32-gigabyte drive that is current as of the programs and articles posted by 12/19/2014. The new drive (available for a tax-deductible contribution of $65.00 or more) contains FTR #827.  (The previous flash drive was current through the end of May of 2012 and contained FTR #748.)

WFMU-FM is podcasting For The Record–You can subscribe to the podcast HERE.

You can subscribe to e-mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE

You can subscribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can subscribe to the comments made on programs and posts–an excellent source of information in, and of, itself HERE.

Pink Triangle Badge worn by gay victims of the Nazis.

Pravy Sektor Activist

COMMENT: Dmytro Yarosh, who in addi­tion to being a mem­ber of par­lia­ment is also now a high-level mil­i­tary adviser, recently shared some thoughts on Face­book regard­ing the annu­al Kiev gay pride march:He has promised in a Face­book post that the group’s mem­bers will “put aside other busi­ness in order to pre­vent those who hate fam­ily, moral­ity, and human nature, from exe­cut­ing their plans. We have other things to do, but we’ll have to deal with this evil too,” he wrote.

Pravy Sektor fol­lowed through on the threat with mul­ti­ple bands of mil­i­tants ready to ambush flee­ing pro­tes­tors after they fled the vio­lent attack on the march. The vio­lent attack that included fire­works and a nail bomb that almost killed one of the police offi­cers.

We doubt that the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot will be protesting about this, as they did the anti-gay stance of the Russian government (of which we do not approve, BTW).

It is impossible within the scope of this post to cover our voluminous coverage of the Ukraine crisis. Previous programs on the subject are: FTR #‘s 777778779780781782, 783784794800803804, 808811817818824826829832833, 837.

“Right Sec­tor Threat­ens Kyiv Gay Pride March” by Johannes Wamberg Ander­sen; Kiev [Kyiv] Post; 6/6/2015.

 Anti-gay groups in Ukraine, includ­ing the mil­i­tant Right Sec­tor, are threat­en­ing to stop a gay pride march planned for June 6.

Refer­ring to the Old Tes­ta­ment in the Holy Bible, the Right Sec­tor — which fields a bat­tal­ion of sol­diers to fight against Rus­sia in east­ern Ukraine — called gay peo­ple “per­verts” who “need to be cured” and promised to “pre­vent this sodomist gathering.”

>“There will be thou­sands of us,” Right Sec­tor spokesman Artem Sko­ropad­skyi told the Kyiv Post.

The parade named Equal­ity March will take place on June 6 in Kyiv.

The orga­niz­ers keep time and place secret until the last moment for safety reasons.

On the morn­ing of the day of the event, the details of the place and time will be sent out to the par­tic­i­pants who reg­is­tered online.

The annual gay prides are often haunted by ultra-conservatives.

In 2012, unknown men attacked and beat up gay rights activist Svy­atoslav Sheremet on the day of a planned gay pride that was can­celled because of secu­rity reasons.

Right Sec­tor leader Dmytro Yarosh has promised in a Face­book post that the group’s mem­bers will “put aside other busi­ness in order to pre­vent those who hate fam­ily, moral­ity, and human nature, from exe­cut­ing their plans. We have other things to do, but we’ll have to deal with this evil too,” he wrote.

Yarosh then upped the stakes by con­nect­ing the parade to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

He said that the event would “spit on the graves of those who died and defended Ukraine.”

Echo­ing Russ­ian rhetoric on the sub­ject, Sko­ropad­skyi said that “gay pro­pa­ganda is destruc­tive and doing harm to our Chris­t­ian nation, we can’t allow that.”

Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko gave his sup­port to the Equal­ity Rights march dur­ing a June 5 press conference.

He said cit­i­zens have a con­sti­tu­tional right to assem­bly and that law enforce­ment agen­cies would guar­an­tee the safety.

Kyiv Mayor rVi­tali Klitschko didn’t share the president’s confidence.

He asked the Kyiv lesbian-bisexual-gay-transgender com­mu­nity to can­cel the pride march to avoid “inflam­ma­tion of hatred” and “not to pro­voke another con­fronta­tion in Kyiv.”

Activists said they would go for­ward with the march anyway.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ger­many, France and the Euro­pean Union in Kyiv had engaged in a diplo­matic effort to ensure that police would pro­tect the man­i­fes­ta­tion, law­maker Ser­hiy Leshchenko said.

The Right Sec­tor gained broad pop­u­lar­ity in Ukraine play­ing an active role in the Euro­Maidan Revolution. . . .

“Anti-Gay Extrem­ists Vio­lently Break Up Gay Pride March in Kyiv; Sev­eral Injured, Many Arrests” by Ste­fan Huijboom; Kiev [Kyiv] Post; 6/6/2015.

Pro­tected by hun­dreds of police offi­cers in Kyiv’s Obolon dis­trict, nearly 200 per­sons tried on June 6 to take part in the sec­ond gay pride parade in the last three years.

But vio­lence, almost from the start, marred the event and sent peo­ple flee­ing in chaos and panic. Police broke up the gath­er­ing quickly, telling par­tic­i­pants to leave because they could not guar­an­tee their safety after dozens of extrem­ists attacked the crowd and police with fire­works, fists and nails.

Sev­eral police offi­cers and par­tic­i­pants were injured, includ­ing one offi­cer who suf­fered seri­ous wounds after being attacked with fire­works and nail bombs.

More than 20 extrem­ists were arrested on sus­pi­cion of vio­lence. Oth­ers escaped, includ­ing one man who shouted “they should die!” in ref­er­ence to homosexuals.

Many attack­ers iden­ti­fied them­selves as part of the mil­i­tant Pravy (Right) Sec­tor. Its leader, mem­ber of par­lia­ment Dmytro Yarosh, also fields a semi-autonomous bat­tal­ion in the Ukrain­ian army. Yarosh, in a long Face­book post on June 5, con­demned equal rights for gays and pledged to stop the gathering.

At least two other mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, Svit­lana Zal­ishchuk and Ser­hiy Leshchenko, attended the march along with the Swedish ambas­sador to Ukraine, Andreas von Beck­erath, and other West­ern diplomats.

Zal­ishchuk said that some of the extrem­ists charged the crowd of march­ing activists, but were blocked by cor­dons of police that eas­ily num­bered sev­eral hun­dred offi­cers to pro­vide secu­rity. She praised the fast police response and wit­nessed some of the violence.

“One of police­men was almost killed,” Zal­ishchuk said. “He was wounded very severely in the neck.”

Zal­ishchuk said that the march and the accom­pa­ny­ing vio­lence show that Ukraine still has work to do in accept­ing gay rights.

While Ukraine has “made great progress in the path of tol­er­ance, which is the core of our Euro­pean path,” it’s clear to her that only a minor­ity of Ukraini­ans sup­port equal rights for homo­sex­u­als. “It’s def­i­nitely a minor­ity, not a major­ity,” she said, based on pub­lic com­ments in social net­works and in conversations.

She said that she has no plans to ask col­leagues in Par­lia­ment to hold pub­lic hear­ings that would inves­ti­gate, sep­a­rately from the police crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion, whether Right Sec­tor insti­gated the violence.

“I don’t know whether they were all part of Praviy Sector,”Zalishchuk said. “They wrote that they were against it…I don’t know if the insti­ga­tors them­selves were from Pravy Sector.”

She said that the “con­se­quences should be just” against those who com­mit­ted vio­lence and that, if Yarosh was behind the attacks, “this is unacceptable.”

The march got off to a peace­ful start, but for secu­rity rea­sons, the loca­tion remained a secret until two hours before its sched­uled 11 a.m. start.

“Ukraine is Europe! We are Europe!We share Euro­pean val­ues!” activists chanted as they marched along the Dnipro River in Kyiv’s Obolon District

Jour­nal­ists had to gather in Kyiv’s Pech­ersk dis­trict, where they were picked up by a bus and trans­ported to the march.

The extrem­ists, how­ever, were tipped off to the loca­tion. They were wait­ing near the scene and threat­ened vio­lence from the start.

“It’s a shame to be gay. It’s not nor­mal. They are per­verse!” shouted two men in front of the nearby Kyiv Golf Club com­plex. Police blocked these men. But one attacker injured a police offi­cer with a pow­er­ful fire­cracker. The wound left a pud­dle of blood on the ground.

“They should all die!” said a young man, his face cov­ered in a bal­a­clava. He didn’t want to explain why “all gays should die,” but con­stantly repeated that “it’s disgusting.”

Leshchenko, a mem­ber of par­lia­ment with the Bloc of Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko, wrote on Face­book that “the fate of Ukraine’s Euro­pean inte­gra­tion will be deter­mined this week­end dur­ing Kyiv’s gay pride parade.”

He also vowed to intro­duce leg­is­la­tion that would ban dis­crim­i­na­tion based on someone’s sex­u­al­ity, a pre­req­ui­site for Euro­pean Union integration.

“We are here not for a party. We’re here to show to the out­side world that we’re human and don’t want to bescared of who we are,” said 20-year-old Maxim, a hair styl­ist, who attended the march with three of his friends. He was too afraid to give his full name as he claimed some provo­ca­teurs might hunt him down.

“It’s hard to be openly gay. My par­ents have known it for a few months, and with my father, I no longer have any con­tact. There is so much vio­lence tar­geted at openly gays,” he explained the Kyiv Post. Quickly he pointed to the mas­sive police force. “Is this nor­mal? No, of course not! I hope there will be one day that Ukraine accepts Europe’smoral stan­dards when it comes to LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) rights.”

The event was sup­posed to start at 11 a.m., but police demanded that par­tic­i­pants leave as soon as pos­si­ble under police escort because they couldn’t guar­an­tee the activists’ safety if they stayed.

But even as the activists fled, anti-gay pro­test­ers gath­ered and clashed with police, some tack­ling police offi­cers to the ground and beat­ing them. Panic and chaos broke out, with peo­ple run­ning through Obolon’s res­i­den­tial areas to find a safe way out.

“Don’t go to the metro sta­tions!” yelled some police officers.

Anti-gay mil­i­tants were wait­ing at Kyiv’s Minsk metro sta­tion, the clos­est sta­tion to the march, to con­front gay activists.

A mini­van of Pravy Sektor’s vol­un­teer bat­tal­ion Ukraine’s Vol­un­teer Corps was spot­ted on the Heroiv Stal­in­grad Street, one of the main roads in the Obolon dis­trict lead­ing to the Minsk metro station.

Peo­ple ran across the streets to flee as police repelled the attacks with pep­per spray that struck the eyes of two attack­ers, who fell to the ground. Para­medics quickly arrived. One of the injured men remained defiant.

“I’m a mil­i­tary offi­cer in the east. It’s a shame that our coun­try is allow­ing these per­verts to walk the streets. It’s not okay!” he yelled. He was taken away by medics, while police arrested the other one.


Denis Panin, a board mem­ber of Ful­crum, one of the orga­ni­za­tions involved in the Kyiv Pride event, is hope­ful for the future, despite the violence.

A gay pride parade in May 2012 was also called off because of vio­lent threats while another march in Decem­ber 2012 was also marred by attacks.

“Let’s hope that every year the pride gets bet­ter and safer, and let’s talk more openly about it. Ukraine is a clos­eted coun­try, and it has to come out of that closet,” Panin said.

Discussion

2 comments for “Bet Pussy Riot Won’t Be Protesting Against This!”

  1. Mr. Emory,
    I want to make sure I’m following you correctly and not reading anything extraneous into your writing.

    By saying that Pussy Riot won’t be protesting Ukrainian violence against gay rights activists, are you stating that they are strictly an anti-Putin/Russian organization? This is what I’ve long thought, especially since in their HBO documentary almost all of their protest signs were in English. If I remember correctly, their leader was asked why this was, and a real answer was never provided.

    I’ve suspected PR was created/used by anti-Putin Western interests specifically to swing Western public opinion against Putin and/or Russia. While I can appreciate their feminist, pro-rights position, it still seems like a manufactured front that is not so interested in provoking internal Russian action, but instead to increase external pressure on the Putin regime.

    Posted by Sampson | June 8, 2015, 5:13 am
  2. @SAMPSON–

    I strongly suspect that Pussy Riot is being manipulated, being, in effect, what is known in intel parlance as “an asset.”

    It is a matter of speculation as to exactly what their origin is, or what their motivations are, beyond increased visibility, resultant professional gravitas and derivative financial gain.

    The more “outre” elements of the rock scene (punk, black metal,speed metal etc.) are more visceral in orientation, rather than cerebral, in my opinion.

    The sheer media play that the band is receiving strongly suggests that they are being manipulated and/or used.

    One of the band members had an op ed column in “The New York Times.”

    Punk rockers do NOT get op ed columns in The Grey Lady without someone giving significant, apposite assistance.

    In addition, you just will not hear ANYTHING using the word “pussy” promoted on NPR and other electronic media under normal circumstances. Not that some “guvment men” are necessarily standing in the background as enforcers.

    Rather, there is institutional gravitas behind their exposure.

    Who the hell knows what goes on between the band members’ ears? I’d be surprised if they protested the Pravy Sektor attack.

    No “push from behind” in this regard, I’ll wager.

    Although there has been limited coverage of the Kiev attack in the U.S. media, there has been no mention that I’ve seen of the inclusion of Pravy Sektor into parliament and the military in Ukraine.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | June 8, 2015, 5:38 pm

Post a comment