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Russian Gays to Stage ‘Day of Silence’ in St. Petersburg Next Month




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ST. PETERSBURG, April 26,2007  –  Gay men and women in St. Petersburg will be marking the first-ever Russian Day of Silence on Saturday May 3 with a rally on Malaya Konyushennaya Street.

Participants at the rally, which is sub-titled “Sometimes to be heard you have to be silent” will have their mouths taped as they hand-out flyers and other promotional material to passers-by without comment, a spokesperson for the organisers said.

The Day of Silence in Russia is an action targeted at the general population and intended to draw people’s attention to the problems of silencing hate crimes, discrimination, and intolerance.

“It is an opportunity to demonstrate that these problems concern not "other" people somewhere else, but us directly – our families, our loved ones, our friends,” the spokesperson said.

“These issues are no less relevant to modern Russia than they are to the Western nations.  In recent years, the number of hate crimes based on ethnicity or religion has been growing.

“Periodically, isolated reports of hate crimes against LGBT people appear in mass media, whereas in reality these crimes are tens if not hundreds of times more numerous.

“Harassment and bullying at educational institutions of children that are "different" is a fact shrouded in shamed silence yet ever-present.”

The Day of Silence is dedicated to the issues of discrimination, emotional harassment, and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.  It is an annual action of non-violent protest that started in the US in 1996, and this year was extended to Poland and Slovenia.

Next month’s Russian Day of Silence will be dedicated to the problems of discrimination and intolerance towards LGBT, as well as ethnic, religious, and other minorities.


  Russian 'Day of Silence' website

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Posted: 26 April 2008 at 00:00 (UK time)



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