ukgnThis weekend sees another Gay Pride in eastern Europe. Slavic Pride gets underway in Minsk, Belarus, on Friday. Already the planned parade on Saturday has been banned by the city authorities who used the flimsy excuse that the route was too near to metro (underground) stations and pedestrian crossings. There have also been threats to disrupt other events during Slavic Pride.Minsk_a

The Slavic Pride movement was founded in autumn 2008 in Minsk.  The first Pride took place in Moscow on May 16 last year and coincided with Eurovision Song Contest.  Moscow authorities banned the event and dozens of activists, including Peter Tatchell and Andy Thayer, were arrested by militia.

This is a “blog” of what is happening in Minsk, with contributions from a number of participants – and the aim is to be as up to date as possible.

Friday May 14th

An excerpt from the Slavic Pride blog

20:05 : Minsk Crowne Plaza Hotel is under siege by a few dozens anti-gay protesters.  The hotel is hosting at 8pm local time the premiere of the Canadian documentary Beyond Gays: The Politics of Pride.   At 8pm, the show did not start and only 40 participants out of the 150 who confirmed their presence could make it into the hotel.

20:00 : The event is probably going to be cancelled. The access to the hotel is blocked.  Only a dozen or so participants could reach the hotel.  The police is expected in the premises.

19:55: Hotel is now under seige.  It is not possible to enter, and not possible to leave.

19:50: The premiere of the movie is scheduled in 10 minutes.  Despite organiers keeping the location secret, Radio Liberty Belarus published the location on its website two hours ago. Sergey Androsenko reports that he has been informed by phone that protesters are on a tram, on their way to disrupt the event.

19:30: “I think we have a mess here”. The words of on of the Slavic Pride organisers as protestors gather to blockade a hotel where events are being staged.