IDAHOT-2017 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Every year, Coming Out LGBT group organizes its IDAHOT public rally: to celebrate diversity and love, to attempt, again and again, constructive and positive dialogue with the Russian society, and to give LGBT people an opportunity to openly speak out for themselves in their own city.
Some years, we held the largest LGBT rallies Russia has seen (350 people); other years, police would grab us before we were able to unfold our flags, or we would be attacked by thugs. In the best-case scenario, this year we will be able to have a peaceful rally, with hundreds of people participating. We will have speeches from members of various LGBT and human rights groups, music, banners, and, at the end of the rally, we will let hundreds of rainbow balloons fly into the St. Petersburg sky to symbolize our dream of peaceful and diverse society.
Realistic scenario, if the past two years are any indication, is that the police will (unlawfully) proclaim the rally unlawful, and threaten detaining the participants. Our lawyers are on standby. In the worst case scenario, we might be met with violent counter-protesters. Since participant safety is our first priority, in this case, we will evacuate the participants.
Stay with us, our rally begins on May 17th at 7 p.m. аt Marsovo pole, center of Saint Petersburg.