Anti-LGBT protesters disrupted a demonstration in favor of trans rights on Nov. 18 in Ukraine with little opposition and some help from police.
Olena Shevchenko, chair of the LGBTI rights organization Insight in Ukraine, reports:
On Nov 18, a march was planned to be held in Kyiv city center dedicated to International Trans Remembrance Day. The march was disrupted, but a short rally was held, which lasted twenty minutes.
One day before march, we had to change the location for security reasons, despite the fact that all our actions were agreed with the police and local authorities. Instead, on the day of march, 15 minutes before the start of the march, the police actually moved the place of gathering for the second time.
Near our announced venue at National University, there were contra-actions of right-wing radicals and religious groups, some of which began to move to the place police forcibly moved us. Several times, representatives of right-wing radicals threw smoke bombs near the participants of the trans march.
We managed to put up trans flags and rainbow flags and posters, as well as banners with our slogans and demands. Inna Iriskina, coordinator of the transgender program of the NGO “Insight,” delivered a speech about our demands to the state. Some right-wing radicals pushed into the crowd and tried to shout down the speech, chanting “Shame.”
Police again didn’t react.
Suddenly the police began to literally push all the participants to the entrance to the subway. The police routinely ordered this “collapse” and also tried to remove the drums from participants, since “this is not a circus.” In in the lobby of the University all participants began to chant “Human rights above all else.” In response was heard “Shame”.
We are aware of the several attacks of right-wing radicals on the rally participants afterwards. Two girls were gassed in their face. Also, the Canadian journalist Michael Colborne, who was present at the rally, was hit in the face during the fights.
Today’s events have demonstrated that the level of right-wing radical aggression and violence is increasing in Ukraine. Police under the pressure of radical groups have declared that they cannot provide security. Thus, the police as a whole cannot ensure human rights and freedoms. We see this situation as a right-wing radical dictatorship that is being established in Ukraine.
See the demonstration and disruption in a video from Insight (not in English): https://www.facebook.com/
- Ukraine: Threats of violence block LGBTI event; police just watch (May 2018, 76crimes.com)
- Ukraine: City ignored rock-throwing anti-LGBT protesters (March 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Radical thugs target LGBT equality conference in Lviv (March 19, Ukraine Today)
- Europe’s parliament cites human rights abuses in Crimea (February 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Ukraine victory: ‘Celebration with tears on our eyes’ (November 2015, 76crimes.com)
- On third try, Ukraine passes law against anti-LGBTI bias
- Amid Ukraine conflict, a new LGBT refugee safe house (June 2014, 76crimes.com)
- HRW articles and commentaries about Ukraine
- This blog’s archive of articles about Ukraine