Peter Tatchell attacked in Moscow

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Sunday 27 May 2007 10.39pm
Did anyone see the news tonight where Peter Tatchell and Richard Fairbrass got attacked in Moscow for trying to back a gay rights parade? Nasty stuff.

Nice police action - arresting those who got kicked and punched and leaving the attackers free to attack.

I think Tatchell, etc were a bit naive (and patronising) to say the least to go such a country and go ahead with their protest. Still, they didn't deserve that.
Monday 28 May 2007 10.47am
What is patronising about going to support a protest for equality and rights?
Monday 28 May 2007 11.07am
Jonathan - yes, I agree. Very nasty. I also agree that Peter Tatchell may have been naive, and certainly reckless for his own safety. As he so often is - I once saw him in London some years ago heroically trying to arrest Robert Mugabe. It's also possible that the demonstration in Moscow may have been counter-productive.

But I am not sure why you say that Tatchell was being patronising. To whom? The Russian state, in theory, has backed both gay rights and the right to demonstrate, by signing the European Convention of Human Rights. Meanwhile there's a gay community in Moscow, up against a far-right mayor and associated neo-fascists and religious fundamentalists. Tatchell and others were there to support them. Well done Peter!

If he's drawn attention to a wider malaise in Putin's Russia, so much the better. He was ahead of the curve on Zimbabwe as well.

Monday 28 May 2007 11.35am
He was also physically attacked at the vile Mobo awards by it's Homophobes. He still keeps protesting though. Hero really.
Monday 28 May 2007 1.44pm
Maybe patronising was the wrong word - but I looked up some news stories on the state of affairs in Moscow right after this and there is a fair size of the gay local population who didn't want any gay pride march to go ahead as they thought it would stir up violent anti-gay sentiment the far right and local Christian and Muslim fundamentalists further.

What you can do in London and what is considered by the majority as acceptable is not going to be the same in other, very different parts of the world.

Anyway, I'm not gay, so perhaps I shouldn't comment on what Tacthell, etc should have expected... I just wanted to talk about something that I found to be very disturbing. Agree with beetroot that there are not many people who deserve the title of 'hero' but Peter Tatchell comes pretty damn close.
Tuesday 29 May 2007 10.03am
Mayor of London writes to Moscow mayor to support Tatchell
Monday 4 June 2007 1.37pm
Tatchell should be strung up for 'outing' people who don't want to be outed. Who cares what somebody does in their private life.

He is an unwanted remnant from days fortunately long gone.
Monday 4 June 2007 2.47pm
Mapmaker, I totally agree with you, people have the right to keep their private lives just that...private.
Monday 4 June 2007 3.19pm
Surely stringing people up isn't the right approach, though?
Monday 4 June 2007 6.47pm
Mapmaker, I don't think Peter Tatchell favours "outing" people for the sake of it. He has used the tactic to expose hypocrisy in institutions and individuals who wield authority within them. And thereby to bring about change. I am not sure he has always got the judgement right in individual cases, but that's been his philosophy.

The change which Tatchell helped to bring about is presumably one that you welcome, by your comment that he is a "remnant from days fortunately long gone". Maybe those days are indeed long gone in some parts of London. But not in Zimbabwe, or Jamaica, or Moscow, which is where Tatchell's recent efforts have been heroically focused.

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