2013-07-01 13:11:00

Police stopped LGBT demonstration in St. Pete, evacuated activists

St. Petersburg, July 1, Interfax - Police ended a demonstration organized by LGBT activists in St. Petersburg on Saturday earlier than was planned.

An Interfax correspondent reported from the scene that police told the activists to board a bus, and it left the venue.

Opponents of the LGBT demonstration pelted the participants with eggs, smoke grenades, and flares, and some of them were detained.

Several dozens of LGBT activists gathered for a demonstration on the Field of Mars in the center of St. Petersburg earlier on Saturday to be confronted by about 200 opponents, who were chanting 'Sodom Won't Pass!' and 'Fascism Won't Pass!'.

Police are trying to contain the enraged opponents of the LGBT demonstration, and several people have been reportedly injured.

It was reported on Friday that LGBT activists in St. Petersburg planned a rally in defense of the rights of sexual minorities on Saturday. The rally organizer, Yury Gavrikov, told Interfax this would be "the fourth gay pride in Petersburg."

"The rally will take place on the Field of Mars, and up to 200 people are declared as participants," he said.

Gavrikov insisted that public events on the Field of Mars in St. Petersburg do not require coordination with the city authorities. "We have informed the legal order and security committee about our event and received an answer from them, and so all formalities have been observed," Gavrikov said.

The previous rally in defense of gay rights took place on the Field of Mars on May 17. That event gathered three times as many LGBT movement opponents as the rally participants themselves, and several people threw flares at the LGBT activists. Three people were then detained for violating public order.