2006-05-27 12:31:00

Over 1,000 police on alert for gay parade in Moscow

Moscow, May 27, Interfax - Over one thousand policemen will be on alert in Moscow on Saturday to prevent disorder that could be caused by a planned Gay Pride parade, Moscow city police spokesman Yevgeny Gildeyev told Interfax.

"The Moscow police are working in line with an instruction from the Moscow government banning public actions by gays," Gildeyev said.

He, however, pointed out that the police would focus primarily on preventing clashes between marchers and their opponents, who might act aggressively.

"Any disorder will be curbed toughly," Gildeyev said.

In addition to the thousand policemen, reserve units will also be composed of some 700 servicemen from the OMON special anti-riot police, he said.

Gildeyev once again called on the organizers of the unsanctioned parade to refrain from their plans. He also promised severe repercussions. for anyone who "makes use of the situation for provocation and mass fights."

The gay parade organizers are keeping the time and venue of their action secret, but law enforcement agencies have information about where they are planning to finish the event, and the principal police forces will be concentrated there, Gildeyev said.