Two-hundred people gathered outside Berlin's Russian embassy
yesterday in protest of anti-gay legislation which is spreading
through the country.
The demonstration was attended by LGBT activists as well as
members of the German Bundestag, the Berlin parliament and
representatives from trade unions.
"We express solidarity with the LGBT community in Russia," said
Marieluise Beck (Green Party) Head of the Commission on Eastern
European Politics in the German Bundestag.
"No one forced Russia to join the Council of Europe. Joining,
however, Russia signed under the European Convention on Human
Rights, which includes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
Social Democrat, Tom Schreiber, a parliamentary member in Berlin,
added: "I will insist that issues of discrimination against the
LGBT community in Russia is regularly raised in Berlin and will
make every effort to ensure that these discussions result in
specific resolutions backed up by specific support."
During the demonstration, participants signed a petition to the
deputies of the St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly and the Governor
of St. Petersburg, which will be handed over to them in the near
After the meeting protestors marched through the main streets of
The demonstrators chanted slogans against homophobia in
Russia and passersby showed their support.
The demonstration ended at Potsdamer Platz - the very heart of the
Berlin and the focus of the Berlinale Film Festival. The head of
the Berlinale Section "Panorama" and founder of the Teddy Award
Wieland Speck spoke to demonstrators:
"The representation of gays and lesbians in the arts and culture
can not be denied. Every year there are more and more LGBT films in
those countries where this topic has been previously a taboo. We
will continue to support the St. Petersburg Side by Side Film
Festival which is fighting for a space within the public domain for
LGBT people in Russia."