New Mardi Gras has donated $1000 to Moscow Pride as it prepares for the city’s fifth consecutive demonstration in Moscow and specifically to participate, as part of Slavic Pride, in EuroPride on July 16 in Warsaw, Poland.
Slavic Pride represents Eastern European nations where Pride marches have been banned.
In the few short years Moscow Pride has been running, it has been marred with violence and has met with hostility from government officials, police and sections of the public.
It has been banned every year since its inception in 2005 but continues to be organised despite violent attacks and government condemnation. Violence from skinhead and nationalist protestors is often the reason given for banning the event.
“We are very touched by the donation of Sydney Mardi Gras to our project to rent our own Moscow Pride truck during the next EuroPride in Warsaw,” Moscow Pride founder Nikolai Alekseev said.
“It will be very symbolic for us to take part officially in this event, not only as spectators but also as actors.”
Sydney’s Mardi Gras provides a stark contrast to these conditions, enjoying political and public support each year.
“With donations such as these, we feel we are honouring our 2009 theme of ‘Nations United’,” New Mardi Gras CEO Michael Rolik said.
“We enjoy increasing freedom in producing Mardi Gras every year, and we hope Moscow Pride can say the same one day.”
Moscow Pride’s aim is to raise GLBT visibility in Russia through ongoing legal challenges in the European Court, media coverage and eye-catching stunts during their annual demonstrations.
In 2009 Moscow Pride demonstrators were arrested by police and held for the night.

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