(Russia) - Russian Gay group "LGBT Rights" reports that it organized a flash-mob on February 23 (the 'Army Day' celebrated in the Russian Federation.) The participants marched through the Arbat street, waving rainbow flags and shouting 'Woman is a soldier, too! Equality knows no borders!' along with patriotic slogans. The action was apparently an attempt to confront the 'ordinary Russians' with homosexuality and transport a positive message to the fellow citizens without provoking a hostile response.
|Participants of the Gay Flashmob in Sankt Petersburg. Courtesy of LGBTRights.ru
The organizers praised their action to be the first one not to end in violence and claimed that the passers by were mainly positive about the action, indeed most were smiling. The friendly response to the action is easily explained, however: the flashmob was organized in concealement and only the participants themselves knew in advance when and where it was to start. Logically, there were no fascists and no police present to prevent the action.
While organizers expressed elation about what they christioned as an 'apolytical' aproach to activism, scepticism arised on the effectivity of such actions. The impact in the media and among politicians was nearly zero, and it is actually more than doubtful whether those smiling heterosexual spectators really understood who those cheering young people were.
Unfortunately, the action negatively affected the "LGBT Rights" 
itself. Alexej Davydov, one of the project coordinators of the group, was left in the dark about the ongoing flash mob, and has consequently left the group, the website of the project reports.