Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Q Toon: Your Mirandskavitch Rights

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
‡Nov 6, 2013
This week's cartoon was occasioned by this brazen attack on a St. Petersburg HIV support group on Sunday, but it's really about the open season on LGBT Russians declared by their government.
Anastasia Smirnova, the general project manager of the Interregional Social Movement Russian LGBT Network, reported on Russian queer newsgroups that two masked men with guns and baseball bats attacked a "rainbow social" at the offices of LaSky, an HIV organization for gay men,  just over an hour ago. The police reportedly arrived at the LaSky office but left immediately saying they saw no evidence of a crime. 
Two patrons of LaSky were hospitalized; one had reportedly been shot in the eye, and a woman had been beaten with a baseball bat.

Well, you can't blame the Russian police for not wanting to do anything that might get themselves in trouble for violating the ban on "pro-gay propaganda."

Russia's antigay pogrom (also against immigrants and dark-skinned Russians) has been going on for months now, possibly to distract citizens from the massive sums of money being spent on the Sochi Olympics. In July, the Guardian's Nancy Goldstein rattled off a list of other antigay attacks:
[Do Vladimir Putin and the International Olympic Committee think t]hat we'll just happily ignore last week's news of skinheads luring gay teenagers with an online dating scam, then taping the sessions where they torture them so long as no one blocks our view of the figure skating events?...
[A] BuzzFeed photomontage of '36 Pictures From Russia That Everyone Needs to See' brought millions of viewers image after image of bloodied and crying LGBT Russians clinging to one another — people trying to shield themselves from blows and rotten eggs at peaceful protests turned violent where the police, skinheads, and large crowds of anti-gay protestors beat, mock, assault, and arrest them.
So the news from the Russian LGBT Network that four Dutch tourists had just been jailed under the new "gay propaganda" law for filming a documentary on LGBT rights in Russia was the last straw. ... 
Last month, killers reportedly stabbed and trampled a man to death before putting his body in his car and setting it on fire. Just weeks before, 23-year-old Vladislav Tornovoi's friends murdered him because he mentioned he was gay while they were getting drunk, according to the BBC. They raped him with beer bottles before smashing his skull in with rocks.

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