Russia: Authorities told St Petersburg Pride organisers to hold rally on landfill site

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Authorities in St Petersburg have suggested that the organisers of the city’s Pride rally hold it on a landfill site instead.

According to the St Petersburg Times, the city adopted a new tactic to disrupt this year’s rally, rather than banning it outright as in previous years.

The annual parade, which was to be held by LGBT group Ravnopraviye, was denied permits for every place they applied to hold it across the city.

When refusing requests, officials are obliged by law to suggest alternative venues, which was abused to suggest ludicrous locations, including the remote village of Novosyolki, and a landfill site on Vasilievsky Island

Organiser Yury Gavrikov said: “Last year, we went to court and at the last hearing in autumn, a representative of the Committee of Law and Order was saying with all seriousness that [Novosyolki] was equivalent to [central St. Petersburg].

“I asked her if she considers central streets equal to a cabbage field near the airport and she replied, ‘Absolutely, they are totally equal and there’s no difference between them’.

“In such cases, a court takes the side of the administration.”

Organisers plan to continue with the rally despite official permits as usual.

Earlier this week,  an LGBT rights organisation based in Russia was deemed a “foreign agent” by a St Petersburg court.

The label “foreign agent” implies that a group carries out work on behalf of foreign countries, and restricts the work they can do and messages communicated.