(( Ok Mr homophobe 'twiglet' (etc) , I have to assume you disapprove of Latvian gays and Peter Tatchell challenging the 'white' racists and homophobes in Latvia...???... be hypocritical not to...)
OutRage! News Service July 20th...
Latvia bans Gay Pride
Tatchell to join Riga march & defy threats
London – 20 July 2006
The city council in the Latvian capital of Riga has refused a permit
to this Saturday’s Riga Gay Pride march; effectively banning it from
Justifying the ban on public order grounds, the city authorities
report receiving threats of serious, organised violence by homophobic
religious, nationalist and fascist groups. They claim Riga Gay Pride
it is the “biggest security risk” since Latvia won its independence
from the Soviet Union.
City officials have refused to divulge information about the threats;
stating they are a state secret which will not be made public for five
The Latvian authorities claim the police would not be able to
guarantee security and order during the march.
For weeks, Christians, nationalists and neo-Nazis have threatened
violence against the Riga Gay Pride march. They have vowed to stop it
taking place. Nearly 17,000 people have signed a petition demanding
the march be stopped.
Last year’s Riga Gay Pride march was violently attacked. This year,
the homophobic opposition is better organised and poses an even
greater threat to the safety of the marchers.
The request to stage the march had been made by Mozaîka, the Latvian
association of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered persons (LBGT)
and their friends, and by the gay rights organisations ILGA Latvija
and Rîgas Praids.
“We are shocked by the city council’s decision, which we view as not
only an unacceptable restriction of the freedom of assembly, but a
major blow to democracy in the face of terrorist threats,” said
Mozaîka board member Linda Freimane.
“We are preparing to challenge the decision in the Administrative
Court today. Last year the Administrative Court acted very correctly
by overturning the city council’s decision to revoke the Pride march
permit, and so we are very hopeful that this year, too, the Court will
defend democratic rights in Latvia by overturning the council’s
British gay human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, has today flown
to Latvia to attend Riga Pride, and to support the Gay Pride
Mr Tatchell said the city council decision “echoes the bad old days of
“It is scandalous that a member state of the EU is giving in to
threats and blackmail by religious fundamentalists and the far right.
“The government of Latvia has a duty to resist threats of homophobic
violence, protect its gay citizens and safeguard the right to peaceful
“Riga Gay Pride is a litmus test of Latvian democracy.
“This ban fits a pattern of homophobia by the Latvian authorities. The
Latvian parliament recently refused to pass a law prohibiting
employment discrimination against lesbians and gays, even though as a
member state of the EU it is required to outlaw workplace
discrimination based on sexual orientation. Latvia has also banned
same-sex marriage,” concluded Mr Tatchell.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in Latvia had
said the Gay Pride march should not be allowed.
“It offends the morals of Latvia’s population and every Christian. It
is a challenge and provocation against our religions,” he said.
Mozaîka believes that by forbidding the march, the city council is
endangering not only the rights of sexual minorities, but the
foundations of democracy in Latvia.
By caving in to the threats of homophobic extremists a precedent is
being established that will lead not to the consolidation of society,
but to the victory of extremism and to the fully justified perception
that threats are an effective instrument for limiting democracy, the
“This precedent is extremely dangerous, because it demonstrates that
the use or threat of force against a particular group is effective in
winning the support of state organs in restricting the rights of this
group. No resident of Latvia will be able to feel confident that at
some point similarly undemocratic methods will not be used against him
or her,” Mozaîka said in a press statement.
Mozaîka pointed out that at least 20 foreign officials will be
arriving in Latvia this week to participate in the march and
Friendship Days, including members of the Swedish, Danish, Austrian
and European parliaments, a Swedish army captain and representatives
of several human rights organizations.
For more information please contact:
020 7403 1790
(until Thursday 20 July at 11.30am)
From 9pm on 20 July you can contact Peter Tatchell in Riga via Juris
Lavrikovs and Kristine Garina of the Latvian gay rights movement,
Mozaika’s media coordinator
+ 371 22 43 1000
Mozaika board member
+371 294 131 55
+371 28 618 925
News release from Mozaika, the alliance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender Latvians and their friends and allies, setting out the
background to the banning of Riga Gay Pride:
Tension rising around the second LGBT Pride in Riga
The Friendship Days and the second Riga LGBT Pride are taking place
from 19-23 July. The LGBT Pride March is planned for this Saturday, 22
July, but there is not yet an official permit issued by the Riga City
Last year, Riga’s first LGBT Pride March was initially allowed by the
city authorities but following a hysterical homophobic campaign by the
conservative politicians, Christian fundamentalists and nationalist
radicals, the City withdrew its permission. The ban was successfully
challenged in the Administrative court, but the participants of the
March experienced significant violence, harassment and obstructions.
This year some radical organisations have already issued statements
condemning the LGBT Pride March and calling for public actions of
protests and disturbance during the March. For example, the radical
organisation All for Latvia made the issue of the LGBT Pride March one
of the central topics during its congress a few weeks ago; calling on
its supporters to come out onto the streets and block the march.
Another radical youth organisation, Against the Stream, initiated a
petition to collect signatures against the LGBT Pride March and
collected over 13,000 signatures, which were sent them to various
Latvian officials, including the President of Latvia.
Kaspars Dimiters, a well known folk singer who was one of the main
campaigners against the last year’s LGBT Pride March, and who
obstructed the entrance to the Anglican Church for the Pride service,
has already published an advertisement-appeal in various newspapers
calling on Latvians “to not lay down at home, but to lay down in the
street” to stop the Pride March taking place this year.
A prominent religious organisation, New Age, broadcasts extremely
homophobic statements on their TV programmes.
This year, Riga City Council suggested relocating the LGBT Pride March
outside the city centre.
On 11 July, the organisers of the LGBT Pride March were invited to
meet the representatives of the Riga City Council, alongside
representatives of the police authorities. The possible routes for the
March were discussed and the Riga City Council is to host another
meeting to make its final decision late this week.
The organisers of the LGBT Pride March will be invited to the meeting
of the Riga City Council committee on demonstrations.
Prior to this meeting, however, some politicians have already stated
that the LGBT Pride March should not take place in the centre of Riga,
or should not take place at all, due to alleged security risks to all
parties (the marchers, the protesters, and the general public).
Dzintars Jaundþeikars, the Latvian Interior Minister, of the First
Party of Latvia, the main campaigner against the LGBT Pride March last
year, has issued a statement that the Interior Ministry will not be
able to provide adequate security during this year’s LGBT Pride March
and that the Pride March is the “largest security risk” since Latvia
Simultaneously, his First Party colleague, Armers Luvdiks, Vice-Mayor
of Riga, in a radio debate on the Pride March, also urged Riga City
Council to not allow the LGBT Pride March to go ahead because of
alleged security risks and because of claimed public opposition.
The alliance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and their
friends, Mozaika, strongly condemns the statement by the Interior
Minister, calling it “cynical and irresponsible”. Mozaika said it was
ridiculous to suggest that the country which hosted the Ice Hockey
World Championship, and is about to host a NATO summit, cannot provide
adequate security for the LGBT Pride March.
Mozaika said that such statement by the Interior Minister serves his
party interest and not the interests of the state and its citizens. By
scaremongering about violence the Minister is hoping to create a
fearful atmosphere where it will be possible to ban the LGBT Pride
March, or to pressure the organisers to voluntary withdrew their
application for the March.
Such behaviour by the Minister suggest that he cares little about
security and public order but is more interswting in exploiting his
government position to promote his party’s homophobic views.
Mozaika said the organisers cannot be held responsible for the violent
action of its opponents. If there is violence during the LGBT Pride
March this Saturday, it is it the obligation of the state to protect
its citizens rights to free expression and peaceful assembly.
Mozaika said that if the March is banned or ‘voluntarily’ withdrawn,
this will cause serious risks not just to sexual minorities, but to
the authority of the state, its democratic basis and to the people of
Latvia as a whole.
Giving in to the threats of violence will create a dangerous precedent
which will not lead to the harmonious integration of our society, but
to the victory and emboldenment of extremist homophobic organisations
and their threats of violence. Democracy will be the loser.
It sets a dangerous precedent; opening the door to further threats,
perhaps in future against ethnic, national and religious minorities.
Will the Minister also restrict freedoms enshrined in Latvia’s
If the threats to our democracy are so significant and the LGBT Pride
March is the highest security risk since Latvia gained its
independence, then it is the political parties that created the
tension with their populist anti-gay hatred. They must take
responsibility for any violence that occurs.
Last year, the police demonstrated high professionalism and there are
no grounds to believe the situation has changed this year, Mozaika
Mozaika asks the Minister why he never replied to our letter sent to
him on 27 June, with an invitation to discuss the security issue. He
is obliged to reply by the law, and it is also his moral obligation if
he believes that our members are at risk of violence.
Mozaika is very concerned that the Ministeris statement unfortunately
leads us to fear that future peaceful demonstrations will be
restricted, while Right-wing homophobes will be free to run amok in
Riga’s streets intimidating LGBT people and threatening violence.
For more information please contact:
Mozaika’s media coordinator
+ 371 22 43 1000
1. Mozaika is an alliance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
2. More information about Mozaika, full programme of the Friendship
Riga Pride is available on our website: www.mozaika.lv