From Iceland — Protests At Harpa For LGBT Rights In Russia

Protests At Harpa For LGBT Rights In Russia

Published May 20, 2021

Brittnee Kiner
Photo by

This morning, a group of people gathered outside of the Harpa concert hall to protest against the Russian government’s stance on LGBT rights for its citizens, reports Vísir.

Protest against Russian policy

The Arctic Council meeting is taking place at Harpa this morning, as the chairmanship of the council shifts from Iceland to Russia, after two years in the presidency. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, will therefore take over the leadership of the council.

His presence has drawn a sizeable crowd outside of Harpa after Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir and Andrean Sigurgeirsson, chairman and vice-chairman of the Samtökin 78 (the National Queer Association of Iceland), called for people to gather outside of Harpa to protest the suppression and injustices of LGBT rights in Russia.

Giving a voice to those who may not be heard

Samtökin 78 explains in an article published by Vísir that the government of Russia has systematically made the lives of queer people extremely challenging. They mention Russia’s ban on so-called “queer propaganda” in 2013, as public promotion of LGBT rights in Russia was deemed illegal in 2013; the government has unabashedly accelerated public hostility towards members of the LGBT community in Russia.

Protestors here in Reykjavík are raising pride flags for those in Russia that cannot, as an injustice somewhere is an injustice everywhere.

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