New East Digital Archive

St Petersburg government cuts back on free assembly zones after LGBT attack

23 August 2017

Following an attack on LGBT demonstrators on 12 August at St Petersburg’s Field of Mars, the city authorities have removed the historic park from its list of free assembly areas, leaving the city with just four public assembly zones.

A minimum of 15 people sustained injuries when nationalist activists attacked the LGBT protesters with pepper spray, with some of the assailants believed to belong to the Straight Edge nationalist organisation.

Governor Georgy Poltavchenko’s decision to remove the Field of Mars from the free assembly list on Monday limits the number of St Petersburg’s “Hyde Parks” — referring to the London park known for animated public debate — to four. At these free public assembly sites citizens can legally hold a public meeting upon notifying city authorities, without being obliged to request or wait for official permission.

Source: The Moscow Times