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A neo-Nazi group in Ukraine have destroyed an LGBT+ organisation’s office and almost killed a man in the process.

 

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Queer Home Kryvbas, the only LGBT group in Kryvyi Rih that openly welcomes the gay community, was attacked by six masked men with iron poles and fire sticks on Sunday night. The masked figures threw smoke bombs inside the office while seven victims were allegedly trapped inside.

One man tried stopping the attackers, but was beaten savagely and is now in hospital with a concussion.Gay_Ukraine_Nazi_Attack

A spokesperson from Gay Alliance Ukraine said: “One of the main functions of the state is to protect its citizens.

“Gay Alliance Ukraine appeals to the law enforcement authorities with the demand to not only to punish the guilty in these two incidents, but to also do everything in their power to protect the lives, health and basic rights of the citizens of Ukraine.”

The incident came a day after 20 neo-Nazis descended on a cafe in Kryvyi Rih to attack a group of gay men.

The swell of neo-Nazi groups and extremist views spreading across Ukraine has posed an immediate risk to the country’s LGBT community – as well as the larger society. Yesterday, three policemen were killed after violent clashes between security forces and ultra-nationalist protesters.

Masked men hurl smoke bombs at venue of Ukraine gay forum

By AFP | AFP – Sat, Aug 15, 2015

LGBT Activists

AFP/AFP/File – LGBT activists were planning to hold a forum on the history of the gay rights movement in Odessa after a local court banned the planned march over fears it could spark violence

 

Ukranian men throw gas

At the gay pride march in Kiev on June 6, 2015, scufles broke out after activists

Masked men on Saturday Aug 15, 2015  hurled smoke bombs into a venue in the Ukraine port city of Odessa where gay rights activists were to hold a forum after deciding against marching in defiance of a ban.

They threw “several” smoke bombs at the participants before fleeing, Odessa Pride spokesman Kyrylo Bodelan told AFP, adding that no one was hurt in the attack.

LGBT activists were planning to hold a forum on the history of the gay rights movement in the strategic Black Sea port city after a local court on Thursday banned the planned march over fears it could spark violence.

Bodelan earlier denounced the ban, saying it was “illegal and violates our constitutional right of assembly.”

A handful of activists demonstrated near the town hall in defiance of the ban, drawing taunts from passers-by.

An AFP correspondent saw an elderly woman trying to wrest a placard from one demonstrator that read “Dignity Has No Colour”. Police quickly intervened to defuse the confrontation.

Prominent extreme nationalist group Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) — once central to the demonstrations in Kiev that toppled a Russian-backed president last year — had voiced fierce opposition to Saturday’s event.

“We won’t beat the gays, but this march will not take place,” local Pravy Sektor leader Sergui Sternenko was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

A gay pride march in the capital Kiev in June — the second in the nation’s post-Soviet history — was marred by scuffles after activists were attacked by far-right nationalists. Around a dozen people were injured.

The socially conservative country — locked in a bruising war with pro-Russian insurgents — is seeking a closer alliance with Europe and remains keen to promote civil liberties freely enjoyed in much of the West.

But homophobia remains rampant in a nation where the conservative Orthodox church wields considerable influence and nationalist far-right groups have grown more prominent.

Odessa regional governor Mikheil Saakashvili, the Westernising ex-president of Georgia, kept his distance from the controversy, with his administration insisting it was a matter for the city authorities

21 million people take part in global LGBTI film festival

21 million people take part in global LGBTI film festival

fiveFilms4freedom LGBT film festival finds audience in over 125 countries.
Image courtesy of BFI Flare festival.
LGBTI Film Festival

LGBTI Film Festival

The BFI Flare film festivalis popular enough that even if you live in London you have to be lucky to get a ticket to watch the LGBT themed films being shown.

If you are LGBT and live in countries such as India, Poland, or the Ukraine, your opportunities of being able to watch movies that reflect your sexuality and your experiences will be even more remote.

The British Council, which is a UK organisation that internationally promotes British culture and education, has partnered with the BFI Flare festival and UK charity Stonewallto create a digital, global, LGBT film festival.

UK film-maker Paul Greengrass (director of movies such as The Bourne Supremacy, and Captain Phillips) is actively supporting the positive role that film festivals can play:
‘Film festivals at their best are a window and also a mirror’ said Greengrass. ‘…a window through which we can see the world, and a mirror in which we can see ourselves.’

The 5Films4freedom festival runs from 19-29 March 2015, the five films available through the online festival have already reached over 21 million people in 125 different countries around the world.

The five short films that are screening as part of the festival are:

An Afternoon (En Eftermiddag)

Director Søren Green’s new short film is an exploration of nascent sexuality. Mathias and Frederik are two friends who spend an afternoon together; Mathias has decided that this is the time to tell Frederik that he is in love with him.

Chance

Jake Graf’s self-funded short film focuses on older gay love and overcoming loneliness as a chance encounter between Trevor and a mysterious stranger equally troubled by his own past, forces both men to start to live again.

Code Academy

Canadian writer and director Nisha Ganatra is best known as Producer/Director of Transparent, the Golden Globe-winning TV series. When searching for love in all the virtual places, Frankie, Libby and Sheridan of The Code Academy are their own worst enemy.

Morning Is Broken

Director and writer Simon Anderson’s 2014 film is a coming-of-age drama set in the English countryside, following a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality while at his older brother’s wedding.

True Wheel

Director Nora Mandray’s 2015 documentary focuses on Fender Bender, an inspirational bicycle workshop for Detroit’s queer and transgender communities.

The films showing as part of the festival can be viewed via the BFI online player.