TAKE ACTION: US gay rts activist Fmr. Lt. Dan Choi, others beaten at Moscow gay pride. Choi asks you to co-sign open letter to Sec. Clinton.

UPDATE: We have just published an open letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, signed by Dan Choi, asking her to speak out against this clear abuse of human rights in Moscow. Please add your signature to the letter – Dan will personally deliver it to the State Department when he returns to the states in a few days.

UPDATE: There’s video. It’s horrific. You’ll see Dan Choi, to the left, in a white shirt, dark hair (from behind), standing next to Chicago activist Andy Thayer (blond), walking peacefully. Then the Russian police violently swarm them out of nowhere. Oh my God.


(Video credit: Australian filmmaker Logan Mucha, shooting a sequel to his feature documentary “East Bloc Love”)

It breaks all the rules of blogging to post a link at the top sending you away from this site, but OMG you have to see this Reuters photo of Dan Choi being arrested by undercover cops in Moscow. Wow.

Here’s a video Dan shot in the paddywagon:

The arrestees in the paddywagon.

From various emails and Tweets from Dan:

LGBT Activists (led by Russian Transgender citizen (male pronoun) Anna Komarova) arrested after attacks by Neo-Nazis

Headed to unknown Moscow Station

Right ear ringing small bleeding, 8 in the [police] car including me and Andy Thayer….

Louis Georges-Tin (Intl Day Against Homophobia) sent into isolation after singing Bizet’s Toreador.

I am now in isolation for yelling “Discriminatzya!”

Then a neo-nazi started interpreting for Chicago activist Andy Thayer:

Andy Thayer being questioned now, another arrestee interpreting, but he came from another partition. Possibly from Neo-Nazi group.

An arrestee from the other partition yelled “Fuck you, Faggot!”

Neo-nazi interpreter now interrogating Louis Georges-Tin, threatening him and saying he’ll kick his ass when leave

Neo-Nazi “interrogator-arrestee” asking for our address in Moscow. The OMOH detachment laughs after a Russian comment.

The Neo-Nazi interrogator-arrestee was wearing thick silver earring, beard with no mustache, grey sweater and cartoon jungle animal shorts!

Back with other LGBT Activists with Louis. 8 of us in this car, along with what sounds like 5 Neo-Nazis in other partition.

Neo-Nazi also asked who Louis was calling on his phone. Said “this is not your country. Nobody wants to talk to you. Shut the hell up.”

Ringing in ear has about disappeared. Activists furiously typing press releases and calling journalists. Nobody called family or lawyer.

Just got my passport back. No reply from US embassy. They stated “we are monitoring the situation” two days ago.

Thank you for your well wishes but we need calls to Hillary Clinton: condemn violation of Russian and Universal rights of expression.

Never thought I’d be in a situation like this: with Activists, French, and Neo-Nazis awaiting Russian judgement.

Louis-George Tin tells me he is ready to come back next year. His favorite song is “We Shall Overcome.”

I asked Dan by text message why he was bleeding. His response:

At one point I was smashed to the ground and back of my ear met the dirt. Then someone punched it a few times which caused the tinnitus.

I then asked him if it was the skinheads or the cops who hit him. He replied:

Mix of both. the cops really only started punching me when I yelled “Glasnost!”

That quote’s a keeper.

“Glasnost!” shouted and “O when the saints” sung, arrestees in high spirits

Russian Arrestees: Tim Magomedor (25yo), Alexy Kiselev 27, Elizaveta Nikitina 23, Alexander Shiriaev 24, Andzey Zayziev 25.

Then Dan starts engaging the neo-Nazis:

Neo-nazi said “we don’t hate gay people.” I said “we like straight people, you make us.” Engaging in debate now.

Now he said “actually God Hates Fags is bullshit, because I don’t believe in God.”

The 6 were arrested for being shirtless. I explained: Ah, Discriminatzya? Perhaps there is a coalition: Gay Pride, Shirtless Pride.

It is strange that they have become very civil now, after shouting “we will kick your ass, fuck you Faggot” earlier.

Here’s how they were dressed. The woman was mistaken for a Gay Pride protestor, or as they said: prostitute.

Released. No charge, no fine. Russians stay in police custody probably overnight.

Few bruises on left leg, scratches and swelling right ear. Punched in the face 5 times. Still alive. Overall best pride march yet.

Looking forward to Kansas on 6/22-26

Hillary Clinton still needs to say something about the Russian ban on this freedom of expression. We were absolutely non-violent.

My twitter feed has some pics from the jail, and other details from the event.

Love is worth it.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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