On Saturday 22nd, over 150 people marched through Birmingham City Centre against the current repression against the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community in Chechnya (an autonomous region of the Russian Federation).
Reports says that gay men and women have been arrested due to their sexuality, with beatings and extra judicial killings carried out. Chillingly, the Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov has pledged to “eliminate” the gay community “by the start of Ramadan”.
Socialist Party members joined in to show our disgust at the persecution suffered by LGBT people in Chechnya and throughout the world. We also took the chance to point out that the fight isn’t over in this country. The current Prime Minister, Theresa May, has voted in parliament against LGBT rights on multiple occasions. On 8th June we have the chance to kick her out – let’s take it!
A young LGBT Socialist Party member addressed the rally, mentioning the fact that while today LGBT people face repression in Chechnya and throughout Russia, 100 years ago the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia following the October revolution, and become one of the first countries in the world to legalise same-sex relationships. You can watch his speech here, and read more about the advances for LGBT people, women and the working class as a whole in Russia prior to the rise of Stalin here