Okay, this story and these pictures just made your Head Trucker lose it, totally. Groups of gays and lesbians and the rest of the LGBT community gathered quietly all across the vast extent of Russia yesterday, from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok, to take pictures and thank the world for its moral support as the Putin government grinds down upon them. Stop whatever you are doing right now and go scroll down the page at Americablog, and look at those signs and those faces.
Event coordinator Natalia Tsymbalova explains in a Facebook message:
We, Russian LGBT people and their allies, would like to thank all the people around the world who support us and express their concern about the events in our country in hope of making a difference and pulling Russia out of a tightening medieval darkness.A tightening medieval darkness, exactly. And all of our gay brothers and sisters there are trapped like rats - as surely as the Jews were in Nazi Germany.
To show that global support and solidarity are very important for all of us, we organized in response an acknowledgment action "From Russia with Love."
We did not plan this flashmob as an action to attract public attention. It was a friendly get-together to make a photo-shoot in the open. Our posters did not carry political information: we just wrote words of gratitude without even indicating to whom and for what: those who we are sending our smiles and thanks to, will understand it anyway.
Despite police’s nervous attention and a few attempts to disrupt us, we are glad that we were able to finish our action and send our friends abroad our deepest gratitude – this is the least we can do now. Thank you for your support and solidarity! Spasibo!
The Jews in Germany and other Western countries at that time had enjoyed full civil rights and political equality for a century or more - but nobody went to war to save the Jews, or lifted a finger to stop the persecution of them. Most countries, including our own, even refused to take as refugees the few Jews who could get out of Germany before the war started.
And nobody will go to war to save the gays, if it comes to that. No, they are trapped and completely at the mercy of their own dictatorial government and fanatical neighbors - whipped into a frenzy of hate by American evangelists who have toured around Russia, spreading every possible lie and stirring up violence.
You can protest and boycott all you want - but what concrete good will any of it do, really? History, including our own recent American history, has shown time after time that governments set upon a certain course of action simply don't care what happens in piddling little demonstrations in other lands, or even in their own, which are easily enough dispersed and ignored.
What terrible things may befall our gay brothers and sisters as the shadows fall, I can hardly bear to think. It breaks my heart. And yet there they are in these lovely snapshots, framed forever in sunlight and tranquility, smiling at us, heads yet held high with hope - bearing witness to the world.
God bless them.