Choi to Chain Self at Kremlin Wall;
2 SF Venues Cancel Gay Russian
Let's sift through the many statements, blog posts, photos and comments from various folks in the past few days regarding the controversial and bratty gay Russian leader Nikolai Alekseev on his grand tour of America. Best place to start is with a glowing account on GayRussia.eu, the site of his group.
It's not surprising that Nikolai has only positive words for Nikolai's visit thus far and for Nikolai meeting a famous gay American soldier looking to extend his 15-minutes of fame. But who knew this soldier is committed to making his mark on Moscow?
(From the left: NYC activist Andy Velez; Dan Choi; Nikolai; Andy Thayer, an advocate from Chicago.)
From GayRussia.eu, via Google translation:
Wednesday evening at the legendary gay club «Stonewall» New York, where in 1960 an uprising began sexual minorities against the tyranny of the police, initiating the modern LGBT movement, Nikolai Alexeyev has met with the famous American gay activist Dan Choi, who had previously held in Washington, campaign against the ban on open service of gays and lesbians in the armed forces of the United States. His campaign, during which he and other activists who chained themselves handcuffed to the White House fence, has caused a great resonance in the U.S. and other countries.
Real-time Nikolai Alexeyev wrote in his blog in Facebook, that he and Dan Choi agreed to chain in protest against homophobia at the Kremlin wall in Moscow. ...
Will either Russian gays or straight people give a damn about one American soldier traveling to Moscow to engage in civil disobedience? We'll have to wait and see what comes of the agreement the two activists have made. Are gay Russians in need of leadership from Choi? It's a question I'll put to gay Russians to answer.
More on his tour:
On Saturday morning, Nikolai Alexeyev, went to California, where over the weekend to meet with activists in Palm Springs, and on Monday March 7 is scheduled his speech at the LGBT Center of San Francisco's famous Castro district. ...
This not true. He will not be speaking at the center, which issued a statement about backing away from hosting Nikolai's talk:
In discussing the proposed event with the individual [who contacted the center], it became clear that there was not adequate planning in place for the event and the potential numbers of people who may attend to hear Mr. Alekseev speak and/or express opposition to his past remarks. The individual working to organize the event had already contacted the San Francisco Police Department to request assistance as he felt that police intervention would be necessary to maintain control at the event. ...
First, Nikolai has for years battled in the streets of Moscow and the airport for various Russian police and security forces, sometimes at great risk to himself, and he's afraid of a disruption from _other_ gays? Second, if you need to contract the police in San Francisco, of all cities which has been staging vigils at the Russian consulate for Nikolai for at least 6 years, you really need to rethink your message to the locals.
Andy Thayer, primary sponsor of this disastrous visit, on Saturday issued an angry email responding to the center's rejection of Alekseev:
Due to the political cowardice of the San Francisco LGBT Center which, due to alleged "security concerns," backed down from its verbal commitment to host gay Russian activist Nikolai Alekseev's appearance in that city, we have been forced to relocate the event to a new venue: Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco ...
We encourage you to go to the Facebook event and invite others to attend:
But Andy spoke way too soon and a second venue also wanted nothing to do with Alexseev and his business. This email circulated Saturday afternoon from Rev. Dr. William H. Knight:
As Provisional Pastor of MCC San Francisco I was just informed that our office had agreed to rent our sanctuary for a public meeting. Today I was informed that this meeting was to be a platform for Mr. Nikolai Aleskseev who has been quoted as having made anti-Semitic statements without either retraction or further explanation. As members of a community that embraces and celebrates all of the diverse, varied and marvelous groups of our City, State and Nation, we cannot fail to be true to our vision and mission of equality for all. Therefore, the offer to rent our sanctuary has been withdrawn and the event will not take place at MCCSF.
We also have Scott Long engaging in the debate. The former head of Human Rights Watch's gay desk and who has for years been accused of waging sock puppet campaigns against his opponents, pretending to be a non-American and one who argues just like Long, and presents evidence just like Long, and also sounds like Long, is the person masquerading as "From Russia With Love", in my opinion.
You find Long/FRWL's latest indictments against Nikolai here, here, here, here, and probably a few other places. If you don't think Long would spray his detailed venom across the web under a pseudonym, you don't know Long.
That being said, I wish to point a few interesting nuggets in the FRWL posts:
How does Mr. Alexeyev’s obsessive desire to “repress” his peers who have a different view on gay pride parades in Russia help to advance LGBT rights? In February 2010, answering to a concerned guy in LiveJournal, what will Alexeyev do to such people, he proclaimed: “There will be no amnesty. Repressions will be harder”. Read it again. Repressions. Will. Be. Harder. You still want to defend Nikolai and his repressions against LGBT? What kind of leadership and activism is that? Screenshot: http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/596/image1isi.jpg
Unfortunately, I can't cut-and-paste the Russian words and translate them, so I've contacted a few Russian activists and requested their translation of Nikolai's comment. The same goes for this item, also from FRWL:
The last thing I’d like to notice is attitude towards Alexeyev inside his own small team. There is only a very small number of permanent supporters in Moscow. The most part of his team is constantly changing, people come and go all the time, not able to cope with his dictatorship style. Nikolai Baev, who today is his closest companion, in 2006 said the following (and still didn’t denounce it): “Alexeyev is simply a hysterical and paranoid person. You can communicate with him only by agreeing with him. I perfectly realized it and that was the only way to succeed”. Screenshot: http://pics.livejournal.com/melancholy_gay/pic/000d1d7d
After almost a solid week of trying to keep up on all the crises of Nikolai, his obfuscations, bratty behavior, refusal to restore his deleted blogs and messages, insults at San Francisco's global gay activists who have been at the Russian consulate here for him over the years, the opinions from other gay Russians, and the insistence by his enablers that he's building bridges of solidarity, I fail to see how Nikolai can honestly think this has been a "successful tour" for anyone.