Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tatchell Finally Deplores Anti-Semite Gay Russian Alexeyev

(Tatchell, left, with Alexeyev at a London protest in 2007. Credit: Pink News.)

From across the pond, my friend longtime global gay rights advocate Peter Tatchell has finally distanced himself from Nikolai Alexeyev over his refusal to apologize for his hatred of Jews in numerous web postings.

In a short comment left two days ago at the Gay City News page for Dour Ireland's column condemning Alexeyev, Peter found the courage to publicly break with Alexeyev after years of staying mute about his hate-filled ravings against LGBT Russians, gay Westerners and lots of other troubling behavior:

I agree. Nikolai WAS a courageous, inspiring activist. He challenged the homophobic Kremlin and Moscow mayor. He did much good for the LGBT cause in Russia. But his anti-Semitic rants are inexcusable. I have asked him many times to explain and apologise but he has not done so. A sad and tragic fall. But there can be no truck with those who promote any form of bigotry. Liberation is for all - not just LGBTs. 

Peter, it is damn good to hear your voice state all this now and better late then never to take the right stand, but I would sure also like to learn why it took you this long to express any opinion echoing what so many others have said for years about Alexeyev.

While I welcome what Doug and Peter have said in recent days, for years they sadly remained silent about this sad and tragic Russian gay they so robustly promoted. As an old-school activist whose creed is silence equals death, I'm greatly displeased Doug and Peter were silent so long.

2 comments:

Peter Tatchell said...

Hi Michael,

I have not collaborated with Mr Alekseev since 2011 and do not intend to do so in future.

I have not suddenly and belatedly criticised Nikolai's anti-Semitism and other shortcomings.

I criticised him in a public statement to global LGBT activists and media on 24 October 2011. I wrote:

"Over the years, Nikolai said and did a few things that were in my opinion mistaken (but haven't we all made errors?). I disagreed with his decision to collaborate with the right-wing politician Aleksey Mitrofanov in 2007 and I refused to appear at the Moscow Pride news conference where Mitrofanov spoke. With little success, I urged Nikolai to build closer links with other LGBT groups and the mainstream human rights and democratic/left movements in Russia. I disapproved of Nikolai’s remarks which appeared to be anti-Semitic (although I personally doubt that he is prejudiced against Jewish people)."

I also swiftly criticised his recent anti-Semitic outbursts on twitter when he made them. At 10.09 am (London time) on 3 September I tweeted:

"Nikolai is this you writing this? It is totally wrong. Anti-Semitism is incompatible with human rights. Unacceptable"

I also also challenged Nikolai in private:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Peter Tatchell
Date: 3 September 2013 09:46
Subject: URGENT - Anti-Semitism
To: Nicolas Alexeyev


Hi Nikolai,

I am very distressed.

Can you explain the anti-Semitic comments on your twitter?

http://americablog.com/2013/09/russian-gay-activist-alexeyev-huge-new-anti-semitic-meltdown-facebook-twitter.html

They are appalling and very wrong.

Anti-Semitism is as bad as homophobia. A human rights defender cannot be anti-Semitic. It is against human rights principles to be anti-Jewish or to use the y or k words.

Please explain, Peter



Michael, I hope this clarifies and reassures you.

Can you forward this information to the people you circulated your allegations to?

Thanks very much and best wishes, Peter

Michael Petrelis said...

Peter,

Thanks for the further elaboration regarding Alexeyev and his very disturbing comments about Jewish people and others. Happy to share your comments here for all to read.