To the attention of those interested – an official statement by activists about yesterday’s incident.
We ask you to distribute the information and invite you to the discussion on February 16th, Friday, in Nakipelo
“We have the right of voice and space”: LGBT movement activistsin Bookstore “Ye” Kharkiv at 19:00 a lecture of activist of NGO “Kharkiv Women’s Association ‘Sphere” Anna Sharigina began LGBT movement in Ukraine and in the World , which aimed to discuss the achievements, challenges and contributions of the LGBT+ movement in the development of Ukrainian society.
Looking ahead, let us announce that the lecture will be repeated on February 16, Friday, at the Nakipelo Media Center (7/9 Svobody Street) at 7:00 PM
Within 15 minutes of the event, a group of about 15 people entered the bookstore and, without any legal reason, announced the event was ending.
Note that the event was organized on the initiative of Bookstore Ye, where educational events take place on a regular basis. We do not know of any event where bookstore visitors would be outraged at any other event, as if the event was disturbing them.
Representatives of the Patrolling Police of the Kharkiv region, who arrived on the spot, refused to secure the right of a peaceful assembly and offered visitors to the event to go in order not to “provoke” their opponents.
Unable to guarantee the safety of participants, we were forced to finish the meeting prematurely.
In view of the above, we, the community activists, the people who attended and watched the event –
evaluate the actions of radical grouping as another attempt to attack freedom of expression – this time by methods of psychological pressure and physical domination in space;
We consider assaulters’ statements as hate speech and incitement to discrimination, which is inadmissible under current Ukrainian law;
We also remind you that similar actions have been taken in different cities of Ukraine at human rights and non-discrimination activities (for example, the disruption of the Culturetriggers Lecture. Discrimination in Culture and Cinema in Mariupol or the disruption of the presentation of the children’s book “Maya and her Mom”). in Lviv).
We are convinced that further educational events, actions and peaceful gatherings are neccessary to uphold the achievements of Ukrainian society in the field of democracy, human rights, gender equality and anti-discrimination.
We have the right of voice and space and this year we will hold a series of such events, in particular, we will hold a lecture on “LGBT+ Movement in Ukraine and the World”.
We call on the leadership of the National Police of Ukraine to carefully address the new challenges and ensure the rights of citizens of freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly.
We also urge all Kharkiv civic organizations, activists, our colleagues from other regions of Ukraine, from similar and other areas of human rights activity, to express solidarity and mutual support. Respect for human dignity, awareness of human rights values and their enforcement are a new challenge for the Ukrainian public movement – we are convinced that we must unite our efforts in this fight.
We invite everyone who is ready for the dialogue, on February 16, at 7:00 pm to the Nakipelo Media Center (7/9 Svobody Street) – to listen the lecture on “LGBT+ Movement in Ukraine and the World”. At the end of the lecture we invite everyone to talk about the latest strategies of different socio-political movements and to try to find a way to invite constructive dialogue of representatives of polar ideologies.