After a court in Ukraine’s port city of Odessa banned a Pride parade scheduled for today, gay rights activists decided to hold a forum on the history of the local gay rights movement.
"They banned us from marching," Kyrylo Bodelan, a spokesman for the Odessa Pride organisers, told the AFP
. "We will instead try nonetheless to do a small part of what we had planned."
The Odessa court had scrapped the Pride parade over fears of violence, but even though the march did not push through, masked men still attacked the campaigners
. They threw smoke bombs at the venue of the public forum, then quickly fled. Thankfully, the participants evacuated the room quickly and no one was hurt in the attack.
Homophobia is rampant Ukraine, where the conservative Orthodox church and right-wing groups hold sway over the country. At a Pride march in the capital city of Kiev held last June, far-right nationalists attacked the crowd and injured a dozen people.