Veteran campaigner Peter Tatchell organises protest against conductor’s support for anti-gay laws.

Leading gay rights activist Peter Tatchell is organising the latest in a recent line of protests against the conductor Valery Gergiev. The veteran human rights campaigner will protest Gergiev’s support for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s draconian laws against the promotion of homosexuality. The Chief Conductor of the London Syphony Orchestra is due to lead a performance of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faustat the Barbican Centre in London.

“Putin represses, we sparkle,” Tatchell says, urging supporters to bring sparklers along to the event. “This protest takes place on the anniversary of the 1917 Russian revolution,” Tatchell writes on his website. “Some people argue that Russia needs a new, non-violent democratic revolution. Putin is taking the country backward. As well as escalating repression against the LGBT community, civil liberties and dissidents are also under attack. His regime has incarcerated political prisoners in jails that resemble gulags. Gergiev endorses Putin, despite this shameful repression. That’s why we need to protest.”

“Gergiev has been listed a celebrity supporter of the autocratic Russian president, Vladimir Putin, whose regime harasses journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders and LGBT campaigners. Peaceful protesters and opposition...

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