WATCH: Moscow Crowd Supports Arrested LGBT Activists — Until They Find Out Why They're Protesting
Four Russian LGBT activists were arrested during a protest in Moscow this week against the nation's recently passed anti-LGBT laws, including a ban on "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships," according to the New York Times.
The Times posted video of the violent altercation with police after six protestors carried a banner through the streets of Moscow's Arabat district, chanting "Hitler also began with with the gays," according to the Times' translation. "No to Fascism in Russia."
When police initially began roughing up the protestors, a few bystanders come to their aid, telling police "you can't act like that." But when the bystanders — namely a grey-haired woman and her male companion — discover what the activists are protesting, they step away, condemning "the decline of morality."
The video is posted below, along with a translation of the exchange from the New York Times, which broke the news in the English-speaking press after the video was reported on independent Russian news site Grani. From the Times:
The clip is not subtitled, but the intervention of the bystanders begins when an older woman steps in and tells the officers, “You can’t act like that,”
She then turns to a man behind her and says, "Hey man, help out."
The man, wearing a black hat and a leather jacket, then says: "Major. Officer. What did they do?"
A short time later, as the confusion continues, a female protester in a black jacket and a rainbow scarf explains to the woman and an officer, "We are protecting the rights of LGBT."
The officer asks, "What’s that?"
The protester replies, "Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders."
The older woman asks, "You’re for them?"
The protester says, "We’re for them."
The older woman says: "Ohhhhhhhh no. Then no."
The protester responds, “Hitler started with the gays.”
The older woman says, “This is the decline of morality.”
When the police began forcing the protestors into squad cars, one of the male activists demands to know what law he has violated. The arresting officer replies simply "19," referencing a law on obeying police orders, according to the Times. As the officers wrangle the activist into the car, they reportedly tell the bystanders, "we warned him."
Watch the confrontation below.