A peaceful gay rights demonstration—held before the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow—took a violent turn on Saturday when Russian riot police arrested 40 protesters. As soon as gay rights activists began waving their banners, authorities handcuffed them and packed them into police cars. Among those detained were British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell and Nikolai Alexeyev, one of the leaders of the Russian gay rights movement. The mayor of Moscow has called gay rights parades "satanic" and suggested that gay rights would undermine the city. "We can no longer be silent in Russia," said one advocate. "We want the president to see how we are treated like dirt and common criminals. We want to meet the leaders."
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