All photos by Alina Patrick
Mar 20, 2022
‘Putin! Asshole!’ Scenes from a pro-Ukraine march from Coney Island to Brighton Beach
Organized by the Russian-speaking queer group RUSA LGBTQ+, the peaceful protest garnered support from all over South Brooklyn
This week, on Thursday, a month will have passed since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his ongoing incursion into Ukraine. The southern Brooklyn enclave of Brighton Beach, home to some of the largest Russian and Ukrainian populations outside of Eastern Europe, has been reeling with the daily drumbeat of news from the invasion ever since.
On Saturday, ex-pats and Brooklynites of Ukrainian extraction—neighbors and sympathizers and thrill seekers alike—all gathered to take part in a queer-centric “Hands Off Ukraine” protest here. It was not the first such protest and it certainly won’t be the last. The march kicked off on the boardwalk, at Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel, and took protestors east to Brighton Beach.
Demonstrators came from across the city and as far as Princeton, New Jersey to show support. Ukrainian folk songs filled the air, mixing with chants of “Putin! Asshole!” bringing onlookers into the fold along the route.
Brighton Beach yesterday was a success, but we need to keep on working every day until the war is ended. Call your representatives every day and demand they support Ukraine in this critical time! Glory to Ukraine and its heroes! pic.twitter.com/i2riavfT54
— Russian-speaking American LGBTQ+ Association (@rusalgbt) March 20, 2022
Violette Matevosian of the Russian-American queer group RUSA LGBTQ+ organized the event and could be found leading protestors in chants of “Slava Ukraini! Heryoam slava!” (“Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!”), which garnered salutes and applause from locals on the beaches and boardwalk enjoying the sunny day.
Here are a few scenes from the day in Brooklyn’s “Little Odessa.”
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