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Russian Gay Activist California Tour Cancelled Over Anti-Jewish Remark

Russian Gay Activist California Tour Cancelled Over Anti-Jewish Remark

by Karen Ocamb on March 1, 2011

UPDATED (Wednesday): There was great excitement in California when it was announced that Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseev was coming to America to speak about his often dangerous demonstrations supporting LGBT rights.  The trip was arranged primary by Alekseev Chicago-based activist friend, Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network, who has long worked with Los Angeles-based activist Robin Tyler (on such projects as stopdrlaura.com, for instance).  Tyler went to work in California to find sponsors for the Russian’s trip – from Equality California and the City of West Hollywood to GetEQUAL and Marriage Equality/California.

But weeks before Alekseev was to arrive for his sponsored but unpaid speaking tour, rumors surfaced that he was not really fond of Americans. While that left some LGBT activists privately questioning why he was coming here at all, others suggested that perhaps something was lost in translation and to give the activist the benefit of the doubt.

Then came rumors that Alekseev posted anti-Jewish comments on his blog on Jan. 31 – http://alexeyev.livejournal.com/465479.html – now apparently deleted. The specific offending quote, captured by Scott Long, formerly of Human Rights Watch and now a Visiting Fellow, Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School was:

“The Israeli Prime Minister urged Western leaders to support Egyptian dictator Mubarak … And who after this are the Jews? In fact, I always knew who they were.”

The California sponsors were unaware of this when they agreed to sponsor Alekseev. In fact, EQCA’s Andrea Shorter chided Julie Dorf, Senior Advisor for the Council for Global Equality, for not warning EQCA about possible problems with Alekseev when they were having email discussions about international issues.

UPDATE: ALEKSEEV SPOKE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY TUESDAY NIGHT.  PLEASE CHECK OUT MICHAEL K. LAVERS AT  BOY IN BUSHWICK AND CLICK INSIDE TO SEE LAVERS’ VIDEO.

UPDATED WEDNESDAY AM: DAVID BADASH POSTED A THOUGHTFUL PIECE ON HIS BLOG THE NEW CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. Two quick points: I updated and corrected my post last night to clarify that Robin Tyler said she read the offending quote in English on Alekseev’s Facebook page.  Additionally, at the end of Alekseev’s statement (posted in full this morning following the video), he says he was not on any of the conference calls with the California organizers. Tyler says this is because Andy Thayer told the California organizers he would speak for Alekseev.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that there are political and personality conflicts in the LGBT international arena of which many of us are unaware.

(Updated/corrected) Meanwhile, Tyler, who said she read the comment posted in English on Alekseev’s blog Facebook page – was on a conference call with Shorter and Rabbi Denise Eger, another longtime LGBT rights activist, among others.

“I’d like to say I am surprised – but I’m not surprised. There’s a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment within our movement that is usually not addressed as swiftly as this has been,” Tyler said. “All my friends have said that dictators like Mubarak should be overthrown so I don’t know what the hell Nikolai is talking about.”

Tyler and some of the sponsors of Alekseev’s California tour contacted Thayer Monday morning about the issue. Thayer – who has shelled out his own money for the tour – said he wanted to try to convince the gay Russian activist to clarify his position and asked for the Californians to wait for 24 hours before deciding to cancel the tour. They said they would wait until 4:00pm Pacific time to give Alekseev “every opportunity” to clarify his position. But after Thayer informed the gay Russian of the situation, Alekseev not only refused but issued his own pre-emptive statement on his Facebook page saying he was cancelling on the Californians and essentially blaming Tyler and “Gay Inc” for trying to censor him.  (See his complete message below.)

When San Francisco gay/HIV activist Michael Petrelis called Alekseev out on the Gays Without Borders listserv about the anti-Jewish remark and his Facebook page claim that he was being censored by “Gay Inc,” Petrelis reported: “my effort to post this note failed because my membership in the gays without border yahoo group, whose membership list is maintained solely by nikolai, was canceled.”

The California groups released this statement:

EQCA and Robin Tyler Productions, Inc. have decided to cancel sponsorship of the California speaking tour of Russian LGBT Activist Nikolai Alekseev. Our broad coalition of California organizations including Congregation Kol-Ami, Jewish Community Relations Council, Metropolitan Community Church, Los Angeles, Harvey Milk Foundation, SF LGBT Community Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Imperial Court of Canada, USA, and Mexico, Gays Without Borders, San Diego LGBT Center, Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition, Jordan Rustin Coalition, Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, City of West Hollywood Lesbian and Gay Advisory Committee, Christopher Street West, WEHO, and Get Equal who were supporting this tour are focused on the common goal of securing civil rights and legal protections for the LGBT community. They are also withdrawing sponsorship when made aware that on January 31, 2011, Mr. Alekseev, who is a noted fighter for LGBT rights in Russia, made anti-Semitic remarks against Jewish people on his blog.

Offensive remarks against a religious and ethnic group is at direct odds with the goal of our coalition, and undermines our important work.  EQCA and Robin Tyler Productions, Inc. asked Mr. Alekseev to clarify the disparaging remarks that he made, in an attempt to create open community dialogue.  He declined. We believe that it is imperative that our speakers share our commitment to dignity for all human beings.  It is our intention to focus on the important and timely task at hand: the recognition of full equality, and as such, we have canceled the March 5 – 7 engagements.

Meanwhile, Alekseev has apparently changed his mind about coming to California. This is from his most recent Facebook posting, according to a friend:

Nikolai Alekseev

IT IS TIME TO SHAKE CASTRO! AND I WILL DO IT! SO THAT THOSE WHO FORGOT WHAT IS GAY ACTIVISM SWITCH ON THEIR BRAIN AGAIN AND NOT CONCEAL BEHIND THE NAME OF HARVEY MILK!

Nikolai Alekseev

Putin’s police brutality is nothing to compare with the brutality of Californian Gay Establishment.

Here’s Alekseev’s posting on GaysWithoutBorders:

Dear friends,I know many of your are waiting to meet me in California and I was actually waiting to meet you as well.But unfortunately, I just took the decision to cancel my appearances there. I have been highly pressured over the last 4 hours by the Producer of the event Robin Tyler in terms that are absolutely not acceptable. I have experienced such a stress in the last hours than cannot even be compared with what I faced while being arrested and insulted by the Moscow police over the last years. This is just another drop that I cannot accept. This is not actually the first time. As you know, in the last weeks, I hesitated already to come to the US especially after Robin sent me an email in which she explained me how I will have to behave and what I will have to tell the audience. Saying what I think about Gays INC NGOs here was not very much welcomed. This restriction of my freedom of speech was not acceptable to me. At this time, I got to know the list of sponsors of the events and I regret I was not made aware earlier that organizations that I have denounced recently in articles published in the Advocate and elsewhere for their lack of support to grassroot activists where among the sponsors. I was trapped and at this moment I understood the ultimatum I received from Robin. I promise you to be more careful next time I am invited somewhere and check who is behind. But I still went on this time and stepped over my principle, and decided to come by friendship for Andy but also for all of you who sent me warm messages over the last weeks and asked me to come and share experience. You contributed to make me change my mind. Now, this has become impossible. Someone called Scott Long decided to run a campaign against me in the last 48h and harassed the sponsors of the events asking them to pull out and cancel. I want to underline that I did not request any money for speaking anywhere in the US contradictory to what many usually do. This would be disgusting for me. It’s not my way of doing. I don’t need money. I am fighting this concept of activists being paid for their campaigns. I was just coming to share experience. I don’t understand how I can see a poster of my appearance stating “produced by Robin Tyler Inc”. What is this? Hollywood ? No, this is serious. The topic is blood of people being arrested, assaulted. The bullying campaign by Scott Long made its effect and I got a large pressure which people where not even able to make directly. They understood they were behaving improperly and decided to pressure me indirectly. This is just amazing. This is too much. This campaign has absolutely no reasoning and there is no ground for it.Honnestly, I cannot say that I am disappointed in America. This would be totally untrue. I am dellighted to be in Chicago among marvelous grassroot activists who are every day fighting for gay rights and human rights and not seating in an office and getting well paid salaries from generous sponsors. I know most are disappointed that we will not meet but you might understand that I put my health first. Tonight I feel more stressed than after what happened last September. This is just too much. I am sure you understand.

Here’s the video of Alekseev at Columbia University.

UPDATE( 8:54 Pacfic) : Asked about the on-going controversy, Tyler said, “The fact is he didn’t cancel. we canceled him. Andy Thayer was on the phone with us for days and said he was speaking on behalf of Nikolai and he would issue a statement. Bob Schwartz, who works with Andy Thayer in Gay Liberation Network, emailed me to convine Andy to cancel the entire tour because of Nikolai’s temperment. To quote Bob from his email:

I read Nikolai’s statement about him canceling the California tour.  And his rant about his dissatisfaction about you and the others.  More failure to take responsiblility for his own behavior.

Andy is going to be working on a statement regarding the California cancelation, and I am in agreement with you that we need to distance ourselves from Nikolai.

I can tell you that Andy was ambivalent about continuing with the tour for a number of reasons.  Rather than speak for him, I ask that you take the question up with him directly.  For what its worth, I told him to scrap the tour.  Nikolai is just too volitile, a loosse cannon.”

Tyler continues: “Nikolai is spinning the story as if he’s the victim instead of being an anti-Semite.”

UPDATED 6:20AM PACIFIC, WED: Late Tuesday night, LGBT POV received a statement from Alekseev under the name Nicolas Alexeyev:

In the light of the controversy concerning the cancellation of my speaking engagements in California, sponsored by a group of local LGBT organizations, I would like to make the following statement, the essence of which was addressed tonight during my speech at Columbia University.

I would like to state that I am a strong believer in human rights and equality for everyone, irrespective of any personal characteristics, whether it is sexual orientation, race, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion or any other basis.

I did publish in my blogs the comments which were addressed against the Israel Government after Israeli Prime Minister called the world to support Egypt dictator Mubarak and to unite around him, disregarding popular public efforts to oust him. I was angry that anyone could support this dictator as he was killing his own people. My comments appeared to blame all Jews for the actions of the Israeli government and its supporters.

The accusations of me distributing anti-Semitic statements on blogs were initiated by notorious human rights campaigner Scott Long who had to quit his position at Human Rights Watch (HRW) due to his involvement into slandering British human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell for which both Mr Long and HRW had to make a public apology.

Mr. Long was intentionally waiting for my trip to the US to start this campaign against me, which he started the day I arrived in Chicago, a month after this comment were made by me and already long ago after it was removed and address directly with the few who read them and contacted me to discuss it. If  Scott Long was truly interested in stopping anti-semitism, why did he wait a month to raise an objection, but instead wait until I landed in the US to start this tour? One can doubt Mr Long would have ever distributed this information if I did not have any speaking engagement in the US. I regret this personal vendetta which goes on between the 2 of us for years might have hurt other people.

I would like to say that I have several Jewish friends who I treasure, including one Jewish American who played a significant role in Moscow Pride movement for years, helping to organize all our events in Russia. I adore her and I consider her as one of the most outstanding people I met in my life. Without her Moscow Pride campaign would not be as successful as it was.

My mum’s stepfather was a Jew who immigrated to Israel from Soviet Union.

I am one of the only persons who always defended Jewish people against the hypocrisy of Switzerland during World War II. This is the topic which almost noone is courageous enough to raise neither in Switzerland itself, nor elsewhere. Just as noone was courageous enough to challenge Gaddafi regime from within Libya and I already did it in 2002 during my trip there risking problems to exit this country.

My grandfather died in World War II fighting the regime which is responsible for killing of millions of Jews. He was fighting for freedom and liberation aged younger than me now. I don’t even know where he found his resting place.

Every time I am in Berlin, and a few weeks ago was not an exception, I visit a massive monument to millions of Jews who died under Nazi devastating rule.

I always dreamt to visit Jerusalem and I am sure I will do it very shortly.

I am a great believer in justice and a great opponent of all injustice. I am always very direct in what I say and sometimes people interpret it the way they want to use it against me.

It is true that I had to cancel my appearances in California due to enormous pressure from the organizers of the tour there. I always said in the last 48h that I would answer any question anyone might have about this issue after my speeches and make them public. And so, I did it tonight at Columbia University in New York., an institution which I admire for not surrendering to the harsh pressure Mr Long put on them in the last day to cancel my appearence.  But I still plan to come to California as I know many people are waiting for me there and I have no right to punish them or disregard them.

Closing this statement I would like to stress that I was not personally contacted by any organizers of my tour in California with questions concerning my statements on policy of the Israeli Government. I was not invited in the several conference calls Californian organizers held in the last 48 hours on this issue.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Holder Confronts Fallout from DOMA Decision, White House to Hold Anti-Bullying Conference Next Week, Why Obama’s DOMA Decision Was Justified and Bold, and more… » DailyQueerNews.com
March 2, 2011 at 1:40 AM
Antisemitismusverdacht gegen Nikolai Alekseev | Steven Milverton
March 7, 2011 at 12:07 AM
An abdication | a paper bird
October 23, 2011 at 1:14 PM

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob March 2, 2011 at 1:22 AM

For someone to not understand that his comments are personally hurtful to a significant part of his audience does not much speak in his favor as a spokesperson. Being a fighter for equality does not entitle one to be a loose cannon.

There is simply no justification for fighting one form of prejudice while simultaneously invoking another equally pernicious form. If Alekseev doesn’t comprehend this then perhaps it’s just as well he canceled his tour.

Reply

Robintyler March 2, 2011 at 4:07 AM

Thanks Bob. But he didn’t cancel the tour. We did and when he was told, he issued
a release that he canceled it. I also have sent the news media the entire email I sent to Nikolai. It was in no way telling him what to say. He told a source that he was coming to America as a favor to Andy Thayer otherwise he wouldn’t be coming as he hates America. I emailed him a response to this and because of his blatant lies, have released it to the press.
But the reason he was canceled, was because of his overt anti-jewish feelings.
Robin Tyler

Reply

Anonymous March 3, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Or at least what one activist–who goes around accusing lots of people of anti-Semitism and was fired from one of the premier human rights group and who doesn’t really have good Russian skills–says is anti-Jewish feelings.

Reply

RobinTyler March 4, 2011 at 11:30 PM

And Bob, and I supposed to be that one activist who goes around accusing lots of people of anti-Semitism. Can you pull up a quote from me where I have ever done this before.

Actually, back in the 1980′s, I did take up this issue once.

Reply

RobinTyler March 4, 2011 at 11:31 PM

I addressed my last comment to Harold, not Bob. Sorry.

Reply

Derrick Mathis March 4, 2011 at 4:57 AM

Robin you’re a hypocrite. Where’s the proof? You have none.

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Robintyler March 4, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Well Derrick-I wish I could refer you to Nikolai’s facebook page, but he took it down. However, it was ‘captured’ and sent out last week. I saw it several weeks ago. Other people saw it. And a Russian professor in New York said the translation was correct. So, go ask Nikolai to put it back up on his Facebook page again, or google to try to find it as
several people posted it. And, don’t call me names.

Reply

Anonymous March 11, 2011 at 10:12 PM

I was actually referring to Scott Long, who is quick to accuse people of anti-Semitism.

MPetrelis March 2, 2011 at 4:58 AM

If there’s nothing wrong with what Nikolai wrote on his blog, why then did he delete the blog and the remarks? It sounds quite Soviet of him to just remove the material from the history books (web) and he would greatly help this debate if he would just restore his blog, in full. Instead of leaving us only with excerpts from Scott Long of what Nikolai posted that offended people, I call upon Nikolai to restore his deleted blog.

Reply

Anti-Dogma.Info March 3, 2011 at 3:26 AM

Russian discussion of this: http://goo.gl/21pLx

Reply

Roman March 3, 2011 at 8:13 PM

http://alexeyev.livejournal.com/465479.html?threa
свернуть полный текст
Ну так изрнаильскому рейху нужно продолжать сотрудничество с этим козлом в геноциде палестинского населения.
оригинал сохранённая копия
свернуть полный текст
1 февраля 2011, 15:49комментарий в журнале alexeyevalexeyev.livejournal.com

Well the Israeli Reich needed to continue its cooperation with the goat [Mubarak] in the genocide of the Palestinian population

This is a cash of deleted comment made by Nikolay Alexeev.

Reply

Vito March 3, 2011 at 10:02 PM

As usual, Nikolai is making himself seem like the victim. This reminds me of the last run-in he and I had. I thought at one point we were joking and said “I look forward to seeing you in NYC at the event” and he started to post that he was being threatened.

What stood out to me about this post his how much he attacks Gay, Inc when he is, essentially, the Russian version of Gay, Inc.

Reply

Robintyler March 5, 2011 at 12:58 AM

OK..Harold. Here is your proof. A Professor of Russian who writes about Russian and gays,
posted this on the Bileriko Report. He actually captured the posts and say the translations are accurate. These are some of the posts I saw. So next time, don’t throw slurs. You said prove it.
This proves it.

There’s a new comment on ‘In Defense of Nikolai Alexseev’ : http://www.bilerico.com/2011/03/in_defense_of_nikolai_alexseev.php

From: Kevin Moss

Just to clarify the record re Russian and mistranslations.
There was no mistranslation. I saw this comment on Nikolai’s FB page and it worried me.

I have now also seen the archived version of his ZhZh (blog) page, and it’s even worse in the original, since there is some back and forth with two Russian Jews.

After Nikolai’s “Who are the Jews after this? Well, I really already know who they are…” one immediately asked “So who are we then.” No response. Later Nikolai suggested the others (possibly Israeli?) should condemn Netanyahu in strong terms (odd, given that he himself objects to being scripted).

When, finally, another Russian-speaking Jew asked, “So I haven’t heard, who are we?” Nikolai’s response was more or less “I don’t even want to know who you are.” Very dismissive.

So the claims that the original posts were not anti-Semitic or were somehow misinterpreted just don’t hold water.

Full disclosure: PhD in Russian and I write about Russian gay life. I have followed Alekseev and defended him against Russian gay people critical of his tactics since at least 2006. I also have known Scott Long for over a decade. If Nikolai had only come out with an explanation earlier (or better yet: softened his remarks in the comments on his own blog) it might be different. Instead there were claims of misinterpretation and attacks on Scott, who merely pointed out the post.

There is a pattern, though. When on FB Nikolai was ranting about hating all Americans (perhaps for some US policy), I told him it reminded me about the Cold War days when some Americans said they hated all Russians, rather than the Soviet Govt. He failed to understand the analogy. And would never back down. So he has a habit of generalizing from a government to a people and being confrontational, which he tries to pass off as being “provocative” and “not politically correct.”

He has done useful work in Russia. He has also alienated a lot of gay people there (note that only Western gays have come to his defense). I probably wouldn’t say anything if he hadn’t a) denied there was an issue and b) blamed/criticized others for the whole affair.

Reply

FromRussiaWithLove March 5, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Hello, fellow LGBT folks.

Anti-Semitic comments – are only “a tip of the iceberg” and only a tiny part of Mr. Alexeyev’s dark side which you won’t ever see on the glossy and shiny pages of his newly revamped GayRussia website, you won’t ever hear in the English-speaking news and websites. This is something he won’t ever tell you in any emails himself. And the truth, unfortunately, is not so rainbow-colored indeed. Alexeyev thought you’d never reach his personal blog in Russian. That’s why it is gone now, and probably won’t be ever back again. Thanks for cache, we still can access some of it. It is a bit surprising that not all US activists have a tool called thorough background check as a good practice, especially when it comes to complicated international issues, language barriers and culture differences.

The deadly silence of Russian LGBT community on this is a pitiful, but “successful” result of 5 years of Mr. Alexeyev’s constant bullying, terrorizing, threatening, name-calling, ridiculing it – and those people who dared to voice opinions different than his. Today most Russian LGBT activists prefer just to ignore Alexeyev and not say anything at all, because any criticism or alternative view means immediate and brutal backlash from him, because he takes it all very personally. There is documented evidence of that, for example his scandalous speech in Helsinki in 2010 on Russian civil activists’ conference, where he started to hysterically yell, blame and curse his Russian peers right in front of the foreign audience. Most people just got up and left that ugly scene, many, including the hosts of this event, protested and afterwards felt very sorry about it.

Russian culture is indeed different from American one.

But even in our Russian culture calling LGBT community “slaves who do not deserve gay prides” does not really help these people in protecting their human rights, does it?

How does bullying and suing the most prominent Russian human rights advocate 82-old Ludmila Alexeyeva help advance LGBT movement in Russia? It doesn’t. By the way, the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG), the oldest and respected human rights organization in Russia, headed by Ludmila, readily supports other Russian LGBT groups and orgs… except – you guessed it, Mr. Alexeyev and his GayRussia – due to a scandal in 2007 when Mr. Alexeyev showed sympathy and partnered up with a famous Russian nationalist Alexey Mitrofanov. MHG immediately withdrew its support of GayRussia, it’s not restored up to this day.

Another game with nationalistic scent is played by the Alexeyev’s so-called “Slavic Pride”. Russian federation is a multinational country, where not only Slavic people live. Naming a pride event “Slavic” in Russia reminds of huge nationalistic “Russian Marches” which are held in Moscow every year by extreme nationalists. “Slavic Pride” (compare with “White Pride”) is a disgusting name for a human rights event which aims to bring people together and not to divide them by ethnicity. Many activists pointed out this to Alexeyev and to his small group of supporters but they didn’t even seem to try and understand what’s wrong with this name!

How does Mr. Alexeyev’s obsessive desire to “repress” his peers who have a different view on gay pride parades in Russia help to advance LGBT rights? In February 2010, answering to a concerned guy in LiveJournal, what will Alexeyev do to such people, he proclaimed: “There will be no amnesty. Repressions will be harder”. Read it again. Repressions. Will. Be. Harder. You still want to defend Nikolai and his repressions against LGBT? What kind of leadership and activism is that? Screenshot: http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/596/image1isi.jpg

Official registration of LGBT organizations in Russia is not easy. When in 2009 “Vykhod” (“Coming Out”) Saint-Petersburg-based LGBT-org succeeded to be the first and only officially registered organization in Russia in 2000s, Alexeyev immediately started to spread rumors over the international LGBT mailing lists that the registration was fake and that the official regulations and official org name did not include mention of LGBT. How such approach can help to advance LGBT issues in Russia? Not to mention, that Alexeyev’s own organization in Russia is not officially registered up to this day. Actually this so-called human rights organization itself does not have an office, a phone-line, etc. and it is only a web-site which was recently quite ironically moved to the EU domain name, instead of RU.

In 2010 Alexeyev started to bully Deutsche Welle reporter who dared to voice his concerns about Moscow Pride 2010, which was held in a highly secretive flashmob mode for 10 minutes somewhere far from crowded main streets of Moscow. After several hours of uncertainty and constant running around Moscow and changing locations, reporters were exhausted and angry that they were invited to cover such a poorly organized event which nobody saw besides the reporters themselves. But somehow the right to talk about was taken away from them by Alexeyev.

Many people are concerned how Alexeyev’s initiatives are financed. In his deleted blog Alexeyev many times pointed out that the main sponsor for his activities is his Swiss husband named Pier located in Geneva. During these 5 years Russian LGBT community still doesn’t know what is the last name of this secret sponsor, what does he do for living, what are his goals for gay prides in Russia? We simple do not know. We didn’t even see his picture. How is this money earned? Is it by legal means or by some illegal activites like prostitution, drug-dealing, etc? These are important questions for any social movement. Alexeyev’s blog was filled with leisure cruise photos outside Russia. He spends a lot of time abroad. What Russian LGBT community is supposed to think looking at such lifestyle? Yes, if Alexeyev screws something up, he has a safe place in Geneva with his husband. What about all other people who suffer from his constant provocations?

In fact, public opinion polls, conducted on the internet during last 5 years, show that the vast majority (more than 80%) of Russian LGBT, who participated in the polls, have negative attitude towards Alexeyev’s persona and activities. But he doesn’t seem to care about that. Alexeyev’s team in fact every time tried to disrupt conduction of these polls by flooding the discussion by senseless and insulting comments.

The last thing I’d like to notice is attitude towards Alexeyev inside his own small team. There is only a very small number of permanent supporters in Moscow. The most part of his team is constantly changing, people come and go all the time, not able to cope with his dictatorship style. Nikolai Baev, who today is his closest companion, in 2006 said the following (and still didn’t denounce it): “Alexeyev is simply a hysterical and paranoid person. You can communicate with him only by agreeing with him. I perfectly realized it and that was the only way to succeed”. Screenshot: http://pics.livejournal.com/melancholy_gay/pic/000d1d7d

Sorry, I will not leave my real name here because I am already sick and tired of Mr. Alexeyev’s bullying and threats, just like many other people. And I know how maniacally he traces everything said about him on the web and media. Believe me, this is not my personal crusade against Alexeyev. I only presented the facts widely known among Russian LGBT. These facts can be easily checked and confirmed by virtually any Russian LGBT activist or Russian-speaking person. Thank you.

From Russia with Love.

Reply

VBS March 6, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Hallo,
I am watching at this from Europe from a different perspective. It happens that I know Nicolai, but I also heard of Scott Long on listserves and from Tatchell in media.
From what I can see, Robin Tyler is showing a strange but not less dangerous attitude. I understand that she is scared that her reputation can be touched by this mess which stinks for everyone and on which she has her share of responsibility now but that’s too late. She would get out by keeping a minimum of dignity. Shit smells.
Long is known already for a long time. His reputation is burnt and his name exists in media with scandals. Tyler’s attitude reminds the one of those in Europe and elsewhere who did not speak during the war and who discovered the agony of others only after while reading the paper when everything was over. As Tyler said here, she did read the comments of Alekseyev a month ago. But she did not speak out. She kept going on releasing news to media about his tour. She kept promoting. Why? If she believed that Alekseyev was a little nutty anti semite as she seems to be for the last days, then, how she covered that? And kept producing him? She covered up the whole thing for a month! What is she? I think this is the question that Tyler is scared to be asked by her partners and that’s why when she understood that her own behaviour was not really good she had no other choice than to threw Alekseyev from the Golden gate. She hoped to restore a reputation that will forever be linked to a mess as well as to her attitude for which she will need a lot of creativity to explain. The fact that she does not know Scott Long is not the point. As it has been said elsewhere, Long used Julie Dorf to put the fire. What is interesting and probably shows a different perspective are the accusations (which are very serious to my mind) that Long went to the management of Columbia University to cancel Alekseyev. As it turned to be, Columbia ignored Long hysteria. The guy is known in NYC, it’s a fact. Long has been ignoring these accusation and instead, he explained that he did not pressure Californian. Well, at least ‘directly’ because as it was said elsewhere, Long used Dorf. Why Long does not want to clarify is role at Columbia where he spent some months recently? Lack of creativity for sure. As usual, something’s wrong with Long’s defence. It reminds his resignation from HRW which he put under health condition not to loose face. To date, he is the first and only employee of HRW who cost the organization a public apology. A cool CV for future employers. You want that guy? Prepare a budget for any court litigation he might cost. Tatchell only wanted an apology. Though sometimes words cost more than green notes.
But let’s come back to Tyler. As she rightfully said in her comments here: A Russian list serve “sided” with us. There is no mystery why she is using the word “sided”. Is she on a war or something? Did she turn 21 already or she’s still in Mattel’s world? Probably, she feels lonely and isolated in her attitude in the US after Alekseyev spoke without any issue in NYC, Chicago & Dallas. The listserv Tyler mentions is known as a constant Alekseyev & friends bashing cool place for years. Tyler’s argument is the same than trying to get excuse to bash Obama, abortion or GLBT equality by quoting a listserv of the tea parties. The internal war within Russian GLBT is known in Europe and all this mess is only adding more oil to what has been an eternal fire for years. What’s not acceptable here is when Americans are adding more divisions. Leave the Russian alone. I am more interested in is why people in this list serve have not condemned Alekseyev for his words already at the end of January? They were waiting for Long’s green light? Why they were silent? Either they understood his words or they shared them. Long has been only hurting many people by taking them out. Why he did not discuss it with Alekseyev before to clarify? Alekseyev claims Long never contacted him. For those sho read Russian, the discussions in the last days has not been the words of Alskeyev but all wanted to know more about the “sponsors”.
Tyler’s attitude is odd in all respects. She seemed to have discovered Alekseyev one day after he landed in america and one week before meeting him personally but this is like finding out that the statue of liberty is in NYC and not in Miami. Oh really? Whether Alekseyev has a consensus behind him or not, where he lives, what he does, what he says, one thing one must appreciate, he does not hide himself and can be followed online in an easy way. The man is provocative but he never stopped to be from day one. What’s truly disturbing from Tyler is that she had a “revelation” after her partners probably called her and kindly bashed her last week. The same say, I would not be surprised if tomorrow she produces a homophobic reggae singer and find out about him a day before when all the partners are told about it and pull out. Being in a movement for years does not mean one acquired any maturity or experience and left the magical world of Disney.

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Robintyler March 6, 2011 at 6:40 PM

I absolutely accept your criticism of the fact that I should have acted as soon as I saw the posts.
But I did act. I was shocked, and called my ‘friend’ Andy Thayer who assured me that
Nikolai was not anti-Semitic (I also had read Nikolai’s anti-Semitic responses to the Jewish people who tried to get a clarification.) Andy said that he could assure me that Nikolai was not
anti-Semitic, that Nikolai was probably drunk when he wrote the posts. I am in recovery
(which means I am in a program for 13 years and do not drink). One of the lessons we are
taught was to not to attack other people who may have a problem. (I am not saying Nikolai
does, I am just saying this is what Andy said to me.) So, I waited for a clarification. Gay Liberation Network through Andy, put up 1/2 of Nikolai’s airfare to get here. Columbia University
put up the other half. Andy did not want to have this tour canceled and we talked a long time,
many times. I did email Nikolai to respond to what he said about just coming here as a favor to
Andy, as he hated Americans. (Clarification: I was born and raised in Canada, my mother came
over from the Soviet Union and my grandparents were from Russia. This is in no way to infer
that I understand the probelms Russia has now. I was also part of the US delegation that went to Russia to hold what I believe was the first LGBT conference in Russia-in 1990- when Russia
was still communist.) So, I emailed Nikolai about his coming here as a ‘favor’, but did not
address his anti-Semitic remarks (which I should have) as Andy said that Nikolai would
clarify them. I regret that I relied on Andy’s word. We held off canceling Nikolai and had 3
conference calls with Andy, who assured us that Nikolai would issue a statement prior to
beginning the tour. When Andy informed us Nikolai refused, we canceled. So, yes, I take absolutely FULL responsibility for not dealing with this one month ago. I will post my email to
Nicolai later, which shows that I did not tell him what to say (as he claimed) when he was
touring here.

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ROBINTYLER March 6, 2011 at 6:42 PM

This is the email I sent to Nikolai when a reporter told me that he said he was just coming here as a favor to Andy, and that he hated Americans.
Dear Nikolai:

Just wanted to give you some background on Los Angeles. When Proposition 8 (taking marriage away from
same-sex couples) passed, tens of thousands of us were on the streets in Los Angeles and the
Los Angeles area for MONTHS. One of the demonstrations in Hollywood, led to an almost violent
confrontation between 15,000 thousand of us and the police on horseback who were blocking
Hollywood Blvd. so we couldn’t walk down and demonstrate. We negotiated giving the police
a short time to back down. They dealt with their headquarters, and the police on horseback
withdrew (along with a lot of other police) and we marched.

These were continuous demonstrations that fall with thousands and thousands of us, gay and straight.

In California, because of the organized grassroots movements, our assault on the courts every
time we can sue, and the election of progressive LGBT people to our State capital, and yes, including
the leadership of our state organization, Equality California (EQCA), we have more LGBT civil rights then any other state in the USA. It is not that we are more progressive then say-New York-it is because we have not allowed Democratic politicians to get away with not voting for full rights for us, including marriage.

So, the movement you will be addressing here is progressive and has fought back on the streets,
in the courts, and politically. We take on everyone, including the radical religious right.

It is on the Federal level that it has been difficult to get changes, because the National Democratic
Party has given favors and $$ to some from ‘Gay Inc.,’ and our own people have discouraged
us on a National level from fighting back. So, the majority of LGBT people have accepted crumbs
from a table they are not allowed to sit at.

I called for the lst. Lesbian and Gay March on Washington which happened in 1979.
I produced the main stages for the 2nd. and 3rd. Marches, and refused to read a statement
on stage from then President Bill Clinton welcoming us (I tore it up) during the 1993 March.

I called for the 4th March, and called (although there was a mini march a couple of years
ago, other then get a few very courageous people active, it accomplished nothing because it did not give
time for a mass movement democratic buildup) for another mass LGBT March on Washington in
2012, taking all any and all politicians who do not support a full federal civil rights for the LGBT
community.

When President Obama was elected, I made the call (in front of the 15 thousand who Marched down
Hollywood Blvd.) for another massive march in 2012, the year of the next Presidential election.

One more thing. I also produced 9 lesbian festivals in the South (Georgia) in the early 1980s
which had to be armed because of threats from attacks from the Ku Klux Clan. And we
mobilized, for the first time, tens of thousands of closeted lesbians in the most conservative part of the
United States.

I will be 69 years old the month after you get here. But I want you to know that I also am radical,
and have fought back all of my life. When I came out at age 16 in Canada in 1959, I did the very first
demonstration in Canada by standing on the busiest corner in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and holding
up a sign saying ‘gay is good.’ In those days, you could get up to 8 years in prison or a mental
institution for being gay in Canada.

So, you need to differentiate in your head, the continuing mistakes of our government, ‘Gay, Inc.’,
and those of us who have fought valiantly for civil rights for all people.

I called the Washington, DC Blade, the BAR, Karen Ocumb from Frontiers, the San Diego Gay Newspaper and others to interview you.

I also put together a huge coalition of almost every LGBT group in California (usually unprecedented unless
we are fighting a specific political issue), and West Hollywood is putting this out to every mainstream
press including Associated Press, National Press etc.

Groups here are waiting to hear you, to honor you, and to support you.
But if, to be honest, you say that you ‘hate America’ and are just coming here to do Andy a favor,
then you will drive away the audiences who need to hear you, as well as insult everyone who
is reaching out to host this. If you are just coming for Andy, or saying it is because of the murder of David Kato (I started organizing for your appearances prior to the murder of David Kato), and that you hate
all of America, then don’t bother to come.

You have the ability to be an inspiring, thoughtful, courageous International leader and visionary.

Take it from someone who is old enough to be your grandmother. Just hating the status quo will
change the situation. The activists who have made the most contributions in every movement throughout history have not been consumed by hatred.
When we need to battle, we have to stay angry and determined. But we also have to reach deep down
with such tremendous love for the ideal of peace and freedom and justice for all, that it will
Sustain us for all of our lives.

Robin Tyler

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Veenay April 28, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Why are they upset that a Russian hates Americans and Jews? Gay Americans hate Americans and Jews. There’s nothing but anti-American and pro-Marixst rants on gay message boards like this. The gay movement has aligned itself with so many radical left wing groups, how can the gay sheep NOT be anti-American and anti-Jewish?

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