On one level, I think this is reprehensible. It's something I would oppose normally, and I would have opposed in the past. I favor free speech. I think people should be allowed to gather, make their points, give their arguments - unless they're actually and inappropriately bothering people (blocking traffic, rioting, etc). Even if I disagree with them.MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian police detained 17 protesters on Sunday as they gathered in central Moscow to release colorful balloons into the air to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, an organizer of the failed flashmob said.Some 50 people assembled on a square outside a Moscow theater but crowd control police drove up a bus and started shoving the protesters inside before they managed to unfurl any banners or chant any slogans.
Now, consider a complicating factor.
The LGBT movement in the US, with every advance, has attacked and silenced those who disagree with them. They've shut down adoption agencies that don't want to place children with same-sex couples. They've backed the firing of people who have opposed same-sex marriage in the past. They've gotten the Boy Scouts shunned in society for simply not approving of sodomy, and done so in ways which squelch speech - and in a broader way - than the russians are squelching it.
Here's the puzzle.
If I were russian and I cared about free speech, or civil rights in general, would I support or oppose the russian authorities - having seen the effect of the LGBT movement in the west?
I remember what Vox Day said about libertarianism. Basically: he can't be a libertarian, because the very things which are required to maintain a libertarian society (in a maximal sense) requires, in his view, taking positions which libertarians would oppose (controlled borders, etc.)
Is something similar in play here? Morally, intellectually, do I oppose or do I support the russians?
I will say one more thing. The fact that they apparently caught this protest and shut it down before they could engage in any theatrics... that's some funny shit right there. It's institutional-level cockblocking, probably in more ways than one.