LGBT protestors in Moscow and St. Petersburg now face charges of participating in "unlawful assemblies" after being detained on Friday within minutes of launching small demonstrations. The police arrived so fast, participants told BuzzFeed they were certain the police knew their plans in advance from bugging their phones.
But video captured by Sports Illustrated shows police calmly watching as two Americans from a group called The Official Street Preachers stand with anti-gay signs in front of the Sochi police station on Friday. One, in English, reads "Homosex is a threat to national security," while the one in Russian says, "God bless Putin, for he opposes the sin of homosexuality, which the Lord considers an abomination."
One of the demonstrators, Larry Craft from Rochester, N.Y., told the Wall Street Journal that the police ultimately did take them to the police station, but they were allowed to continue their demonstration as long as they put away their signs.