About forty people took part in a demonstration in Kiev that sought to bring to light the struggles of transgender people in Ukraine, wielding signs that said "Transphobia must be stopped" and "If you stay silent, they will come after you too." Unfortunately, this demonstration had to be shut down due to violence from far-right protesters, according to Radio Free Europe.
During this demonstration, protesters, who were members of far-right groups such as Tradition and Order, Right Sector, and Religious National Front, lit and threw smoke bombs into the crowd of activists. In addition to throwing the smoke bombs, the protesters also pepper-sprayed two women who were given first aid at the scene. Michael Colborne, a Canadian journalist, attempted to cover the event but was also assaulted; the protesters punched him in the face and suffered a swollen lip and lacerations from his broken glasses.
The police were present at the scene but did not attempt to remove the protesters. Instead, they shoved the activists through turnstiles in a metro station while yelling slurs at them. The police blocked the metro station to avoid more conflict between the activists and protesters.
This attack is a clear example of how LGBTQ are still not seen as equal in many parts of the world. However, we must not give up hope that people will always think like this. There have been many successes regarding LGBTQ rights and as long as people continue to fight for what is right, positive change can be achieved.
h/t: Radio Free Europe