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Mykki Blanco

Moscow club raided ahead of Mykki Blanco concert

Masked agents shut down the club as extremist anti-LGBT activists gloated on Twitter

Mykki Blanco's plans to play Moscow were scuppered today after masked, unidentified agents in uniform raided the club ahead of her performance tonight. 

"They burst into the venue and ordered everyone, to stay in their places — no smoking, no phone calls, no bathroom trips," a Solyanka employee told the Village. The queer rapper had been scheduled to perform at club hotspot Solyanka with Harlem producer Gobby.

The anonymous source said that four cars arrived around 1pm. The men gave an impression of being Federal Drug Control Service agents, but were not immediately identifiable from their uniforms. The men shut off the electricity, acted rudely and abusively towards the confused employees. Then, without giving any explanation or reason, they suddenly announced that everyone needed to vacate the building within five minutes.

Rain TV later reported that the club was being guarded and the yard was blocked off by cars from a private security group called Spec Group. A local told Afisha that he asked a guard at the door when the club will be reopening, to which he replied, "Never."

According to rumours, the notoriously extremist Eastern Orthodox anti-LGBT group God’s Will had been aggressively protesting Mykki Blanco’s show. For years, leader Dmitry Enteo has been condemning LGBT people as agents of Satan who must be forced into "rehab"

He hailed the shutdown of the club on Twitter, writing: "The perverts of Solyanka thought they can get away with everything? It’s important for everyone to understand that without respecting Eastern Orthodox faith and the family, you cannot work in Russia."

God's Will members have also assaulted Russian LGBT activists and Pussy Riot supporters during protests. To date, nobody from the group has been charged by law enforcement agencies.

Despite the homophobic protests, Mykki was quick to play down any link to the performance and has responded to the situation with love.

News.ru said that a representative from the Federal Agency for State Property Management stated that the club has been seized over their financial debts to the city. The tussle over these debts have ongoing since 2013, but – conveniently – the state department picked today to hire a private security force and seize the club.

Since the passing of so-called "anti-gay propaganda" bill, Russian residents and visitors alike can (and do) suffer the consequences of publicly supporting LGBT people. Though actual enforcement of the law has been vague and inconsistent, the shift has lent a twisted legitimacy to the hateful protests and homophobic statements by extreme, conservative religious groups like God's Will.

After the shut down of Solyanka the Mykki Blanco show was moved to the venue LOL. The rapper posted an announcement on her Twitter accordingly:

Solyanka employees declined to make further statements after lawyers arrived, but they posted a note on their Facebook page stating that they are "experiencing what some would call technical difficulties". They also said that the club will not be open this weekend. 

"We are very grateful for your support, but urgently ask you to abstain from any sort of direct street actions in relation with this situation – this might only worsen it," the club wrote. "Everything will be OK."

According to Afisha, two Eastern Orthodox protestors showed up to the club to demonstrate against this evening's press conference, protesting that Mykki Blanco mocks God and reminding everybody that Solyanka is a seedbed of sin. Unfortunately for them, "their performance made no impression on the people around them".

We are waiting to hear from Mykki and will update the story.