QUEER VOICES
03/24/2014 03:50 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Russian 'Thugs' Mistake St. Patrick's Day Flashmob For Gay Rights Group And Violently Attack

Footage of Russian "thugs" in the Siberian city of Irkutsk allegedly mistaking members of a St. Patrick's Day flashmob for gay rights activists and beating them violently is making the media rounds.

Local authorities told Interfax via AFP, "On Sunday evening, members of Easy School held a St Patrick's Day flashmob in the mall. Some youths came up to them and expressed displeasure at the proceedings. A conflict took place that grew into a fight on the square outside the mall."

Meanwhile, a law enforcement source told the news organization that the Easy School members were mistaken "for representatives of non-traditional sexual orientation," according to the report.

Meanwhile, The International Business Times cites a statement from a school official which confirms students and teachers were injured in the attack, but that "it could have been any young people who weren't to the taste of these grey masses."

Russia's controversial "gay propaganda" laws have been dominating headlines since the start of 2013, and came under particularly intense scrutiny during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

The controversial legislation, which bans "pro-gay propaganda" that could be accessible to minors, has been condemned by international celebrities, athletes and politicians alike.

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