San Francisco Backs Out of Historic Russian Commemoration – Event Organizer

Published: October 16, 2013

WASHINGTON, October 16 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) – The city of San Francisco has cancelled plans to participate in an upcoming 150th anniversary ceremony recognizing the Russian Navy for its critical, historic assistance in fighting a massive fire that consumed much of the San Francisco financial district in 1863, an organizer of the event told RIA Novosti.

“We had an agreement with the City Hall, with its fire department, police department, port administration, that they will participate in the event,” said Leonid Nakhodkin, chairman of the nonprofit United Humanitarian Mission (UHM), a civil society group which describes its mission as the promotion of “universal human values.”
“At the last minute, I got a message from the City Hall of San Francisco saying that the municipality ceases all plans to participate in this event, and the same message was received by the Consulate General,” said Nakhodkin, who was born in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan and raised in Ukraine before immigrating to the United States
“Why? Because gay community threatened the San Francisco City Hall to hold a protest against Russia at the event,” he told RIA Novosti in recent conversations about the ceremony originally slated for Oct. 23.
Documents from a San Francisco Fire Commission meeting on March 14 show that Nakhodkin discussed plans to order medals commemorating the Russian Navy’s assistance in saving lives in the 1863 fire.

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