Human Library - Take out a prejudice

Human Library event in Russia attacked by nationalist

A reader and a local Human Library organizer were attacked with pepperspray by a young nationalist at a local Human Library event in Russia. The event that took place on August 11th in the city of Voronezh, was only the second Human Library to be presented by the local organizers from the russian Youth Human Rights Movement ngo. The attacker was a 17 year old nationalist who objected violently to the mission of the Human Library, to increase tolerance and understanding for diversity. Fortunately a special police unit from the Voronezh police department setup to combat hate crimes were present at the event and quickly intervened.

Local Human Library organizer Olya BazuevaThe quick intervention prevented the young man from going on to ignite a roman candle inside the venue, a local book club. The event was interrupted by the young nationalist who felt provoked by the Human Library, its aim and objectives. The offender first entered the venue, then after scoping the location he walked up to the library counter and started spraying the responsible local organizer, 22 year old Olga Bazueva with Pepperspray. A reader was also affected by the attack.

He then went on to draw out a Roman Candle, mostly known from football stadiums around Europe. But before he could ignite the Roman Candle members of the police´s special unit combatting hate crimes, overpowered the young nationalist.Who was arrested and charged with a hate crime.

After airing out the venue for pepperspray the event continued with its mission to increase tolerance and understanding for diversity.

"There was no way we would discontinue the event. The attack only underlined that there is a great need in my country for events like the Human Library, to help build better and more tolerant communities", said local organizer, Olga Bazueva.

Olga Bazueva has since become one of the coordinators spearheading the establishing of a national network of local Human Library organizers in Russia.

The local organizers were not aware that eight members of the special unit to combat hate crimes were present in plain clothes at the Human Library event.

The arrest was filmed by a local tv-station reporting from the event. Watch the clip here in Russian.