Six gay activists were arrested Saturday attempting to hold an unsanctioned gay pride rally in St. Petersburg, Russia.

About 30 gay rights activists gathered in a public courtyard within the city's State Hermitage Museum and chanted “Homophobia the shame of the country” and “Marriage rights without compromises.”

Police quickly swooped in to collar six people, who offered little resistance.

The demonstration comes after St. Petersburg officials followed in the steps of three other Russian cities – Moscow, Tambov and Ryazan – in banning such demonstrations, gay newssite reported.

Two applications by the St. Petersburg Gay Pride committee outlining six separate parade routes were rejected by authorities. But on Thursday, City Hall OK'd a demonstration to be held on the same day by the group Molodaya, the youth wing of the United Russia party helmed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Maria Efremenkova, who heads the committee, called the city's moves “a joke”

“The march that is being permitted is against the rights of LGBT people throughout Russia,” she said.

Keeping the event's location under wraps except to the media, organizers attempted to recreate last month's brief 10-minute demonstration in Moscow that ended without arrests.

“This is outrageous that police stopped us and they didn't give us a chance to speak about the violation of our rights,” Nikolai Alexeyev, who heads Russia's fledgling gay rights movement, told the AP.

Organizers complained that no foreign nation came to their aid after the city banned their demonstration, including the United States and Great Britain.

“We are extremely disappointed by the attitude of foreign diplomacies [sic],” Efremenkova said in explaining that her organization had appealed to 12 foreign embassies for a statement of support.

Some media is reporting that Efremenkova was among those detained by police.

This is the first year gay rights organizers had attempted to hold a rally in St.Petersburg, Russia's second most populous city after Moscow.