Monday, 3 February 2014

Support Russian LGBTs - Rally Wednesday 6pm

Peter Tatchell Foundation
Support Russian LGBTs - Rally Wednesday 6pm 

Urge Olympic sponsors to condemn Russian homophobia

The Winter Olympics start in Sochi, Russia, this Friday 7 February.

What YOU can do!

Join the protest organised by All Out against Russian homophobia and the Sochi Winter Olympics on Wednesday 5 February, 6-7pm outside Downing Street, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AA. Nearest tubes Charing Cross & Westminster. Buses 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 159 and 453.


Organised by All Out. Supported by the Peter Tatchell Foundation and others.

The London rally is part of a Global Speak Out that is taking place on 5 February in cities around the world.

Sign up on facebook:

Download posters from the All Out website:

Urge the UK & Russian governments, and the International Olympic Committee, to uphold Principle 6 (P6) of the Olympic Charter, which prohibits discrimination.

Call on Olympic corporate sponsors - such as Coca Cola, McDonalds and Visa - to speak out against Russia's anti-gay law and homophobic violence.

Sign this petition to corporate sponsors:

Attend the Alternative Sochi Opening Ceremony - Not the Winter Olympics - Friday 7 February at Lime Wharf, Vyner Stret, London E2 9DJ, 8pm-2am. In aid of the Peter Tatchell Foundation. INFO & TICKETS:

Email your MP via the website Ask them to write to them on your behalf to the Russian ambassador protesting against the anti-gay law and rising homophobic violence in Russia.

“Olympic sponsors are failing to live up to their commitments", said Andre Banks, Executive Director and co-founder of All Out. "The IOC has confirmed that Principle 6 includes discrimination based on sexual orientation.  Athletes all over the world are speaking out.  We’ve just heard that the Russian government is considering amendments to the anti-gay laws.  But sponsors continue to look the other way while gays and lesbians in Russia suffer.”

"The Global Speak Out means a lot to us here in St. Petersburg, Russia", said Dmitry one of the local organisers in St. Petersburg. "Together with thousands of people around the world we are going to show Russian authorities they can't attack lesbian, gay, bi or trans (LGBT) Russians with impunity, without risking their international reputation and the success of our Olympics. We will not be silent any more! We will fight back! For our rights! For our human rights!"

Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, added:

“None of the corporate sponsors have explicitly condemned the Russian anti-gay law or homophobic violence in Russia. They’ve made only general, vague equality statements. This isn’t good enough. They seem more interested in safeguarding their Russian sales than in standing up for human rights.

"I would have expected them to make a simple statement such as: 'We are deeply concerned about new Russian legislation that discriminates against the LGBT community. We deplore the homophobic violence that is taking place in Russia.' It is shameful and cowardly that they feel unable to say this.

“The intensely homophobic atmosphere in Russia, orchestrated by President Putin’s government, means it would be very unlikely for an openly gay athlete to be selected for the Russian Olympic squad. The Kremlin has banned a Pride House - a social meeting space for gay athletes and spectators, like the one at the London 2012 Olympics.

“These are clear breaches of the anti-discrimination Principle Six of the Olympic Charter. Yet the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said and done nothing. It is allowing the Russian government to ban a Pride House and has not required the Russians to give a written undertaking that they will not discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes in the selection of Russia’s team for the Olympics.

“The IOC has hinted that any athlete who expresses support for LGBT equality during the events or ceremonies could face disciplinary action, possibly including disqualification, expulsion and being stripped of any medals won.

“The IOC’s top priority is not Olympic values or human rights. It is driven by commercial interests. The Olympics are big business. The host nation and corporate sponsors are king. Nothing must be allowed to detract from financial success and ‘good news’ PR - certainly not the plight of Russia’s persecuted LGBTs. 

“The 1936 Berlin Olympics took place in an atmosphere of anti-Semitic hatred incited by the Nazi government. The 2014 Sochi Olympics echo that hatred, only this time the victims of demonisation are LGBT people. There are no Nuremburg laws or concentration camps but the hateful anti-gay propaganda is similar to the anti-Semitism stirred by the Nazis in the early 1930s.

“How can there be normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime like Putin’s Russia? The Kremlin stands accused wide-ranging attacks on human rights, including the arrest of opposition leaders and peaceful protesters, state censorship of the media and the harassment of journalists, lawyers, environmentalists and other civil society activists,” said Mr Tatchell.

The list of Olympians supporting Principle 6 includes Sochi-bound Olympians Belle Brockhoff (Australia), Heath Spence (Australia), and Mike Janyk (Canada).  To see the full list of Olympians backing Principle 6:

Further information: 

Peter Tatchell
Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation
0207 403 1790

Marie Campbell
Director of Global Campaigns, All Out
0755 779 8826
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