Russian LGBT Activists: Boycott of All Things Russian, Olympics

Sochi
Queer Nation today issued a press release which claims gay and lesbian activists in Russia support the recent dumping of Russian vodka. According to a statement included in the group's release, those activists also support taking things a step further: boycott all Russian products - including the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

The statement reads in part:

International support is essential for the survival of Russia's LGBT community right now. We appreciate and support all attempts to let the Russian authorities know that homophobic and inhumane laws will not go unnoticed and that Vladimir Putin's regime will not get away with antigay violence. We speak out in favor of boycotting Russian goods and companies and the Olympic Games in Sochi. We also appreciate the attention of international media; we need it. We would also support any legislative initiative aimed at holding the Russian authorities accountable for their homophobic campaign.

The declaration includes signatures from those activists, journalists and others who support the cause.

Read the full press release, AFTER THE JUMP.

Russian LGBT Activists and Supporters Call for Boycott of Russian Products and Winter Olympics

New York, NY (July 28, 2013) — In a bold statement sent today to Queer Nation, 23 leading LGBT Russian activists and their supporters called for a broad boycott of Russian products and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

“International support is essential for the survival of Russia's LGBT community right now,” the July 28  statement read. “We appreciate and support all attempts to let the Russian authorities know that  homophobic and inhumane laws will not go unnoticed and that Vladimir Putin's regime will not get away  with antigay violence.”

The statement is an unambiguous endorsement of the “Dump Russian Vodka” campaign called for by Queer Nation, Dan Savage, Cleve Jones and other leading LGBT activists worldwide. The statement also endorses actor Harvey Fierstein’s impassioned call in the New York Times for a boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

“At great personal risk, these LGBT activists, their allies and organizations have called for our continued support,” said Alan Klein, a co-founder of Queer Nation. “Their courage inspires us to continue our work until such time as the Russian government repeals this anti-gay law.”

In June, the Russian Duma passed a law that barred pro-LGBT discussions and displays in public and on the Internet. Since the law was enacted, LGBT Russians and foreign LGBT nationals have endured violence and arrests.

Queer Nation expects that there will be additional endorsers on the Russian activists’ statement. The statement and list of signatories follows:

Dear Friends,

International support is essential for the survival of Russia's LGBT community right now. We appreciate and support all attempts to let the Russian authorities know that homophobic and inhumane laws will not go unnoticed and that Vladimir Putin's regime will not get away with antigay violence. We speak out in favor of boycotting Russian goods and companies and the Olympic Games in Sochi. We also appreciate the attention of international media; we need it. We would also support any legislative initiative aimed at holding the Russian authorities accountable for their homophobic campaign. Thank you for being with us in our hour of need.

Masha Gessen, author, journalist, activist
Kseniya Kirichenko, lawyer and legal scholar
Alexei Davydov, Radical Faggots Union; political council member of the Moscow chapter of the Solidarity Movement
Maria Baronova, activist, Bolotnoye Case defendant
Alexander Artemyev, journalist
Olga Krause, poet, musician, activist
Tasha Granovskaya, social worker, LGBT activist
Bulat Barantaev, Homosexuals, Relatives and Friends Movement; member of the political council,Novosibirsk chapter of the Solidarity Movement
Mitya Aleshkovsky, photographer, activist
Karen Shainyan, journalist
Galina Chachanova, freelance translator
Yana Mandrykina, attorney
Elena Nikitina
Alexander Agapov, editor, Livejournal.com
Elena Rifat Hakimova, activist
Olga Kurachyova, journalist, LGBT activist
Zlata Bossina, Quarteera e.V., an organization for Russian-speaking LGBT and friends in Germany
Tagira Abdullayeva, LGBT activist, medical neurologist
Anastasia Putseva, business consultant
Tasya Krugovykh, filmmaker
Yulia Selezen, philologist
Anna Mikhailina
Akram Kubanychbek

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MEDIA: For interviews with signatories to the Russian statement above, please contact Queer Nation at news@queernationny.org, or at the contact numbers listed above, with your requests.

Queer Nation is a direct action group that is dedicated to ending discrimination, violence and repression against the LGBT community.