Coca-Cola | Olympics | Russia | Sochi Olympics

Gay Rights Activists Circle Coca-Cola with Trucks, Pressuring It Over the Sochi Olympics

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Yesterday, the activist group All Out hired three trucks to circle Coca-Cola’s global headquarters in Atlanta starting at 8 am ET and throughout the entire day, with billboards urging the company to call for a repeal of Russia’s anti-gay laws before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Allout2According to the group, more than 140,000 All Out members sent messages to the company’s CEO urging Coca-Cola to take the following steps:

- Speak out against the Russian anti-gay "propaganda" law and call for its repeal before the Olympics. - Donate funds to Russian human rights defenders.

- Ask the Olympic Committee to change the rules so future Olympics can only happen in countries that fully respect equality.

Said Andre Banks Executive Director and Co-Founder of All Out:

“Coke is an incredibly important position of power and has the ability to influence the International Olympic Committee, other sponsors, and Russian leaders. The safety and dignity of Russians, athletes, and fans is in doubt as long as Russia’s anti-gay laws are intact. Olympic sponsors have a moral obligation to speak out now. As one of the largest Olympic sponsors Coca-Cola should take a strong stand against Russia’s anti-gay laws ahead of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. We urge them to speak out against the anti-gay propaganda law and call for a repeal before the Olympics, donate funds to Russian human rights defenders, and ask the Olympic committee to change the rule so future Olympics can only happen in countries that fully respect equality."

Coca-Cola is expected to make an announcement about its response to these laws, Russian journalist Masha Gessen tells Richard Socarides in The New Yorker what her suggestion might be:

First, she wants the Olympic sponsors to use their marketing clout to demonstrate support for gay equity. “It will be a lot more effective to put a rainbow on every Olympic Coke can than for an American athlete to say something that won’t get broadcast or translated on Russian TV,” she said. Gessen wants all the sponsors to use L.G.B.T. symbols in their advertising connected to the Olympics.

Russian gays are concerned not only about the propaganda law, but also about the newly proposed legislation that would strip gay parents of their parental rights, removing their children from their homes. Even though that measure seems to have been temporarilyshelved, Gessen told me that gays are now more scared than ever and are looking for ways to leave the country. Along with embedding gay-friendly messages in their ads, Gessen also wants the Olympic sponsors to provide financial support to gay-rights groups in Russia who aid refugee-resettlement efforts.

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Comments

  1. Interesting how NBC is getting a pass. Considering they're the network of the Miss Universe thing, too. I don't see protests outside the Today Show.

    Posted by: MIke | Oct 29, 2013 7:53:15 AM


  2. Creative and well-done protest.

    Posted by: patrick | Oct 29, 2013 8:11:15 AM


  3. Really effective protest! I think NBC will get swarmed once they actually start airing the games.

    Posted by: JMC | Oct 29, 2013 8:14:00 AM


  4. Coke has lots a products and luckily I find it easy to avoid every one of them and I love a Coke! But Pepsi is fine with me. Now if I lived in USA I'd be avoiding NBC and its subsidiaries as well.

    Posted by: Jeff | Oct 29, 2013 8:19:03 AM


  5. Keep in mind if you don't have a Nielsen box it's pointless to boycott television networks.

    Posted by: JMC | Oct 29, 2013 8:25:50 AM


  6. Thank you very much for fighting with anti-gay Coke and anti-gay IOC!

    Posted by: litper | Oct 29, 2013 9:08:04 AM


  7. ""I think NBC will get swarmed once they actually start airing the games.""

    So basically after the barn has burned down. And we know who Miss Universe 2014 is!

    Posted by: MIke | Oct 29, 2013 9:26:03 AM


  8. Excellent excellent excellent! Inventive, creative and makes an enormous slash across the nation against Coke. We must continue. We must target NBC. I love the idea of the rainbow flag appearing on every Coke can. Russia would have to ban Coke from their store shelves - will Coca Cola do it? Pressure them to do so.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Oct 29, 2013 11:21:39 AM


  9. GO Russia Long Live Christianity Long Live Islam Sodomites and Sexual Immorality will not be allowed In Society

    No GAY PROPAGANDA Allowed In Russia

    Slava ROSSI

    Stay Out Of My MotherLand And Out of Your Country You Sick Degenerate Perverts.

    Posted by: OrthoDox Supporter | Oct 30, 2013 4:27:04 PM


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