Join us Tuesday 3 September, two days before the G20 summit
5-8pm, Downing Street, London SW1
London, UK – 20 August 2013
A Day of Action – Love Russia, Hate Homophobia – will be held in London on Tuesday 3 September, just two days before the G20 summit opens in St Petersburg, Russia, hosted by President Putin.
The London protest against Russia’s anti-gay law will take place outside the UK Prime Minister’s residence, Downing Street, London SW1, from 5-8pm.
Our 3 September protest message is:
David Cameron: What are you doing about the anti-gay law in Russia? We want answers. Tell Putin to drop the law.
It is endorsed by the all the London-based LGBT media: Attitude, Beige, Diva, G3, Gay Star News, GT (Gay Times), Out in the City, Pink News and QX magazine – plus the Peter Tatchell Foundation and London’s leading weekly city guide magazine, Time Out.
We invite all LGBT organisations and individuals to join us.
Join our facebook page here: http://on.fb.me/16Cmtc2
Lobby your MP via LobbyForRussia: http://lobbyforrussia.org
“David Cameron says he’s against a boycott of the Sochi Winter Olympics but he hasn’t said what he’ll do instead. We are asking the Prime Minster to raise Russia’s anti-gay repression at the G20 summit. We want him to publicly urge President Putin to repeal the anti-gay law and to prosecute the violent homophobes who are terrorising LGBT people in Russia,” said human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
The London protest is part of a Global Speak Out on Russia on 3 September, coordinated by the international online activist group All Out. It involves same-day protests in cities around world. See details here: http://bit.ly/13T8BK0 We are using the hashtag: #Russia4Love
“London’s key message can be adapted by other cities by replacing David Cameron with the name of their national leader. For example:
Barack Obama: What are you doing about the anti-gay law in Russia? We want answers. Tell Putin to drop the law.
“The 3 September protest messages are up to each city’s LGBT communities to devise but London’s themes are:
- David Cameron: What are you doing about the anti-gay law in Russia? We want answers. Tell Putin to drop the law
- Russia: End the anti-gay law & homophobic violence
- Solidarity with Russian LGBTS & human rights defenders
- Defend freedom of expression & human rights for all Russians
- Oppose the Putin regime’s escalating authoritarianism
- IOC must protect LGBT athletes & spectators – & ensure freedom of expression
- Sochi corporate sponsors must condemn homophobic legislation & violence
- The IOC must insist that Russia lifts its ban on a LGBT Pride House at Sochi
“It is hoped that the 3 September protest will ramp up pressure on the International Olympic Committee to insist that Russia gives cast-iron assurances that LGBT competitors, spectators and members of the Russian public – and their straight allies – will not be victimised for supporting LGBT equality during Winter Olympics, which are due to be held in the Russian city of Sochi in February 2014,” said Mr Tatchell.
QX magazine editor, Cliff Joannou, said:
“In June this year, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin signed into law legislation that effectively bans any positive discussion, debate or portrayal of LGBT people and relationships. Gay athletes and spectators attending the Winter Olympics could potentially face fines and/or jail sentences merely for coming out or affirming their support for LGBT equality.
“The IOC charter prohibits any form of discrimination. It cannot carry on as if no human rights abuses are happening in Russia and as if these abuses will not impact on the Winter Olympics.
“There have been protests in countries across the globe over the past few weeks against Putin’s legislation, including in London on 10 August. It was the huge response to this event that gave me the idea that what was needed was for LGBT communities around the world to come together on one day with a single voice against Russia’s anti-gay policies and to demand that their own governments take action to press for an end to Russia’s anti-gay law.
“This is particularly relevant and urgent, given that Russia currently holds the presidency of the G20 and will be hosting the G20 summit on 5 and 6 September.
“With this Day of Action we are calling on people in Britain and around the world to join us in a unified, coordinated global protest. We are not asking for the 2014 Winter Olympics to be cancelled, but Russia’s homophobic discrimination needs to end and we need action by the IOC to help make sure this happens,” said Joannou.
Peter Tatchell added:
“There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal authoritarian regime like Putin’s Russia. The attack on the LGBT community is one fragment of a much wider attack on human rights. It is important to encourage an alliance between LGBT and straight Russians to defend freedom of expression for all the people of Russia. LGBT people need allies to win and all Russians who love democracy and human rights deserve our support.
“Putin apologists are spreading lies. They make the false claim that the new law is solely concerned with ‘protecting’ minors. Even if this is true, why do young people need protecting from the reality of same-sex love? This justification is a crude cover for homophobia.
“The new Russian law criminalises any public expression of LGBT identity or any advocacy of gay equality, where a person under 18 might see it. It specifically criminalises anything that suggests heterosexuality and homosexuality are equally valid. Already people have been arrested for holding gay equality signs in public and for publicly saying homosexuality is normal – even without any evidence that a person under 18 saw them.
“The anti-gay legislation will prevent LGBT teens from being told that it’s okay to be gay and from receiving HIV prevention information about how to have gay sex safely.
“Long before this law was passed, I was beaten up with police collusion and arrested in Moscow for holding a sign saying “Gay Rights”. I still live with the brain and eye injuries incurred. Many Russian LGBT campaigners and other human rights defenders have also been bashed and arrested. They are heroes of the LGBT freedom struggle. They stand and fight. Their courage is awesome. We have a duty to support them,” said Mr Tatchell.
We suggest the following forms of protest on Tuesday 3 September:
- Join us outside Downing Street from 5-8pm
- Tweet to David Cameron via: @David_Cameron and @Number10gov
- Lobby your MP: http://lobbyforrussia.org
- Sign the two petitions condemning the Russian government and calling for action by the IOC and its corporate sponsors (see below)
To LGBT people in other countries, on 3 September we urge you to:
- Organise rallies outside your parliament or Russian embassies/consulates or the offices of major corporate sponsors of the Sochi Winter Olympics, such as MacDonalds, Visa and Coca Cola.
Please sign & tweet these petitions
All Out – Petition urging Russia to eliminate anti-gay laws & violence
Change.org – Oppose Russia’s crackdown on gay rights: Urge Winter Olympics 2014 sponsors to condemn anti-gay laws
Editor QX magazine