International News

‘To Russia with love’, solidarity demo in central Brighton on first day of Sochi Olympics

Besi Besemar February 7, 2014

A family friendly demonstration on the first day of the Sochi Olymics to show solidarity with LGBTQ+ people in Russia will take place, tomorrow Saturday, February 8.

To Russia with love

“To Russia with Love, Brighton” starts at Noon at the clock tower at the bottom of Queens Road.

Following the success of the first “To Russia with Love, Brighton” demo in November 2013, also organised by members of Brighton and Hove Socialist Party and other individuals, the organisers aim to raise awareness of the increasing violence and oppression faced by gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer and other people in Russia.

Members of Russian LGBT groups have been trying hard to draw international attention to the human rights violation and freedom of speech repression in Russia, which has particularly increased during the pre-Olympics period.

Every person who tried to wave a rainbow flag during the Olympic Torch Relay was immediately detained, every person who tried to speak out about LGBTQ rights violation in Russia was stopped. LGBTQ activists are being attacked but the Russian police refuse to investigate cases of violence motivated by homophobia.

Beth Granter, Brighton & Hove Socialist Party, said: “The Sochi Olympics puts the world spotlight on Russia and international protests are showing mass opposition to Putin’s homophobic government. The ‘Russian Section 28’ is fuelling a rising tide of violence. The laws must be challenged! Here in the UK we ask Olympic sponsors (Visa, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, ATOS and more) to break their silence and speak out about LGBT oppression in Russia.

“As a city which values its own diversity, it’s important for the people of Brighton to show our solidarity with LGBTQ people around the world.”

A large turnout is expected, a speech by Russian LGBT activist Ksenia Zhivago will be read by Beth Granter and there will be a reading from Brighton poet, Alice Denny.

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What: To Russia with love, Brighton

Where: The Clock Tower, Western Road, Brighton

When: Saturday, February 8

Time: Noon

To Russia with love