Putin and the politics of protest - Macleans.ca

Putin and the politics of protest

Slideshow: Emma Teitel on Russia, homophobia and the Olympics


The legal reality that Russian authorities can arrest anyone for something as minor as telling a gay teen “it gets better,” or for waving a rainbow flag in a public park, has been enough to motivate calls for the world to boycott to the Sochi Olympics. British actor Stephen Fry and American actor George Takei (both high-profile gay entertainers) have endorsed an anti-Sochi 2014 petition, which has garnered more than 165,000 signatures to date. The protesters would like to see Sochi stripped of its hosting privileges. Read my column about it here.

Filed under:

Putin and the politics of protest

  1. The IOC knew all about Russia’s policy on gays when granting them the games. Why are they not getting any criticism for ignoring the policy at the time? Now it’s too late.

    But it’s probably a moot point anyways. Once Obama starts WW3 and the Russians join with Syria, the Sochi Olympics are probably scuttled anyways.

    • I believe you’ve been told before about the games being granted long before the law was enacted..

      PS Don’t panic over routine sabre-rattling.

    • No

    • They are getting criticism. And given that Russia’s anti-gay laws are a lot like Germany’s anti-Semitic Nuremberg laws in the 3 years leading up to the 1936 Olympics, they are getting a ton of criticism.

      It is absolutely not too late — they can pull the Olympics, shame Russia, or (my preferred solution) remove the IOC prohibition from “political acts” — because Russia has said that saying your gay, never mind hugging your spouse after winning, and even saying gay people are equal to straight people, are ILLEGAL.

  2. ‘or for waving a rainbow flag in a public park’ – this doesn’t actually happen.

    I encourage readers to ignore Maclean’s on Russian matters and consult more trustworthy news organizations like Pravda.ru. Yeah, it’s that bad.

    Boycott the Russian Olympics? Why? At least 100 countries, many of whom compete in the Olympics, are far more oppressive towards gays – it makes no sense to call out Russia when many countries actually have the death sentence for being gay.

    • I agree with “Guest”… Oh crap, was that a hit of red or brown acid I just took?

      What a load of bollocks.

      • What Guest stated is the truth.

        • No, it’s not.

    • So, should we attend an Olympics held in a country that executes homosexuals?

      • Why not? If we allow regimes to gas their own citizens, then why not have Russia ban homosexuals and be ok with that?

        • Yeah, cuz not attending a country’s Olympics is just like bombing a country and slaughtering people.

      • Of course we should not — and the IOC is in for a continuous line of hard questions about its supposed “Olympic values” between Sochi and Qatar.

        (of course we know the real Olympic Committee value = $)

    • This DOES actually happen. Even worse than flags, try suspenders.

      “Activists displaying rainbow insignia (flags, pins, suspenders), and those carrying signs against homophobia were selectively pulled out of the march and taken to the closest police stations. Claimed reason for detention: propaganda of homosexuality.”

      Meanwhile, Russian police have never gotten around to arresting the well-known gangs neo-Nazi nationalist thugs who kidnap and torture gay teens while showing their faces on social media, but they HAVE arrested a single gay guy with a sign that said “being gay is not a crime”.

      The athletic federations are also looking spectacularly weak-willed, after Swedish high-jumper painted her nails rainbow in solidarilty against this new pogrom, she was asked to repaint them.


      And yes — given the Olympics’ own rules — those other 99 countries should be banned from hosting too.

  3. I hope they will take away the Olympic Games from the russians. They don´t deserve them.

  4. This comment was deleted.

    • The Gaystapo?