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Russians To Organize Winter Sochi Pride For Opening Day of The Winter Olympics

Nikolai Alexseyev

Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseyev has announced the following:

“It’s official! The organising committee of Moscow Gay Pride and founders of the banned Pride House Sochi decided today against the boycott of Winter Olympics in Sochi and instead to organise Winter Sochi Pride on the day of the opening of Olympic Games on 7 February 2014. Join us! It will be much more effective to draw attention to official homophobia in Russia all around the world and expose the hypocrisy of the International Olympic Committee which went into discriminatory agreements with Russian regime and of the European Court of Human Rights which still has not considered our complaint concerning the unlawful denial to register Pride House Sochi! Vive Sochi Pride 2014!” – Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseyev,

Nicolai Alekseyev is an unapologetic gay Russian her. He is brave and fearless and will not back down from the fight.  But I don’t think Nicolai and many others truly understand what a boycott is?

Lets be honest.  Yes a boycott is meant to financially hurt but in many cases those results are minimal at best.  What a boycott really does is bring a spotlight to the issue at hand.  There has been more exposure and reporting on the human rights atrocities against Russian the russian LGBT community in the mainstream media in the United States and around the world in the past week since the beginning of the announcements of the boycotts against  Stolichnaya Vodka and the Winter Olympics than in the past year. And this in return has and will bring pressure against the Russian government.  So our actions are indeed working.  Perhaps Nicolai does not see that from the inside of the country where he is.

And while the Winter Sochi Pride is a great idea.  Without the continuing controversy of using boycotts and protests against Russia from outside the county NBC and other news outlets would just ignore or be banned by the Russian government as much as possible to the Sochi Pride events.

The spotlight and pressure must continue. And as much as I admire Mr. Alkseyev to stop now is dangerous and ill advised my opinion.  Any means necessary to keep Russian’s crimes against humanity is the spotlight is needed before, during and after the Olympic games.

Let us not forget what happened AFTER the 1936 Berlin Olympics: over 6 million Jews, gays, poles and gypsies were murdered in the Holocaust. World War II.

The pressure must be kept on and everything that can be done, must be done.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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