Matt Stopera at Buzzfeed has posted 36 photos that demand a boycott of Russia. #dumpstoli
They’re brutal pictures of numerous anti-gay beatings and attacks that have taken place in the past year in that country. And they are exhibit A in how Russia has again become the evil it left behind in 1991, and why Americans, and citizens of the world, need to boycott Russia now, starting with Stolichnaya vodka.
We’d reported a few weeks ago about how Russia had enacted into law one of the nastiest pieces of anti-gay legislation in the world, in essence outlaying anything gay, even pro-gay speech.
The legislation also contained a specific provision targeting foreigners, should they make the mistake of saying, or doing, or wearing any piece of clothing that might suggest that gay is okay. And the round-up of foreigners has already begun. Four Dutch citizens were recently arrested under the anti-gay law for the “crime” of filming a documentary about gay and trans people in Russia.
Russia’s surge of anti-gay legislation, and now violence, has led Harvey Fierstein and Dan Savage to both call for a boycott of Russia.
Mr. Putin’s campaign against lesbian, gay and bisexual people is one of distraction, a strategy of demonizing a minority for political gain taken straight from the Nazi playbook. Can we allow this war against human rights to go unanswered? Although Mr. Putin may think he can control his creation, history proves he cannot: his condemnations are permission to commit violence against gays and lesbians. In May a young gay man was murdered in the city of Volgograd. He was beaten, his body violated with beer bottles, his clothing set on fire, his head crushed with a rock. This is most likely just the beginning….
With Russia about to hold the Winter Games in Sochi, the country is open to pressure. American and world leaders must speak out against Mr. Putin’s attacks and the violence they foster. The Olympic Committee must demand the retraction of these laws under threat of boycott.
In 1936 the world attended the Olympics in Germany. Few participants said a word about Hitler’s campaign against the Jews. Supporters of that decision point proudly to the triumph of Jesse Owens, while I point with dread to the Holocaust and world war. There is a price for tolerating intolerance.
And now, Dan Savage, who recommends we start the boycott by dumping Stoli and every other Russian vodka, and we can start with gay bars:
If you drink a Russian Vodka like Stoli, Russian Standard, or any of the other brands listed above, switch to another brand from another country, or even a local brand from a local distillery. Stoli is the iconic Russian Vodka and it’s returning to Russian ownership in 2014. Other brands like Russian Standard should also be boycotted. Do not drink Russian vodka. Do not buy Russian vodka. Ask your bartender at your favorite bar—gay or otherwise—to DUMP STOLI andDUMP RUSSIAN VODKA.
Own a gay bar in Seattle? Stop serving Russian vodkas.
Tweet your support using the hashtags #DUMPSTOLI and #DUMPRUSSIANVODKA. And tell you friends about what is happening in Russia and ask them to DUMP STOLI and DUMP RUSSIAN VODKA.
Later on, Dan raises a good point. In spite of the fact that the Olympics have had such a pitiful response to the rising climate of violence in Russia, gay athletes should go to the Olympics and flame like they’ve never flamed. They should win some medals and flaunt their homosexuality on stage for the world to see. Then let’s see if Putin has the balls to enforce his hateful law.
But in the meantime, enough is enough. Russia is turning back into the old evil all of us over 40 recognize only too well. And it’s time to put a stop to it, with the means available. And for starters, that means hitting Russia where it hurts. And you can’t start with a better target than Stolichnaya vodka.
Dan lists a few of the Russian vodkas out there. Talk to your local gay bars, find out if they’re willing to join the boycott, and get back to any of us and let us know which bars are willing to help, and which are not.
Here is a list of Russian vodkas currently available in the US: Dovgan, Gold Symphony, Standart, Hrenovuha, Kauffman , Kubanskaya, Moskovskaya, Narodnaya, Pyatizvyozdnaya, Putinka, Rodnik, Ruskova, Russian Standard, Shustov, Starka, Stolnaya, Youri Dolgoruki. The two best known Russian vodkas? Russian Standard and Stolichnaya.
And the boycott has already begun. Sidetracks, one of Chicago’s most famous, if not the most famous, gay bar, has pulled Russian vodka from its shelves. It’s time for all American bars, and bars around the world – that means you, our European friends – to do the same.