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Old 07-27-2013, 04:02 PM   #31
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Well, I guess it's a good thing no one boycotted anything from South Afica in the 1980s.
Maybe someone can come up with something more thoughtful than "Let's boycott a Russian sounding vodka"
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:03 PM   #32
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The Bolshoi Ballet .



(Moscow State Academy of Choreography, commonly known as The Bolshoi Ballet Academy, founded in 1773 )
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:39 PM   #33
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Maybe someone can come up with something more thoughtful than "Let's boycott a Russian sounding vodka"

It's better than "lets boycott Russian caviar."
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:51 PM   #34
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I think I already boycott Russian caviar...
and all other kinds of caviar
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:35 PM   #35
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I boycott everything Russian already.

Except for Maria Sharapova.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:40 PM   #36
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what can come from this Vodka boycott?
Probably more gay-bashing in Russia...

If Stoli itself was condoning this government's treatment of gays - or systematically mistreated gays within it's own company, I could understand the boycott.

Irvine - I understand the need to do something - to make a difference over there. I'm not sure what the answer is, I just don't think this is it.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:46 PM   #37
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Let's boycott the Brooklyn Nets.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:48 PM   #38
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Boycotting products, movies, etc....sure, fine.

Boycotting the Olympics....please, no. It's disastrous for those that have *nothing* to do with it. Also there are sports that have been controlled almost entirely by politics (gymnastics, for example) until only pretty recently and we've had enough of that. I think boycotting the Olympics is bassackwards. The point of the Olympics is coming together for sport regardless of the political situation and again, only punishes (destroys, really) athletes.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:13 AM   #39
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Why don't you go eat some freedom fries?
They go straight to my hips
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:20 AM   #40
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Well, I guess it's a good thing no one boycotted anything from South Afica in the 1980s.
That deprived Test cricket of so much.
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:46 PM   #41
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Boycotts 101: Why the gay boycott of Russian vodka is already working


While there’s been a rather massive explosion of support in the past five days for a boycott of all things Russia, especially vodka (and especially Stolichnaya, aka Stoli), some have asked about the wisdom of targeting Stoli, vodka, or Russian products at all, let alone the wisdom of boycotts.

First a little background…

As most of you know, over the past few years the Russian government has severely clamped down on its gay and trans communities. In addition to increasing violence, coordinated by far-right “thugs” thought by many to be in cahoots with the Russia authorities, the Russian parliament, with the help of President Vladimir Putin, has been taking a series of anti-gay and anti-trans actions.

Those actions include blocking adoptions of Russian children by any country that recognizes marriage equality for gay couples. Concern grew even further with the recent passage of a law that basically makes anything and everything gay, and pro-gay, in Russia illegal. Even uttering words believed to be pro-gay are illegal, and wearing anything perceived to be pro-gay is also against the law (someone was actually arrested for wearing rainbow suspenders).

Worse yet, the new Russian law specifically targets pro-gay foreigners, and threatens to jail them for 14 days before kicking them out of the country. Under the Russian law, foreign companies that offer any kind of same-sex benefits, even simply having a corporate non-discrimination policy that recognizes the rights of gay and trans employees, could now be breaking the law in Russia, and both the employer and employee could face imprisonment, or the simpler Russian way of enforcing the law, simply beating the crap out of, or disappearing, everyone involved.


There are also concerns about the safety of athletes and attendees at next year’s Sochi, Russia Winter Olympics, as the brutal beating of gay and trans people in Russia, with the wink and nod of the authorities, is sharply on the rise.

And while the International Olympic Committee claims, oddly, to have brokered a deal with the Russian government that Olympic athletes and visitors “may” be held harmless from Russia’s anti-gay laws, it’s not entirely clear how local skinheads, following the presumed orders of local Russian officials, are going to discern between Russian gays, who are fair game to beat the cr*p out, and Olympic gays, who are not.

Perhaps the IOC can assign pink triangles to the athletes in question.

In response, a boycott was born.

As a rule, boycotts are a bad idea because they don’t work.

Until they do work.

Then they’re a great idea.

When a group of us targeted “Dr.” Laura Schlessinger in 2000 with our StopDrLaura.com campaign (the group include me, Mike Signorile, Alan Klein, Robin Tyler, William Waybourn, Joel Lawson and many others ), we went after the advertisers for her then-upcoming TV show, and we ended being wildly successful, scaring off nearly 200 advertisers, and eventually killing the show.

And while I wasn’t pleased that they never went in for the metaphorical-kill, the boycott of Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers a few years back was also quite successful, and is still causing him serious pain. (My gripe with that effort was that the organizational leaders backing the boycott never took it seriously, IMHO, never put up the money and staffing necessary for making it truly effective, and thus they Limbaugh slip away when we could have dealt his show a metaphorical-death-blow.)

But both instances show that, when well done, and done at the right time against the right target, boycotts can work, depending on how you define “work.”

The problem however is that too many people yell “boycott” when neither the time nor the target is right. Their boycott then doesn’t even make a dent, and thus our cause looks feckless. So boycotts themselves aren’t necessarily a bad idea. Rather, flippantly calling for a boycott at every drop of a hat is a bad idea.

Some have suggested that boycotting Russian vodka is ineffective as we won’t be able to make a big enough dent in any one company, and the companies involved won’t do anything real to try to influence Russian leaders.

And maybe that’s all true, but the point of a boycott isn’t always the boycott itself. People often lose sight of that simple organizing fact. My goal in this campaign is to make clear to countries that homophobia is not okay, and that they will pay a severe price for oppressing their gay and trans citizens. And that goal can be accomplished whether or not Stoli or any other Russian brand loses a lot of, or “enough,” (or any) money.

Rather, the boycott is a tool – a foil, really – to foment and galvanize public ire in a way that generates publicity and eventually harms the brand of the ultimate target, in this case Brand Russia.

If the damage to the brands of tactical targets like Stoli, Russian products generally, individual governments around the world, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) becomes so extensive, pervasive, and unceasing, they will be forced to help us pressure the most important brand of all, Brand Russia and its leaders in parliament and the Kremlin, to make permanent change on this issue – if for no other reason than to simply make us all just go away.

It’s a multi-front psychological war, really. You’re trying to throw as much at the enemy as you can, from all directions (caveat: without watering down your assault by overextending yourself or your message), in order to make them finally admit, even if just to themselves, that it simply was not worth the price they are paying for having taken you on. And hopefully, once burned, twice shy.

Is the Vodka / Stoli boycott working?

Hell yeah.

This issue has been bubbling up for a few years now, but it hasn’t really gone anywhere, in terms of true widespread international support from the grassroots and the media, until just a week or so ago. Why? Because Harvey Fierstein penned a piece in the NYT, Matt Stopera at Buzzfeed assembled 36 killer (literally) photos of gay and trans people in Russia being brutally beaten, and Dan Savage pulled all the strings together into a call for a boycott of Russian vodka.

That’s when the dams burst, the floodgates opened, and the world suddenly cared – really cared – about the plight of gay and trans people in Russia. Bars across America, Canada, Australia and Europe started dropping Russian vodka, gay and trans people and our allies across the globe got enraged and engaged, and the international media suddenly found a hot new story that they’re stumbling over each other to report on.

The grand impact of all of that? More pressure on Brands B (Stoli, Russian vodka, Russian goods, foreign governments and the IOC), and ultimately more pressure on Brand A (Brand Russia).

The very fact that this issue was ignored for years, and now is a page one story worldwide, is proof that the Stoli boycott “worked.” At least “worked” for Stage 1, galvanizing the public and the media. Now we have to fight Stage 2 simultaneously, channeling that growing ire towards positive change.

It also doesn’t hurt see other vodka brands jumping in on the boycott as an opportunity – that only feeds the flames that much more.

What about the naysayers?

In my twenty years of national (and international) gay rights advocacy, I’ve learned that the naysayers are part of the job. Any time you launch a campaign, someone will always know better than you, they’ll always undercut the effort, claim it to be a bad idea, misdirected, ineffective, and even counterproductive.

That is, until you start winning. Then they’re your biggest fan

But in all seriousness, a lot of people need advocacy to be proven to them, they need to see it in action to realize that it can work if done wisely. And many of the naysayers are simply people who don’t know any better because they’ve never experienced anything better. And part of the blame goes to all the failed “boycotts” that have made “boycott” a bad word.

But some are saying that we should be targeting anti-gay members of the Russian parliament instead of vodka? What about that?

Well, we’ve just spent two years talking about how anti-gay Russian government officials are, and it got us bupkiss until Dan Savage came up with the idea of targeting Stoli. You just can’t launch a campaign that’s going to inspire the masses in America, or likely anywhere else, that focuses on four no-name Russian legislators that no one has ever heard of. People need a clear and easy target of opportunity, and that, more often than not, is a company, and not some previously-unheard-of foreign member of parliament 5,000 miles away.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t eventually try to expand our targets to more companies, and eventually target the worst of the worst of the Russian government. I’m all for my country refusing entry visas to those parliamentarians, should they ever try to visit the US. But the American people aren’t going to rally around that cause, and the US government isn’t going to listen to anyone promoting that specific course of action, until and unless we generate enough ire, domestically and internationally. And currently, the only game in town that’s generating the necessary fire and brimstone is the Russian vodka boycott. That doesn’t mean we don’t branch out at some point – but it does mean that we don’t give up the best thing we got.

Where do we go from here?

Stay tuned. This thing has only begun. But for a movement that’s really only existed for 5 days – and I don’t mean local activists, they’ve been fighting this for years, I mean a true international grassroots movement energized and angry over the treatment of gays and trans people in Russia – getting a huge feature story in the Associated Press isn’t nothin’.

This boycott has begun as well as any boycott could, and really far better than even I expected. And now that we have nearly two dozen of Russia’s top LGBT activists on board the international boycott effort, I expect things to get even more interesting. It’s been a fine five days. I’m looking forward to many more.

http://americablog.com/2013/07/why-b...dka-stoli.html

fwiw, we're serving pro-gay swedish vodka at our party this weekend.

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Old 07-31-2013, 01:46 PM   #42
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Russian Lawmaker Vitaly Milonov: Gay Athletes, Tourists Will Be Arrested At The Sochi Winter Olympics

By Anne Lu | July 31, 2013 4:21 PM EST
Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov has said that the country will arrest gay athletes and tourists at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014. The politician, a co-sponsor of the "non-traditional relationships" bill in the country, said their government should not decide when to enforce the law.

On June 30, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into a law a provision that bans gay propaganda in the country. It allows the government to arrest or detain gay or even pro-gay tourists for two weeks before they are deported. Those who break the law may also be fined up to $30,000.

With the Winter Olympics happening in February 2014, the International Olympic Committee has assured the public by saying that foreign athletes and visitors to Sochi for the event would not be targeted by the anti-gay law.

"The International Olympic Committee is clear that a sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex, or sexual orientation," the IOC said in a statement earlier in July. "The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media, and of course, athletes. We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardise this principle."

However, Mr Milonov said that the government cannot choose a time when to enforce the law.

"If a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it. It doesn't have the authority," he said in an interview with Interfax, as translated by GSN.

Mr Milonov was the official that proposed the law prohibiting "gay propaganda" in St Petersburg, which had begun the nationwide ban.

A petition to ban Mr Milonov and Elena Mizulina, the State Duma deputy responsible for the federal law, from entering the U.S. has been launched on the Whitehouse petition Web site, but Mr Milonov isn't worried as he has the support of many American politicians.

"I get word of such things from time to time. I absolutely don't get nervous about this subject," he told RIA Novosti.

"Having spoken with many American politicians, I understand that they support the stance I've taken on this issue. Such support has also been expressed to me by several members of German parliament."

Meanwhile, gay bars in Australia, Canada, the U.S., and the UK are protesting Russia's implementation of their anti-gay law by banning Russian vodka from their menu.

The Winter Olympic Games will be held in Sochi, Russia from Feb 7 to 23, 2014.

Russian Lawmaker Vitaly Milonov: Gay Athletes, Tourists Will Be Arrested At The Sochi Winter Olympics


can we guarantee the safety of the athletes? can we even have the men's figure skating competition?
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:58 PM   #43
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can we even have the men's figure skating competition?
Are you stereotyping men's figure skating?
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:10 PM   #44
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I'm being mildly humorous.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:46 PM   #45
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Seriously - if Russia actually plans to arrest gay Olympic athletes and tourists, then I think that is a definitely a legitimate reason for boycotting the Olympics.
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