Off Topic Messages

Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:50 pm

Dear Prime Minister, M Rogge, Lord Coe and Members of the International Olympic Committee,

I write in the earnest hope that all those with a love of sport and the Olympic spirit will consider the stain on the Five Rings that occurred when the 1936 Berlin Olympics proceeded under the exultant aegis of a tyrant who had passed into law, three years earlier, an act which singled out for special persecution a minority whose only crime was the accident of their birth. In his case he banned Jews from academic tenure or public office, he made sure that the police turned a blind eye to any beatings, thefts or humiliations afflicted on them, he burned and banned books written by them. He claimed they “polluted” the purity and tradition of what it was to be German, that they were a threat to the state, to the children and the future of the Reich. He blamed them simultaneously for the mutually exclusive crimes of Communism and for the controlling of international capital and banks. He blamed them for ruining the culture with their liberalism and difference. The Olympic movement at that time paid precisely no attention to this evil and proceeded with the notorious Berlin Olympiad, which provided a stage for a gleeful Führer and only increased his status at home and abroad. It gave him confidence. All historians are agreed on that. What he did with that confidence we all know.

Putin is eerily repeating this insane crime, only this time against LGBT Russians. Beatings, murders and humiliations are ignored by the police. Any defence or sane discussion of homosexuality is against the law. Any statement, for example, that Tchaikovsky was gay and that his art and life reflects this sexuality and are an inspiration to other gay artists would be punishable by imprisonment. It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their village. The IOC absolutely must take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent against the barbaric, fascist law that Putin has pushed through the Duma. Let us not forget that Olympic events used not only to be athletic, they used to include cultural competitions. Let us realise that in fact, sport is cultural. It does not exist in a bubble outside society or politics. The idea that sport and politics don’t connect is worse than disingenuous, worse than stupid. It is wickedly, wilfully wrong. Everyone knows politics interconnects with everything for “politics” is simply the Greek for “to do with the people”.

An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillyhammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.

He is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it. I know whereof I speak. I have visited Russia, stood up to the political deputy who introduced the first of these laws, in his city of St Petersburg. I looked into the face of the man and, on camera, tried to reason with him, counter him, make him understand what he was doing. All I saw reflected back at me was what Hannah Arendt called, so memorably, “the banality of evil.” A stupid man, but like so many tyrants, one with an instinct of how to exploit a disaffected people by finding scapegoats. Putin may not be quite as oafish and stupid as Deputy Milanov but his instincts are the same. He may claim that the “values” of Russia are not the “values” of the West, but this is absolutely in opposition to Peter the Great’s philosophy, and against the hopes of millions of Russians, those not in the grip of that toxic mix of shaven headed thuggery and bigoted religion, those who are agonised by the rolling back of democracy and the formation of a new autocracy in the motherland that has suffered so much (and whose music, literature and drama, incidentally I love so passionately).

I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian “correctively” raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.

“All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” so wrote Edmund Burke. Are you, the men and women of the IOC going to be those “good” who allow evil to triumph?

The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory. The Five Rings would finally be forever smeared, besmirched and ruined in the eyes of the civilised world.

I am begging you to resist the pressures of pragmatism, of money, of the oily cowardice of diplomats and to stand up resolutely and proudly for humanity the world over, as your movement is pledged to do. Wave your Olympic flag with pride as we gay men and women wave our Rainbow flag with pride. Be brave enough to live up to the oaths and protocols of your movement, which I remind you of verbatim below.

Rule 4 Cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace

Rule 6: Act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement

Rule 15 Encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education

I especially appeal to you, Prime Minister, a man for whom I have the utmost respect. As the leader of a party I have for almost all of my life opposed and instinctively disliked, you showed a determined, passionate and clearly honest commitment to LGBT rights and helped pushed gay marriage through both houses of our parliament in the teeth of vehement opposition from so many of your own side. For that I will always admire you, whatever other differences may lie between us. In the end I believe you know when a thing is wrong or right. Please act on that instinct now.

Yours in desperate hope for humanity
Stephen Fry


The above is an open letter written by actor/comedian/director/writer Stephen Fry to David Cameron and members of the olympics committee, asking for a boycott of next year's winter olympics in Russia. While Fry can occasionally lapse into unintentional self-parody, his writing is almost always passionate, articulate and, when he is writing about a subject close to his heart, moving. The above letter is no exception.

I find it really quite worrying that a boycott of these games has not already been threatened by the western world. If Russia's law was aimed at people of a particular ethnic minority or religion or gender, then I'm sure it would have been. At the moment, the idea really hasn't even been mooted, which is scandalous. I still believe a huge mistake was made when the Beijing olympics got the go-ahead and wasn't boycotted over their human rights abuses, and I sincerely hope that, six years later, we don't make the same mistake again and support a country that is abusing its citizens.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:35 pm

No, we should not Boycott the Olympic games as im sure there are many that have been training to be apart of this event.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:55 am

Why shouldn't they be moved, as Fry and others have suggested. Canada has today offered to host the games, and says it could be ready in time.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:18 am

I think the Winter Olympics in Russia should be boycotted by all civilised countries. Just like the Pekin ones should have been.

I can't stand Putin. I think he's one of the worst SOBs the world has known in recent years, closely followed by Berlusconi.

Having said that, I wish this same kind of civilised spirit and good humanitary intentions had appeared too in 1944 / 1945 when civilised Western countries freed Europe from Hitler and Mussolini, but forgot to free Spain from Franco.

This sole historic fact probably deprives any of those countries of any moral authority to ask for anything in this respect.
Last edited by Mister Moon on Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:06 pm

Fry, overdramatic as usual, comparing Putin to Hitler and letting his gender status influence his overinflated ego, get a grip (pardon the pun)

Those that are trying to seek a boycott (Fry and Obama) should look more closely at their own country's laws before criticising others.

Racism and immigration laws in the UK
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-uk-hunger-games-home-office-antiimmigration-tweets-spark-twitter-backlash-8743941.html
http://metro.co.uk/2013/07/29/go-home-illegal-immigrants-van-could-be-rolled-out-nationwide-3903187/

Mass Killings and gun laws in the US
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

And from research I see that sodomy is illegal in 14 states of the US (up until 2011 anyway) and illegal in over 70 countries (http://76crimes.com/76-countries-where-homosexuality-is-illegal/).

Every country has its fallibilities and every country has its right to set its own laws but if you fail to see the wider picture, thats just ignorance

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:04 pm

memphisto wrote:Fry, overdramatic as usual, comparing Putin to Hitler and letting his gender status influence his overinflated ego, get a grip (pardon the pun)

Those that are trying to seek a boycott (Fry and Obama) should look more closely at their own country's laws before criticising others.

Racism and immigration laws in the UK
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-uk-hunger-games-home-office-antiimmigration-tweets-spark-twitter-backlash-8743941.html
http://metro.co.uk/2013/07/29/go-home-illegal-immigrants-van-could-be-rolled-out-nationwide-3903187/

Mass Killings and gun laws in the US
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

And from research I see that sodomy is illegal in 14 states of the US (up until 2011 anyway) and illegal in over 70 countries (http://76crimes.com/76-countries-where-homosexuality-is-illegal/).

Every country has its fallibilities and every country has its right to set its own laws but if you fail to see the wider picture, thats just ignorance


You are talking about laws in the UK, but then post two links to things unrelated to laws - and you might notice that both events to which you link caused quite a backlash. We have a problem in the Uk with the government using rhetoric which is intended to turn neighbour against neighbour - and race/imigration and the jobless are sadly caught up in the middle of that - but you are not referring to laws, and the UK is certainly not abusing human rights. I don't agree with blaming immigration and the unemployed for the mess the country is in, but no-one is rounding people up and sending them to prison for who they love. Likewise, sodomy might be illegal in 14 states in the US, but homosexuality itself is not against the law, and no-one is rounding up gay men and women and throwing them in prison. As for gun laws in the USA, I fail to see what that has to do with anything in this case. Like them or loathe them, they do not advocate the prosecution of anyone because of who they fall in love with.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:11 pm

No we shouldn't that only hurts the athletes who are training for the Olympics.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:41 pm

mark wrote:No we shouldn't that only hurts the athletes who are training for the Olympics.


What about the athletes who are threatened with arrest if they compete? And the tourists who can't go to watch in case they get arrested? And should an event bringing big financial benefits be supported when the country is abusing human rights? And why shouldn't they move the olympics to another country - as suggested by Fry and offered by Canada?

Or, to put it more bluntly, doesn't anyone have a conscience?

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:29 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
You are talking about laws in the UK, but then post two links to things unrelated to laws - and you might notice that both events to which you link caused quite a backlash. We have a problem in the Uk with the government using rhetoric which is intended to turn neighbour against neighbour - and race/imigration and the jobless are sadly caught up in the middle of that - but you are not referring to laws, and the UK is certainly not abusing human rights. I don't agree with blaming immigration and the unemployed for the mess the country is in, but no-one is rounding people up and sending them to prison for who they love. Likewise, sodomy might be illegal in 14 states in the US, but homosexuality itself is not against the law, and no-one is rounding up gay men and women and throwing them in prison. As for gun laws in the USA, I fail to see what that has to do with anything in this case. Like them or loathe them, they do not advocate the prosecution of anyone because of who they fall in love with.


You missed the point.

I was referring to Obama and gun laws. He does nothing to stem the availability of guns. I find this unacceptable in a civilised society but if USA was hosting the games I wouldnt be calling for countries to boycott them because I didnt agree with their gun laws. Their laws are their choice. As for the UK, they certainly do abuse human rights laws especially those of immigrants, unemployed and homeless. The problem with living in this country is that, sure, there is a storm of controversy, they withdraw the measures there and then, then months later they do the same thing, and again until there is no resistance to it. Abuse of those laws happens every day.

Just like Fry you get caught up in the cause at the expense of looking at it without bias. Its certainly no reason to boycott the games as this should be something that has no politics involved.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:29 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
mark wrote:No we shouldn't that only hurts the athletes who are training for the Olympics.


What about the athletes who are threatened with arrest if they compete? And the tourists who can't go to watch in case they get arrested? And should an event bringing big financial benefits be supported when the country is abusing human rights? And why shouldn't they move the olympics to another country - as suggested by Fry and offered by Canada?

Or, to put it more bluntly, doesn't anyone have a conscience?


So any athletic or a tourist who goes out to Russia will get arrested if they admit to being gay?

Is that what you are saying?

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:02 pm

Bodie wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
mark wrote:No we shouldn't that only hurts the athletes who are training for the Olympics.


What about the athletes who are threatened with arrest if they compete? And the tourists who can't go to watch in case they get arrested? And should an event bringing big financial benefits be supported when the country is abusing human rights? And why shouldn't they move the olympics to another country - as suggested by Fry and offered by Canada?

Or, to put it more bluntly, doesn't anyone have a conscience?


So any athletic or a tourist who goes out to Russia will get arrested if they admit to being gay?

Is that what you are saying?


That is what the Russians have said - although they seem to keep changing their mind on the issue, but the threat is there.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:21 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
Bodie wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
mark wrote:No we shouldn't that only hurts the athletes who are training for the Olympics.


What about the athletes who are threatened with arrest if they compete? And the tourists who can't go to watch in case they get arrested? And should an event bringing big financial benefits be supported when the country is abusing human rights? And why shouldn't they move the olympics to another country - as suggested by Fry and offered by Canada?

Or, to put it more bluntly, doesn't anyone have a conscience?


So any athletic or a tourist who goes out to Russia will get arrested if they admit to being gay?

Is that what you are saying?


That is what the Russians have said - although they seem to keep changing their mind on the issue, but the threat is there.


I highly doubt anyone will get arrested if they admit to being gay.

Taking part in any gay sexual activity in public is another thing altogether which is probably what they mean.

Similar to some Muslim countries that forbid any sexual activity between a man and woman who are not married.

Some countries do have some strange and prehistoric laws.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:40 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
That is what the Russians have said - although they seem to keep changing their mind on the issue, but the threat is there.


Can you provide links to substantiate this? And links to substantiate that there have been beatings? Are we talking tens or hundreds or thousands?

Til now I have read very few facts in the media. Anyone can say anything, but it means nothing without something to back it up.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:18 pm

The Russian law only says that nobody may give information about homosexuality to minors. Which may not suit everyone but is hardly grounds for cancelling, banning or moving the winter olympics. Admittedly the climate is not great for gay people in Russia at present but no gay athl;ete will be harmed or arrested at the games.

This is from Sky News;

Speaking in Sochi on Wednesday, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said the law would not "infringe on rights of people based on sexual orientation, either at the Olympics, or before or after" - as long as children were not involved.

He said gay athletes could "get on with their private life, including telling adults about its advantages and attractiveness, but not involve children".

LGBT campaigner Nikolai Alexeyev said a boycott would not be fair to the sportsmen and women who have trained towards the games.


And if Stephen Fry thinks that Russia's attitude to gays is in any way comparable to the Nazis' attitude to jews he seriously needs to buy a history book and get reading.

Finally if you think this is bad wait until whatever year it is that Qatar hosts the soccer world cup. Over there homosexuality is punishable by flogging and imprisonment! It would be better to reserve any boycotts for that event.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:31 pm

I'm not quite sure what kind of bubble people are living in, or why they think people are making up such horror stories. Perhaps Fry is correct in comparing the issue to 1936, when people didn't believe the Nazis could possibly be treating the Jews in the way we had been told, and that the horror stories were made up.

This issue has been in the news for months, and been condemned by many governments worldwide. The actual law that the Russians are using refers to a banning of "gay propaganda", but that is not how it is being enforced - any sign of public affection is resulting in arrests and beating. The law is playing into the hands of the fascists within the country who are now carrying out their own reign of terror against homosexuals (no doubt the result Putin was hoping for in the first place). That people think the gay people of Russia are simply making up what is happening there, is both ludicrous and insulting.

Memphisto asks how many beating there have been - does it matter whether there are ten, hundreds or thousands? Does it not matter if there is only 10? "There's only a few queers being beaten up by the police, so that's ok?" is that really what you think?

From the New York Times:

To the long list of Russians whom President Vladimir Putin is persecuting, add gay people and those who support gay rights. Along with political dissidents, journalists and billionaire businessmen, they are increasingly the focus of repellent laws and repressive practices that could send them, and anyone who dares defend them, to jail.

For some time, antigay sentiment has been spreading in Russia’s conservative society, encouraged by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church. But Mr. Putin and his government have taken that to a new level by legitimizing the hatemongering in legislation.

Earlier this month, he signed a law banning the adoption of Russian-born children to gay couples and to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists. Last month, Mr. Putin signed a law allowing the police to arrest tourists and foreigners suspected of being gay or pro-gay and detain them for up to 14 days. He also signed a bill classifying “homosexual” propaganda as pornography with vague wording that could subject anyone arguing for tolerance ... to arrest and fines.

...

The new laws contravene Russian commitments to human rights and fundamental freedoms under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

They also contradict the charter of the International Olympic Committee, which calls sport a “human right” and states that “every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind.” With laws like these on the books, gay athletes, gay fans and others who speak their minds could put themselves in legal jeopardy by attending the 2014 Winter Olympics, which are in Sochi, Russia, in February.



From the Daily Telegraph:

The anti-propaganda law introduces fines of up to 5,000 rubles for citizens who disseminate information ... which may cause a "distorted understanding" that gay and heterosexual relations are "socially equivalent", [in other words are equal] the official publication of the bill showed.

Opponents have called the bill homophobic and so vaguely defined that it would inevitably be used arbitrarily and stir anti-gay sentiment in the country. However, it sailed through parliament and Mr Putin had promised in advance that he would sign it.

...Foreigners will not only be fined but face administrative arrest up to 15 days and eventual deportation, the law says.

gay pride.jpg
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Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:35 pm

bray1977 wrote:The Russian law only says that nobody may give information about homosexuality to minors. .


That is incorrect. Yes, the Russian law does talk about minors, and I have purposely edited that out of my posts taken from newspapers above, as we still have a long way to go in our own country about that. However, it is quite clear that it does not just refer to minors, but that the media are simply concentrating on that - kids always make something more newsworthy. Once again, from the Telegraph:

The anti-propaganda law introduces fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($156) for citizens who disseminate information aimed at minors "directed at forming nontraditional sexual setup" or which may cause a "distorted understanding" that gay and heterosexual relations are "socially equivalent", the official publication of the bill showed.

The second half of that does not refer just to minors.

Another article from the New York Times:

RUSSIA’S president, Vladimir V. Putin, has declared war on homosexuals. So far, the world has mostly been silent.

¶ On July 3, Mr. Putin signed a law banning the adoption of Russian-born children not only to gay couples but also to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists in any form.

¶ A few days earlier, just six months before Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Games, Mr. Putin signed a law allowing police officers to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days. Contrary to what the International Olympic Committee says, the law could mean that any Olympic athlete, trainer, reporter, family member or fan who is gay — or suspected of being gay, or just accused of being gay — can go to jail.

¶ Earlier in June, Mr. Putin signed yet another antigay bill, classifying “homosexual propaganda” as pornography. The law is broad and vague, so that any teacher who tells students that homosexuality is not evil, any parents who tell their child that homosexuality is normal, or anyone who makes pro-gay statements deemed accessible to someone underage is now subject to arrest and fines. Even a judge, lawyer or lawmaker cannot publicly argue for tolerance without the threat of punishment.

¶ Finally, it is rumored that Mr. Putin is about to sign an edict that would remove children from their own families if the parents are either gay or lesbian or suspected of being gay or lesbian. The police would have the authority to remove children from adoptive homes as well as from their own biological parents.

Not surprisingly, some gay and lesbian families are already beginning to plan their escapes from Russia.

¶ Why is Mr. Putin so determined to criminalize homosexuality? He has defended his actions by saying that the Russian birthrate is diminishing and that Russian families as a whole are in danger of decline. That may be. But if that is truly his concern, he should be embracing gay and lesbian couples who, in my world, are breeding like proverbial bunnies. These days I rarely meet a gay couple who aren’t raising children.

¶ And if Mr. Putin thinks he is protecting heterosexual marriage by denying us the same unions, he hasn’t kept up with the research. Studies from San Diego State University compared homosexual civil unions and heterosexual marriages in Vermont and found that the same-sex relationships demonstrate higher levels of satisfaction, sexual fulfillment and happiness. (Vermont legalized same-sex marriages in 2009, after the study was completed.)

¶ Mr. Putin also says that his adoption ban was enacted to protect children from pedophiles. Once again the research does not support the homophobic rhetoric. About 90 percent of pedophiles are heterosexual men.

¶ Mr. Putin’s true motives lie elsewhere. Historically this kind of scapegoating is used by politicians to solidify their bases and draw attention away from their failing policies, and no doubt this is what’s happening in Russia. Counting on the natural backlash against the success of marriage equality around the world and recruiting support from conservative religious organizations, Mr. Putin has sallied forth into this battle, figuring that the only opposition he will face will come from the left, his favorite boogeyman.

¶ 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.

¶ Nevertheless, the rest of the world remains almost completely ignorant of Mr. Putin’s agenda. His adoption restrictions have received some attention, but it has been largely limited to people involved in international adoptions.

¶ This must change. 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.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:48 pm

bray1977 wrote:The Russian law only says that nobody may give information about homosexuality to minors. Which may not suit everyone but is hardly grounds for cancelling, banning or moving the winter olympics. Admittedly the climate is not great for gay people in Russia at present but no gay athl;ete will be harmed or arrested at the games.

This is from Sky News;

Speaking in Sochi on Wednesday, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said the law would not "infringe on rights of people based on sexual orientation, either at the Olympics, or before or after" - as long as children were not involved.

He said gay athletes could "get on with their private life, including telling adults about its advantages and attractiveness, but not involve children".

LGBT campaigner Nikolai Alexeyev said a boycott would not be fair to the sportsmen and women who have trained towards the games.


And if Stephen Fry thinks that Russia's attitude to gays is in any way comparable to the Nazis' attitude to jews he seriously needs to buy a history book and get reading.

Finally if you think this is bad wait until whatever year it is that Qatar hosts the soccer world cup. Over there homosexuality is punishable by flogging and imprisonment! It would be better to reserve any boycotts for that event.


You seem to miss the point, it is punishable by imprisonment in Russia as well. Talk about ignorance.

As for your comment about Nazis and the Jews...the holocaust occurred because the rest of the world did nothing when Hitler started discriminating against the Jews in laws very similar to those occurring today in Russia. If thousands of people are tortured, imprisoned and killed in Russia in the coming years, it will be because you didn't think it was important today, because you couldn't believe it would happen, and because you were unable to believe what you were being told by the people of Russia.
Last edited by poormadpeter on Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:49 pm

I am not fully aware and haven't read up on the full facts of what is going on in Putin's Russia yet. But I'm aware of my fave artist pulling out of a few gigs in Russia in protest at Putin's policies.

"Mark Knopfler has canceled a pair of performances in Russia over what he called a "crackdown" on human rights groups. The former Dire Straits guitarist pulled out of concerts scheduled for June 7th in Moscow and June 8th in St. Petersburg".

"Given the crackdown by Russian authorities on groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, I have regretfully decided to cancel my upcoming concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg in June," Knopfler wrote on his website. "I have always loved playing in Russia and have great affection for the country and the people. I hope the current climate will change soon."




Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ ... z2bUFeGsKE

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:05 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
As for your comment about Nazis and the Jews...the holocaust occurred because the rest of the world did nothing when Hitler started discriminating against the Jews in laws very similar to those occurring today in Russia. If thousands of people are tortured, imprisoned and killed in Russia in the coming years, it will be because you didn't think it was important today, because you couldn't believe it would happen, and because you were unable to believe what you were being told by the people of Russia.


So you think that Russia is preparing mass executions and gas chambers for gay people? I very much doubt that. I don't doubt that Russia is not a welcoming environment for gays these days but comparisons with the holocaust are wildly inaccurate and only serve to diminish the impact of that particular catastrophe.

poormadpeter wrote:
Talk about ignorance.



Equating genocide with some restrictive laws and beatings is ignorance.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:37 pm

bray1977 wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
As for your comment about Nazis and the Jews...the holocaust occurred because the rest of the world did nothing when Hitler started discriminating against the Jews in laws very similar to those occurring today in Russia. If thousands of people are tortured, imprisoned and killed in Russia in the coming years, it will be because you didn't think it was important today, because you couldn't believe it would happen, and because you were unable to believe what you were being told by the people of Russia.


So you think that Russia is preparing mass executions and gas chambers for gay people? I very much doubt that. I don't doubt that Russia is not a welcoming environment for gays these days but comparisons with the holocaust are wildly inaccurate and only serve to diminish the impact of that particular catastrophe.

poormadpeter wrote:
Talk about ignorance.



Equating genocide with some restrictive laws and beatings is ignorance.


No, my point quite clearly is that the holocaust started with very similar laws coming into force in Germany, and no-one in the outside world giving a damn. It then escalated from there. So, you want to do something now, or wait until it escalates? Again.

Or to put it another way, this would have been quite a common comment outside of Germany as the world was warned of the escalating laws against the Jews...

So you think that germany is preparing mass executions and gas chambers for Jews? I very much doubt that. (your words from the above post, two words substituted).

We're meant to learn from our mistakes, not repeat them.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:50 pm

I know what your point is. Mine is that the holocaust was a unique event in human history and it is NOT going to happen again to gay people in Russia. It could only happen in Nazi times because it was relatively easy to keep hidden due to the conditions in place at the time. In this age of 24 hour rolling news nothing is secret and the uproar if the world discovered that Russia was operating gas chambers would be unspeakable.

The depth of human tragedy and suffering in the holocaust is unimagineable to thiose of us who were not there. It is irritating to constantly see special interest groups equating their own far, far lesser injustices with that horror. It smacks to me of simply looking for effect. If gays are badly treated in Russia by all means publicise the fact but leave the 6 million dead out of it.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:20 pm

Getting back to the main topic, its reported on the news that a stronger stance to the Gay Laws that Russia have is to take part in the Winter Olympics, not to Boycott them.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:31 pm

bray1977 wrote:I know what your point is. Mine is that the holocaust was a unique event in human history and it is NOT going to happen again to gay people in Russia. It could only happen in Nazi times because it was relatively easy to keep hidden due to the conditions in place at the time. In this age of 24 hour rolling news nothing is secret and the uproar if the world discovered that Russia was operating gas chambers would be unspeakable.

The depth of human tragedy and suffering in the holocaust is unimagineable to thiose of us who were not there. It is irritating to constantly see special interest groups equating their own far, far lesser injustices with that horror. It smacks to me of simply looking for effect. If gays are badly treated in Russia by all means publicise the fact but leave the 6 million dead out of it.


Elvis fans are a special interest group, homosexuals are not.

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:39 pm

Bodie wrote:Getting back to the main topic, its reported on the news that a stronger stance to the Gay Laws that Russia have is to take part in the Winter Olympics, not to Boycott them.


Nearly eleven thousand athletes took part in the London Olympics. Going by the figure of 9% of the population of the world being gay or bisexual, that means that there were around 990 were gay or bisexual. Out of nearly a thousand, the number of athletes who are open about their sexuality was a mere 21. That means roughly 2% of gay athletes feel that they can be open about it within the world of sport. There is a huge on-going problem with homophobia and general lack-of-acceptance within the sporting world, and gay athletes will be even more marginalised if the games go ahead as planned next year in a country that is outlawing homosexuality and breaching human rights in that area. At a time when the gay sporting community should be getting support from the Olympics committee to encourage openness and acceptance, it will instead be receiving a kick in the teeth (possibly for real as well as metaphorically).

Re: Should we boycott the Winter Olympics?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:25 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
Bodie wrote:Getting back to the main topic, its reported on the news that a stronger stance to the Gay Laws that Russia have is to take part in the Winter Olympics, not to Boycott them.


Nearly eleven thousand athletes took part in the London Olympics. Going by the figure of 9% of the population of the world being gay or bisexual, that means that there were around 990 were gay or bisexual. Out of nearly a thousand, the number of athletes who are open about their sexuality was a mere 21. That means roughly 2% of gay athletes feel that they can be open about it within the world of sport. There is a huge on-going problem with homophobia and general lack-of-acceptance within the sporting world, and gay athletes will be even more marginalised if the games go ahead as planned next year in a country that is outlawing homosexuality and breaching human rights in that area. At a time when the gay sporting community should be getting support from the Olympics committee to encourage openness and acceptance, it will instead be receiving a kick in the teeth (possibly for real as well as metaphorically).


I think its more about the promotion of homosexuality that Russia is against.

Why don't some gay people just get on with their lives and stop trying to force acceptance of their sexual preferences upon the rest of us? After all there are many others who have different sexual preferences but they are not advertising the fact that they are straight or celibate.