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Gay Rights in Sochi, Russia- Boycott or Protest? Options · View
Rembacher
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2013 9:57:03 AM

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http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9522926/gay-rights-sochi-boycott-movement

I found this to be an interesting article on the current debate about whether countries should boycott the Sochi Olympics to protest the crackdown on gay rights in in Russia. I think I tend to agree with John Carlos. (who made the black power salute at the 1968 games in Mexico City)
Quote:
The bottom line is, if you stay home, your message stays home with you. If you stand for justice and equality, you have an obligation to find the biggest possible megaphone to let your feelings be known. Don't let your message be buried and don't bury yourself.


So, what do you think? Should countries boycott the Olympics in protest? Or will they have a stronger message if they attend, and protest in Russia, despite the added risk that choice brings?
Dani
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2013 10:09:38 AM

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Rembacher wrote:
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9522926/gay-rights-sochi-boycott-movement

I found this to be an interesting article on the current debate about whether countries should boycott the Sochi Olympics to protest the crackdown on gay rights in in Russia. I think I tend to agree with John Carlos. (who made the black power salute at the 1968 games in Mexico City)


So, what do you think? Should countries boycott the Olympics in protest? Or will they have a stronger message if they attend, and protest in Russia, despite the added risk that choice brings?


You mean should people in countries outside of Russia spend loads of money to somehow get to Russia and protest? That seems counterproductive. Spend lots of money and resources to get to a country you're trying to protest? Money and resources that go directly to this country? A boycott would seem the more sensible of the two, no?



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sprite
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2013 10:22:11 AM

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only enter gay athletes into the Olympics that year. :)

on a realistic note, i think the athletes themselves should have that choice. yes, i am very outspoken about gay rights, but think of it, these men and women train for years to get one shot, every four years, at being in the olypmics. they should be allowed that choice. after all, the olympics, in their purest form, are supposed to be politics free, right? not that it happens, but that's the ideal.

what i think SHOULD happen is that the spectators should boycott. no one goes to Russia to watch. NO one. not just from america, but from every other country. no news media, no celebs, no one. it won't, but that's what should happen. also, i think it would be great for all the athletes to incorporate a rainbow flag into their uniforms. and carry two flags in the parade, one of their country, another one rainbow. that's how i'd handle it. oh, and yeah, if i was competing, i'd make sure that every interview i did mention Russia's stance on gay rights - i think Carlos is right - that image, that salute was burned into the minds of people - even now, it's a huge moment. think of if he and Tommie Smith hadn't have been there to make it?

also, boycotts like this usually end up hurting those who have nothing to do with polices. all the local businesses, etc. it's like in Cuba, the US has had a boycott embargo on them for decades, but it's the cuban people who suffer - Castro is STILL in power - it hasn't really done a thing except drive that country into poverty. not even sure why we don't drop it? just out of habit, i suppose? not like Cuba is a threat to us.

back to the Sochi question - sure, it puts pressure on the government, but unless EVERYone works together to protest, Putin's regime won't shift their stance, and realistically, this is too big an event - i seriously doubt the media will simply sit and home and let it pass without coverage - it's way too lucrative for them.

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Monocle
Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2013 4:53:39 PM

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It's pretty well documented that Olympics don't pay a long term financial dividend to most host cities/countries. On the other hand, a single gay athlete rarely gets a bigger megaphone than the medal stand and interview booths at the Olympics. I say go and make hella noise.
Guest
Posted: Friday, August 02, 2013 9:00:15 PM

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I think athletes should attend, then show in their own way their own nations contradiction to freedom and equality. Of course some nations females showing up in shorts would be scandalous.
crm1985
Posted: Thursday, August 08, 2013 1:55:54 PM

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I would say money talks if Russia will listen I think many people will not want to support a country that has such a bad rights record I think there might not be enough people willing to stay home to make a difference but you never know Anyway what if you substitute Jewish for Gay and Hitler for Putin hate is hate and has a sad history of leading too often down a slippery slope towards a "final solution" I for one will try not to send my rather modest money in the Russian direction
1ball
Posted: Friday, August 09, 2013 10:19:45 AM

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George Takei is pushing to get the Olympics moved to Canada. Oh my! It's OK to be Takei.

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elitfromnorth
Posted: Friday, August 09, 2013 8:57:15 PM

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Boycot or no boycot, Putin won't really give a shit. That's the sad truth of it. This is the man that OK'd a political asylum to John Snowden and practically gave Obama the finger and laughed. He has made sure that a shitload of money(including all the bribes to IOC) have been spent in Sochi and nothing anyone can do will stop him from having his olympics, because to him that's what they are; his olympics.

If a boycot was done by countries then it would probably piss off the athletes more than Putin. Imagine USA boycotting. Maybe they'd get a few countries with them, but the rest wouldn't really care. More medals to them. The US athletes that don't give a crap might start wondering if they should let politics rule their chance of getting olympic medals.

Let the politicians and civil rights group deal with those issues. These athletes plan years ahead for this event. This isn't their job. The amount of time that goes into making sure they are top level makes this their life. I think it is unfair that we demand that these athletes give up their dreams just because a bunch of retarded politicians have passed a law that will be removed in a short time. Russia is changing and change will come before we know it.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
LadyX
Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013 4:42:55 PM

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elitfromnorth wrote:
Boycot or no boycot, Putin won't really give a shit. That's the sad truth of it. This is the man that OK'd a political asylum to John Snowden and practically gave Obama the finger and laughed.


Edward Snowden, sir. And that man is a patriot. In this matter, Obama deserves to be trolled on a worldwide stage, as Putin is currently doing to him. We can only hope Vlad does him a real solid and helps him get somewhere on a permanent basis, in or out of Russia.

Monocle
Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013 4:53:06 PM

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LadyX wrote:


Edward Snowden, sir. And that man is a patriot. In this matter, Obama deserves to be trolled on a worldwide stage, as Putin is currently doing to him. We can only hope Vlad does him a real solid and helps him get somewhere on a permanent basis, in or out of Russia.



Whether or not Obama deserves the trolling, that's the only reason Putin did it. Putin is no champion of transparency, or freedom. And the intolerance he condones in his own citizens makes Putin a bloody (literally, in that the blood of innocents is on his hands) hypocrite.
LadyX
Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013 4:56:03 PM

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Monocle wrote:


Whether or not Obama deserves the trolling, that's the only reason Putin did it. Putin is no champion of transparency, or freedom. And the intolerance he condones in his own citizens makes Putin a bloody (literally, in that the blood of innocents is on his hands) hypocrite.


Granted. I just want the patriot's name spelled right. And also for there to be no mistaking the hypocrite Obama for bearing any sort of moral high ground on this issue.
elitfromnorth
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 5:25:07 AM

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LadyX wrote:


Edward Snowden, sir. And that man is a patriot. In this matter, Obama deserves to be trolled on a worldwide stage, as Putin is currently doing to him. We can only hope Vlad does him a real solid and helps him get somewhere on a permanent basis, in or out of Russia.



My bad. Have no clue where I got John from. I'm blaming the painkillers. Regardless, the producers will be under such heavy censorship that any hope we have of seeing protests will be through foreign media that isn't controlled by Vlad. And do you really think they'll give much time when they can bring you news about how awesome your country is and how annoyed the rest are? Human rights violaton abroad is a quick story. Sad, but true.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
Monocle
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 6:24:26 AM

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If Russian law - or homophobic hooliganism causes arrest or injury of foreign athletes or olympic attendees, the Olympics are going to get a serious and deserved black eye. Russia/Putin may or may not care, but its rep will take damage.
elitfromnorth
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 3:39:56 PM

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Monocle wrote:
If Russian law - or homophobic hooliganism causes arrest or injury of foreign athletes or olympic attendees, the Olympics are going to get a serious and deserved black eye. Russia/Putin may or may not care, but its rep will take damage.


Putin and Russia are too powerful to give a crap about their reputation, especially regarding something like this. Come summer the incidents would sadly be forgotten. Just look at the US. How many scandals have not the US in general been a part of over the years, with Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Iraq war, Manning, Snowden and PRISM and all the other things, yet still there are more skeletons in the closet as the rest of the world views it. The USA, Russia and China are a couple of the countries in the world that are so powerful and influential that they can give the finger to the rest of the world.

Now the Norwegian IOC member have actually gone on record and said that anyone who wants to do the a pro-gay protest should just forget about it because it's in the Olympic charter that there will be no politicla demonstration by athletes. So basically, Sprite on the the top of the podium wrapping herself in the rainbow flag would make her lose her medal.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
Monocle
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 6:50:03 PM

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elitfromnorth wrote:

Putin and Russia are too powerful to give a crap about their reputation, especially regarding something like this. Come summer the incidents would sadly be forgotten. Just look at the US. How many scandals have not the US in general been a part of over the years, with Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Iraq war, Manning, Snowden and PRISM and all the other things,

Several of those did, and continue to do the US lasting damage. They are examples of my point.


elitfromnorth wrote:

yet still there are more skeletons in the closet as the rest of the world views it.

That distrust is part of the damage.

elitfromnorth wrote:

Now the Norwegian IOC member have actually gone on record and said that anyone who wants to do the a pro-gay protest should just forget about it because it's in the Olympic charter that there will be no politicla demonstration by athletes. So basically, Sprite on the the top of the podium wrapping herself in the rainbow flag would make her lose her medal.


I believe it was a Norwegian member who said the Olympics could still be taken away from Russia for violating the charter. But yes, I saw the article where an IOC member threatened the athletes - though they have to bring a very broad interpretation of political speech to bear to make that threat.
elitfromnorth
Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013 5:35:48 AM

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Distrust sadly is no real damage. Just because there are a bunch of human rights violations doesn't mean people will stop buying stuff from the US or stop accepting US money in whatever form it comes. The US has only lost face, nothing more.

And the corrupt old facists at IOC won't stop the olympics unless there is footage of Putin in Siberia standing in front of a Gulag and says in very broken English "In here we kill faggots". It's the very terrible truth of how money has corrupted what used to be an event that was about peace.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
Monocle
Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013 5:47:11 AM

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I think more than face has been lost. In international politics, that can play out in many ways, but I'll admit I don't have the hard knowledge to back up my feeling, so I'll let it lie.

As for the IOC and Russia, unfortunately, we'll probably find out if you're right.
MadMartigan
Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013 8:12:38 AM

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LadyX wrote:


Granted. I just want the patriot's name spelled right. And also for there to be no mistaking the hypocrite Obama for bearing any sort of moral high ground on this issue.


Patriot or not, the man is nothing like Ellsberg, and I'm not naive enough to think it was only because he was being "patriotic" and that getting substantial attention for himself didn't enter the equation.
======

I'm also unsure of what you're getting at about Obama not having moral high ground to talk about the rights and respect that should be given to gays. dontknow

===========

On the matter of Russia, well. Unsurprising. But I'm no fan of ruining something for athletes, many of whom have spent their entire lives working their way to this one shot at glory.

And the thing about Boycotts is this....They don't do a damned bit of good unless significant portions of a population are doing something in relation to the boycott. A few people aren't going to do shit. People showing up to protest won't do shit either if hordes of people still turn up to attend the games. And people will continue to watch the telecasts.

Make no mistake, Putin is an egomaniac and I too think he wouldn't give a crap in the long run. It's just not his style.

And being realistic here...If the Olympic Games were not boycotted in full when hosted in Berlin at the height of the Nazi's growing power, they probably won't be boycotted for Russia not supporting gay rights. It is just a sad fact. In fact, the IOC expelled a US athlete who tried to get others to boycott the games.


The IOC talks a hard talk, but I'm not completely convinced they can do anything at this point. Money rules. And the fact is, there is little time to switch locations...if any time at all.
LadyX
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 8:17:46 AM

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MadMartigan wrote:


Patriot or not, the man is nothing like Ellsberg, and I'm not naive enough to think it was only because he was being "patriotic" and that getting substantial attention for himself didn't enter the equation.


I'm not that naïve, either, though I don't think it was 100% ego service. But I'm not really concerned with his motivations anyway. The list of heroic actions undertaken by unlikeable people for self-serving reasons is probably too long to ever review, but that doesn't change the actions themselves, nor (in many cases) their weight.

Quote:

I'm also unsure of what you're getting at about Obama not having moral high ground to talk about the rights and respect that should be given to gays. dontknow



Sorry about that. I kinda threadjacked it there. I was talking about Obama's feeble attempt at moral high ground re: Snowden and the concept of unconstitutional covert surveillance.
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