Standing together in solidarity with our Russian LBGT brothers and sisters.


Michael standing in solidarity with LGBT Russians at protest in Belfast as Northern Ireland football team plays Russia. Photo © 2013 Andrew McFarland Campbell.
Michael standing in solidarity with LGBT Russians at protest in Belfast as Northern Ireland football team plays Russia. Photo © 2013 Andrew McFarland Campbell.

This evening, some twenty to thirty individuals made the journey into Belfast city centre to protest and highlight the human rights abuses that are going on in Russia. Today was chosen because the Russian football team was playing Northern Ireland in a match that had been put off from March when we had rather a lot of snow.

Along with my husband, Andrew, friends and colleagues from many LGBT community groups and other individuals, we stood outside City Hall to highlight the cause of our Russian brothers and sisters whose human rights are targeted by the new law that Vladimir Putin has signed into law.

A passerby saw me wearing a Northern Ireland track top and holding a rainbow flag, he commented that, “Northern Ireland supporters won’t like you doing that!” Our group turned to him and pointed out that there are NI supporters who are gay too.

The “TONIGHT ‘Support our Russian LGBT brothers and sisters’”event was co-ordinated on Facebook by Marcus Hunter-Neill and Malachai O’Hara from The Rainbow Project lead the chants.

Vladimir, Vladimir, we are here, we are queer.
Vladimir, Vladimir, we are here, we are queer.
Putin, Putin, Putin, OUT, OUT, OUT.
Putin, Putin, Putin, OUT, OUT, OUT.
L, G, B, T, Q, we are just as good as you.
L, G, B, T, Q, we are just as good as you.

The chants resounded off the walls of Donegall Square as the Ulster TV crew took some shots.

With all the problems that we have had in the city with other protests it was great to see a protest truly be a peaceful one. Even the lads from the PSNI were happy. Let’s hope that the issue gets noticed far and wide.

Further action

If you want to tell the Russian government what you think of their laws, you can write to the Russian Ambassador to the Court of St James’s, Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko. The address is:

Mr Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko,
His Excellency the Russian Ambassador,
6/7 Kensington Palace Gardens,
London, W8 4QP

Further contact details are available on the Russian Embassy website.

Originally posted on Michael Carchrie Campbell: Lib Dem Campaigner in Belfast City

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