A Change.org Petition Urging Corporations To Boycott Russian Olympics Reaches 50,000 signatures; Targets Coca-Cola, Panasonic, VISA, Samsung, Procter&Gamble

A Change.org petition urging Coca-Cola, Panasonic, VISA, Samsung, and Procter&Gamble to boycott the Russian 2014 Winter Olympic games has surpassed 50,000 signatures. The petition started by Julianne Howell of Loveland, OH has gained nearly 30,000 signatures in the last four days as news continues to spread around the world of the increase in violent attacks against LGBT Russian citizens accompanied by Russia’s crackdown on LGBT rights.

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Julianne explains the purpose for her Change.org petition:

In Russia, it is basically illegal to say that you are gay. You cannot kiss your partner in public. You can’t have a rainbow flag in public. You can’t even acknowledge that you are gay, or else you face possible imprisonment and fines.

Russia is becoming one of the most anti-gay places in the entire world. But it’s also going to hold the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, where the world is supposed to come together in a spirit of community and togetherness. But how could LGBT people and their families be welcome, when they run the risk of being thrown in jail or fined just for being who they are?

RUSA LGBT, a Russian-speaking American association for members of the gay community, says that LGBT athletes and spectators will not be safe during the 2014 Olympic games. And given the Russian government’s recent actions toward LGBT people — including violent crackdowns on gay rights rallies and arresting members of the LGBT community — how could anyone feel safe during these Olympic games?

That’s why I’m asking the major sponsors and partners of the Sochi 2014 Olympic games — Coca-Cola, Panasonic, Samsung, Procter & Gamble, and Visa — to condemn Russia’s anti-gay laws, which are some of the most repressive laws in recent history, and pull their sponsorship from Russia’s Olympic games. Do these companies want to be tied to an Olympics where LGBT athletes and spectators are likely to face harsh violence, prison, and brutality?

It’s time for these companies to put their support for LGBT people first, and send a message to Russia that their anti-gay laws are not only contrary to basic human rights, but fly in the face of the spirit of the Olympic Games, which celebrate human dignity and community above all else.

Below is the change.org petition letter addressed to the major sponsors of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi:


Visit Change.org to sign the petition by clicking here.

AllOut.org has collected 207,860 signatures of their 250,000 goal since June 7th, in a campaign draw attention to Russia’s anti-gay ‘propaganda’ bill and the increase in murders and violent attacks of LGBT people in Russia.

All Out explains:

Crisis in Russia: An anti-gay ‘propaganda’ bill was just signed into law. More murder and violent attacks of LGBT people are being reported. Brave Russians who defy pride march bans have been arrested. The government is even levying heavy fines against human rights defenders who stand up for LGBT rights.

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With the Winter Olympics in Sochi fast approaching, Putin will have to be careful of Russia’s international reputation now more than ever.

Russian people struggling against the anti-gay crackdown are calling for help. They need a massive global outcry and media attention right now when it has the most chance of helping. Can you join in and sign the petition?

Click here to add your name to the campaign.