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2014 Winter Olympics protest in front of Vancouver McDonald’s demands rights for LGBTs in Sochi

Photos by: Aasim Raza

Dissenting voices conflated into one outside McDonald’s on Main St and Terminal Ave, to stress support for the LGBT community and call on the sponsors of 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to stand up for human rights.

“In two days the Winter Olympic games will be opening in Russia and when they do no one will be able to do what you are doing right now,” announced co-organizer of the event, Olympic Sponsors Global Speak Out, Jennifer Breakspear.

Jennifer Breakspear talking to media at the event

People held  a rainbow flag, placards read "Being Loved No Matter Who You Are" and "Love Always Wins" - all of this illegal in Russia.

“We are gathered here to protest the Olympic sponsors for not standing up for the gay community. Putin has been very clear in his hatred towards the LGBT community, said an Berend McKenzie  

“We want the sponsors to stand up and protect the rights of the gay community in Russia and make Putin realize that he can not get away with criminalizing humanity, added Mark Kociolek

The protestors hoped that the corporate sponsors McDonalds, Visa and Coca Cola holding financial clout will raise their voices against the unjust law coming to effect in Russia and push for an end to homophobic violence in the country.

Breakspear prodded the corporate sponsors to “put their mouths where their money is.”

 “Yesterday AT&T denounced this law. It is a major coup. Enough consumers are raising their voices and demanding the corporate sponsors to take action.”

Breakspear reiterated that the corporate sponsors have the ears of the International Olympic Committee and the Russian govt, and they should tell them what they and their consumers think of the laws. 

She also expressed her concern for the people living under constant fear in Russia.

“I am concerned about the LGBT community in Russia chiefly because once the games leave I am really scared for the safety of the LGBT community. The eyes will no longer be watching Russia that is what concerns me so much more.”

She urged the community to make their opinion heard and count if they care about this issue, if they care about human rights.

They also took the message inside McDonald’s. 

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