Main | Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Russia State News Notes Stoli Boycott

From the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti:
As boycotts of Russian vodka spread across the globe in protest over new Russian laws on homosexuality, US gay rights activists warn the campaign could be the first stage in a broader drive targeting Russia’s economy and image with the Sochi Winter Olympics six months away. “I don’t think the Russian vodka industry is going to be hurt, but it brings the attention,” journalist and author Michelangelo Signorile, a prominent US gay rights activist, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. “… Then we’ll see the focus go to American companies and investment in Russia. That is where there can be a very effective strategy.” Amid a stream of images and reports highlighting an official crackdown and vigilante violence against gays in Russia, US activists last week called for a boycott of Russian vodka, a campaign that has centered on Stolichnaya, an iconic Russian brand of the traditional sprit. The movement has morphed into a global groundswell, with gay bars in several US cities being joined by establishments in Canada, Britain and Australia in yanking Russian vodka from their shelves.
The story goes on to note that there is considerable disagreement among LGBT activists about the usefulness of any boycott.  As I noted that last time I quoted RIA Novosti, their story is remarkably even-handed.

NOTE: At the top of the above-linked item is this warning: "This article contains information not suitable for readers younger than 18 years of age, according to Russian legislation."

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