Why Dump Russian Vodka?
Queer Nation, author Dan Savage, activist Cleve Jones and other leading LGBT activists called for the Dump Russian Vodka campaign in response to Russia’s recent passage of repressive, anti-gay legislation. The laws prevent LGBT people — or anyone else — from saying anything about being gay. They have already subjected LGBT Russians to fines, arrest, and imprisonment; the threat of losing their children; the suspension of their rights guaranteed under the Russian constitution; and government-sanctioned physical brutality.
Do boycotts really work?
The Dump Russian Vodka campaign has already been successful, and it is has only just begun. The tactic has launched the discourse around Russia’s oppression of its LGBT community to another level entirely.
Will boycotting Russian vodka make a difference in Russia?
In less than a week, people who had no idea that anti-LGBT laws had been enacted in Russia now know. Those who knew already are taking action across North America and around the globe. Those who were already taking action know that their ranks are swelling. And most importantly, our LGBT brothers and sisters in Russia know they are not alone, and that the global LGBT community is standing with them.
Do LGBT Russians support this boycott?
Yes! Three dozen well-known Russian LGBT activists have signed a statement — at great risk to their own safety — asking the world to boycott Russian goods. More are signing on to this statement every day.
What has this boycotts accomplished?
- The entire world is talking how to help our LGBT Russians.
- It is no longer possible for President Obama’s press secretary to claim, as he did prior to the boycott, that he’d not heard about the growing demand for a U.S. response to Russia’s anti-gay laws.
- It is no longer possible for the International Olympic Committee to claim that those laws will be suspended in Sochi for two weeks, or to do so without others understanding what an offensive, self-serving goal that would be.
- The president of the United States is debating whether to cancel his trip to the G20 conference in Moscow.
- John Baird, the Canadian foreign affairs minister, has denounced the Russian laws.
- Vladimir Putin is wondering how negative press worldwide will impact the Winter Olympics in Sochi, which he’d hoped would be a showcase for his country.
And that’s just after a week.
What can I do to help?
Don’t drink Russian vodka. Tell your liquor store not to sell Russian vodka. Tell your bartender not to serve Russian vodka. Tell the restaurants where you eat not to purchase Russian vodka. When you’re successful, send an email to Queer Nation and let us know.
And ask your bar to stage a “Dump Russian Vodka” event. When they say yes, email Queer Nation, and we’ll take it from there.
The boycott is currently targeting ALL Russian vodkas available outside of Russia:
- Green Mark
- Russian Standard
It will be expanded to other Russian goods in the coming weeks.