Beth Granter

Freelance digital consultant for charities

LGBTQ+ solidarity demo in Brighton on first day of Sochi Olympics

Photo of demonstrators

A family friendly demonstration of solidarity with LGBTQ+ people in Russia is planned to take place on the first day of the Sochi Olympics – Saturday 8th February 2014 – in Brighton. “To Russia with Love, Brighton” starts at 12 Noon at the clock tower, Queens Road.

Following the success of the first “To Russia with Love, Brighton” demo in November 2013, also organised by members of Brighton and Hove Socialist Party and other individuals, the aim is to raise awareness of the increasing violence and oppression faced by gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer and other people in Russia.

Russian activist Ksenia Zhivago says, “Members of Russian LGBT groups have been trying hard to draw international attention to the human rights violation and freedom of speech repression in Russia, which has particularly increased during the pre-Olympics period. Every person who tried to wave a rainbow flag during the Olympic Torch Relay was immediately detained, every person who tried to speak out about LGBTQ rights violation in Russia was stopped. LGBTQ activists are being attacked but the Russian police refuse to investigate cases of violence motivated by homophobia.”

The Sochi Olympics puts the world spotlight on Russia and international protests are showing mass opposition to Putin’s homophobic government. The ‘Russian Section 28’ is fuelling a rising tide of violence. The laws must be challenged! Here in the UK we ask Olympic sponsors to break their silence and speak out about LGBT oppression in Russia.
As a city which values its own diversity, it’s important for the people of Brighton to show our solidarity with LGBTQ+ people around the world.

Over 150 people are expected to gather on Saturday where a speech from Russian LGBT activist Ksenia Zhivago will be shared, as well as a reading from Brighton poet Alice Denny.

For more information see the Facebook event at

For photos of the November “To Russia with Love, Brighton” event, see



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