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Jan 21 2014

Olympic Security Forces Arrest Flagholding Protestor

Despite repeated assurances from Vladimir Putin that there is nothing to worry about at the Winter Olympics because of Russia’s totalitarian anti-gay laws, Olympic security personnel arrested a man who did nothing but wave a rainbow flag as the Olympic torch went by.

A gay Russian protester was detained on Saturday for unfurling a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay as it passed through his hometown of Voronezh, 560 miles north of Sochi, where the games will begin Feb. 7.

Photos uploaded by his friends show Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and then being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the snow as they wait for police to arrive. Lebedev, reached by The Associated Press on the phone, said he was still in the police station and undergoing questioning.

“Hosting the games here contradicts the basic principles of the Olympics, which is to cultivate tolerance,” Lebedev said, citing growing homophobia in Russia as the main reason for his protest.

But remember, it’s all about “protecting the children.” Because if children see a rainbow flag, they’ll immediately become gay. Or something. Also remember that American Christian right leaders are praising this law in the most adoring of terms, some of them even calling Russia the best hope of Christian civilization. Because they’re all for “smaller government,” dontchaknow.

11 comments

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  1. 1
    busterggi

    You mean someone actually trusted the former head of the KGB?

  2. 2
    anubisprime

    Question being will the Russians be able to contain their enthusiasm for out and out intolerance and bigotry during the games…?

    It does not bode well…this is getting to be a self fulfilling prophecy.

    The Olympic and FIFA members are old and naive has beens, nothing outside their discipline or life in sport matters and for the most part are living in the glory of their yesteryears it is doubtful they even know what gay rights are let alone what the term means, they are without a genuine relevant clue between them.

    It will be an interesting couple of weeks, and a first Olympics where the sport will be secondary to the expected brutality of a homophobic authority, the IOC have made a bad mistake, and people will suffer.

    “Best winter games ever”?…betting is not even close!

  3. 3
    eamick

    The Olympic and FIFA members

    I’m missing something. What does FIFA have to do with the Winter Olympics?

  4. 4
    jamessweet

    So, bending over backwards for fairness: The impression that Putin and the other Russian authorities have given is that people from abroad will be safe from their hateful authoritarian bigotry for the duration of the Olympics — but I haven’t gotten any impression that Russian citizens will be similarly protected.

    Which doesn’t mean this isn’t a dick move, I just don’t think it necessarily contradicts what they have claimed.

  5. 5
    Gretchen

    “Hosting the games here contradicts the basic principles of the Olympics, which is to cultivate tolerance,” Lebedev said

    Err……since when?

    I thought the basic principles of the Olympics involved celebrations of athleticism, nauseating displays of nationalism, and as much commercializing as can possibly be squeezed out of it?

  6. 6
    John Hinkle

    Photos uploaded by his friends show Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and then being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the snow as they wait for police to arrive.

    Hmm. He “pulled out the flag” and then he was “detained” by security, who “wrestled” with him. I don’t know, sounds like some security dudes were trying to get digits.

  7. 7
    Ichthyic

    rainbows are banned.

    I have nothing else to add to that, other than…

    *sigh*

  8. 8
    Ichthyic

    I’m missing something. What does FIFA have to do with the Winter Olympics?

    nothing. I believe anubisprime was comparing about two similar organizations (IOCC and FIFA) for parallel failures in management and promoting the ideals of athletic competition.

  9. 9
    Ichthyic

    “Best winter games ever”?…betting is not even close!

    first one I can recall that there were still hundreds of thousands of tickets left with just a couple of weeks to go.

  10. 10
    anubisprime

    eamick @ 3

    What does FIFA have to do with the Winter Olympics?

    As Ichthyic @ 8 pointed out I was comparing the style of management and control and their total lack of reality if not awareness.

    FIFA thought it is a damn good idea to award the World Cup competition to Qatar in 2022 in the height of summer in temperatures which will kill the players on the field, in a country that is not culturally comparable to anywhere else in the footballing world.

    The policies of the establishment are very similar to the conditions for social expression as in Russia.
    Their Human rights record is certainly not the worst but is a damn sight removed from being the best and that is only for starters.

    Homosexuality is punishable there, alcohol will be banned by the cruising moral police, women will be segregated, covered head to toe or risk imprisonment and worse, they do not give a slap on the back of a hand, the potential for a partisan situation where offended Muslims confront the infidel football fans on any pretence that will promote their religion on the world stage, and whatever is said in public, alcohol will be drunk and in some quantity simply because of the heat if nothing else …it will not end well….Guaranteed!

    In fact it is a full scale disaster waiting to happen.

    Orchestrated by a dumb naive and geriatric dominated FIFA institution that fails to understand just what they are actually doing.
    Their rationale being the same as Formula 1 racing in Bahrain, which has never made an iota of difference to the draconian social scene there in over 20 years…despite the boast that is what it will do by engaging with their precepts of the western world.
    Bunch of well meaning but utterly fatuous asinine bullshite in fact.

    Very similar to what the IOC are perpetrating in Russia.

    All old men with airy fairy ideas of changing the world through sport…as if!

  11. 11
    stripeycat

    Also, Russia has the 2018 World Cup. Whatever you think of the Quatar clusterfuck, FIFA have already made exactly the same decision as the IOC.

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