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US: Gay activists to campaign outside New York Stock Exchange during Russian government visit

Aaron Day November 15, 2013
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Gay activists in New York have planned a demonstration outside Wall Street’s federal hall during an upcoming Russian government visit, to campaign against anti-gay laws in the country.

The campaign will take place on Monday (November 18) at 3:15pm – the date which marks “Russia Day,” an event celebrating US investment in Russia.

Queer Nation has vowed to condemn the high-profile occasion, which is sponsored by the stock exchange, several Russian companies, and Cleary Gottlieb, a US law firm.

At the time the demonstration is set to take place, Russia’s deputy economics minister Sergey Belyakov will ring the Stock Exchange closing bell, usually a daily tradition highly publicised and performed by the company itself.

Alexis Danzig, a spokesperson for the group said: “It’s outrageous that the Stock Exchange invited representatives from the Russian government to ring the closing bell.

“The Exchange is now complicit with the Russian government’s violence and attacks against LGBT Russians, political dissidents, and undocumented immigrants.

“The members of the Stock Exchange should be encouraging divestment, not investment, in Russian assets.”

President Vladimir Putin signed a law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.

Since that time, many activists have called for a disassociation with the country, including a boycott of the 2014 winter Olympic Games to be held in Sochi.

Queer Nation’s upcoming demonstration follows various other campaigns by the group, including events at Time Square, Carnegie Hall, and during the Metropolitan Opera’s Opening Night Gala.

In response to pressure by activists including Queer Nation, various other organisations have ended their associations with a separate forum promoting US investment in Russia, due to be held at the Midtown offices of Goodwin Procter on the same day.

These include Goodwin Procter, LLP, American Bar Association president James Silkenat, and the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York.

Recently, Russian officials bugged a private strategy meeting of LGBT activists and used the recording as part of a public television exposé on the “threat to Russia” posed by the “homosexualists who attempt to infiltrate our country.”

Related topics: Americas, anti-gay laws, David Cameron, Europe, G20, Moscow, putin, Russia, Russia, sochi olympics, Sochi Winter Olympics, Sochi Winter Olympics 2014, St Petersburg, Stephen Fry, US, Vladimir Putin, Winter Olympics, Winter Olympics 2014

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