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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!


In my inbox just now from Change.org:

Right now the Winter Olympics are taking place in Sochi, Russia. This is despite criticism from around the world for Russia's new anti-gay lawsand the crackdown taking place on LGBT people in Russia.

Last year a petition highlighted the blatant infringement of both LGBTQ and human rights, and requested that the Olympics Committee relocate the games to show Vladimir Putin that his actions were reprehensible. Although in excess of 150,00 signatures were added within just a few days, sadly the International Olympic Committee was unable to act due to time limitations.

But we have four years until FIFA plan to bring the football World Cup to Russia. There is time to stop this.

Soccer fields and stadiums have long been a boiling pot of homophobic and racial tensions. Both the FA here in the UK and UEFA are beginning to tackle this problem. It is time they add full support to all of our causes and take a stand for LGBT rights around the world.

FIFA must act now. The decision of where to hold the World Cup will affect millions of people across the globe, we hope its choices are ones that will improve lives and not support oppression.


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While agreeing that Russia has homophobic laws for sure, I do in part feel that there is a degree of Cold Warism involved in this. The UK has just held the Olympics, yet we continue to fire drones in Afghanistan, having illegally invaded in the first place. We also illegally invaded Iraq, and have been involved in years of torture, killing and the support for the most vile regimes. We are currently big supporters of Saudi Arabia, and sell them billions of pounds worth of weapons, including those used for repression of their own people, and also used to arm terrorist groups currently tearing Iraq and Syria to pieces. In Saudi Arabia, just being a women walking in the street alone is enough to warrant a public beating. But our governments are happy to see Moscow attacked as it puts them on the moral high ground. It is just 10 years since Section 28 was ended, which outlawed the teaching of gay relationships as equal in the UK! I do hate Putin and all he represents, but I don't feel finger pointing by the west will help the gay community in Russia achieve freedom, indeed it may even have the opposite effect. 

Russia does not have the death penalty, i was suprised to learn this. Us has the death penalty and has not struck down sodomy laws in the southern states. I agree with philipFox that i cannot stand Putin and his cronies but the hype at the moment is a bit hypocritical when you put it all into perspective with regard the other 'major powers' take on human rights. Camerons recent visit to China recently did not critisise their human rights record at all. Don't get me started on Australia

interesting. Do these views match what your stance was on apartheid and South Africa?

Hugh* Yes. Incidentally there are no openly gay soccer players in the national male squads (that i know of). The apartheid years coincided with totalitarian communism, to indicate that one is worse than the other clouds the issues (in my very humble opinion). i love soccer but i won't go to Russia. Can i ask a difficult and very serious question ? Where or which is the 'best' country and where or which is the 'worst' ?

Perhaps you might care to address the points I raise instead of lazily sidestepping them. Russian LGBT did not call for a boycott of the Olympics but for a boycott of homophobia. I usually support Change.org but why kick the can down the road to 2018? It might feel all cosy and liberal to sign this petition but stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia for example where gays are sentenced to death would send a far stronger message. And it's achievable. For the West to wag the finger at Putin plays into his constituency....

Of course Philip, it's true that the abuse of human rights occurs elsewhere, including the ultimate abuse, being killed by the state, and immense pressure should be brought to bear on those countries but that doesn't mean we should ignore the abuse of human rights elsewhere. That way, the "little" abuses become acceptable. I remember when taking part in early Pride marches that we, the people taking part, were accused of diverting people from the real issues. That is the real laziness. There is no hierarchy of oppression, just oppression.

And James, yes, there are no openly gay footballers. Do you not wonder why?

Finally, Mr Cameron was hypocritical about not speaking up about human rights in China. There isn't a lot I can do about that but there is something I can do about this.

Thanks MichaelAnderson and PhilipF* Very well said. Shows how Hugh's question cannot be answered in a stark yes or no answer. I've a lot to learn.

Phillip, I think Michael has dealt with the issues well enough for me. So I'll carry on with my feet up.

I'll resist the temptation of bitch-slapping you back and leave it to you to decide if you want to add your thoughts in response to my somewhat rhetorical question.

Well you did raise the issue Hugh, but we are none the wiser on your actual views.......

There is a couple of openly gay footballers in the world (staggering I know), most of them came out after they retired. It's up to active football fans to challenge these prejudices and in Germany it's becoming quite a hit. One such team is St Pauli who has long had a stance against any sort of discrimination.

AFC Wimbledon recently had an anti-homophobia game and many clubs and supporters clubs are moving forward, albeit slowly.

As football fans it's up to us to challenge this and often that can be quite frightening. My club recently ejected five fans signing homophobic chants which is exactly what is needed. I have been threatened a few times for distributing pins and badges.

Sorry to go slightly off topic.

Heya, wotcha Birdy. How's life in the Sticks?

Good thanks, just wanted my two peneth, unlike me I know



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