Some 2000 plus gay rights protesters waved rainbow flags in unison in Amsterdam yesterday chanting criticisms of Russia and of President Vladimir Putin.
Editor’s note: A commenter took some issue with our having used Creative Commons Licensed past Amsterdam gay events images. Thanks to Ruud vanderVliet, we now have actual images with permission from this event, and video. You have our thanks Ruud.
Sunday’s gathering was as a result of a concert that featuring the Russian state orchestra and choir being held on the same spot in on the Museumplein. The protest, entitled “To Russia With Love,” was headlined by Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan. The mayor spoke briefly on his city’s longstanding sympathy on gay rights issues. For those unfamiliar, it was Mayor Van der Laan who declined to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin when the Russian leader visited Netherlands back in March.
Protesters gathered there pointed to their main focus in opposition to a law by Russia’s Parliament making illegal what Russian’s termed “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.” Amsterdam has long been vocal in support of gay rights, but this most recent protest event pushes beyond supportive into a kind of offensive against Putin. At least this seems fair.
Demonstrators critical of Putin included performers who cheered “Putin Out!”, and a gigantic blow-up doll caricaturing of the leader flanked the stage flexing muscles and with his chest bared, as indicative of Putin’s outdoors man characterizations.