Amsterdam Gay Rights Protesters Taunt Russia’s Putin

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.

Putin Effigy - courtesy Ruud vanderVliet ‏@Ruudvandervliet

Putin Effigy – courtesy Ruud vanderVliet ‏@Ruudvandervliet

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.


  1. Alex says

    I am happy to send you a picture. Because this one as usual is sending the wrong message. There are even hundreds of pics to use from Amsterdam gay pride. Most boats with dressed people but ofcourse one of the few with half naked people is chosen. About the pic in the Washington Post. They do they same you do. There was 2 hours of performances yesterday in the program with this very beautiful balletperformance “The Dying Swam” which lasted 3 minutes. The only performance with somebody in “underwear” (I would call it a professional ballet outfit but ok). Pics our on their way. Hope you use it.

  2. Alex says

    Why is there a picture of the Amsterdam Gaypride with this article ????? During yesterdays protest againt Putins anti gay law there were no boats or people walking around in underwear. As usual half naked people are more interessting for journalists then the message.

    • Phil Butler says

      @Alex, If you read the article there was mention of the city’s attitude in this regard. Looking for images with Creative Commons Licenses is not quite as easy as you might think. The image is colorful and of Amsterdam, we are very sorry if it is not of the exact event. Perhaps you can submit one from yesterday’s event and allow us its use?

      By the way, we are officially not on either side of this argument. AND, I think if you will look at this article, the “underwear” issue is answered also.

      Phil Butler
      The Editor

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