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August 19, 2012
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Friday morning we learned that Putin's courts formally banned Pride marches for 100 years in Moscow. Then the news broke that anti-gay activists are using the government's gay gag laws to sue Madonna for $10,000,000 in "moral damages" because she spoke up for gay Russians in a concert this week. If that wasn't enough, punk band Pussy Riot was sentenced just this morning to two years in prison for speaking out against the government. The judge cited "homosexual propaganda" as one reason to bring the hammer down on the three young women - two of them moms.

Enough is enough. In days Putin is going to be face to face with all the leaders of the world at a high profile, media packed United Nations Meeting in New York.  If we move fast, we can ignite a global media firestorm that embarrasses Putin's government and gets his allies and corporate backers to push him to change course - freeing Pussy Riot and ending the crackdown against LGBT Russians.

Will you take just one minute to stand up with our friends in Russia? Every voice counts and it will take a tidal wave of support to force leaders around the world to act:

www.allout.org/RussianRiot

It's like Putin's government is trying to make enemies. When the first bill to shut up lesbian, gay, bi and trans activists was passed in St. Petersburg, many thought it would never be enforced. To date, there's been over 75 arrests under the gay gag rule - and now the members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot are among its most famous accused.

Putin's Russia is a silenced dome - the one remaining pressure point is to publicly shame him and the actions of his government in front of the leaders of every country around the world.  With Pride officially banned, gays formally silenced in St. Petersburg and Pussy Riot shipped off to prison, Putin is counting on his critic's voices to fade away.  He is counting on us to shut up.  Our first petition against St. Petersburg's gay gag rule reached over 272,000 people - but we think we can double that.  

This goes way beyond Russia. Once the first gay gag rule passed in St. Petersburg, more were passed in regions around Russia with another proposed at the national level. Then it spread. In partnership with Ukrainian activists, we've already shelved a similar law in Ukraine, for now. And there are even more proposed in Hungary, Moldova and Lithuania.

President Putin doesn't want to be on the "world's most hated" list while he's attending cocktail parties at the UN - let's make sure he can't avoid the riot. With your voice, we can build the largest petition ever delivered to a world leader at the UN - will you sign now?

www.allout.org/RussianRiot

Thanks for going All Out.

Best,
Andre, Hayley, Pablo, Sara, Tile and the rest of the team at All Out.

SOURCES:

Russian band given 2-year term for stunt deriding Putin www.nytimes.com/2012/08/18/wor…

Madonna sued for gay rights stance by Russian campaigners www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/…

Gay parades banned in Moscow for 100 years www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europ…


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