Friday, July 29, 2016


Transmission

Amsterdam Welcomes Putin With Rainbows

A demonstrator holds up a picture depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin with rainbow circles on his face, during a protest in Amsterdam on April 8.
A demonstrator holds up a picture depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin with rainbow circles on his face, during a protest in Amsterdam on April 8.
Amsterdam, the Dutch city of free love and open minds, pulled out all the stops to greet Russian President Vladimir Putin this week. Rainbow flags were flying at half-staff, the canals were crowded with floats, and thousands of protesters came out waving vicious but creative signs.

WATCH: Amsterdam welcomes the Russian president.


This virulent reaction may have come as a surprise to Putin, who claimed at a press conference on April 8 that there was no discrimination against homosexuals in Russia.

The Russian parliament passed a bill in January forbidding the dissemination of "gay propaganda" to minors, a vague pronouncement that may include parades, protests, and the use of the rainbow flag. The law, which awaits Putin's approval, would fine offenders up to 500,000 rubles ($16,000).

In Amsterdam, the evening protest quickly turned into a block party as thousands congregated across from the museum where Putin was dining with Queen Beatrix. Dressed in every color of the rainbow, the crowd waved homemade posters; "Putin go homo" and "I'm a person, not a propaganda" slogans were popular, as well as the simplistically elegant "F*** you, dictator."

A popular Dutch drag queen, Dolly Bellefleur, performed an original anthem protesting Putin's policies toward sexual minorities -- it featured scathing lyrics and fabulous costumes.

Not to be outdone, Internet users quickly responded to the protests. The result, PutinARainbow.com, parodies the president by claiming that the world "looks much better with more rainbows, not less."

The pictures range from the subtle to the extreme, and certainly dip into the very, very strange. Users can submit their own ideas and there is a link to the Change.org petition against the gay-propaganda law.

The Netherlands is Russia's No. 1 trade partner in Europe, but even city hall got in on the festivities, flying their own rainbow flag at half-staff. A deputy mayor told Euronews, "We have a large gay community in Amsterdam and we want to make sure that in our city that everybody can live the way they want and be whoever they are and we want to make sure that everybody in the world knows that."

It's been a tough week of travel for Putin, who was earlier accosted by topless protesters while at a trade conference in Germany. The women, from the Ukrainian feminist group Femen, wrote slogans on their bare chests and backs and yelled "dictator" at the president. Putin managed to squeeze in a ridiculous smirk and double thumbs up before the women were tackled and dragged out by his security team.

-- Eleanor Klibanoff

Tags: Vladimir Putin

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Comments
     
by: nirvichara from: dallas,tx
April 10, 2013 20:32
Only one name Masha Gessen - editor in chief is enough to realize that nothing except garbage can be found on this site about Russia and/or Putin

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 11, 2013 10:29
There is an interesting DOCUMENTARY on the former Russian oligarkh Berezovsky that just came out. Interstingly enough he himself appears to have belonged to the LGTB community: Life & Death of Boris Berezovsky - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoapdnFBu7o&feature=youtube_gdata_player

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 12, 2013 09:41
Where is my comment?
Why only Russians that controll RFE are allowed be posted
first, while my comment are postponed, to zero my criticism, usually posted after article is sent to backyard pages?
Why only after Eugenio, or someone like "nervvniy-chara",
did the damage already, for Russia?
By the way, non-Russian republics, one after another, posting "commentless" articles on RFE!
They lie and damage any nation and individual,
victim of rising nazi Russian empire, more and more,
while living less and less space to object to them on RFE!

IS IRON CURTAIN FALLING AGAIN FROM BALTIC
THROUGH ADRIATIC?
ONLY THIS TIME THEY PROMISED PARTS OF THE
EASTERN EUROPE TO GERMANS-AUSTRIANS...
IS IT WHY "RFE" HELPING RUSSIA -
TO BLINDFOLD THE WORLD?

by: Ben
April 14, 2013 11:30
"..sity of free love..." must be corrected for "..sity of paid love.."

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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