Tag: Paddy Power

The power of subtle protest

It’s pretty fair to say that Donald Trump’s visit to the UK has dominated the news over the past few days – from him holding hands with Theresa May again <<shudder>> to walking in front of our dear old Queen, and kiss arsing with Piers Morgan, there was more than enough hairy tangerine fodder for the media to report on. Also gaining column inches and airwaves were protests around the country; the frankly hilarious Trump Baby balloon, and marches across London and other major cities, continuing up into Scotland as he enjoyed a round of golf with his son at his Turnberry golf course before flying off to Finland.

The laws around protesting in the UK are pretty relaxed and, if you follow the right protocol and keep it peaceful, public protests are a valid part of democracy and exercising the right to demonstrate displeasure. Of course there’s the policing of such protests, which comes at a cost to the taxpayer, but it seems that sometimes the police are in agreement with the protestors (the picture below has been hailed as the photograph of the weekend).

Trump protestor high fives policeman

What about in countries where protesting about something important to you isn’t as welcome though? In Russia, where the World Cup reached its grand finale yesterday, the country has a terrible reputation for supporting the rights of the LGBTQ community and ranks 45 out of 49 European countries for gay rights by the ILGA-Europe, a network of European LGBT groups.

You can imagine then that a public protest wouldn’t go down too well.

Undeterred a group of activists has been subtly sharing a Gay Pride message throughout the duration of the tournament. Project Hidden Flag  has seen six people from six countries (Spain, Holland, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia) dressed in different coloured shirts – which together, form the Pride flag.

Project Hidden Flag 3

But what can the Russian authorities do? They’re just football fans enjoying a football tournament, right?

Project Hidden Flag 2

Project Hidden Flag

The brilliance of this is it’s absolute subtlety and creativity. Sometimes a handful of protestors can be just as effective as thousands. Well done those people!

Find out more about Project Hidden Flag and the people involved here.

Coupled with Paddy Power’s donations to LGBTQ charities for every Russian goal scored, which culminated in a cool £170,000 total, and the message is clear. The Russian approach is wrong, and people are calling them out on it. Let’s hope for change in the future.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Friday Feeling [33] – Come on Russia!

I’m not into football at all but this is a World Cup related post. Don’t worry though, it’s not about the actual tournament, and it’s certainly not in support of Russia. Well, not in the traditional sense anyway…

All this media and public excitement about the players, the opening ceremony and the matches seems to have forgotten a very important thing – Russia’s antiquated and downright disgusting approach to LGBT people. But do you know who hasn’t forgotten about it? Paddy Power! Yep, the online betting giant – a perhaps unlikely source for human rights activism – has vowed to donate £10,000 to LGBT charity Foundation (created by Attitude magazine) for every goal Russia scores!

Read more about it here – my favourite part is the last reason they quote for doing this:

“[To] wind up a few gammon-headed Russian homophobes – perfect”

With the 8 goals scored so far that’s already a hefty £80,000 in the donations pot, and with the home nation already through to the final 16, let’s all get behind them and hope they hit the back of the net in the quarter finals to boost Paddy Power’s contribution even further.

There’s even a super duper hashtag you can use and follow – #RainbowRussians. A little bit of genuis!

What’s not to like about Rainbow Putin?

Rainbow Putin

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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