The August protest against Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the Sochi Games (Pic: Queer Nation)

The August protest against Coca-Cola’s
sponsorship of the Sochi Games
(Pic: Queer Nation)

Activists are ramping up pressure on Olympic sponsor Coca-Cola to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay laws.

The All Out group has already submitted tens of thousands of names supporting its online petition to the global beverage giant, calling on it to be more vocal on the issue ahead of next year’s Winter Olympic Games in the Russian city of Sochi.

“Coca-Cola’s running scared! 125,000 of us have asked them to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay laws, and they’re feeling the pressure. They now say they will answer next week,” said All Out.

On Monday it plans to surround Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia with huge billboard trucks that will demand: “Coca-Cola, speak out now.”

The organisation is calling on Coca-Cola to:

– Speak out against the Russian anti-gay “propaganda” law and call for its repeal before the Olympics.

– Donate funds to Russian human rights defenders.

– Ask the Olympic Committee to change the rules so future Olympics can only happen in countries that fully respect equality.

“Coca-Cola has financial power over Russia – and as consumers, we have financial power over Coca-Cola. If thousands of us keep up the pressure with emails from now until Monday… it could be just enough to turn the heads of Coca-Cola executives, and warn them of the huge risk they run if they don’t speak out soon,” said All Out.

The group explained that it hopes to increase support for the petition by Monday to 150,000 people. You can sign on here:

In August, the multinational company defended its sponsorship of the Russian Winter Games after activists poured bottles of its popular soft drink down New York City drains in a demonstration in Times Square organised by Queer Nation.

Coca-Cola argued that it is “one of the world’s most inclusive” and LGBT-friendly brands and companies and that the Olympic Games “are a force for good that unite people through a common interest in sports” and have a “positive impact and long-lasting legacy they leave on every community that has been a host”.

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