Just say NYET: Gays dump vodka outside Russian NYC consulate

Gay and trans rights supporters showed up at the Russian consulate in New York City today for a vodka-dump to highlight growing concern over Russia’s brutal crackdown on the human rights of gay and trans people in that country only months before the 2014 Winter Olympics are held in Sochi, Russia.

More from the protest organizers:

The protest is being organized by RUSA LGBT (Russian-Speaking American LGBTQ Association) and Queer Nation, a New York-based organization committed to direct action to end homophobia and anti-LGBT violence. The protest has the support of a wide range of LGBT activists and organizations in Russia, the United States and around the globe.

Protesters will dump Russian vodka into the gutter and will picket the Russian Consulate. Business owners who are participating in the “Dump Russian Vodka” campaign will be on hand to explain their commitment to the boycott of Russian products.

Bellow are some photos from the event, which just took place, via Scott Wooledge.

Say what you will about the notion of any boycott, or this particular boycott, but a week ago barely anyone was talking about Russia’s brutal treatment of its gay and trans citizens.  Today, the story is being covered worldwide, and everyone is talking about it.  I call that success.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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114 Responses to “Just say NYET: Gays dump vodka outside Russian NYC consulate”

  1. FactChecker says:

    However is it not correct that all ingredients in Stoli, except the water, are sourced from… Russia (Even Stoli admitted it in their statement)

  2. markpkessinger says:

    Perhaps a better move than boycotting Stoli (which hurts Latvia more than it hurts Russia) would be a boycott of the products of every corporate sponsor of Olympic coverage? Just a suggestion…

  3. Greg says:

    Association of LGBT people and their friends MOZAIKA in Riga, Latvia is calling for a halt to „Dump Stoli, Dump Russian Vodka” campaign which has recently been launched as a part of several international campaigns to boycott Russian goods in order to draw attention to anti-LGBT and anti-Human Rights legislation and activities in Russia.

    Stolichnaya vodka is not produced in Russia and it is misleading to say that it is a Russian product. All Stolichnaya vodka for worldwide export is produced in Latvia by the Latvian company Latvijas Balzams in Riga, the capital of Latvia.

    “Russian vodka” is a technology method and it does not necessarily mean that it is made in Russia, like in this case when “Russian vodka” brand is produced in Latvia. On every bottle of Stolichnaya vodka you can read “Produced in Latvia for SPI Group”.

    MOZAIKA has been very active in condemning anti-LGBT actions taken by Russia’s officials. International society should act and react in regards to grave violations of human rights in Russia, and elsewhere. However it is essential to do careful research before every action to ensure that the activities reach the addressee of the campaign.

    Latvia is a democratic country, a member of the European Union and NATO, and has made a lot of progress in recent years in regards to protection of human rights.

    This campaign can harm Latvian economy, still weak following the global financial crisis, and the LGBT community in Latvia, which is still fragile and not fully protected under the law.

    MOZAIKA is the only LGBT organisation in Latvia, it arranges a wide variety of activities to provide information and raise awareness about LGBT issues, educate public sector workers, provide support to LGBT people, engage in advocacy to improve legislation, as well as engage in a wide variety of community based activities.

    MOZAIKA is also in contact with SPI Group, owner of Latvijas Balzams and Stolichnaya brand, and we are happy to acknowledge quote by Marco Ferrari, The Chief Marketing officer of SPI Group “this boycott will never change our approach and desire to support the LGBT community”.

    “We would like to urge everyone to give strong support to the LGBT community in Russia. Work with your politicians to put pressure on Russia, reach out to LGBT activists in Russia to devise the best support strategies, and refrain from initiating uninformed campaigns that can cause unintended harm in other parts of the world in addition to having no influence on the intended addressee,” stated MOZAIKA Board member Kaspars Zalitis.

    The Association would once again like to call for an end to the “Dump Stoli, Dump Russian Vodka” campaign, which causes damage to Latvia, not Russia.

  4. Very Reasonable Citizen says:

    Gay people here in America are still harassed, beaten, and assasinated. There is still a lot of discrimination. Its best that we fix our own house before criticizing someone else’s.

  5. jared says:

    I’ve listed all but your most recent concessionary comment to SE below. As you can see it is loaded with nothing but exactly what I said: jokes, quips, etc. I guess the thinking people of the world should be grateful that even the biggest trolls are responsive to clear and concise arguments (e.g. those put forth by SE), despite the fact that you’ve demonstrated no ability to conceive novel ideas and/or defend them (see the below list). Our minds and guts are great places to formulate initial opinions, but intelligent people discuss and sometimes move from that initial spot as they learn and grow. As to why you are laughing, I’m not exactly sure, but currently I am ROTFL at your own perceived intelligence… (unless of course you are intentionally trolling and then I’m the fool for wasting my time, however I suspect that is not the case).

    Perhaps the anger should best be directed toward American sponsors like COKE.

    :-) “like Valentinian III murdering Aetius” I just love it when you talk classics MF.

    Then don’t come here. Seriously SE we are really, really disappointed with you. No, we really, really, mean it this time.

    “I, as objectively as possible,” ROTFL

    delete

    You probably won’t be the only collaborator stunting for Stoli

    You would seem incorrectly.

    Indeed, you should have.

    Visit Russia and then give us a report. It seems to me we have an international episode of escalating genocidal fascism going on in Russia.

    Agreed

    You don’t know what you are talking about. Read all the AB posts and comments, the it wll be clear.

    Stay crassy Sterling.

    Then drink it to show support for the apartheid against the GLTBQ Russian communities. Way to go Capo.

    I, an American, say: ppppffffftttt

    Oh please, that sophomoric drivel gets a C-. Focus on the apartheid unfolding in Russia, But, then you may not be QLTBQ and so you have no dog in the civil and human rights fight.

    “All those kinds of “symbolic acts” just make the world worse. Wouldn’t it be better to give those to a homeless shelter or otherwise donate it?” Why, thank you Ms. America.

    It makes a great tire and garage floor cleaner.

  6. jared says:

    More jokes… now I am ROTFL

  7. karmanot says:

    “I, as objectively as possible,” ROTFL

  8. karmanot says:

    :-) “like Valentinian III murdering Aetius” I just love it when you talk classics MF.

  9. Sterling Ericsson says:

    Thank you and I agree. Really, that should have been the focus from the beginning because the basis of the idea is accurate, if you hit them in the pocketbooks, it’ll create a change. If we can get some of the sponsors of the IOC to pull out unless the IOC actually make some changes, i’m sure it’ll have an effect.

  10. Sterling Ericsson says:

    Pepsi, actually, is the sponsor you’re looking for.

    Surprisingly enough, Pepsi has a connection to Stoli. Back when the Soviet Union was still around, Pepsi was in bed with them and was trying to convince them to take over the Stoli brand and give it to Pepsi.

    SPI Group fought against it, of course. And then the Soviet Union collapsed and it all became a big mess of who owns what copyright, which continues on today with Putin’s crusade against SPI.

  11. karmanot says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about what you have been saying SE and it has not changed my mind about Stoli, but the entire direction of protest itself. I feel now that the direction should move toward massive bad PR for the American companies that sponsor the IOC. I apologize for my tart retorts and for giving the impression of trolling you.

  12. karmanot says:

    Perhaps the anger should best be directed toward American sponsors like COKE.

  13. KennyD says:

    I hope that people do not lose site of the fact that the anti-gay backlash is not centered in one country. There are several African nations where being gay is already criminalized and where gay people are harassed, beaten and assassinated. Many of the politicians scapegoating gays there are being funded by American fundamentalist Christian groups. In Russia, it’s the Orthodox church, but there is definitely a backlash among fascist Christianists everywhere.

  14. jared says:

    One last comment. The very idea that an individual formulating their own opinions could consistently agree with another human being doing the same thing (in this case John) is statistically anomalous. A more likely scenario, as evidenced by your ability to defend your position, is that you have no opinion and are looking to a leader to tell you what to think. That makes you no better than the sheeple who blindly follow FOX news and can only repeat talking points handed to them in plain text. And that, Alanis, is truly ironic.

  15. Jared says:

    My opinions are frequently informed by having discussions and reviewing the results. For the purposes of learning and intelligence it is relatively useless, to always sit around with people who have already think the same way as you, other than maybe to make each other feel good. You and karmanot are probably two of the most frequent posters on this site, and yet I never see any discussion from either of you… mostly just cheering each other on about how smart you are vs. everyone else. Here’s something to think about. Have a discussion with someone who has a dissenting opinion, or someone who is playing devil’s advocate…. really convince yourself that your positions are as accurate as you believe they are. That is a hell of a lot more effective and useful for all in deciding policy (if you vote) than blindly cheering each other on.

    As for continuing here, I too, am “not interested.”
    Best regards.

  16. jason ledyard says:

    Stolichnaya and the other Vodka companies are not to blame for any of the things that have happened regarding human rights. This is misplaced and unfair anger.

  17. perljammer says:

    Visit Russia? No, that’s never been on my to-do list. I love to travel, but there are too many genuinely pleasant places to visit, to waste my time and money on that hellhole. But then, you weren’t really suggesting that.

    The situation in Russia is beyond tragic. No one with an ounce of compassion would argue that attempting to focus the world’s attention on that situation in an effort to bring about change, is the wrong thing to do. But there are other things going on in the world that deserve coverage, and I’m not talking about Anthony Weiner.

  18. Sterling Ericsson says:

    Because that’s being sold by the Russian government. The Stoli sold outside of Russia, which is sold by SPI Group, is labeled Premium Vodka.

  19. Sterling Ericsson says:

    And because they are in the middle of a long-term legal battle with the Russian government over the fate of their company. If they act too overtly against the Russian government in Russia, it could cause them to lose the lawsuits. And then they wouldn’t be able to support anyone in the LGBT community.

    You’re the one that knows all the background. You should know the lawsuits are still ongoing, as they have been almost nonstop since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia won control of production inside Russia, but Putin likely won’t stop until he takes down SPI Group as a whole.

    Furthermore, if you noticed, Yuri stated that they have made a large anonymous donation to one of the major Russian LGBT groups in order to allow them to further protect the Russian LGBT community.

  20. Ninong says:

    If Stoli is such a “pro-gay company,” why haven’t they spoken out against the treatment of gays in Russia? Oh, that’s right, because it’s against the law to say anything in support of gays there.

  21. Sterling Ericsson says:

    The Russian LGBT community has been calling for a boycott of the Olympics, yes. They’ve been saying that for a while now, long before the media picked it up.

    However, focusing a boycott on a pro-LGBT vodka producer isn’t helping anything. Various Russian LGBT groups have stated that we should be focusing on the Olympics and if we’re going to boycott something, then boycott the corporate sponsors of the Olympics until they pull their support unless the venue is changed.

  22. Ninong says:

    It’s no xenophobic at all. It’s a protest against the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church! It’s joining in solidarity with the Russians themselves — the gay ones anyway — who are calling for it. I don’t support boycotting the Olympic games but I don’t see anything wrong with drumming up a little publicity to raise awareness of just what a dangerous place for gays Russia has become under the “leadership” of Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who may as well set up shop inside the Kremlin.
    Kirill said the gays and feminists will cause the destruction of mankind! Sounds exactly like what we hear from Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei.

    Apparently Putin believes Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claim that they don’t have any gays in Iran now that it’s outlawed. And if they catch any, they just hang them. Well, first they have to wait until they’re 18, or almost 18, before the hanging takes place.

  23. Sterling Ericsson says:

    That seems just as stupid. This isn’t a nationalistic country against country thing. This is solely between the LGBT community and the Russian government.

    Again, making this a xenophobic anti-Russian thing is counter-productive.

  24. Ninong says:

    That’s the US Russians. The Russians in Russia are calling for a boycott of everything Russian as well as the Olympics.

  25. Sterling Ericsson says:

    I see them calling for a boycott of the Olympics, not for everything Russian. Because we’re not trying to be xenophobic toward Russia. I thought the point was to be against Putin and the Russian government?

    Furthermore, the main focus of the boycott appears to be on Stolichnaya, which is incredibly stupid. Why is one of our allies the focus? Why isn’t any other Russian vodka or company the focus?

  26. Ninong says:

    We’re boycotting all Russian-branded vodka, Stolichnaya being the most prominent brand. Actually the Russian LGBT groups, in Russia and here in the US, are calling for a boycott of everything Russian, including the Winter Olympics: http://rusalgbt.com/Home.html

  27. Sterling Ericsson says:

    So in order to raise publicity about Putin being bad, we’re boycotting a pro-LGBT vodka company that Putin dislikes?

  28. Ninong says:

    I already told you: the point of the boycott is publicity! To make the world aware of what’s happening in Russia under Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church!

    I couldn’t care less about Stoli. I don’t even drink vodka.

  29. Sterling Ericsson says:

    Yes, so the Stolichnaya sold within Russia is owned by the Russian government. However, the Stolichnaya sold outside of Russia (and in the US) is still controlled by SPI Group.

    So, by boycotting Stolichnaya, you’re not boycotting Putin and the Russian government, but instead a company that he doesn’t like anyways. A pro-LGBT company, as well.

    So…is the whole point of this boycott to support Russia?

  30. Ninong says:

    Putin considers Stolichnaya property of the Russian Federation and the courts agree.

    Besides the whole point of the boycott effort is publicity! Almost everyone has heard of Stolichnaya. And anything that pisses out little Vlad can’t be all that bad.

  31. Ninong says:

    Of course Stoli is Russian vodka and the courts in both Russia (2002) and the Hague Court of Appeal (2012) agree that those brands (Stolichnaya, Russian Standard and the dozens of other Russian brands that Yuri bought for only $300,000 in 1997) are the property of the Russian Federation.

    They were all part of the Soviet Agriculture Ministry (so was SPI for that matter) before the fall of the Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin personally has been fighting this battle in the courts to get them back.

  32. Sterling Ericsson says:

    But that doesn’t explain why we’re going after a company that Putin and the Russian government doesn’t like. Wouldn’t that mean that what we’re doing is actually supporting Putin?

  33. Ninong says:

    The label inside Russia says Russian vodka. They just removed the word Russian from the label of the Stoli sold outside Russia.

  34. Ninong says:

    Putin thinks the Russian Federation owns Stoli and the other Russian brands that used to be part of the Soviet Agriculture Ministry back in the old days when Yuri worked there before he made out like a bandit thanks to Boris Yeltsin.

    A Moscow court agrees with Vlad and so does the Hague Court of Appeal. Where do you think the wheat is grown? Those were all Russian brands and the sale was illegal, according to the courts.

  35. Ninong says:

    Yuri Milner’s Digital Sky Tech own only 10% of Facebook.

  36. Sterling Ericsson says:

    Wait, so you’re arguing that Putin hates Yuri Shefler (and consequently SPI Group), which is one of the main reasons why he’s going after SPI Group and their Stolichnaya brand. Meanwhile, SPI Group is a very pro-LGBT company that has supported our community for years.

    And, to get back at Putin, we’re going after the vodka produced by SPI Group?

    Can you explain this to me please?

  37. Ninong says:

    It’s about raising the world’s awareness of just how homophobic ex-KGB thug turned born-again Christian Vladimir Putin really is. Obviously it’s not possible to cause Russia any real economic pain by boycotting any of their exports because their main export is oil. No one wants to drive a Russian car, not even the Russian generals, which is why Putin put out an order banning them from using their special general’s license plates, that allow them to park anywhere, on BMW’s, Porsches and other expensive foreign imports.

  38. Sterling Ericsson says:

    And out comes the stereotyping. Is any of this actually about helping the Russian LGBT community or is it about being xenophobic toward Russia?

  39. Sterling Ericsson says:

    I’m using my real name here. Feel free to look me up.

    I’m not pro-Russian government in the slightest. But i’m against using one of our allies as a scapegoat for political gains.

  40. Sterling Ericsson says:

    Why are we advocating against one of the most LGBT supportive companies in the world? Stolichnaya has supported the LGBT community for years.

    They produced the Be Real documentary series on their own dime to allow LGBT people to tell their stories. They have funded dozens of LGBT groups across the world.

    They have long been our friend.

    And this is how we repay them? By scapegoating their friendship to serve our political goals?

    Since when did the LGBT community become the Republican Party?

  41. BeccaM says:

    Sorry, not interested. It’d be better if you admitted your position is simply that you oppose the basic philosophy behind boycotts.

  42. cole3244 says:

    most do eventually, when its too late.

  43. Thinker says:

    If you’re going to be boycotting someone, it has to be a government or government-related organization. The easiest is to look at the Russian venture capital and technology representatives in Silicon Valley/San Francisco and start the boycott there. Technology is currently a tiny proportion of the Russian economy but it’s a strategic priority for the Kremlin because it is seen as the holy grail that will eventually help diversify the Russian economy away from commodities.

    You might as well boycott Facebook too, because one of its keystone investors was (is?) Russian investment fund called DST and operated by Yuri Milner. Digital Sky Technologies also employs MANY former Goldman Sachs bankers, so there you go.

    But yeah, this is one of the more minor egregious offenses of the Russian regime. Others include rampant corruption, organized crime, murdering and terrorizing journalists, assassinating political opponents, etc etc etc.

  44. jared says:

    I, as objectively as possible, read through this entire comment thread; and at the current time have seen nothing but jokes, insults and quips from karmanot. I, as well as others, have made honest attempts to have a reasonable conversation about the issue, using analogies and other tools of debate and were met with either nonsense or jabs. I think there is little left here…the data speaks for itself. I’m going to write some commenting software now and call it “CheeringSquad.” Seems a hell of a lot more accurate than “Disqus.”

  45. Monoceros Forth says:

    It’s a little crazy, isn’t it? I’ve been sceptical about this boycott but mostly because I feared it would be seen as an impotent exercise in spite, like the pathetic right-wing proclamation of a boycott against French products in the wake of France’s opposition to the invasion of Iraq in Little Bush’s reign. It’s quite plain I was wrong: this boycott has been a powerful unifying symbol.

    Yet suddenly here are a bunch of people lamenting that Stoli’s this tremendous friend and that boycotting Stoli is the needless murder of a powerful ally, like Valentinian III murdering Aetius. Seriously, these guys were just another vendor of drinkable HPLC solvent before this and suddenly we’re supposed to believe they’re the best friend the GLBT community ever had?

  46. Carlton Nettleton says:

    Wow! I have never seen so many pro-Russian supporters on Americablog in the last three days! I’ve seen more people on this site against our boycott than we normally see rail against same-sex marraige.

    It almost makes me think all these “people” and our new found popularity are the result of someone coordinating their activities from a some office park deep in Siberia. Beware people, the Russian government are apparently quite good at astroturfing and running a counter misinformation campaign on the web. Don’t believe a single poster who supports the end of the boycott or anything that remotely supports the Russian government.

    Not that I have any experience with this, but it just feels wrong to me like this professional astroturfing. Even the trolls give up eventually. These people don’t. Something is off here and as the saying goes, “If you smell smoke…”

  47. Naja pallida says:

    The US imports a lot of raw materials from Russia, including crude oil and heating oil, fertilizers, textiles, steel, iron, aluminum, copper, nickel…

  48. jared says:

    And if you really believe that it is C- worthy drivel, then you should be able to logically answer the hypothetical questions I proposed with only a few short sentences. So far, you’ve only made noises, graded me, and questioned whether or not I have a dog in the fight (which is only tangentially relevant, at best).

  49. karmanot says:

    Indeed, you should have.

  50. Fidelio01 says:

    Oh, one of those. I should have known better.

  51. jared says:

    I tried to pick a reasonable analogy, although at this magnitude it is hard (and sometimes accidentally hurtful) to make comparison, but I thought 110,000+ Iraqis dead in a senseless war might be comparable to the apartheid that is unfolding. P.S. I am the founder and former president of the LGBT subgroup at the university with which I am currently affiliated (information I would be happy to disclose to you privately).

  52. Fidelio01 says:

    How is Stoli responsible for the “apartheid against GLTBQ Russian communities?” You sound like a Fox viewer.

  53. karmanot says:

    Oh please, that sophomoric drivel gets a C-. Focus on the apartheid unfolding in Russia, But, then you may not be QLTBQ and so you have no dog in the civil and human rights fight.

  54. karmanot says:

    You would seem incorrectly.

  55. Fidelio01 says:

    It seems to me you have no idea what you are protesting and why you are boycotting.

  56. Sterling Ericsson says:

    So why are we trying to help the LGBT community in Russia? Aren’t they Russian?

    Shouldn’t they be disowning being Russian before we help them?

  57. karmanot says:

    Concern troll. What phoney balony

  58. Sterling Ericsson says:

    Karmanot, please stop trolling. You have yet to actually give any real response to a comment, just insults.

  59. jared says:

    It’s a thought experiment. I’m trying to engage in a respectful discussion that hopefully we can all learn from. Engage/enlighten me… please, but ppppffffftttt is just noise.

  60. Sterling Ericsson says:

    So, what, I shouldn’t comment when I see the LGBT community blindly going after one of our allies?

  61. Sterling Ericsson says:

    I just wish people would actually realize it.

  62. karmanot says:

    I, an American, say: ppppffffftttt

  63. karmanot says:

    Then drink it to show support for the apartheid against the GLTBQ Russian communities. Way to go Capo.

  64. karmanot says:

    Stay crassy Sterling.

  65. jared says:

    A thought experiment:
    Let’s say I make an American made product which people generally think of as an “American” product and provides value to people’s lives (i.e. they are willing to pay money for it), on which I display “Made In America.” I also have a notice on my website that I support love & peace. Now, the world, as am I, is against the Iraqi war in which >110,000 Iraqis have died. I’m furious with my gov’t and feel as though I have very little I can do to influence the gov’t as either political party to which I can donate funds supports the continuation of the war.

    The equivalent scenario you’re proposing (using your text) is that I should disavow being an American product (ok, I can remove the name made in America), and stop using raw ingredients from America (ok, I suppose can import them from China for way cheaper anyway). I, an American, should resign as CEO (and appoint who to run my company?) and remove my mentions of ties to America. So where should I make my product… in china? That would cost my fellow countrymen (of which most are also against the war their jobs)…. seriously? What should I do with my company and product?

  66. karmanot says:

    You don’t know what you are talking about. Read all the AB posts and comments, the it wll be clear.

  67. karmanot says:

    Visit Russia and then give us a report. Then maybe you’ll get it.

  68. karmanot says:

    You probably won’t be the only collaborator stunting for Stoli

  69. karmanot says:

    Then don’t come here. Seriously SE we are really, really disappointed with you. No, we really, really, mean it this time.

  70. Ninong says:

    Caviar?
    AK 47’s?
    Russian cars?
    Come to think ot it, there’s not much we can boycott except vodka.

  71. FLL says:

    Stoli could buy their grain from somewhere other than Russia. Please don’t tell me that the grain the Swedish company, Absolut, uses is inferior grain. If Stoli bought their grain from outside Russia, it would make sense to distill it into alcohol outside Russia too before it is shipped to Latvia for bottling. Stoli could also use its deep pockets to help people in Russia who are fighting for LGBT rights. They certainly wouldn’t be breaking any Russian laws if they established a fund in Luxembourg that could help activists in Russia. The owners of Stoli wouldn’t be breaking Russian laws by making that money available to activists in Russia. Stoli executives in Luxembourg are also perfectly free to make public statements and give press conferences in Luxembourg without fearing arrest by Russian authorities.

  72. FLL says:

    “First off, Stoli is not a Russian vodka”

    If that is true, then the label should read “Luxembourg Vodka” or Latvian Vodka” instead of “Russian Vodka.” You’re fooling no one.

  73. emjayay says:

    Stoli! Made in Luxembourg by Luxembourgians exclusively from fine Luxembourgian grain!

  74. emjayay says:

    Russia is a major supplier of magnesium.

  75. Fidelio01 says:

    It should not have been alcohol, per protest planners. It was supposed to be water. Apparently, gay bar Boxers donated the vodka.

  76. Monoceros Forth says:

    Do you think a homeless shelter would welcome gifts of booze? You look into that.

  77. ckg1 says:

    Well, you cared enough to comment on it.

    So what does that make you?

  78. cole3244 says:

    overreaction in cases like this is not unexpected, all communities are guilty of this and there are no exceptions.

  79. clarknt67 says:

    No. It was booze. I was there. It stunk up the place.

  80. clarknt67 says:

    Probably came off the shelf at Boxer’s NYC bar.

  81. Sterling Ericsson says:

    I don’t support wasting water. I also don’t support symbolic actions that waste food or ones that destroy furniture or other items.

    All those kinds of “symbolic acts” just make the world worse. Wouldn’t it be better to give those to a homeless shelter or otherwise donate it?

    But I guess we’re all too entitled to do that.

  82. Monoceros Forth says:

    Dude, I know you’ve been eager to declare your solidarity with a certain brand of ethanol-water with your last several posts and that’s fine, but this was just silly.

  83. Sterling Ericsson says:

    Isn’t that even worse? So they were wasting fresh water?

  84. Sterling Ericsson says:

    Symbolically trashing one of our allies?

    Stay classy, LGBT community.

  85. Monoceros Forth says:

    I can’t think of much. Fish eggs? Svetlana vacuum tubes? Ladas? (I don’t think they sell those here.) I have a Russian-made wooden chess set somewhere.

  86. Sterling Ericsson says:

    I don’t know, what else can be wasted without actually giving any benefit? Should we destroy some furniture or something?

    I mean, god forbid, we give it to homeless shelters.

  87. Sterling Ericsson says:

    Except Stoli is very much a pro-gay company.

  88. Sterling Ericsson says:

    And you’re still ongoing with the dump stoli tags. Seriously, John? I am really being disappointed with Americablog’s reporting right now.

  89. perljammer says:

    Bought?? You mean these people violated the boycott???

  90. Fidelio01 says:

    I think it would have been more sensible for Dan Savage to first discuss with Stoli how they can help the situation in Russia rather than calling for a full-blown boycott; considering Stoli’s history with the LGBT community here in the US, I think they deserved the benefit of the doubt. The boycott may have made for good headlines, but it seems to cannibalize a brand that is largely guilty by association. I, for one, will be wait to see how Stoli will help the LGBT community in Russia instead of hastily dumping an old friend.

  91. perljammer says:

    “… a week ago barely anyone was talking about Russia’s brutal treatment of
    its gay and trans citizens. Today, the story is being covered
    worldwide, and everyone is talking about it”

    … and some are barely talking about anything else. It’s almost as if nearly nothing else of importance was going on in the world.

  92. Fidelio01 says:

    That’s an old label. They changed it in 2007. It now says “Premium Vodka.”

  93. Fidelio01 says:

    They changed the label in 2007. The label since has read “Premium Vodka,” not “Russian.”

  94. karmanot says:

    It makes a great tire and garage floor cleaner.

  95. cole3244 says:

    anti gay (civil rights) companies, groups, charlatans, and parties need to be held accountable here at home for a change.

  96. emjayay says:

    Since it had to be purchased I certainly hope they emptied the bottles into another container and refilled with water. My mother taught me never to waste. Also more ecological. Hey that stuff isn’t cheap.

  97. emjayay says:

    It’s a well known product self-identified as Russian on the label. It may be just the beginning, but it is a good beginning. It is made from Russian grain in Russia (I think they own the farms besides the distillery), then diluted and bottled in Latvia, a former Soviet Union country.

    They are probably headquartered in Luxembourg like Mitt Romney has businesses in the Cayman Islands.

  98. basenjilover says:

    What else that are Russian made we can boycott besides vodka?

  99. BeccaM says:

    Let them disavow being a Russian vodka and stop using distilate produced in Russia using Russian wheat, appoint a non-Russian CEO to own and run the company, and remove all those proud mentions allying their entire brand with the post-Soviet nation of Russia. Then we can talk.

  100. HereinDC says:

    Haliburton’s headquaters is now in Dubai, does that mean they are not an American Company?

  101. frankjcapp says:

    I totally agree, and not the prime point of my post: While the #DumpStoli effort helped get this into the media, it isn’t going to cause any change. A divestment campaign definitely will get Putin’s attention.

  102. nicho says:

    First off, Stoli is not a Russian vodka

    First off, it’s symbolic. In most people’s minds, Stoli = Russian.

    I’m quite sure that of all the things that keep Putin up at night, the amount of Stoli sold in the US isn’t one of them.

  103. Whitewitch says:

    I wondered about that – as it didn’t look like they were actually pouring the “vodka” on the ground. Interesting…wonder why – to the drunks from pour alcohol all over the streets – or just a general – hey we don’t have too many stupid laws, let’s make one more!

  104. frankjcapp says:

    No, the CEO of Stoli wrote an open letter about their involvement with the GLBT community, and in that letter stated that they are HQ’d in Lux. I agree: they should change their label, and given what’s happened these past couple of weeks, will probably do exactly that.

    I saw John’s tweet about this story, and came to read it, and had to sign up to post. I work for a bank .. pretty much the polar opposite of working for Stoli :-p

  105. fallon621 says:

    what Andrea answered, I
    cant believe that a person can make $5735 in one month on the internet. did you
    read this link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  106. BeccaM says:

    Their label says differently. If Stoli wants not to be a Russian vodka, they need to change their entire brand strategy.

    Interesting how you’ve registered with Disqus and this is your very first and only comment, “Frank”. Work for Stoli, do you?

  107. Bovine500 says:

    I hope you’re right about that. Putting anything besides water into a storm drain can cause problems.

    frankjcapp also makes an important point. A smart consumer boycott is directed at our own domestic companies which do business with oppressive governments.

  108. frankjcapp says:

    First off, Stoli is not a Russian vodka, it’s a Luxembourg HQ’d company. While getting the word out about Russia’s barbaric policy, we would be better off pressuring corporations who do business in Russia as well as Sochi corporate sponsors. A more effective approach would be duplicating what the world did with Apartheid South Africa- calls for divestment from Russian corporations and credit facilities. That approach brought about Nelson Mandela’s South Africa.

  109. Fidelio01 says:

    It was water since it’s against NYC ordinance to dump alcohol.

  110. johndesalvio says:

    Who bought the vodka? Or was it “borrowed”?

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