Coke defends arrest of gay Russian human rights advocate

In a troubling, and tone-deaf, statement about the recent arrest of a Russian gay rights advocate for waving a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay, Coca-Cola today defended the gay man’s arrest for publicly defending his human rights.

The young man, Pavel Lebedev, was arrested while stepping onto the road and waving a rainbow flag, the international symbol of the gay rights movement, along the parade route of the Olympic flame/torch as it traveled through the Russian town of Voronezh. Pavel was pounced on by a number security officers, including official Olympic security personnel sporting the logos of the Olympic rings and Coca-Cola.

Coke added in its statement that Olympic security officers would continue to sport the Coke logo during future detainment of Russian human rights advocates.

The public display of the rainbow flag, or any other public action or spoken word that in any way suggests that “gay is okay,” is now illegal in Russia, after the country’s passage last summer of a draconian law banning what it calls “gay propaganda.”


Here is Coke’s statement, issued today by email, defending the arrest of the human rights advocate and the placement of Coke’s logo on security personnel who are enforcing Russia’s draconian anti-gay law:

Thank you for contacting The Coca-Cola Company. We appreciate the opportunity to respond.

As one of the world’s most inclusive brands, we value and celebrate diversity. We have long been a strong supporter of the LGBT community and have advocated for inclusion and diversity through both our policies and practices. We do not condone human rights abuses, intolerance or discrimination of any kind anywhere in the world.

As a sponsor since 1928, we believe the Olympic Games are a force for good that unite people through a common interest in sports, and we have seen firsthand the positive impact and long-lasting legacy they leave on every community that has been a host.

We support the ideals of the Olympics and are proud to continue our role in helping to make the Olympics a memorable experience for athletes, fans and communities all around the world.

As a Presenting Partner of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay, our logo appears on all of the uniforms for the staff assigned by the Sochi Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) to support the Torch Relay.

SOCOG reported that a spectator was prevented from breaching the security perimeter around the Torchbearer. The spectator was detained briefly by local police and was fined.

We hope this information is helpful and encourage you to contact us again should you have additional comments or questions.

Jeffrey C
Industry and Consumer Affairs
The Coca-Cola Company

That’s a nice bit of misdirection by Coca-Cola.  I’ve been in touch with LGBT rights activists in Russia (who prefer not to be named, for their own safety), and they walked me through the nearly 4 minute video (below) showing Pavel’s protest, detention and arrest.  While it appears that Pavel was perhaps initially stopped by Olympic security for stepping onto the roadway (though, as shown in the photo below, the Olympic security got its hands on Pavel’s rainbow flag as well), Pavel was then handed over to the police, and detained by them because of his political statement, his rainbow flag.

What transpires in the video is that the Russian police officer initially isn’t aware of what the rainbow flag even is.  Some in the surrounding crowd of spectators are well aware, and goad the police officer to ask Pavel what kind of flag it is.  So the cop does.  Pavel refuses to answer.  In the meantime, at least one spectator tells the officer that the flag is “propaganda,” using that codeword for illegal political activity.

Pavel repeatedly asks the officer for the reason for his detention, and the officer refuses to say, finally stating that Pavel will be taken away to the station for questioning to “clarify the circumstances.”  Pavel was not taken away for trespassing on the parade route, or he would have been told that, Russian LGBT sources tell me. He was taken away for his political speech.

All of this, thanks to Coca-Cola branded Olympic security.

In the animated gif below you can see the Russian police trying to get the flag away from the rather determined activist. This went on for several minutes.


You can watch the entire 4 minute video of Pavel’s arrest.  There’s an awful lot of interest by the cop in getting his hands on Pavel’s rainbow flag – the cop never lets go of the flag:

You’ll also note that there’s an awful lot of Coca-Cola branding going on during the gay rights advocate’s arrest:


As we’d noted the other day, the Olympic security officer (in blue, below) who accosted the rainbow-flag waving human rights advocate was emblazoned with the Coke logo (in the red circle).  You’ll note, interestingly, that he has his hands on the rainbow flag as well.


Coke’s poor-handling of this incident plays into the larger dilemma that the official Olympic sponsors are facing with these “danger games,” as the Sochi Olympics are now being called by marketing experts.  McDonald’s is facing a similar PR debacle surrounding these Winter Olympics, including its disastrous roll-out of a “Cheers to Sochi” social media campaign that immediately became overrun by gay activists, with Queer Nation leading the charge.

Coke is facing the same problem as McDonald’s, and handling it just as poorly, as evidenced by today’s statement about Pavel Lebedev’s arrest.  Coke acknowledges in today’s public response that Olympic security is sporting their logo, and, remarkably, Coke defends the placement of their brand, and gives no indication that the policy will change.  Which means that Olympic security personnel will continue to sport the Coca-Cola logo as they help the Putin government to clamp down on political dissidents, and the civil and human rights of Russian citizens.

I guess thugs do really go better with Coke.

(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | 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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267 Responses to “Coke defends arrest of gay Russian human rights advocate”

  1. John L says:

    Just FYI – this is a common issue with Ashta Aditya. Instead on contributing to the issues being discussed, this individual on many discussion threads has taken the opportunity to insult people on many levels. It blows my mind that this nonsense is allowed to go on. It is verbally abusive in some cases. It’s like the guy just comes on here to “emasculate” (which was a term he used in another thread towards someone else) and bash others. I know people have a right to speak their minds, but where do you draw the line? He’s getting a kick at being cruel and being quite abusive mentally. Please, just look into this issue as carefully as you can, because this is one of the many I’ve seen where this guy is just downright ripping people to shreds all while laughing.

  2. fgold2014 says:

    wow. way to compare the two. Hey, why not go trespass on the front lawn of the White House and see how that goes? And you can kindly explain to the Secret Service how you are standing up for human rights. Let me know how that goes…lol

  3. fgold2014 says:

    just another uneducated tool using name-calling to justify whatever he is selling. How intelligent.

  4. Tuyuq says:

    Please don’t Appeal to Ridicule in your arguments.

  5. Moderator3 says:

    I agree that you were being attacked, but the video responses were a bit too much. Let’s just move on.

  6. Lucien Klein says:

    On a more serious note, I do acknowledge that what I did was a bit childish, but I wasn’t wanting to just fire insults back at him. I’ll apologize if I was out of line with the video responses, but he also shouldn’t be firing such personal remarks so casually.

  7. Lucien Klein says:

    He insulted me, I responded with otter videos. “Let he who casts the first stone be pelted with otters.”

  8. Moderator3 says:

    Sorry, but we don’t ban someone because they are flagged. Flagging someone only results with us taking a closer look at the flagged comment.

  9. Ashta Aditya says:

    Keep proving your mental defects and I’ll keep flagging and they will ban you. I am going to laugh at your Facebook page now.

  10. Ashta Aditya says:

    I am just flagging your posts now. I have no idea what you think any of this means. Only you know. Lonely, fat, bitter and uneducated is no
    way to go through life. Seek help and get an education.

  11. Ashta Aditya says:

    You are just proving your low level of intelligence and perhaps mental instability. I stand by what I posted. I thought you were done? Couldn’t even get that right huh?

  12. Ashta Aditya says:

    You clearly didn’t understand the term and you are wrong about this subject. No, not delusional just well informed. I hope you get to learn a hard lesson. After that I hope you get an education. No, that would not imply that you brought up the term. You lack reading comprehension skills and critical thinking skills. Perhaps you should not have dropped out of high school.

  13. Lucien Klein says:

    If you look near his ankles, you will see the white rope, the barrier, behind them when he gets back up the second time and raises his flag. It’s clear-cut, obvious, and easily verified.

    As for “useful idiot,” I never said I didn’t understand the term, merely that your use of it was entirely improper. The statement “You are the “useful idiot” you are worried about” would imply I had, at any point, brought up the term, which of course I did not.

    Anyway, I’m done. You’re not worth my responses, you’re clearly delusional if you think he had the flag out behind the line when the visual evidence is there to see, and you just throw insults. Have a nice day.

  14. Moderator3 says:

    If you are blocked, how are you commenting? Also, I checked the deleted comment folder, and you have no comments in the deleted folder. Do you have another username? If not, get down off the cross, we need the wood.

  15. Wayne Lankenau says:

    yeah out of hand so like in the US they should of shot him or volted him with a tazer I guess freedom of speech means nothing under the Russian fist of authority…, no wonder Republican’s love Putin so much

  16. Wayne Lankenau says:

    Coca-Cola is one of the most LGBT friendly companies in the US (world) examples please

  17. Wayne Lankenau says:

    liar, paid hake, dip-shit

  18. Wayne Lankenau says:

    Coke can use it product to clean car batteries of battery acid if they want to discriminate like this…their Diet drinks cause Cancer anyway….ask a lab rat

  19. Wayne Lankenau says:

    It is obvious, if you want your country to host an Olympics, don’t have laws and act this way

  20. Wayne Lankenau says:

    All the countries in the world can claim to have no homosexuals in their countries….but can they prove it….and if they have none why do they have these laws? Think about it. best of luck to the male Russian in ice dancing

  21. Wayne Lankenau says:

    Oh yes may he toss Skittles on the parade route SARCASM this is B.S. may Russia never have another Olympics

  22. Ashta Aditya says:

    Actually it is. Watch the video and read more than one article you wantwit. You only feel smart because you are delusional. He clearly had the flag out behind the line. There is a picture in this story. And you need to look up the term “useful idiot” because as “intelligent” as you are, you have clearly never heard the term nor do you understand it.

  23. Ashta Aditya says:

    Like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King as just a couple of examples? I never mentioned only using brute force. You are seem very uneducated. Did you even graduate from a public high school? I said some Jews welcomed Hitler and helped him. That is a fact and my point was obvious. Gays were also executed right along side Jews. Get an education.

  24. dragonlady says:

    Actually, I think you must be the uneducated one. Responsible adults obey the laws and work to change them if they don’t like them. People like you think all it takes is brute force which makes you a bully. And comparing anyone to the Jews who were mass murdered is in poor taste. Maybe you should learn some etiquette before posting.

  25. rickwood42 says:

    I agree. John Aravosis – get some real story to write about.

  26. Lucien Klein says:

    See, quoting “useful idiot,” a phrase I never used, is not a particularly positive indicator of intelligence either. In fact, I never used the word useless anywhere, but by all means try and stick words in my mouth.

    Now for as far as facts go, read the posting above. You’ll see that nowhere does it say that he was pulled beyond the barrier, and if you watch the video provided, you can clearly see him run well beyond the barrier, and only go behind it again as he’s being tackled down. And then he gets back up and tries to go beyond it a second time while waving his flag, at which point he’s tackled again, and this time actually detained by security. He goes past the barrier twice, each time by his own volition.

    So, what I’ve got is the video evidence, which anyone can watch and affirm my description. You’ve got statements and views that are entirely manufactured and disputed not only by the account on the page, but also by the video itself. By all means, go ahead and insult my intelligence, it only makes me feel smarter.

  27. Ashta Aditya says:

    Your analogy is nonsensical and irrelevant. They are n’t manipulating anything. You just don’t seem terribly intelligent as your analogy indicates. He pulled out the flag behind the barrier and was pulled beyond it. Got anything else? You should go back to school. You are in desperate need of an education. You are the “useful idiot” you are worried about.

  28. Lucien Klein says:

    Let’s say party A pulls a gun, and party B attacks and disarms the attacker. If you then come out with the statement “Party B attacked Party A over bigotry!” then you’re being manipulative and deceitful by not mentioning the very relevant facts surrounding the event.

    The same thing can be said here. A gay rights activist slipped under the rope, and was arrested and fined FOR SLIPPING UNDER THE ROPE. The HRT is taking this headline as “Gay rights activist arrested for being gay!” when really, the headline is “Man who tried to slip under parade barrier and got arrested for it happened to be a gay rights activist.” That is the definition of manipulating facts, and treating us like we’re idiots.

  29. Ashta Aditya says:

    Some Jews welcomed the Nazi’s as well. It didn’t work out for either group.

  30. Ashta Aditya says:

    No it isn’t. How is it manipulative and dumb?

  31. Ashta Aditya says:

    You can be gay and still be an uneducated bigot. You prove that. It isn’t imagined. And if it was you or yours you would be saying something completely different. There were Jews that welcomed the Nazi’s as well. It didn’t work out for wither group. Perhaps that is your future as well. Your choice.

  32. dragonlady says:

    Thank you!!

  33. dragonlady says:

    Bigots? You don’t know me or my partner, yet YOU label US as bigots. Being a responsible person has nothing to do with Jerks like you (not the LGBT community, of which I am part). I know plenty of people who are gay that are employed by Coke, yet idiots like YOU want them to lose their job over some imagined slight. Get over yourself!!

  34. Lucien Klein says:

    Know what? Using this incident as a rallying call just lessens the HRT in my eyes. This is clearly a situation of someone slipping the barrier, who happened to be holding a Pride flag. Anyone who slips under the barrier, no matter what flag they’re holding or cause they support, should be arrested and fined. Demonizing Coke for security officers doing their duty is insane, and this group has really, really disappointed me with this. I’ll support gay rights, and I think the Russian laws are terrible. But this, this is just manipulative and dumb.

  35. Ashta Aditya says:

    You really are simple huh? How many fake accounts do you have? Did you even graduate from a public high school?

  36. Ashta Aditya says:

    Actually you bigots would be screwed without intelligent, decent people. You can’t even make a logical argument or cogent statement. No one said that everyone is out to persecute “us”. Your ilk are a dying breed and will not only not be missed but you will be quickly forgotten. Enjoy.

  37. dragonlady says:

    And twice as well off without people like you who think everyone is out to persecute you!

  38. dragonlady says:

    Wow, are you trying to tell me the American Revolutionist didn’t realize there were consequences to their illegal actions if they were caught? Grow up and stop with the conspiracy theories! Not everyone is out to persecute the LGBT community.

  39. teenygozer says:

    There is not a single human rights movement that has gotten any traction anywhere on this planet without making a scene. It is a fact. NOBODY EVER GOT HIS OR HER RIGHTS BY BEING POLITE AND ADHERING TO THE RULES WRITTEN BY THE PEOPLE IN POWER WHO ARE OPPRESSING THEM. This is a “tone argument” that people will throw up to derail the actual point of the argument. The argument in this instance is: Gay people do or do not deserve to have their rights as human beings respected and protected by the law. You guys are side-stepping this argument by focusing on the fact that the kid stepped over a barrier and behaved in a “provocative manner” in order to get some attention. People can and will do much more in defense of their freedom and rights as human beings, but this kid happens to be a peaceful protester. Did you think that the government would say, “dear me, you are correct, we are oppressing you and it’s not right!” if the kid quietly muttered, “I would really like it if you’d stop beating up and arresting gay people just for being gay” in a corner somewhere, where he wouldn’t be any trouble at all to anyone? That is not how this works, and you all know it. Please stop using the tone argument “he was being provocative and committed an unlawful act!” to get out of outing yourselves as homophobes.

    Gay people are being beaten to a pulp by mobs while the Russian police stand smiling and watching the beat-down, then wading in and arresting the gay person for being gay as they lay there, covered in their own blood–we know this is true because you can see the many, many vids on youtube. Some of these jerks are making vids of their buddies beating the crap out of gay people, then posting it to their own blogs, bragging about what they’ve done. This behavior is being supported by the government, they are NOT arresting people who viciously attack gay people. As a drinker of Coke, I have the right to tell Coke to use their considerable power in this instance to make it clear to the people giving the Olympics that they don’t want to be associated with the suppression of human rights.

  40. teenygozer says:

    Wow, I’m glad you weren’t around during the American Revolution–if you’re throwing a tizzy at someone standing up for his human rights by crossing a line, I can just hear you whining to the patriots that they’re being melodramatic and rude to the nicely dressed British soldiers who are just trying to bring law and order to the Americas: why all the drama, George Washington? Tone it down, Ben Franklin, you’re making a scene!

    Coke supports the persecution of gay advocates when it shares the money it makes with the authorities that are persecuting gay people, which is what it is doing at the Olympics. Since we’re the ones providing the money that Coke is sharing with the authorities by purchasing its products, it is our right to tell Coke that we will stop giving it money for its products if it doesn’t use the millions of dollars it’s giving to the Olympics to pressure the Russian authorities to stop persecuting gay people and denying them their civil rights. Does that explain it to you?

  41. teenygozer says:

    “Acting like a bunch of feminists” is high praise indeed! Like, THANK YOU for your kinds words, RayRay, even if you didn’t mean them to be kind!

    “Creating a scene” is exactly what our own Founding Fathers (and Founding Mothers) did back in the late 1700s when they told the very well-mannered gentlemen of the East India Company to blow their taxes and their laws that nobody in America had voted for out their portholes. We were extremely ill-mannered, even downright rude, when we made a big scene. It really got in the way of the East India Company (and the British Crown that had given them their business charter) making tons of cash, but that was the point now, wasn’t it?

    Read some history and get some education.

  42. Dan Alvírez says:

    Insert the word Black, Jewish or Native American everywhere you have written the word gay and then tell me it’s OK to finance hate.

  43. rguy333 says:

    Go team Gay… now this is what I am talking about. LOL

  44. rguy333 says:

    [email protected]#$ No, no, no, no…. This isn’t the answer. Yes the Government should help the Russians, maybe they can load down a Giant horse with all the gay Russians and sneak them out of the country… Joking… Coke and Russian Tourism isn’t at fault here. Coke is doing what they have done every year, Russians are… well… being Russians…. Their beliefs are theirs to have but they shouldn’t force those beliefs good or bad onto their citizens.

  45. rguy333 says:

    Although I think, I may agree with your view… I am thinking their may be a more appropriate way of stating it. Just saying….

  46. rguy333 says:

    Okay, so here is my take if anyone cares to hear it. I understand the frustration of the LGBT community and its activists in Russia, it is difficult, having to hide who you really are just to keep from getting beat down. Most of us in the LGBT community have felt the pressure to remain silent and hidden in order to keep ourselves safe. Russian LGBT members feel this same pressure magnified by 100 at least. I wish there was something more that we could do to help protect them. Their situation is truly terrifying by all rights.

    That being said, lets think about this. The boy is local, which means he knows the laws. The boy wasn’t beaten, or hurt in any way. The boy stepped (more like barreled) over the security line. Come on, if he was waving his flag innocently in the crowd, was attacked by security and carted off to jail, I would be standing with you. I really would! We all see in the video this is just not the case.

    Breaking the law comes with consequences, every figure in history has understood this. Just waving the flag is illegal, and the first time he breaks the line he is only sent back, with his flag in hand. The second time the security try’s to take the flag, but if I was security I would as well, not because its gay. Rather this is a person trying to make a point associated with this flag. Remove the flag and you remove his cause for crossing the security line.

    It is obvious that the Police officer doesn’t know what the flag stands for, but he still tries to take it away for the boy. Why would he try to take a flag if he doesn’t know what it stands for? Again, he is trying to keep the boy from again breaking the security line. I agree with the actions taken in this video and have to say that dropping this on Coke’s front stoop is not really the answer. Think freely and form your own opinions, we are in the United States, we have that luxury.

    As for you stuffed shirt, bigoted, fagot hating, ignorant imbeciles… Be proud of the fact that you can speak freely against gay people. Imagine if the world were reversed and you were straight in a gay world. Russia just declared that any straight propaganda is outlawed. You had to live your life in fear of being beaten or ridiculed for being straight… How would you feel? Do you feel, or are you so closed minded and stone cold-hearted that you are numb to the feelings of others?

    The Olympic games are a time for the world to come together as one people. One race of Humans that compete and enjoy the company of our brothers and sisters from around the globe. It is not a time for bigotry or hatred. Lets keep the games in the manner to which they have become known, safe and fun for all of the world. Not just the parts you pick and chose.

  47. RayRay says:

    To be honest this is pretty stupid, you all are acting like a bunch of feminists here…trying to make everything seem like you’re getting discriminated against, like beep off, seriously. I don’t know you and I don’t care who you are, but everyone is in the spirit of the game, cheering for their country, and there you are, waving your gay flag around. Like, find a better place? Not everything is about gay people you know. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. You don’t see people campaigning for cheaper beer waving their flags around. Like get real, think about where you are and act accordingly. He was just creating a scene. And from what I understood the police officer was being nice and told him to stop, but no he just wouldn’t listen. And honestly, you’re seriously blaming coke for all this? Are you freaking kidding me?? They sponsored the Olympics which are being hosted by a country that’s pretty anti-gay so that means coke must be against gay people?? Coke is just trying to make money, your logic is insane. Coke sponsored the Olympics, and all the guards are wearing coke logos and when guards make anti-gay arrests, that means it’s coke’s fault?? This is insane, you all are literally being like feminists here…trying to prove everyone hates you and that life’s unfair. It’s like saying buildings are shaped more like penises than vaginas so that shows male dominance and female discrimination. Like give me a break. Coke is a corporation. Not a person, not some homophobic. They have one purpose: Make money, that’s all that matters to them, and if they were trying to be anti-gay that would be pretty stupid as they would lose a lot of customers. I guess they never knew you guys would be crazy enough bit* over them sponsoring the olympics…

  48. fgold2014 says:

    Gimmee a break… Melodramatic much? The man clearly crosses the security perimeter. I don’t care who you are – straight, gay, bisexual – you violate the rules, you pay the consequences. Stop making it a persecution to drum up scripted drama, ok?

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  50. Ashta Aditya says:

    No, that wasn’t the suggestion at all. I suggest you take a remedial English class.

  51. Ashta Aditya says:

    Drink more water. Live longer, healthier and happier.

  52. Ashta Aditya says:

    Provocative huh?

  53. Ashta Aditya says:

    What an odd statement. It was a flag not a bomb. Drink as much Coke as you can. Replace water with Coke. The world will be better off without you.

  54. mrkilgore says:

    Whatever we unconsciously pay for/support is what continues to exist as it is. It’s fun to imagine there being a global movement to, say, not buy Coke products, just to see what happens. A company is made of people. Perhaps the managers of these large firms, along with the rest of us, need to be reminded of who really has the power to stop or start things. It may be more important for our global community – sexual & antisexual people – to come together in new ways than it is to be right about some personal point of view. I’m always willing to consider a new action, regardless of my sexuality, which frankly is as much a brand as Coca-Cola if you wear it on your sleeve. I am a global citizen first, a part of humanity, and so stand for what may truly make a difference for all human beings.

  55. mrkilgore says:

    There seems to many comments below. A simple misunderstanding.

  56. TiredOfWhiners says:

    Isee what you mean mllpgh208 I posted how everyone protests us being in the middle east defending human rights but they jump down your throat if you comment on a gay criminal. They deleted that.

  57. TiredOfWhiners says:

    Have never been a big coke fan but will be drinking it all the time now!
    They did nothing wrong. I can buy a shirt with any company’s logo and
    commit atrocities, but it would be me and not that company. The man
    clearly breached security and was detained then turned over to
    authorities. The cop had no coke logo on his uniform. Grow up people. If
    he had just happened to have a bomb on him and blew up everyone around,
    everyone would have been crying about poor security, You can’t have it
    both ways. The security guys did their job and turned him over to the
    police for breaching the barrier not for a stupid flag.

  58. LearnToInternet says:

    Multiple posts by you as mllpgh209 are still present below. Perhaps you neglected to click the “Load more comments” button? Next time try that before you start falsely throwing around accusations of censorship.

  59. Moderator3 says:

    What name did you use? You have no comments in the deleted folder. That includes mllpgh209.

  60. Moderator3 says:

    If you’re blocked from this blog, how are you able to post a comment?

  61. mllpgh208 says:

    I agree with you completely and AmericaBlog is likely to delete your comment. They’ve deleted mine regarding my views on this as well as blocked me from the blog. Here’s my comment:

    I wonder if they would have tackled him like that had he remained on the side walk. Had he not run into the street, breaching the security perimeter. I wonder if he had stood in silent solidarity holding the flag high, if they would have detained him.

    I am skeptical that this young man was detained simply for the flag.

    As evidenced in the video, he was running, jumping, yelling; he left the sidewalk which was clearly roped off. He attempted to run into the street and run with the torch bearer which is not permissible.

    Everyone is so quick to scream HOMOPHOBIA and anti-gay but, in actuality, the kid broke the rules.
    I am a lesbian and I am terrified of the Sochi Olympics. I fear that gay athletes and spectators will be persecuted. I fear a terrorist attack.

    If you’re going to Sochi and wish to show support for the LGBT community, don’t jump around and run into the street. Don’t breech security perimeters. Stand strong and be still. Stand like Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood in 1968. Hold your partner’s hand – wear a rainbow necklace – hold up the flag in the stands – cheer louder and harder for out athletes. Stand your ground but remain peaceful, non-violent, and non-disruptive.

    Had that kid taken the Tommie Smith approach and been detained, then, I would have a problem.

    Coca-Cola is one of the most LGBT friendly companies in the US (world). The media seems to be blowing this a bit out of proportion as tensions are running very high.

  62. mllpgh208 says:

    Either the moderator of this article or John “Putin” Aravosis will delete your comment if you do not agree with his views.

  63. mllpgh208 says:

    AmericaBlog blocked me for saying what you’ve said. My username mllpgh209 was blocked!

    You are correct in your observations and the media has blown this waaaay out of proportion.

  64. mllpgh208 says:

    I am a lesbian.

    My former username is mllpgh209.

    I was blocked by AmericaBlogGay for my views on this topic. John, I was in no way hostile to you or your commenters. I called no one a name, I did not chide you for this article. I am simply presenting a different view of this situation and calling the media out on perhaps taking the situation completely out of context.

    You have censored me because you did not like what I have to say. Are you going to block the 41 upvotes I received? Are you going to block all of the other commenters who agree with me and who have posted their own comments that agree with me?

    Being censored because the editor of AmericaBlog and author of this article does not like what I have to say is the same as censoring gay people in Russia.

    Have you created Russia on you blog John ‘Putin’ Aravosis?

  65. Anthony says:

    POOR HANDLING? In Russia it is illegal, it is against the country’s laws to do what he has done, plus he breached the perimeter and is therefore a security risk. I am proud of the LGBT community and support it 100% but this corporation shaming has to stop, otherwise you’re just as bad as the bigots.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Ok, this shit is waayyy out of proportion. I have many friends and family that are part of the LGBT community and this is disgusting. The young man was clearly being provocative in his behavior. Look at time frame 0:04 and you will see that he barges through the line. He gets placed aside. The he again pushes past into the line at 0:12. After that he was warned again, and yet at 0:42 he comes to try again (3rd damn time), but is deterred by the visual presence of the police (remember this is a relatively primitive country and he is lucky they didn’t beat the shit out of him for it)!

    What the hell does Coke or McDonald’s have to do with it? Were Coke officials standing there condoning aggressive acts against this man? NO! All Olympic personnel wear uniforms emblazoned with Coke/McDonald/Sponsor Whoever and the Olympic rings as a form and means to identify the relevant employees. Grow up and put your conspiracies to use elsewhere where it might be actual.

  67. deckard22 says:

    I totally agree. The kid ran out into the path, over the barriers, thus presenting a threat.
    The security acted quickly and appropriately. The waving of a flag at this point was irrelevant to why he was initially stopped and most people wouldnt register it was there in the short space of time before he was tackled.
    All of this is surely what you would hope for if you were sat in the cavalcade and you saw someone run out of the crowd shouting…

    c’mon as gay people we have to pick the right battle, this is not it. i spent the 80s campaigning against the oppressive thatcher government and their draconian views on GLB rights. The thing I learned from that is, pick the right fight with the right people at the right time.

  68. phylius1988 says:

    So is my smartphone.

  69. clash says:

    Are you suggesting that gays are assholes?

  70. melliemom says:

    Coke no more, Russian tourism no more… hoping both will be boycotted around the world.Money has always talked.. The U.S. govt. needs to help the LGBT folks who want to leave Russia by giving them political asylum.

  71. Stephanie Michal Smethers says:

    I very rarely drink Coke products but I’m officially dropping them and any products that they handle

  72. a_leah says:

    Sounds like a good reason to drink more Diet Pepsi.

  73. Martin Smith says:

    Coke Lost a chunk of their stock price after this statement.;range=5d;compare=;indicator=volume;charttype=area;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined; It would make me very happy to see some executives get fired over it.

  74. mondoalfemminile says:

    Well….my pc is a Samsung…:(

  75. mondoalfemminile says:

    I wish I could understand what they were saying…

  76. Guest says:

    Plain and simple…

  77. mondoalfemminile says:

    Russia is just not a good country to be in, at this point. It reminds me of Germany 1939.

  78. mondoalfemminile says:

    I agree, it looks as if the policeman does not know what to do…in any case, this is terrible and crazy, where is it going to end? There were kids around, looking at all this…

  79. Ivan says:

    What we disagree with is the arrest and jailing of us, simply due to the fact that we are gay. My question to you, what if people were being arrested/jailed simply due to some characteristic that you posses? Would you prefer that everyone just say ‘oh well’ and allow you to be persecuted?
    History has shown time and again, that if we allow such actions against one group, other groups are not far behind. If you happen to be in the wrong group, then your morals will mean nothing.

  80. fariasrv says:

    What, exactly, is your point? And who the hell is making excuses for him? He knew what the police response would be when he ran out with the flag; that’s why he did it, and everyone here would have expected it as well.

    The entire debate here is regarding Coca Cola’s tone-deaf response to the suppression of a civil-rights protestor by people WEARING THEIR DAMNED CORPORATE LOGO. This would be the equivalent of having the Coca Cola logo emblazoned on Montgomery, AL police uniforms while they were turning the dogs and hoses on Freedom Marchers in the 50s and 60s. If you can’t understand that, then you really need to work on your reading comprehension.

  81. Arnie40 says:

    I’m not going into the LGBT debate because that will naturally take place. This video, however, points out that Sochi may not be ready for the Olympics. The confused policeman has to use a cell phone? What if this civil disobedient man was not so civil? That makes the Olympics scary not just for the LGBT community.

  82. Tom says:

    Coca Cola is far from “LGBT friendly.” Sponsoring the 2014 Hate Olympics is an incredibly vicious and bigoted thing to do. Defending the deliberate misconduct of the IOC security is just more heterosexist filth.

  83. mouse says:

    I like it! Enjoy!

  84. Rory O'Flaherty says:

    Strange how when an activist is being arrested, a potentially violent situation, the people with children stand so close by. One might even think this was deliberate so that ‘protecting the children’ bullshit might fly.

  85. From Love with Siberia says:

    No one in Russia wants to learn for what purpose other ppl use their assholes. If your rights are violated, go to court!

  86. Schlukitz says:


  87. ronbo says:

    Would it be wrong to go to McDonalds to order a Sochi commemorative coke then change my mind and refuse to pay for it on the grounds that I TRULY and honestly ” do not condone human rights abuses, intolerance or discrimination of any kind anywhere in the world” (especially if it is merely for corporate profits)?

    Are blood diamonds worse than blood cokes?

  88. Thom Allen says:

    McDonald’s abandons #CheersToSochi? Keep posting to this hashtag on Twitter.

  89. Thom Allen says:

    Careful, your mommy might see you using your daddy’s computer and bitch slap you for it, junior.

  90. Thom Allen says:

    Thanks I see three products there that I buy that I didn’t know Coke had an interest in. They’re off my shopping list now.

  91. Thom Allen says:

    No, I didn’t say something like shit. I said shit. Not only do you have problems with reading and understanding, you have problems with expressing yourself clearly and accurately, too.

  92. Thom Allen says:

    Seriously, if they security forces thought that he were a terrorist, they wouldn’t have kept him at the site, holding him and talking with him, trying to get the rainbow flag away from him. If they thought that he was a terrorist, they’d have stripped and searched him and hustled him off ASAP, not left him in public where any other terrorists he might have been working with could have seen his arrest. Take a look at videos where real terrorists were taken down. They’re either shot or surrounded and restrained quickly.
    They were focused on getting the flag away from him and letting the crowd see that the police won’t tolerate “gay propaganda.”

  93. flyingmonster flyingmonster says:


  94. flyingmonster flyingmonster says:

    You said something like shit

  95. Thom Allen says:

    Now you’re proposing to him? Glad to see you’re coming out of the closet, finally.

  96. Thom Allen says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re one of many pieces of shit out there.

  97. Thom Allen says:

    That’s not what the article says at all. You might want to reread it.

  98. flyingmonster flyingmonster says:

    Fuc# you!

  99. JOHN says:


  100. Euro Taio says:

    So it’s coca colas fault that helpers from russia told police?????? ummmm yeah blame the company that is from the american side…..the person was doing what the law is in russia because they are a citizen. Gawd people learn how to blame it right.

  101. flyingmonster flyingmonster says:

    Ha-Ha-Ha!!! Stupid [email protected] :)) Piece of sh!t !!!

  102. Nick says:

    Gettin’ all uppity ain’t we? Gots to know our place.

  103. Nick says:

    I am, yes.

  104. Nick says:

    The Coca-Cola company started out as DRUG PEDDLERS, the original Coca-Cola contained a whopping dose of Cocaine and some Cola nut extract, they didn’t call it Coke for nothing. The concoction ruined countless lives and sent many to an early grave, but hey, they made a buck! Today, Coca-Cola contains neither coca or cola.

  105. Nick says:

    Have a Coke and a heil!

  106. Nick says:

    The pause that represses!

  107. phylius1988 says:

    I’m tired of Samsung’s shitty quality phones anyway.

  108. phylius1988 says:

    Very helpful, thanks.

  109. phylius1988 says:

    I, for one, am boycotting McDonalds and Coca-Cola until their turnaround on this issue. I’m Russian.

  110. george doesky says:

    Boycotting a few corporate brands isn’t enough. These games should be boycotted and that should start with boycotting sports at home. A few athletes coming out of the closet isn’t enough. Rainbow painted nail polish isn’t enough. A few hetero sympathizers isn’t enough. Watching sports on cable is too much. Supporting high school sports is too much. These Olympic games ought to be made to be an utter failure with pressure to boycott the games at every opportunity, that Russia would have spent tens of billions on nothing.
    They want to make an example of gay people. The world should make an example of Russia. But the world is a coward. And no one will give up their entertainment even while gay teens are put to death.

  111. umeshan nandakumar says:

    We should boycot Cocacola and the others!

  112. umeshan nandakumar says:

    Absolutely disgusting shame on cocacola. Why is this happening in todays times? This would not happen in australia

  113. metta8 says:

    Coca-Cola Brands:

  114. fenris23 says:

    Reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit, is it? I said “Let him be arrested” not “he shouldnt have been arrested thats not fair”. Please, in future, read what you reply to.

  115. y2jboy says:

    ‘security breach’ …oh brother! Is there a translation of the exchange they had??

  116. David says:

    For all my defenses of the activists upset with Coke and other Olympic sponsors for supporting the security that must cooperate with Russian law enforcement, I must say that stating ”
    All of this, thanks to Coca-Cola branded Olympic security” is going too far.
    The Olympic security cannot be blamed for the subsequent behavior of the Russian police.

  117. Strepsi says:

    I actually really do get your point – for instance we’ll see if anyone running out past security to greet their loved ones in next year’s Boston Marathon gets anywhere — but man, what a brave kid. Calling him incivil is a tad harsh.

  118. Strepsi says:

    To the cornfield! All those fuckers!

  119. Strepsi says:

    That young man Pavel Lebedev is a civil rights hero.

    Much love and best wishes from Canada!

  120. Joshua Meade says:

    hahaha. youre an idiot. the film shows everything. he busted past the security line, and got arrested. if i did the same thing with a russian flag draped over me, id have been arrested to. so before you start throwing accusations about someone elses views, know your shit. plus, i never said i liked russia or liked their views. i said, nothing that happened to that one guy is homophobic, and to accuse coke of being homophobes for just supporting their right to arrest a guy who broke through the security barrier is pathetic and whining for attention.

  121. Joshua Meade says:

    and what the hell do yo know about his views? he didnt say anything about his views, he said that the guy got in trouble for doing what anyone else would have gotten in trouble for doing.

  122. Joshua Meade says:

    no, you are making excuses for him. “he shouldnt have been arrested thats not fair”. the reason he was arrested had nothing to do with his flag and everything to do with disruption and breaking past where no one else is allowed to either. if i did the same thing, without a flag, id have been treated the same way. thats why this is not an issue of abuse or gay rights. its an issue of a guy doing what no one else can do, either.

  123. Joshua Meade says:

    so youre going to boycott everyone that is involved with the olympics?

  124. David says:

    The complaint, Joshua, is with large international businesses like Coca-Cola that are now involved with an Olympics that inevitably must me involved with legal authorities charged with enforcing illiberal, anti-homosexual laws.

  125. David says:

    Breaking a rule — such as by crossing a barrier — is not failing to be peaceful.

  126. More Sochi sponsors wer’re asking you to boycott:

  127. Guest says:

    More Sochi Olympic sponsors to boycott:

  128. Catherine Hopkins says:

    And as ‘Guest’ too. So brave to stand up and be counted.

  129. David says:

    You have completely missed the point — I can only assume on purpose.

  130. Well that’s the end of that then. Gay is illegal, so is freedom of expression, so is freedom of assembly, and so is the rainbow. Backed by the IOC and Coca-Cola.

  131. And once again I say: FUCK THE OLYMPICS, FUCK COCA COLA, PROCTOR & GAMBLE and every other sponsor of this BULLSHIT.

  132. Ian Bardecki says:

    It just seems to me, that the media is trying to make a story, out of a non-story.

    There have been terrorist threats made against the Olympics. This guy broke through the security barrier, and tried to get close to the torch bearer. That’s not gonna fly, no matter what country you’re in.

    Security doesn’t know if he’s a threat, or just happy to wave a flag, but they have to assume the worst. Because if they don’t, and the kid had a bomb, then everyone is screaming about how there wasn’t enough security to protect these people.

    Sorry – Coke isn’t at fault here. The kid that broke the security barrier is.

  133. StraightGrandmother says:

    seeing how hatful the LGBT is as soon as you disagree with them. On anything.

    Oh my that’s rich. Sounds similar to Those uppity n*ggers doesn’t it?

  134. Paine4444 says:

    I hear the Russian accent, Anne…

  135. xanaduboy2000 says:

    If the crime of crossing the barrier had been why they arrested him they would have told him they arrested him for the propaganda was the reason . If Coca-Cola really cared about lgbt issues they would help this guy. The cameras would have never shown him holding the flag out of fear of being arrested to for promoting the gay propaganda. The olympics should have been relocated for the safety of the athletes I have a friend who is competing and am concerned for her hope russia doesnt do anything stupid.

  136. fenris23 says:

    No. Let him break the law. Let him be arrested. Then let’s yell that the evil he is fighting is bigger than the evil he was arrested for. Let the same thing happen again and again in front of the cameras. We aren’t making excuses for him, we are saying what he is doing is RIGHT.

  137. fenris23 says:

    If they were in any way LGBT friendly, they could have already dropped out of supporting the Olympics in Russia.

  138. Anonymous says:

    Yes, we’ve heard it before. Peaceful people are NEVER arrested and always “bait” the police with antics that are never filmed. You don’t know much about Russia, “dude.” They don’t even have a freedom of assembly.
    I guess you are one of those that think Russia is a first-world country that is peacefully enforcing its views.

  139. karmanot says:

    —-“anyone with objecting viewpoints have no rights to their opinions” You have every light to your opinions.” Next!

  140. Naja pallida says:

    The goal of the “moral” is apparently to die from the complications of obesity. Lucky they’re in a country where they’re free to do that, and don’t have an ignorant thug trying to tell them what is “moral”.

  141. Anonymous says:


  142. MrRobotoLA says:

    “If that boy had simply stood on the sidewalk behind the barrier and held his flag it would have been much more impactful.”

    Impactful to the two people on either side of him, maybe, but seen by no one else. He was running alongside the torch bearer because that’s where the camera is.

  143. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I’m trying to find a good chart of all the brands (there are dozens) but failing. I may need to make one.

  144. Anonymous says:

    The “moral” sure like to get fat and eat crap like Chik Fil A, Domino’s, and Coke. Natural selection?

  145. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I don’t know about you, but my hat is usually full of my head.

    Do you realize that your comment is mostly incoherent?

  146. Butch1 says:

    Opportunists not unlike the Bush family and other rich families during WWII.

  147. Butch1 says:

    Any cola will do but Coca-Cola.

  148. Butch1 says:

    I hope their sales go through the roof because of this.

  149. Butch1 says:

    Really? Well I will have no problem not drinking Coca-Cola again and I do hope their sales are affected by what they have arrogantly said. Their arrogance does have consequences.

  150. Anne says:

    Only because they happened to disagree with LBGT and tell the truth. Nice.

  151. Casey says:

    oh yeah I forgot – anyone with objecting viewpoints have no rights to their opinions with some of you. Ps Coke was RIGHT. Boycott them if you wish. Maybe they’ll have the moral drinking it and change their stance. seeing how hatful the LGBT is as soon as you disagree with them. On anything.

  152. karmanot says:

    COKE, the cancer that refreshes.

  153. karmanot says:

    5-4-3-2-1 We are already over you. Next!

  154. karmanot says:

    You would.

  155. karmanot says:

    Bad boy, bad boy!

  156. karmanot says:

    Actually, as one who wore tie dye in the day, we sang, “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.”

  157. karmanot says:

    Well, no, it’s totally relevant. It was Civil Disobedience that caught the world’s attention. Polite bourgeois obedience does not win progressive cultural and civil rights battles. Unfortunately, your conformist ‘values’ are too common.

  158. Joshua Meade says:

    why, because a gay rights activist broke the security line and was rightfully detained? get over yourselves.

  159. Joshua Meade says:

    thats the gay rights agenda dude. looking for any reason to demonize anyone they can to call attention to themselves, most of the time with false-allegations. not saying russia isnt anti gay, saying what that guy did got him arrested, not his flag.

  160. Joshua Meade says:

    by your definition he should be allowed to break the laws and do as he wishes simply because hes gay and has a rights agenda? you do that, you get arrested. open a damn history book yourself. its the price you pay for civil disobedience. he crossed the line he was detained just like anyone else would have been for any other reason. making excuses for him just cause you like his agenda is silly.

  161. D says:

    don’t forget Odwalla

  162. karmanot says:

    “when this is the first time I’ve heard of you.” You could tell by the bad breath—all trolls have it.

  163. karmanot says:

    Coca-Cola thanks you kappo.

  164. mllpgh209 says:

    That is irrelevant. What would happen to someone peacefully holding up a rainbow flag if they ran into the street during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? What would happen to someone peacefully holding up a rainbow flag if they ran onto the field during a New York Yankee game? What would happen to someone peacefully holding up a rainbow flag if they ran onto the stage at a performance of Wicked on Broadway?

    They would all be removed and probably fined and it would have nothing to do with their rainbow flags.

    I’m not denying that the boy was “not peaceful” BUT, there is a way to be civilly disobedient without breaching security. That is the only reason he was tackled as he was.

  165. fariasrv says:

    Nothing that he did could be considered “not peaceful.”

  166. mllpgh209 says:

    Had the boy been detained for just the rainbow flag, we would have another story. The boy ran into the street, he tried to run alongside the parade. There were barriers for a reason. He should have stood still and raised the flag high. Had he been tackled for that – then I would have a problem.

    The boy was cited for “breaching the security perimeter around the torch bearer.” NOT for violating Russia’s asinine laws.

  167. mllpgh209 says:

    Civil disobedience is peaceful. If that boy had simply stood on the sidewalk behind the barrier and held his flag it would have been much more impact. Rather, he ran into the street and attempted to run alongside the torch bearer which is not acceptable.

    He would have been civilly disobedient had he stood his ground on the side walk. He was not detained for holding up the flag – he was stopped from running into the parade.

    Civil disobedience is making the black power salute on the medal podium at the 1968 Olympics.

    Civil disobedience is standing on a Russian sidewalk in solidarity – peacefully and proudly holding up the rainbow flag.

    Believe me sir, as a lesbian member of the LGBT community and an active participant in the movement for marriage equality in the US, I know what civil disobedience is.

    Civility would have kept that boy on the sidewalk. Disobedience would have held his flag high.

  168. fariasrv says:

    You know absolutely nothing about civil disobedience, do you? “Following the rules” doesn’t get you anywhere when those rules are designed specifically to remove your rights. Open a bloody history book.

  169. battlepriest says:

    Coca-Cola is not demonstrating that they are LGBT-friendly by their response in this case.

  170. UncleBucky says:

    Right! Good! DAYLIGHT!

  171. UncleBucky says:

    RC Cola….?

  172. UncleBucky says:

    Pepsi, RC Cola, Cuba Cola, but anything but Coca-Cola and its phantom brands and partners…

    BTW: Many options besides Coke….!

  173. Heebs says:

    Use this as an opportunity for your health. Time to switch to anything but soda!

  174. mllpgh209 says:

    I wonder if they would have tackled him like that had he remained on the side walk. Had he not run into the street, breaching the security perimeter. I wonder if he had stood in silent solidarity holding the flag high, if they would have detained him.

    I am skeptical that this young man was detained simply for the flag.

    As evidenced in the video, he was running, jumping, yelling; he left the sidewalk which was clearly roped off. He attempted to run into the street and run with the torch bearer which is not permissible.

    Everyone is so quick to scream HOMOPHOBIA and anti-gay but, in actuality, the kid broke the rules.
    I am a lesbian and I am terrified of the Sochi Olympics. I fear that gay athletes and spectators will be persecuted. I fear a terrorist attack.

    If you’re going to Sochi and wish to show support for the LGBT community, don’t jump around and run into the street. Don’t breech security perimeters. Stand strong and be still. Stand like Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood in 1968. Hold your partner’s hand – wear a rainbow necklace – hold up the flag in the stands – cheer louder and harder for out athletes. Stand your ground but remain peaceful, non-violent, and non-disruptive.

    Had that kid taken the Tommie Smith approach and been detained, then, I would have a problem.

    Coca-Cola is one of the most LGBT friendly companies in the US (world). The media seems to be blowing this a bit out of proportion as tensions are running very high.

  175. Schlukitz says:

    Troll Alert!

  176. Schlukitz says:

    Coke and hate. It’s the real thing.

  177. Schlukitz says:

    Yep. Coke is truly speaking with a forked tongue.

  178. Schlukitz says:

    I am happy to say that I have never used even one of those products.

  179. Schlukitz says:

    I used to use it to clean dried rubber cement off my my steel covered work table.

  180. Schlukitz says:

    I never drank that shit to begin with.

  181. Eli Deck says:

    Time to switch to Pepsi.

  182. czilla138 says:

    Here’s a lil meme I put together.

  183. leorcc says:

    Coca Cola had a factory in Nazi Germany during world war 2, it is where Fanta was developed.

  184. chris10858 says:

    So Coke first started sponsoring Olympics in the late 1920s? Hmm… can anyone find photos of Hitler and the Coke logo together?

  185. StraightGrandmother says:

    Damn, you’re good. wish I had talent like that.

  186. StraightGrandmother says:

    That must have taken you a Hell of a long time to put that together.
    I’ll use that tomorrow on Twitter I assure you.

  187. lit per says:

    Coca-Cola, the official sponsor of anti-LGBT terrorism!

  188. Pam Breeze says:

    Bacardi Mixers *
    Bacardi Premium Mixers *
    Bright And Early
    Caffeine-free Barq’s
    Caffeine-free Coca-Cola
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    cherry Coke
    Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla
    Coca-Cola Cherry Zero
    Coca-Cola Zero
    Coca-Cola Zero Caffeine-Free
    Cumberland Gap
    DANNON *
    Delaware Punch
    diet Barq’s
    Diet cherry Coke
    Diet Coke
    Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla
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    Diet Coke with Splenda
    Diet Fuze Tea
    diet Inca Kola
    Diet Master Pour
    Diet Northern Neck
    Diet Sprite
    Diet Sprite Zero
    Dr Pepper*
    Evian *
    Fanta Sugar Free
    Fanta Zero
    Five Alive
    Flavor Rage
    Full Throttle
    glacéau fruitwater
    glacéau smartwater
    glacéau vitaminenergy
    glacéau vitaminwater
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    Honest Tea
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    Illy *
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    The trademarks listed above are owned or used under license(*)
    by The Coca-Cola Company and its related affiliates as of August 31, 2012.

  189. Jeff Levy says:

    Coke brand and Filtered by Coke

    Agua de Taxco,
    Al Waha,
    Andina del Valle,
    Andina Frut,
    Andina Homemade,
    Andina Nectar,
    Andina Nutrihuesos,
    Aquarius Spring!,
    Aquarius Zero,
    Bacardi Mixers *,
    Bacardi Premium Mixers *,
    Barbican *,
    Bbaeonal Su,
    Bimbo Break,
    Birds Nest,
    Bitter Rosso,
    Bong Pyoung,
    Botaniq 1QQ,
    Bright And Early,
    Brisa Gas,
    Brisa Spa,
    Burn Sugar Free,
    Buyulu Bohca,
    Buyulu Kutu,
    Caffeine-free Barq’s,
    Caffeine-free Coke Light,
    Caffeine-free Diet Coke,
    Campbell’s *,
    Canada Dry,
    Cappy Ice,
    Cappy Ice Fruit,
    Cappy Multifruit,
    Cappy Pulpy,
    Cappy Tempo,
    Carlsberg Farm*,
    Carlsberg Kildevaeld *,
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    Carlsberg Onside Sport,
    Carlysle Farm,
    Chaqwa Premium,
    Chaudfontaine Light,
    cherry Coke,
    Chinotto Light,
    Ciel Aquarius,
    Ciel Mini,
    Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla,
    Coca-Cola Cherry Zero,
    Coca-Cola Freestyle,
    Coca-Cola Life,
    Coca-Cola light,
    Coca-Cola light with Lemon,
    Coca-Cola light with Orange,
    Coca-Cola Store,
    Coca-Cola Zero,
    Coca-Cola Zero Caffeine-Free,
    Coca-Cola Zero,
    Coco Palm,
    Cocoteen Zeitaku,
    Coke Studio Africa,
    Coke Studio India,
    Coke Studio Middle East,
    Coke Studio Pakistan,
    Country Club,
    Cristal Source,
    Cumberland Gap,
    Damla Minera,
    DANNON *,
    Del Prado,
    Del Valle,
    Del Valle Coolers,
    Del Valle Fresh,
    Del Valle Frut,
    Del Valle Frutsi,
    Del Valle Kapo,
    Del Valle Kids,
    Del Valle Light,
    Del Valle Mais,
    Del Valle Mais Light,
    Del Valle Reserva,
    Del Valle Vallefrut,
    Delaware Punch,
    diet A&W,
    diet Almdudler,
    diet Andina Frut/Andina Frut Light,
    diet Andina Nectar,
    diet Barq’s,
    diet Canada Dry,
    Diet cherry Coke,
    Diet Coke,
    Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla ,
    Diet Coke with lemon,
    Diet Coke with Lime,
    Diet Coke with Splenda,
    Diet Coke/Coca-Cola light with Lime,
    diet Crush,
    diet Dr Pepper,
    diet Fanta,
    Diet Freskyta,
    Diet Frugos,
    Diet Fuze Tea,
    diet Inca Kola,
    diet Kia Ora,
    diet Kinley CSD,
    diet Lift,
    diet Lilt,
    Diet Master Pour,
    Diet Matte Leao,
    diet Mezzo Mix,
    Diet NESTEA *,
    Diet Northern Neck,
    diet Oasis,
    diet Schweppes,
    diet Sport,
    Diet Sprite,
    Diet Sprite Zero,
    diet Tai,
    diet Vanilla Coke,
    Disney Xtreme Coolers*,
    Do You Have,
    Dogadan Buyulu Bohca,
    Dogadan Gizli Bahce,
    Dogadan Plus,
    Dr Pepper zero,
    Dr Pepper*,
    Dr. Pepper,
    Eight O Clock,
    Eight O Clock Funchum,
    Eight O Clock Immuno Active,
    Estrella Azul,
    Evian *,
    Fanta 1+9,
    Fanta Beach,
    Fanta Sugar Free,
    Fanta Zero,
    Far Coast,
    Five Alive,
    Flavor Rage,
    Florida 7,
    Fonte Ijui,
    Frazer & Neave,
    Fresca One,
    Full Throttle,
    Geau Vitaminwater,
    Georgia Emerald Mountain Blend ,
    Georgia European ,
    Georgia Gold,
    glacéau fruitwater,
    glacéau smartwater,
    glacéau vitaminenergy,
    glacéau vitaminwater,
    glacéau vitaminwater 10,
    glacéau vitaminwater zero,
    glacéau vitaminwater zero,
    Gold Peak,
    Gold Spot,
    Golden Crush,
    Golden Drop,
    Good Morning*,
    Goongbi Momegeoun,
    Gosohan Achim,
    Goulburn Valley,
    Goulburn Valley Dairy,
    Guarana Jesus,
    Gwailchon Morning ,
    Hangguang Local Café,
    Hi Spot,
    Honest Ade,
    Honest Fizz,
    Honest Kids ,
    Honest Tea,
    Honest Tea Zero ,
    Hot Point,
    I Lohas,
    Ice Dew,
    Ice Dew 3+,
    Ice Tea Leao,
    Illy *,
    Inca Kola,
    Inca Kola Zero,
    Izvorul Alb,
    Java Monster*,
    Jaz Cola,
    Jet Tonic,
    Jolly Juice,
    Juan Valdez,
    Just Juice,
    Kapo, ,
    Kia Ora,
    Kia Ora 1+9,
    Kiwi Blue,
    Kola Inglesa,
    Kropla Beskidu,
    Krushka & Bochka,
    Kuat Light,
    Kuat Zero,
    La Jolla,
    La Vuelta,
    Lacti Deli,
    Lanitis Extra*,
    Lanitis Fun*,
    Lanitis Good Life *,
    Leao Green Tea,
    Leao Guarana Power,
    Less is More,
    Lift Light,
    Lift Plus,
    Lilt Zero,
    Magdalenen Brunnen *,
    Magic Summer,
    Master Chill,
    Master Pour,
    Mate Tea,
    Matte Leao,
    Matusov Pramen
    McCafe *,
    Mega Monster *,
    Mello Yello,
    Mello Yello Zero,
    Mezzo Mix,
    Miami Pulpy,
    Mickey Mouse*,
    Minute Maid,
    Minute Maid 10 Score V,
    Minute Maid Enhanced,
    Minute Maid Fresh,
    Minute Maid Fruit & Nada,
    Minute Maid Fruit Cooler,
    Minute Maid Fruit Falls ,
    Minute Maid Goonew,
    Minute Maid Great Start,
    Minute Maid GuoQing Xin,
    Minute Maid Healthy Morning ,
    Minute Maid Juices To Go,
    Minute Maid Light ,
    Minute Maid NutriBoost,
    Minute Maid Orchards,
    Minute Maid Premium,
    Minute Mai Pulpy,
    Minute Maid Qoo,
    Minute Maid Schorle,
    Minute Maid Soda,
    Minute Maid Soft Drink,
    Monster *,
    Mori No Mizudayori,
    Moya Semya,
    Naturaqua Emotion,
    Natures Own,
    NESTEA *,
    Nestea light *,
    Nestea Vitao*,
    NESTEA Zero,
    Next Buci-Buci,
    Next Classic,
    Next Joy ,
    Next Premium,
    Nico Biotime,
    Nordic Mist,
    Northern Neck,
    Olo Olo,
    Peace Tea *,
    Peats Ridge,
    Pepe Rico,
    Pibb Xtra,
    Pibb Zero ,
    Piko Pulpy,
    Poiana Negri,
    POWERADE i9,
    Presta Light,
    Private LabelGreenwood,
    Private LabelKipa,
    Private LabelKipapazar,
    Private LabelMigros,
    Pura Sol,
    Pure Spring,
    Quatro light,
    Quwat Jabal,
    Ramlosa *,
    Rani *,
    Real Gold,
    Real Leaf,
    Real Leaf Frutcy,
    Red Flash,
    Ripe N Ready,
    Royal Tru,
    San Luis,
    Santa Clara,
    Schweppes Abbey Well,
    Schweppes Light,
    Schweppes Novida,
    Seagram’s *,
    Sidral Light,
    Sierra Azul,
    Simply, ,
    Sodenthaler *,
    Sodenthaler Andreas *,
    Sodenthaler Aqualance*,
    Sodenthaler Gourmet *,
    Sodenthaler Mineral *,
    Southern Sun,
    Sparletta Iron Brew,
    Splash, ,
    Spring Water,
    Sprite 3G,
    Sprite Flavors,
    Sprite Ice,
    Sprite Light,
    Sprite Remix,
    Sprite Zero,
    Sprite Zero – diet Sprite,
    Stoney Ginger Beer,
    Stoney Ginger Beer Zero ,
    Su Voce,
    Sugar Free Full Throttle ,
    Sugar Free NOS ,
    Sugar Free Sprite ,
    Sunfrut Break,
    Sunfrut Zero,
    Tab X-Tra,
    Taiyo no Mate Cha,
    Ten Ren,
    The Coca-Cola Company,
    The Spirit of Georgia,
    This Water,
    Thums Up,
    Tian Yu Di,
    Topo Chico,
    Tropi Frut,
    Tuborg Light,
    Urbacher *,
    Valle Frut,
    Valle Pulpy,
    Valser Viva,
    Vanilla Coke,
    Vanilla Coke Zero ,
    Vault Zero ,
    Vilas Del Turbon,
    Vita Slim,
    Vital O,
    World Of Coca-Cola,
    Worx Energy *,
    Yangguang Honey ,
    Yangguang Juicy T,
    Yarylo Kvass,
    Yasly Sad,
    Yo Conozco a Hugo,
    Yuan Ye,
    Yuan Ye Frutcy,
    Zico *,

  190. Anonymous says:

    As useless a statement as the Olympic Charter
    I think they forgot to include asterisks and fine print…

  191. Anonymous says:

    People should send in success stories. Example: “I boycotted Coke and lost 30 lbs. Thanks, Coke!”

  192. watchfulone says:

    A really fine example of modern day corporate doublespeak.
    Their product is of no nutritional value anyway.

  193. Kat says:

    Everyone needs to start sending messages to coke telling them you plan to boycott them and their subsidiaries. If enough people do it maybe they will think twice!

  194. Garry says:

    time to leave the greedy companies like Coke in the dust,, they are one sided,, they only love u if u give them your money,, otherwise go away,, support the local and independent companies who tend to be more in touch with local societies, employ local people and keep the proffits local.

  195. Actually, you’re the one who’s incorrect:

    “Stolichnaya’s distributor in 2008 to Vanity Fair [said], ‘Stolichnaya as it is sold outside Russia is distilled in Russia and moved from Russia to Latvia where it’s put in bottles. There is nothing added, nothing taken away, no additions, no subtractions from the product that leaves Russia. Stolichnaya is the original authentic genuine Russian vodka brand made with genuine authentic Russia vodka from Russia.’”

    You’ll note that Stoli explains how that little Latvia thing has nothing to do with it, it’s a Russian vodka! Okay then :)

  196. He’s gone. I was busy working on a post, and only by chance caught his obnoxious taunt to me above, like I spend my evenings in the comments instead of, you know, actually writing :)

  197. Pro-gay? Do your homework, honey. Stoli didn’t even include gay or trans people in their non-discrimination policy, then, after we put the pressure on them, they added gays, but still didn’t add trans. They also didn’t offer partner benefits. I’m not sure how you define pro-gay. But it’s not the normal, you know, pro-gay way.

  198. Jeff Levy says:

    {{As one of the world’s most inclusive brands, we value and celebrate
    diversity. We have long been a strong supporter of the LGBT community
    and have advocated for inclusion and diversity through both our policies
    and practices. We do not condone human rights abuses, intolerance or
    discrimination of any kind anywhere in the world.}}

    And Yet you are Sponsoring Russia’s Gay-Hate-Olympics…

    with so called LGBT supporters like you, Coca-Cola I don’t need or want your Two-Face Support…

  199. StraightGrandmother says:

    For real!

  200. Anonymous says:

    We’ve gone through this topic ad nauseum already. Go back to older posts and look through the comments. If you can offer a new argument then come back. The fact is, Russia still profits from Stoli.

  201. Okay, now you’re being a bitch, Sterling. I was busy writing the morning’s posts, at 1030pm, while you were busy being, well, kind of a bitch all over the comments here. You’re leaving now.

  202. Anonymous says:

    I guess you’ve never heard of “PR trolling.” It’s a phenomenon that actually has a basis in reality. This site was already flooded with over 1000 pro-Barilla comments on a negative article. It happens on various websites when bad publicity is generated.

  203. How do you block a Facebook account from posting here? How do you even post anything from Facebook here? Honey, I don’t even know who you are. It’s hard to have a vendetta against you when this is the first time I’ve heard of you.

  204. And they call themselves a Russian vodka, inspire of bottling in Latvia. Case closed.

  205. Yeah, not so much, Sterling. Perhaps you should read what Stoli had to say about whether bottling their vodka in Latvia makes Stoli a Latvian vodka:

    “Stolichnaya’s distributor in 2008 to Vanity Fair [said], ‘Stolichnaya as it is sold outside Russia is distilled in Russia and moved from Russia to Latvia where it’s put in bottles. There is nothing added, nothing taken away, no additions, no subtractions from the product that leaves Russia. Stolichnaya is the original authentic genuine Russian vodka brand made with genuine authentic Russia vodka from Russia.’ –

  206. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    My name is Sterling Ericsson. I am a college student.

    Really you should be laying off the distilled potato water then.

  207. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    Darn, I actually like the “Simply” brand orange juice. Their “with pulp” actually has a lot of pulp in it, unlike many others.

  208. Sterling says:

    C’mon, John. Avoiding a response to me is childish.

  209. Sterling says:

    You do realize that immediately accusing someone of working with this or that company is a tactic used by the conspiracy theorists, right?

    My name is Sterling Ericsson. I am a college student. Here’s a link to my Facebook page.

    That link is also for John. Maybe he’ll actually grow a spine and send me a message.

  210. Anonymous says:


  211. Sterling says:

    You’re actually incorrect. Stoli only has a single distillery in Russia. They used to have 3, but they closed down two of them several years ago. They’ve been pulling out Russia for quite some time. Putin hates them and hates the owner and Putin’s fake brand of Stoli in Russia doesn’t help things either.

    Stoli has long since done most of their distilling in the Ukraine and Latvia.

  212. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a pic of the most lucrative brands…you can also find a pic of all the logos. These are useful for reposting.

  213. Ciaela says:

    There’s the list of all their brands. Dunno if that helps. It’s found on the coca-cola website.

  214. COKEhater says:


  215. AnthonyLook says:

    Share the list when you compile it.

  216. AnthonyLook says:

    Boycott coke, boycott the Olympics.

  217. Ad Lib says:

    *golf clap* Very nice.

  218. banderson says:

    wonderful lyrics… bravo

  219. COKEhater says:

    Yeah..I wonder if Coke is owned by the Koch Brothers

  220. COKEhater says:

    Coke sucks anyway…make me sick…Pepsi was, is and ALWAYS will be the better cola…F**K YOU, COKE!!

  221. StraightGrandmother says:

    You seem like the same publicist Stoli hired to troll the Gay Blogs.
    Move on, nobody is buying your line of crap.
    Russian farmers grow ALL the grain for Stoli.
    SToli does ALL it’s distill ing in Russia, it is only bottled in Latvia.
    I’m done with the paid publicists Stoli hires to troll the gay blogs.
    Be Gone!

  222. StraightGrandmother says:

    Stoli hired paid publicists to troll the Gay Blogs.
    The one on Joe My God was so transparent it was laughable.
    Sorry, not gonna read the link. Virtually ALL the grain in Stoli is grown in Mother Russia, AND it is distilled there.
    It is simply bottled in Latvia.

  223. Sterling says:

    Maybe you should read the following article and actually be informed on a topic.

  224. Sterling says:

    The annoying thing about Coke is that they have so many subsidiary companies. I’m going to have to make up a list so I know which products not to buy. Seriously though, we need some actual pressure on Coke here. It’s through the actual sponsors that we’ll have any effect on the Olympics, not through the IOC.

  225. zpilot55 says:

    Interestingly enough, Coke was banned from doing business in Nazi Germany. However, they still wanted to sell to the Germans so they created Fanta. Clearly for Coca-Cola, putting profits before human rights never goes out of style.

  226. Sterling says:

    Oh, and I find it hilarious that you blocked my Facebook account from posting here just because I disagreed with you on the Stoli thing even though I agree with all the other articles you post.

    You act just like NOM and the other groups that block any dissenter from commenting.

  227. Sterling says:

    So one of the most successful boycotts was one against a pro-gay company? That’s a mark of shame more than anything else.

  228. Naja pallida says:

    I’d like to teach the world to hate
    In goose step harmony
    I’d like to buy the world a Coke
    And keep up bigotry
    That’s the real thing.

  229. NMRon says:

    Well shit. Just bought a 12-pak. That won’t happen again.

  230. MaryOGrady says:

    I loved it when I was a child, and my tooth enamel paid the price. I stay away from it now.

  231. banderson says:

    Some much for Coca-Cola ” I Like to Teach the World to Sing in Perfect Harmony”>>>> I guess if Coca Cola is really saying we are only doing what the guest country laws say. If Coke had been in German in January 30, 1933 – when Adolf Hitler became chancellor. They #Coca-Cola would have looked the other way when the concentration camps open?

  232. nicho says:

    Sure it does. This post is idiotic.

  233. Name says:

    Refusing to drop sponsorship =/= defending arrest. This title is misleading.

  234. StraightGrandmother says:

    What John is saying and I agree with is that you have to build a movement, one brick at a time.

    Don’t forget have the leaders of several countries not attending helped.
    I will always be indebted to the first one the President of Germany.
    You have to build an awareness campaign, educate people, then
    I supported from the FIRST day the Boycotot of Stoli, Kevin from Arcus re-tweeted, I think it was QueerNationNY, and I re-tweeted him. It only took a few days for our great gay bloggers to pick up and promote it. I am still disappointed my much better hashtag didn’t catch on #NyetRussianVodka

  235. Thanks.

  236. Yes. I asked several Russians. Some of the bystanders are friendly, many are not. The cute dark-haired one, who looks like a closet case, is mocking Pavel. Many in the crowd are telling the cop to ask Pavel what the flag stands for, since they obviously know and the cop doesn’t. Pavel keeps refusing to say. At one point someone in the crowd is calling it a propaganda flag. Pavel keeps asking what he’s being charged with, and the cop won’t tell him. Pavel at one point gets the cop to give Pavel his name, as required by law. And finally the cop says he’s taking Pavel in to further clarify the circumstances, meaning the crowd has now made him suspicious of Pavel’s flag. You’ll note the cop never lets go of the flag the entire time.

  237. Chr477 says:

    Boycott coke. Do it now.

  238. nicho says:

    Coke owns about 65 brands — including Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Minute Maid, etc.!/entry/what-brands-does-coca-cola-own,517bf54687443d6c8e4fa452/2

  239. emjayay says:

    It would be interesting to know what the security guy, the protester, and bystanders were saying. A lot of it sounds pretty clear.

  240. docsterx says:

    Some negative effects of soda including Coca Cola

    Coca Cola and cancers:

    Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Sep;1076:736-52.

    Results of long-term carcinogenicity bioassays on Coca-Cola administered to Sprague-Dawley rats.

    Belpoggi F, Soffritti M, Tibaldi E, Falcioni L, Bua L, Trabucco F.

    Author information


    was invented in May 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia by a pharmacist who, by
    accident or design, mixed carbonated water with the syrup of sugar,
    phosphoric acid, caffeine, and other natural flavors to create what is
    known as “the world’s favorite soft drink.” Coca-Cola is currently sold in more than 200 countries and in early 2000, the company sold its 10 billionth unit case of Coca-Cola branded products. Given the worldwide consumption of Coca-Cola,
    a project of experimental bioassays to study its long-term effects when
    administered as substitute for drinking water on male and female
    Sprague-Dawley rats was planned and executed. The objective of the
    project was to study whether and how long-term consumption of Coca-Cola
    affects the basic tumorigram of test animals. The bioassays were
    performed on rats beginning at different ages, namely: (a) on males and
    females exposed since embryonic life or from 7 weeks of age; and (b) on
    males and females exposed from 30, 39, or 55 weeks of age. Overall, the
    project included 1999 rats. During the biophase, data were collected on
    fluid and feed consumption, body weight, and survival. Animals were kept
    under observation until spontaneous death and underwent complete
    necropsy. The results indicate: (a) an increase in body weight in all
    treated animals; (b) a statistically significant increase of the
    incidence in females, both breeders and offspring, bearing malignant
    mammary tumors; (c) a statistically significant increase in the
    incidence of exocrine ademonas of the pancreas in both male and female
    breeders and offspring; and (d) an increased incidence, albeit not
    statistically significant, of pancreatic islet cell carcinomas in
    females, a malignant tumor which occurs very rarely in our historical
    controls. On the basis of the results of this study, excessive
    consumption of regular soft-drinks should be generally discouraged, in
    particular for children and adolescents.

    Soda and obesity:

    Soda and fatty liver disease:

    Myths, Morality and Coca-Cola The Lancet

  241. emjayay says:

    If you can’t get Coke Points from a code on the cap I say it’s not a Coke product.

  242. Oh, and Stoli was one of the most successful boycotts in gay history, really history period. But who’s counting :)

  243. Sure we could have taken your advice then and had absolutely no one care. Or we could have done it our way, which led to the mass focus on Russia, gay rights, and the Olympics, and ultimately put the sponsors on the spot. Successful advocacy doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and it doesn’t happen as a single point source in time. The criticism of the sponsors is only working today because of what all of us have been doing the past 7 months to get us to this point. Not to mention, Queer Nation, which has been taking the lead most of the time on all of this, started targeting Coke in August, only 5 weeks after we began this campaign. So in fact, no one ignored your advice, but it didn’t work for months until now.

  244. Anonymous says:

    The bones of frequent drinkers must look like swiss cheese under a microscope.

  245. scottrose says:

    Things don’t get better with Coke.

  246. PeteWa says:

    Dasani has salt added to it so that you become thirstier and drink more of the product.

  247. Max_1 says:

    I advocated long ago…
    … Go after the sponsors.

    So people went after the IOC and Stoli.

  248. Ron Robertson says:

    Glad I don’t drink their trash.

  249. Naja pallida says:

    Back in the 1990s when Dr. Pepper almost went under, Coke tried to acquire them, but the FTC blocked it in the US, but they were successful in getting control of it in Europe. In the US, they’re part of Snapple, but Snapple doesn’t have a an adequate nation-wide bottling network, so in some places it is still bottled by Coke. So… your mileage may vary? :)

  250. StraightGrandmother says:

    Great reporting John!
    I have been tweeting the hell out of this.
    Coke and all the sponsors of the HATE OLYMPICS will pay for this.
    #BigGay will take them down.

  251. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    I think you’re right. I’m guessing there’s some major league cognitive dissonance going on right now inside Coca-Cola. Every mercenary instinct is screaming at them that there can be no possible downside to being tied to as big a brand name as the Olympics, even as the bad news piles up. Probably they’re just hoping to get through without too many arrests or car bombs.

  252. Indigo says:

    Dear G-d, Please let Dr. Pepper not be a Coke product because I have recently developed a politico-moral allergy to Coke products, Dasani included!

  253. dedwengles says:

    Coke adds hate.

  254. basenjilover says:

    Where is Pavel now? Brave soul, but dang, I worry he’ll be tossed into Putin’s gulag if he is not there already.

  255. CA_2013 says:

    That statement from the Coca-Cola Company reads like it was carefully vetted by the company’s lawyers. But how does “Jeffrey C” know that Mr. Lebedev or his family and friends haven’t been harassed after his “brief arrest”? Of course he doesn’t know anything, nor does Coca-Cola, about Lebedev’s fate.

    I bet Coca-Cola can’t wait to get this Sochi shit behind it.

  256. Cary6677 says:

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  257. Ashta Aditya says:

    I am finished with Coke. It’s like drinking battery acid anyway. It’s so bad for you.

  258. Ninong says:

    Drink Coke! It’s arresting!

  259. JG says:

    The evidence presented about the rainbow flag, and not the perimeter, is solid. Nice post John

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