Several of us, representing Pink Noord, were also at the protest against Putin, our beach banner with rainbow sock stuck far out above the crowd. Below, in words and pictures, what happened on Monday April 8.
The visit of President Putin to Amsterdam on Monday, brought thousands of protesters to their feet. They gathered on the quay opposite the Maritime Museum, where Putin had discussions with Prime Minister Rutte, and dinner with Dutch and Russian trade partners. The demonstrators protested against the Russian anti Gay laws and other human rights which are about to be demolished.
According to Gay interest group COC, which organized the protest, these anti Gay laws will silence the homosexual residents of Russia. “Lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people who stand up for their rights, can be punished. Information about homosexuality is impossible and displaying the rainbow flag can result in large fines. The expected decision by the Russian parliament will be in June to make the law definitive.
The protesters ran loud dance music for the museum and rainbow-colored flags and balloons were included. Also, they were wearing bright Rainbow colored clothing and text signs with slogans such as “Putin go gay” and “Nyet”. On a large banner was the text “Stop the antihomowet” [Stop the anti Gay laws] in Dutch and Russian.
Around eight o’ clock a boat entered the water at the Maritime Museum with two male inflatable dolls kiss each other. On the forecastle demonstrators had a life-sized statue of a scantily clad Putin put a rainbow flag. The police were also out in force at the protest site, but the atmosphere was pleasant. [some of them are our ‘own’ elite force, the pink boys and gals in blue]
Earlier that Monday the COC protested even at the Hermitage Museum, where Putin together with HRH queen Beatrix opened and visited the exhibition on Peter the Great. On the Skinny Bridge and the Blue Bridge paintings were hung in Russian with ‘Stop the antihomowet’. And Amnesty International took care of all the yellow signs.
The gay interest group COC placed earlier a petition on the internet which people could sign to complain against these upcoming Russian laws. The petition has been signed by nearly 13,000 people. Some of my international Facebook friends signed it too.
On city hall a Rainbow flag was raised by order of the mayor. At the Passengers Terminal dozens of flags welcomed visitors, and even the Department of Bridges raised flags on all the bridges, in support. It was a colorful day. let’s do it all again in almost 4 months time when Gay Pride comes to town.
For me it was my first demonstration ever. We live in a wonderful country where Freedom of Speech is part of our constitution. Just as who you are, what you do and with whom. Afterwards M and I went for a bite to eat and a drink, before the bus picked us and the scooter up to bring us home.