sochiPaul O’Grady is to lead a protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws in London tonight (February 5)

The protest will begin at 6pm in Whitehall, opposite Downing Street. It is being staged two days before the beginning of the Sochi Winter Olympics, and is part of a “Global Speak Out” against the Russian homophobia campaign that’s taking place today in 20 cities around the world.

It is being organised by the international LGBT group, All Out, and the Peter Tatchell Foundation. Speaking about the campaign, Peter said: “Our protest is urging the British and Russian governments, and the International Olympic Committee, to uphold Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, which prohibits discrimination. We are also calling on Olympic corporate sponsors – such as Coca Cola, McDonalds and Visa – to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay law and homophobic violence. So far, they have failed to do so.”

He continued: “The 1936 Berlin Olympics took place in an atmosphere of anti-Semitic hatred incited by the Nazi government. The 2014 Sochi Olympics echo that hatred, only this time the victims of demonisation are LGBT people. There are no Nuremburg laws or concentration camps but the hateful anti-gay propaganda is similar to the anti-Semitism stirred by the Nazis in the early 1930s.”

For more information on The Peter Thatchell Foundation, and to donate, click here.

> Human Rights Watch video shows anti-gay attacks in Russia
> Watch Irish drag queen’s powerful speech on homophobia