While Gayborhood bars like Tabu and Westbury have decided to merely stop serving Russian liquors in response to the Russian government’s ban on homosexual propaganda, Woody’s has decided to take a bolder, louder move. Tomorrow night, the bar is hosting a Stoli Dumping Party, where, you guessed it, bar staff will “dump bottle after bottle of Stoli down the drain as a sign of solidarity for our GLBT brothers and sisters in Russia.”
The move has sparked some controversy of its own, mainly from local community members who say Stolichnaya is (a) not made in Russia and (b) is a company that has always stood up for LGBT rights. But Woody’s isn’t hearing any of it. On the party’s Facebook events page, the bar responds to naysayers:
Thank you for your comment and concerns … As it was pointed out in a previous post: Stoli is owned by Yuri Scheffler, one of the 100 richest men in Russia. SPI is a Russian corporation, Stoli is a Russian vodka. It is our hope that Stoli will do even more to influence change in Russia. … Our protest Wednesday won’t bankrupt a company but it will bring to light the atrocities that … have gotten worse for people who are GLBT.
To drive home its opinion, Woody’s also posted a quote from revered LGBTQ activist org Queer Nation:
By its own admission, [Stoli owner] SPI Group operates in Russia and pays taxes to the Russian government. That money funds these continuing attacks on LGBT people and organizations in Russia. Queer Nation will continue its boycott of Stolichnaya and other Russian vodkas until this anti-gay law is repealed and the Russian government guarantees the safety of its LGBT citizens and foreign LGBT nationals in Russia.
So do they have a point? Could the boycott actually make a difference? America Blog says, “Hell yeah.”
That’s when the dams burst, the floodgates opened, and the world suddenly cared – really cared – about the plight of gay and trans people in Russia. Bars across America, Canada, Australia and Europe started dropping Russian vodka, gay and trans people and our allies across the globe got enraged and engaged, and the international media suddenly found a hot new story that they’re stumbling over each other to report on.
Whatever your stance on the issue, the event will surely be something to see. Watch it all go down [the drain] tomorrow, Wed., July 31, at 8 firstname.lastname@example.org.