Sochi Winter Games: Make Yourself Heard

University of York's English Pen Society

To open the series of articles and letters of protest York PEN will be publishing during the week leading up to the Sochi Winter Olympics, PEN International’s Cathal Sheerin, the creator of the Out in the Cold campaign, explains why it’s crucial to pressure Putin now.

Anyone who watched President Vladimir Putin’s interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr on 19 January will have seen a man doing his best to appear unflustered by the controversy surrounding the Sochi Winter Games and Russia’s anti-gay propaganda legislation. He even said that he’d be willing to meet Elton John, so comfortable was he with gays.

However, Putin is anything but comfortable with gays: he is terrified that Sochi, the biggest project of his career – and possibly his political swan song – will turn into a big, gay fiasco.

Russia’s head of state clearly didn’t foresee the dreadful publicity that would threaten to overshadow…

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