Friday, August 09, 2013

Gay Russian Leader Alexeyev Organizes Swiss Air Boycott

It was a scenario out of a Cold War melodrama, with a twist involving a wealthy gay Russian activist who resides part time with his banker companion in Switzerland. From the September 15, 2010, UK Gay News account:

Russia’s best known gay rights activist was arrested this evening at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport. And there are concerns as, so far, officials are not giving out any information about his whereabouts. Nikolai Alekseev was about to board Swiss Air Lines flight LX 1337 for Geneva and had passed through passport control when he was arrested by Russian border police.

No explanation has yet been given by officials as to why he was arrested. He was taken to a closed room at the airport. However, he was able to get messages out by mobile telephone of his arrest before his handset was confiscated as he was speaking with other activists at Website [...]

The UK Gay News kept readers informed of Alexeyev's alleged captivity, possible drugging and interrogation by Russian security forces over a few days. There has never been verification of Alexeyev's claims, that I am aware of, but his personal escapade led him to take action using a time-honored and effective political and economic tactic.

On October 1, 2010,  Alexeyev and other activists staged a press conference outside a Swiss Air office in Moscow to announce a boycott, all because of one very financially-endowed part-time Russian resident alleged kidnapping by government agents. The bottom photo is of Alexeyev holding a Swiss Air balloon emblazoned with "Boycott Swiss Air" propaganda. The UK Gay News reported:

“I support the calls for boycott of this airline because this is apparently the only message that they can understand,” he added, referring to calls from across the world on the Internet for a boycott of Swiss Air Lines.

The Alexeyev boycott of Swiss Air has never been rescinded by the activist. However, on July 30 he told Gay Star News what he thought of Western LGBT campaigners organizing a Russian vodka boycott, one that is based on the homophobic laws harming thousands of gay Russians:

Alekseev, in the heart of fighting against the homophobic law, described the boycott as a ‘symbolic gesture doomed to failure’. 

‘To be honest, I don’t see the point in boycotting the Russian vodka,' he said. 'It will impact anyone except the companies involved a little bit. The effect will die out very fast, it will not last forever.’ Alekseev added: ‘And what is the aim of this boycott? The producers, even if they become bankrupt because of the boycott (which is unlikely) will not be able to influence Russian politics and President Putin as well as the decisions of the State Duma.’ 

Speaking of doomed to failure, how's that Swiss Air boycott going, Nikolai?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

he's opened a swiss bank account so he can take a 50,000 euro sponsorship from Stoli.
Wasn't he making some anti jewish comments a couple of years ago and had to cancel his california visit ?
What's that about ?