Michael Wicks and Cole Johnson stood outside Nelson city hall over the lunch hour on Tuesday to raise awareness about the anti-gay laws in Russia.

Nelsonites join protest against anti-gay laws in Russia

Though the two men didn't have a crowd of supporters behind them, they consider their effort a success.

In dozens of major cities around the world massive rallies were held on Tuesday to encourage world leaders on their way to the G20 summit in St. Petersburg to ask their host, Russian president Vladimir Putin, to repeal his new anti-gay law.

Here in Nelson, Michael Wicks and Cole Johnson stood in front of City Hall for an hour with signs and information about the global campaign, which was organized by the international gay rights group All Out.

Wicks said it was a last minute decision to host an event in Nelson, and though the men didn’t have a crowd of supporters behind them, he considers their effort a success.

“We talked to 50 or 60 people of all ages and found they were all very supportive and aware of what’s going on in Russia,” Wicks said, noting that Nelson is now on the list of 33 cities that participated in the protect, alongside Toronto, London and Melbourne.

At issue is a new Russian law banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors” (i.e. anywhere in public). The law has attracted international attention in part because Russia is hosting the Winter Olympics this February.

There’s been calls for countries to boycott the Olympics if the law isn’t repealed and pressure on Olympic sponsors like Coca-Cola and McDonalds to pull their funding for the Games.

In Nelson, Wicks had a simple request for the people he talked to about the anti-gay laws.

“Send love,” he said. “Obviously we don’t have a Russian Consulate here, but we can all visualize a better world and spend some time meditating on the image of change in Russia. Those positive vibrations will get through.”

Wicks moved to Nelson from Vancouver, where he was heavily involved in the gay liberation movement in the 1980s. He said he’s always believed in the power of positive thinking.

“Love always wins,” he said, referring to the message on one of the posters he printed off the All Out website. “These laws are rooted in hate and intolerance and we’re going to beat them with love.”

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

LETTERS: In support of student climate strikers

From readers Tia Leschke and Sharon Inkpen

Kootenay Musical Theatre Society ready to make a deal with the Devil

The new group will put on an original show in October at the Capitol Theatre

Society plans restoration of historic Kootenay Lake fishing boat

The Merriwake had been submerged in Kootenay Lake near Kaslo before being salvaged two years ago

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Most Read