Thousands of protesters marched through Finland’s capital on Sunday, many with rainbow flags, ahead of Russia/US summit.
Donald Trump meets Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Helsinkion Monday following the US president’s protest-filled visit to the UK.
LGBTI issues in focus as both Russia and US fall short
Demonstrators waved banners against war, human rights abuse and the environment. Many carried gay rainbow flags to protest against homophobic laws and attitudes in Russia and anti-gay policy in the US.
One protestor tweeted a photo of a male carrying a rainbow flag over his head while partially wearing a mask of Putin’s face.
Another posted a modified photo of Putin wearing eyeliner, lipstick and dyed yellow hair set against a rainbow-colored backdrop.
Heidi Hautala, a member of the European Parliament, told the rally Putin and Trump had a contempt for democracy.
‘The current world order… has been challenged by admiration of force and an attitude of ‘every man for himself’,’ she said according to Reuters.
‘And this is what these two men, Trump and Putin, have in common – contempt for democracy, contempt for international agreements, contempt for human rights.”
The summit comes as France won the final is the Fifa World Cup in Russia on Sunday. LGBTI campaigners dominated the early stage of the tournament protesting Russia’s attitude to LGBTI rights.
Human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, was arrested on the eve of the games for protesting against the country’s treatment of its LGTBI community.
Several groups also waved rainbow flags at some world cup matches. Others used subtle means, such as six campaigners who formed a rainbow flag when they wore different colored football shirts.