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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 31 October, 2014

Landmark Dublin bar boycotts Coca-Cola over Sochi Olympics sponsorship

The George will stop selling the soft drink for the duration of the Games.

Image: Joe Dunne/Photocall Ireland

A DUBLIN BAR has announced that it will stop serving or stocking Coca-Cola, in protest at the brand’s sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics.

The George – a landmark on Dublin’s gay scene for 25 years – said the decision was based on Coca-Cola’s continued support for the Olympics “in spite of Russia’s continued crack down on LGBT rights”.

It will not serve any Coca-Cola from February 7 to February 23 – the duration of the Olympics.

Making the announcement on The George’s Facebook page, management said that Russia’s LGBT community have faced “ever increasing persecution” following the signing of a federal law last year that introduced punishments for anyone promoting ‘homosexual propaganda’. The statement continues:

The George accepts that for a multinational company like Coca Cola our refusal to sell its products for two week period will not impact financially on them

However, it adds:

We do hope that our solidarity with the LGBT people of Russia will highlight that multinational corporations have a responsibility to all of their customers and have missed an opportunity to raise global awareness of the human rights abuses taking place in Russia.

Pantibar – the bar run by performer and activist Panti Bliss, whose powerful speech about the oppression of gay people went around the world last week – has also announced that it will stop selling Coca-Cola products.

The George, which was one of the first gay bars in the capital, describes itself as “the lynchpin that holds Dublin’s gay scene together”.

Management have also hung posters announcing the boycott inside the bar:

Source: Facebook

Coca-Cola has faced criticism for its support of the Olympics amid rising controversy, including the revelation that a customisable ‘share a Coke’ function on the company’s website rejected the word ‘Gay’.

However, the company also attracted anger from some right-wing commentators in the US with a TV ad that showed a gay couple rollerskating with their daughter. Coca-Cola aired the ad again during US coverage of the Sochi opening ceremony yesterday, Mediaite reports.

More: Here’s the Coca-Cola ad that sparked a furious backlash>

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