Aug Sept 2016
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The Advocate

PHOTOS: Protesting Russia's Antigay Law in Tutus and Toe Shoes

Four ballet dancers joined Amnesty International U.K. activists for a graceful protest of Russia's "gay propaganda" law today near the Russian Embassy in London. Undeterred by rain, the dancers performed a scene from the ballet Swan Lake, which has music by the great (and gay) Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The group then presented the embassy with a petition signed by 15,000 people calling on President Vladimir Putin to "end his assault on freedom of expression and gay rights in Russia." Tomorrow in Moscow, Amnesty U.K. director Kate Allen will join other Amnesty directors to deliver a global petition of 330,000 signatures. The London protest was timed to focus attention on the nation's human rights record in the run-up to the Winter Olympics, beginning next week in Sochi, Russia.

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Even the dog appears to be making a comment.

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Winged and feathered dancers are "proud to protest."

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One "swan" takes a little cover but still displays his message.

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The dancers make a wet London street their stage.

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A ballet dancer displays the Amnesty International logo on his face.

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The dancers get their message across in the way they know best.

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The balletic protest offers an unusual sight for London visitors.

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The protest drew attention from national and international media, including London newspapers, the BBC, the Associated Press, and Getty Images.