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T.O. Chechnya with Love: WE EXIST!

by RAYMOND HELKIO - Poster design: John Thai

With Chechen officials fully supporting the current anti-gay campaign in Russia, Toronto has stepped up to the challenge by organizing a march to the Russian Embassy at Bloor and Church Streets. Organized by concerned community members and support from Glad Day Bookshop and Rainbow Railroad. According to Ryan Kerr, one of the event organizers, "We are giving Toronto a chance to gather, to mourn, to rally, to take action. When the stories about the persecution of gay men in Chechnya hit a few weeks ago, so many of us were stunned. And now it's time to stand together and remind Chechnya, as well as other nations in the world where homosexuality is criminalized, that we are strong, beautiful and have a right to safety, to home and to community."

Commencing with speeches from Rainbow Railroad, who are working with the Russian LGBT Network, the rally could easily attract thousands of people which Ryan is excited about, "For an event conceived of only a few days ago we have had almost 25K shares and over 3,000 people are listed as attending, interested or personally invited. Also, there's been contact with representatives from the federal government who would like to communicate on this issue further. So that's really exciting and meaningful."

How you can help 

DONATE: Rainbow RailroadRussian LGBT Network
TALK: Raising awareness of this important issue. Tweet using the hashtags #chechnya100 #chechnyaTO
DO: Have a sit in. Print the poster of Kardynov we had donated by artist John Thai
VOLUNTEER: TOChechnyawithLove@gmail.com  

T.O. Chechnya with Love
MEETING POINT: The 519 Church Street Community Centre, Saturday April 22nd
2-4pm | Facebook event information: https://www.facebook.com/events/408775246169001/

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