West Hollywood Russian Vodka Protest Was Fake

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Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 2:45 PM
  • WeHo Bars Protest Against Anti-Gay Legislation in Russia This Thursda.

    The Boston Tea Party saw protesters dump valuable and beloved tea into the harbor Dec.16, 1773. Americans were tired of British "taxation without representation," and they put their principles into action by throwing the imported elixirs into the sea.

    Today protesters are mirroring that historic day with a protest against imported vodka: Russia recently enacted a law against gay "propaganda," and the country has seen violence and hostility toward the LGBT community:

    What better way to say nyet to that shit than with a boycott against Stoli and Russian Standard, beverages that today are valuable and beloved? The spirits were to be poured down the gutter at 11 a.m. today.

    Except that it was all fake:

    The pricey vodka was not actually poured into the gutter. Organizers said in a statement that "bottles will actually contain water due to environmental regulations."

    Uh. Yeah.

    We asked, What regulations? There are no such things. After all, cops will tell you to pour your beer out in a heartbeat if they catch you brown-bagging it on the street.

    A spokesman pointed us to a list of state restrictions on sewage dumping that contained a section on ethanol, adding:

    I'm actually not certain which regulations restrict the dumping of spirits into public streets and drainage. ... [But] the bars would be concerned with any sort of environmental damage that could result from multiple cases of alcohol being disposed of in that manner.

    Sure. Maybe they were also concerned with the bottom line.

    The City of West Hollywood, L.A. Pride producer Christopher Street West, bar owners and other LGBT activists gathered in front of Micky's bar in Boys Town to do the deed this morning "as a symbol of support for the Russian LGBT community and its allies," according to a statement.

    Of course it was all -- oh, what's the technical term for a fake protest? -- bullshit.

    So the next time you're in a WeHo bar drinking Stoli and cran, you'll know why there was no short supply.

    Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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