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Today We Took a Stance!

Standing our ground outside Sunderland's High Street McDonald's restaurant
In a stance against homophobia, and in support of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Russia, myself and other members of the LGBTQ community gathered today for a peaceful demonstration outside Sunderland's main McDonald's restaurant in response to their failure to act and condemn the actions of the Russian authorities regarding equality throughout Russia.

While the demonstration was small, it was without a doubt effective. Passersby were asking questions, taking photographs and we had press coverage by the Sunderland Echo. Signs featuring slogans such as 'Sochi silence harms LGBT Russians' and 'Morals over money' were handed out to the demonstrators and gathered the attention of the public.

Sam Willey presenting McDonald's so called "manager" with the letter from the LGBTQ people of the North East
A group from the demonstration entered McDonald's and were greeted by an individual who failed to give his name, but insisted he was the manager of the restaurant (but if i'm honest, he looked more like someone to do the dirty work, rather than a manager). Organiser Sam Willey, on behalf of the LGBTQ community, presented McDonald's with a letter explaining our intentions. To which he rolled up and stuffed in his pocket...

McDonald's "manager" with the letter from the North East LGTBQ community

The letter reads..

 Dear McDonald's Management,
 We're staging a protest outside your premises on Sunderland High Street, Tyne and Wear.
This is response to the company's failure to condemn the actions of the Russian government in respect to gay rights. You continue to sponsor the Sochi 2014 games while LGBT Russians sugar beating and persecution. The increase in homophobia can be blamed partly on Russian law banning the so called promotion of homosexuality.
We demand a response from McDonald's HQ with regards to these matters.
Protests are taking place up and drown the UK and our voices will be heard. We're entitled to free speech unlike    the LGBT people of Russia.
We will stay outside these premises until we get a valid response.

The LGBT community of North East England.

UPDATE! We have officially received a response from McDonald's head office. A copy of the email can be seen below.

This is a huge result. Our demonstration was small but definitely effective. It just goes to show that having strength and the will to make change happen can produce results. Here's to hoping that the next change is the end of LGBTQ discrimination, hate and oppression.

I'll leave you with my favourite shot from today...

Note - I currently don't have any images that have me in them, but as they're released and shared around by others that attended, i'll edit this post and add them in.