Russia Bans Demonstrating During Winter Olympics

Bad news for everyone who was hoping to speak up against Russian's brand-new anti-gay law during this year's Winter Olympics.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a decree banning all activism, including demonstrations and rallies, for a two-and-a-half month period during the Winter Olympics, which will be held in the Russian city of Sochi. The decree also tightens security around the city; no vehicles can come in and out without express permission, and picketing and marches are expressly banned.

Such a ban is rare for an Olympic event, but Russia has seen a sharp outcry from the West in response to its new law banning "gay propaganda." Russian vodka was removed from stores in different parts of the United States, and now, activists are calling for a boycott of the country's Olympics. Though countries internationally are considering their response to the law, none have yet pulled out of the Games. President Obama has expressly said that he won't condone a boycott.

Russia wrote to the Olympic Committee saying that it wouldn't practice discrimination in any way that would break international policies, but would also not hold back on enforcing its "gay propaganda" law. Which might be what the term 'oxymoron' was invented for.

Activists have threatened to go to the Supreme Court to challenge Putin's ban, claiming that it violates the right to protest.