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Group deploys "gay sailor" to rebuff Russian subs

Published tisdag 12 maj 2015 kl 13.42
"This sign is also a reminder of 'make love, not war'"
(4:28 min)
The Singing Sailor sign sunk in the Stockholm archipelago. Photo: The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society.
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The Singing Sailor sign sunk in the Stockholm archipelago. Photo: The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society.
The sign being lowered into the water. Photo: The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society.
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The sign being lowered into the water. Photo: The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society.
singing sailor Photo: bsmart
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The "Singing Sailor" sign. Photo: bsmart

The Swedish military launched a massive sub hunt last October after it said a foreign vessel illegally entered the Stockholm archipelago. But one group thinks there are better ways to fend off unwanted visitors.

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society recently sunk their own kind of welcome sign in the Baltic waters, called "The Singing Sailor".

The submerged, blinking neon sign features the outline of a sailor wearing nothing but a hat and underwear with the phrase "Welcome to Sweden. Gay since 1944" emblazoned in Russian and English.

Anna Ek, the group's president, tells Radio Sweden that the purpose of the playful sign is twofold: to question solving conflicts with military means and to shed light on the plight of LGBTQ activists in Russia and abroad.

"It's a think piece but if anyone wants to start producing these signs the design is up on the webpage. You're free to use it if you want to," Ek says. "This sign is also a reminder of 'make love, not war' and that everyone should be able to decide who to make love with without anyone telling them that is wrong."

Ek says the reactions have been mostly positive though many in the military have been critical toward it.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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