12/02/2014 05:15 GMT | Updated 12/02/2014 05:59 GMT

Cambridge Students Stage Gay Kiss Flashmob For Sochi

Hundreds of students staged and filmed a mass kiss as part of a gay pride flashmob in solidarity with the Russian LGBT community.

At midday on Sunday, same-sex couples in Cambridge embraced, kissed and danced together on King's Parade in protest over Putin's anti-gay legislation, while university students filmed the event and the public's response.

The flashmob was organised through the "To Russia with Love, Cambridge" Facebook page, which indicates more than two hundred Cambridge students planned and participated in the event.


Student and flashmob organiser Elly Smith, told The Huffington Post UK: "My girlfriend and I can hold hands on the street, without fear. We feel very lucky to live in a town where people aren’t persecuted for who they love.

"I wanted to demonstrate what a tolerant world looks like, and send it to Russia as a message of hope."

Music played in the city centre's Cafe Nero while other businesses on the street hung rainbow flags from their windows in solidarity.

Photo by Zhao Songyuan

Smith said local businesses in the city centre "could not have been more helpful" in the organisation of the event. The flashmob was filmed by university students, with a view to producing a video which they hope can go viral.

"The aim is to produce a video, with messages in Russian and English, sharing it worldwide as part of the 'To Russia With Love' campaign," she added. "If this gives just one person, feeling alone and persecuted, hope and courage, then it will have been worthwhile."

The flashmob was organised in response to the laws in Russia which forbid referring to homosexuality in a positive or neutral way, and prohibits homosexual “propaganda” to minors.

Photo by Zhao Songyuan

Fellow student and LGBT campaigner Sarah Regan told HuffPost UK although some protests have received negative feedback fore their focus on anger, the solidarity flashmob was "different".

"We wanted to take all the positivity and support we got from straight friends and passers-by, and share it with people living in fear in Russia as a reason to have hope for the future. None of this means anything if those people don't see it.

"There is a video in pipeline, and when it's ready we want it to be seen by the people who most need its message of hope."