Add to favorite
 
123
Subscribe to our Newsletters Subscribe to our Newsletters Get Daily Updates RSS
russian visa


Strategy 31, an annoying splinter under the bear's nail
August 31, 2010 17:26


It's the August 31, less than a quarter of an hour to the planned march of the "Strategy 31" opposition movement in the centre of Moscow is left. The mayor's office and city government are planning to treat the rally as a provocation.

For the Kremlin it has become something of an embarrassment. On the 31st of the month, a group of noisy protesters gather in downtown Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square. They shout slogans against Vladimir Putin and his regime. The 31ers, as they are known, are seeking to defend Russia's much-abused constitution and in particular article 31 meant to guarantee freedom of assembly.

Over this year Moscow's city government has devised various tactics to stop these rallies from taking place, ranging from the brutal to the surreal the campaign is beginning to look like a convoluted game of chess for control of the square. The authorities have turned down all applications to stage the "Strategy-31" gatherings. And in time-honoured Russian fashion, mayor Yuri Luzhkov has sent in the goons, with riot police deployed on every occasion to arrest protesters and chuck them in the back of police vans. In May police broke a journalist's arm; in July officials came up with a rival event in the square a car rally.

Ahead of the latest 31 gathering, these tactics have reached a new level of ridiculousness. The government last week announced it was building an underground car park underneath the square and fenced off the whole area. On Friday, two workmen could be seen slowly digging a small hole next to a statue of Russian futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. It is clear that nobody is in any hurry to get the work completed, which could now drag on for years.

In retaliation, the 31ers have decided to take their protest global with the first demonstration taking place today outside the Russian Embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens, London and in New York, Helsinki, Berlin and Tel Aviv. "We Russians living abroad cannot stand by quietly and watch as Russia gradually turns into a police state," Andrey Sidelnikov, organiser of the London picket, says. He adds: "In recent years, in Russia the government has consistently refused to citizens of Russia their legitimate right to assemble freely."

In the eight months since the rallies started, protesters have included elderly dissidents who fought against the Soviet Union and teenagers who were born in the 1990s, well after the collapse of communism. The protests rarely attract more than a few hundred people although the rally in May drew a crowd of 2,000, which was violently broken up by police.

At some point, one hopes, Russia's authoritarian-minded leadership will have to come up with a creative response to Russia's vigorous social protest movement. A fence simply doesn't cut it.

Source:
      RIA News


Tags:      

Next Previous

You might also find interesting:

Ban to Boo Smokers Russia And China Will Promote Sukhoi Superjet-100 Together Bloomberg: Russias GDP Will Grow by 1.1 Percent In 2017 EU Expands Sanction List Early Warning System for Recession









Comment on our site


RSS   twitter   facebook   submit

Bookmark and Share

search on the map
TAGS:
Russian theatre  Rosneft  Hugh Laurie  Russian tourism  Enem  anniversary  Russian Premier League  St. Petersburg  Russian language  Russian regions  Bolshoi Theatre  Pushking Fine Arts Museum  Open-Air Concerts  mobile slavery  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia  insurance  Russian achaeology  Cruiser Aurora  Festivals in Moscow  Ozyorny  Russian science  Exhibitions in Moscow  Charity  Festivals  Nikolai Valuev  wine producers in Russia  US sanctions  Chuck Berry  Russian Animation  Russian Cinema  Olympics 2012  activity holidays  Russian casino  Velvet Season  Treasure  Moscow  Flights to the Mars  travel to Russia  health  Monuments in Novosibirsk  Vostok station  Modern Art  Kids Fashion Festival   Saint Petersburg  Rossiya-1 TV channel  Russian business  Moscow Zoo  Antarctica  Gourmet Tours  Russian aviation 


Travel Blogs
Top Traveling Sites