Saturday, April 01, 2017

16.3 - Good News: resistance to corruption in Russia

Good News: resistance to corruption in Russia

One more bit of Good News: Resistance grows.

On March 26, in the biggest show of defiance in five years, public opposition to corruption and rigged elections saw tens of thousands of people turn out in scores of demonstrations all across Russia.

Almost all of those rallies were "unsanctioned," that is, they had neither permission nor permits, but still people poured into the streets in cities from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg.

The largest rally was, not surprisingly, in Moscow. Police estimated that 7000-8000 people took part there, with another 3000 in St. Petersburg, with crowds of hundreds or more in many other places.

It has to be said, though, that considering photos of the events it seems clear that those police estimates are woefully low and opposition estimates of 20,000 in Moscow and 10,000 in St. Petersburg are closer to the mark.

Nationwide, over 1000 people were arrested, with the bulk of the arrests in Moscow.

The demonstrations resulted from a call by anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, described as a complex and charismatic figure who has long been a thorn in the Kremlin's side.
St. Petersburg

He has alienated some of Russia's liberal democrats with his anti-migrant rhetoric and his participation in rallies organized by neo-Nazis and white supremacists, but he is highly popular among Russians critical of the corruption in the Kremlin.

By the way, as a quick footnote to that to be filed under "same as it ever was," or if you prefer, "mirror, mirror," is that when RT, a Russian state-owned media outlet, reported on the demonstrations, the lead comment on the story was "Soros and US have been busy then!!!" and yes, they did mean George Soros. Many other comments were along the lines of "Soros is behind it all," the protesters are "a small minority," Navalny is "a CIA stooge," and the protesters were "paid."

Made me feel right at home.

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