Russians believe that Putin has rigged recent elections. In response, they have taken to the streets and have vowed to continue if their demands are not met. Putin has started to round up and incarcerate political opponents in a predictable response.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets across Russia. They are protesting against alleged electoral fraud perpetrated by Putin’s United Russia Party.
More than 50,000 people demonstrated in Moscow, 10,000 in St Petersburg, and there were many other smaller events across the country. The protestors were largely peaceful, however, in keeping with Putin’s paranoia control freakery; over one thousand people were arrested. They were many political opponents, arrested on trumped up or fabricated charges. This is despite the state run media claiming that there had been and handful of arrests, and none at all in Moscow.
Several high profile bloggers have been arrested and kept in custody, and internet access had been blocked around Moscow during the protests.
They are the largest political demonstrations in Russia since the 1991 coup. Protesters are calling for the election results to be annulled, and have vowed to return to the streets on December 24th if their demands are not met.
The full demands of protestors are as follows:
1. Freedom for political prisoners
2. Annulment of the election results
3. The resignation of Vladimir Churov, head of the election commission, and an official investigation of vote fraud
4. Registration of the opposition parties and new democratic legislation on parties and elections
5. New democratic and open elections
Despite the arrests, the police generally have been quite neutral towards demonstrators. This is in stark contrast the usual state crackdown of any unauthorised gatherings or protests. I suspect that things may be different on the 24th.Putin is not generally a tolerant man.
Quite a few red/black flags
Quite a few red/black flags on TV news footage of this.
Footage and other links,
Footage and other links, please?
The unbelievable corruption
The unbelievable corruption and instability that is going on there is still nothing compared to what it was during the 1990's, when it was difficult to survive unless you were at least mid-middle-class which is unnecessarily brutal even by most semi-advanced capitalist countries' standards..which is unacceptable and the mortality rate during the early 1990's was on path to reducing the population by more than 20%, how can any normal person honestly suggest that that should just be accepted as something natural? It's an inbuilt crisis which was caused by the system and no-one can seriously mount a denial of that fact.
The unnecessary brutality of life would partly offer answers to why people are going out in the dead of winter and very possibly risking death at the hands of security forces, any working people who take that and go out anyway even in spite of the fact that pro-western journalists etc are trying to turn it all towards 'democratic' aims deserve absolute solidarity 'in the face of it, from all angles'.
Please enjoy: the
Please enjoy: the "anarchists" in one demo with Russian nazists. A very nice "working class organization". It`s a pure shame and nothing more
Russian pseudo-leftist fascists would take to the streets as it's an opportunity for them too.
What's KRAS upto? Would be interested in hearing your take on the protests friend, as you are there on the streets too I presume. :) And I hope you and your comrades are alright!
Our comrades were in the
Our comrades were in the street rallies on 5th. and 10th. For agitation ("propaganda"), without flags, of course, because we are against the idea of elections as such and against representative democracy, "fair" or not. We made a statement, and we distributed it as leaflet on 10th of December, rising not political but rather social and economical demands - class demands.
This is our text (in first and bad translation):
It does not matter which clique will form a government - it is important for us to live better!
We demand real freedom of meetings, rallies, strikes, union activity!
We demand an end of anti-social politics: low wages and systematic reducing of real incomes of general population, destruction of social guarantees, commercialization of education and healthcare, privatization, and a permanent rise of prices ...
We demand an end of "economic reform", from which business owners, bankers and bureaucrats get richer and the ordinary people are getting poorer, more and more. All these measures should be removed immediately!
We demand to abolish the infamous law against "extremism", to stop the arbitraryness of "normal" and secret police, of small and big bosses: people need rights, not repression and extortion! Our towns and villages must be for residents, not bureaucrats!
We need not "fair elections" in which "putinists", liberals, "pseudo-reds" and nazi-browns fight over who will skin us alive. We need a decent life!
- Increasing the level of wages to the average level in Europe
- Automatic wage increases in line with rising prices
- 6 hour day and 5-day workweek with no reduction in earnings
- Paid leave for a period of not less than 1 month and paid sick of all workers
- Reduce and freeze prices of basic goods and services
- Prohibition of dismissals without the consent of the workforce
- Free medical, education, public transportation and public utility
Any government that does not take these demands must leave immediately!
We do not believe that representative democracy and its elections,
presidents, governments and Dumas will be able to solve our problems.
They have no right to decide and speak for us. Only under a system of
general self-government and "direct democracy" in the place of
residence, work and study we can all become masters of their destiny.
Take your life in your hands!
Resistance - Self-organization - Self-government!
I spoke to a Russian quite
I spoke to a Russian quite awhile ago. He said the people there were so pissed off they were about ready for another armed revolution. Is that true, or a slight exaggeration?
It`s a clear exageration.
It`s a clear exageration. Really, most people are discontented but the majority is too atomized and passive for a revolution. As to organizers if last protest, they don`t want ant revolution. Or at the best, a bourgeois "revolution" only :cry:
Foristaruso, that seems like
Foristaruso, that seems like the best attitude to take, to try to raise working-class demands as opposed to bourgeois democratic ones which will actually gain nothing for working people.
Foristaruso wrote: Please
It is a shame, that you are not confronting Nazis, but hiding in behind right when they show up in the social movements. Unlike us:
15 days of arrest – how it
15 days of arrest – how it is. Text by Filip Kostenko, arrested St.
Petersburg anarchist on hungerstrike
Filip Kostenko is one of the hundreds of people, arrested in Russia
during a crackdown against protests against bogus elections. He was
singled out as a political activist, and given a 15 day arbitrary prison
sentence. He has been in a hungerstrike since 7th of December.
Arch ceilings and windows, wrought bars with peaks, iron stairs,
galleries connecting three floors of cells/. This is Zakharievskaya
street, 6, view from inside, special police prison. The building looks
as it was described in old books about revolutionaries of the past..
This prison was built in the 19th century, at the tsar’s times, it still
functions in the 21st century. No change. As if time has stopped here.
All this time that the state has stolen from the prisoners.
The authorities did not expect so strong protests. When the results of
the falsified election were published thousands went to the streets. The
era of stability is over. As usual, the authorities’ reaction is panic.
They seize everybody. They also seize me. It is a pity that they seize
me before everything begins.. They drag me into the bus where OMON
checks how my ribs survive punches, and also takes away my firecrackers.
In 20 minutes the bus is packed. There are activists of protest
movements, people who have come to the street for the first time because
they are fed up, many people were arrested arbitrarily. No difference,
they carry everyone to the police station to spend the night there. For
some people it is the first night in captivity. Now people see the state
as it is. But this does not cause fear. On the contrary, it gives
courage and the understanding of the necessity to struggle.
The bus window is broken and covered with plastic. Somebody must have
left through it yesterday and this suits us fine. We are waiting for the
court for a long time, the convoy become less watchful. It is easy to
tear the plastic away. There is another guy with me who had been clever
enough to leave his passport at home. We run a reasonable distance away
and calm down. Too early. They see our route with CCTV cameras and the
political police are after us. Now we are lying on the ground – our
faces on asphalt.
The most humane court in the world is headed by judge Kouznetzov. About
200 detained people pass through his court, for most of them the
hearings are laid off, but there are special orders. Political police
are here and they are consulting him. I am recognized – takeover of
cruiser Aurora, action at Vasilevsky, at Primorskaya… Some of them have
been waiting for me undercover at the place of my official recidence.
Different police departments even start competing, who will get me.
Kouznetsov’s ruling is quick, no formalities: 15 days in prison, this is
the order of the police chief. The guards make me put my hands to the
back immediately, one of them is an Afghanistan war veteran and he
promises to shoot me dead with one bullet.
The time moves very slowly. The heads of this humanitarian shelter are
very polite, they strongly recommend me to taste their dinner, but my
choice is hunger strike. I have not been eating for three days and I
feel well. Why should man stay in prison, moreover why should one eat
Those, who have been maximally deprived of freedom still can continue
their struggle and we do continue. A cell mate who received 10 days in
prison joins me. He is an activist of Strategy 31. They separate us very
quickly, probably they are afraid of us agitating for a riot. Political
prisoners are kept separately here, the guards say this is done to
prevent them from spreading their ideas.
The lawyer comes and brings news. Many notes from friends and comrades.
The feeling of support is practically physical. Frustration goes. We are
alive and continue struggle. I am talking with the guard about the
perspective. All parties are the same. People must decide for
themselves. The guard seems surprised, he has not expected such an
approach. A walk in the yard. I am given 15 minutes, will go to breathe
some fresh air while I still have the strength. No sign of winter in our
Northern city so far, let’s see what it will be in 15 days.
On Dec 12 the lawyer visited Philip. She says that after 5 days of
hunger strike he has become very thin. The doctor sees him every day.
The prison head came to persuade him to give up. Philip remains
unbending and is sending his salute to comrades.
Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow
abc-msk A riseup D net
P.O. Box 13 109028 Moscow Russia