Suppressing dissent in a ‘democracy’

Somebody want to protest, and you just don’t feel like giving them permission?

Schedule a large event for the same time and place. And meet the demonstrators with cops. Lots of cops.

The Russian government followed this recipe to a T in dealing with a planned protest in Moscow by Eduard Limonov’s National-Bolshevik Party. NBP is a highly nationalistic party with few followers and little ideology, beyond a strident opposition to the current government.

Limonov has been accused of shifting his beliefs to attract media attention. At one time, NBP espoused pro-Stalin rhetoric. It is now more closely aligned with pro-Western groups.

But whatever Limonov’s beliefs, he has been devilishly effective in attracting media attention—though Sunday’s rally gone awry went little-noticed.

As the Associated Press reported, Limonov and at least ten supporters were arrested by Russian special forces (OMON) after attempting to protest against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The rally hasn’t been reported on in the English-language Russian papers I read, though the more sensationalistic MOSNEWS did report on the rally, adding a few details to the AP report.

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