Tag Archives: protest

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.

Gay Rights Parade Attacked, Protesters Arrested in Moscow

BBC reports:

Police in Russia have broken up a protest by gay rights activists in Moscow, staged to coincide with the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Some 30 campaigners had gathered near a university in defiance of a ban on their march and many were dragged away by police when they shouted slogans….

The Moscow mayor Yuri Luzkhov has described gay parades as “satanic”.

Anti-gay groups had threatened to take matters into their own hands if the police failed to stop the protest.

We watched OMON (Russian Special Forces) break up the protest and drag the protesters away on BBC, one of several English-language channels we get.

As you can tell, the attitude towards homosexuals in Russia isn’t exactly tolerant. I’ve seen a few lesbian couples on the street, but no gay couples. According to my guide book, St. Petersburg is more tolerant of homosexuality than other parts of Russia because it’s more European. I’m not really reading the Russian news here (I can’t, really), but I’ll let you know if I see anything in it about the protests.