Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What's Driving those Russian Protests?

Tens of thousands of Russian citizens are protesting against Vladimir Putin, demanding both fair elections and his removal from office. On the surface, these sound like righteous protests. But are they? Some of the protesters are likening themselves to the OWS and former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev is siding with the protesters on the issue of Putin stepping down.

Nonetheless, if this many people are protesting rigged elections, it can't be all bad.

According to The Independent, 100,000 protesters weathered the cold to join in the protests:
The rally on Moscow's Sakharov Avenue on Saturday was the fourth and by far the biggest of the mass demonstrations provoked by the parliamentary vote held on 4 December. The ruling United Russia party, led by the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, held on to a slim majority in parliament in those elections, but the results have been tainted by claims of wholesale fraud.

The demonstrators stood for hours in sub-zero weather on Saturday listening to a line-up of speakers as diverse as the crowd itself, including TV celebrities, writers, musicians, politicians, scientists and a jailed dissident whose video message was broadcast on a giant screen beside the stage.

"The people are waking up," said Sergei Udaltsov, the leader of the Left Front opposition group who was arrested on the day of the elections as he heading to a rally. "The people have stopped putting up with this humiliating regime."
First of all, I'd feel much more comfortable saying Russian government is far more corrupt than American government if it was ten years ago but it's still worse. Second, Mr. Udaltsov's claim that the people are "waking up," already puts them in front of OWS, whose members like to channel zombies. Third, Russian protesters are standing up against their government; OWS wants more of it.

In short, if these protesters in Russia are carrying the spirit of the Bolsheviks, they'd be better off just packing up and going home because they'll get far worse than what they have; that revolution gave them Lenin. Then again, OWS might just be closer to the early 20th Century Bolsheviks than are these early 21st Century Russian protesters. It's simply too hard to tell how the situation in Russia will shake out but if the participants were smart, they'd distance themselves from Gorbachev right now.

The movements don't seem to have all that much in common when you look at the granular detail but OWS may have helped to inspire protests in Russia, which would be a good thing if they're protesting Vladimir Putin's continued reign.

Perhaps the Russian establishment is partly to blame as its propaganda arm - Russia Today - has been promoting OWS, for reasons that likely involve the damage it's doing to the US.

It'd be poetic justice if that backfired on them.

h/t Drudge

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