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What Real Opposition Looks Like

This is an activist from the FEMEN organization, protesting recently in Kiev, Ukraine. She was demanding the resignation of the country’s prime minister, a sexist pig who is routinely denying basic civil rights to women.  The protesters put the photograph onto the Prime Minister’s Facebook page, and they were manhandled and arrested by his goons.  In a similar protest in Belarus, the activists were brutally tortured by the autocratic regime.

The contrast between this activism and the sorry excuse for it taking place in Moscow could not be more extreme. As we previously reported, the Moscow opposition rally has been described like this: “It all felt much more like a national holiday, a festivity. What’s more, not even a ‘festivity of disobedience’, but simply a festivity.” There were no arrests.

Russians, it seems, do not yet even know the real meaning of the word opposition.  Their efforts to challenge the neo-Soviet regime of Vladimir Putin are ineffectual, senseless, indeed pathetic.  Their actions do not in any way indicate that Russians are willing to take real risks or that they feel any true sense of outrage or urgency. On behalf of the Russian people, we are ashamed.

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8 responses to “What Real Opposition Looks Like

  1. Orson ⋅

    I’m not sure what your point is here. Here’s that ‘real opposition’ FEMEN protesting recently in Moscow, and there were no arrests there either:

    http://englishrussia.com/2011/12/09/femen-against-church-and-millionaires/

    Meanwhile in Prague in November 1989, my main memory was the holiday atmosphere, and no-one would deny that it wasn’t a genuine revolution.

    • larussophobe ⋅

      Well, our points are (1) FEMEN considered the Moscow protest an absolute failure and (2) if you are comparing the current protests in Moscow to Czech opposition to the USSR, you need to have your head examined and (3) the Kremlin is laughing at the Moscow protests, which are disorganized, unfocused and show no signs whatsoever of real passion or urgency. Get it now?

      If not, let’s put it another way. FEMEN have: (1) clear goals; (2) clear plan of attack; (3) organization; (4) leadership with flair; (5) intense, focused passion. The Moscow protesters have exactly NONE of these characteristics. They are, by contrast, a sad joke. Clear?

      Still murky? NOBODY will forget the above image or why it was created. What will they remember from 12/10? Anything at all? What was it really about? Why were they there? Here endeth the lesson.

  2. Orson ⋅

    Just to respond to your numbered points:

    1. Ok, I must have missed where you said this in the OP. Please show me where, sorry for being slow.
    2. No, the point is that revolutions can sometimes have a holiday atmosphere. A simple way of saying the same thing is “don’t judge a book by its cover”.
    3. Again, missed where you made this point in the OP, help me out.

    Of FEMEN, you extoll some 5 qualities of theirs. You link to their blog, highlighting actions in Belarus and Ukraine.

    You lead us to believe that a FEMEN action in Russia would be a truly volatile mix, unlike the feeble efforts of the local Russian milquetoasts.

    And as luck would have it, the very same blog carries footage of a FEMEN action in Moscow. But in a bizarre twist, the committed FEMEN revolutionaries fail to get themselves arrested. (<= This is called irony.)

    Now, none of the above makes any qualitative judgement on the recent Russian protests, the nature of FEMEN, nor on the current regime in Russia itself. What it does call into question is your argumentation, LR.

  3. Pingback: Falando Russo » Blog Archive » Ativistas do Femem na Bielorrússia: isso é protestar

  4. Auriga ⋅

    bunch of exhibitionists. Well, at least they show tits not just GTFO.

  5. Whisperer ⋅

    Well, I kind of agree that FEMEN recently improved their performance. I also agree that Russian protesters are often quite pathetic and childish. This is one of the main problems in Russia. When serious business required, people giggle and childish. When it is holiday and festival, people are serious and grim. This is reverse psychology and stupidity. I don’t know why but it’s everywhere there. However, you have to give credit to some protesters and 100K gathered on Saharova without single incident, which is also remarkable.

    The main problem for Russian protesters is that the majority of Russians are still very uneducated and very poor and stupid. Moscow middle class will fail again because the ground on which if grew is corrupted to the core.

  6. igorfazlyev ⋅

    LR, as usual, is prejudiced against Russians but she does make one valid point about the protests in Russia – they are pathetically disorganized and that’s probably the main reason there were no arrests, the authorities feel the whole thing will die down on its own eventually as long as people are allowed to ‘vent’ their frustrations while the government, in the meantime, carries on with its shoddy business. It’s the old tactics of giving the sheep something to east while it’s being sheered.
    As for why the protesters are so disorganized – again it’s pretty obvious there’s no such thing as real opposition in Russia. Just a bunch of disgruntled former Kremlinites like Kasyanov or Nemtzov whose only real buff with the current powers that be in the Kremlin is that they’ve denied them (Kasnyanov, Nemtzov etc) access to the trough.
    Now as for why there’s no real opposition, imho, the chief reason for that is the ‘slave mentality’ of the Russian people, for which, imho, you can’t really blame them, because it’s a result of centuries of slavery. There’s no real civil society in Russia to speak of, NGO’s are few and far between and most of them have no real public support, I mean, some people may speak out in support of these organizations, even publicly, but when push comes to shove, everyone scampers away to their little rat hole.
    In a way, I think, that if these protests show anything at all it’s that the general public do not really take Putin and his cronies seriously any more so they’re only to eager to join in the festivities of calling Putin names on camera. A man who was not so long ago practically worshiped by a large portion of the population is now seen as a louse, a condom and a crab.

  7. elmer ⋅

    The FEMEN girls are indeed very smart,, very clever,, and very brave and very courageous.

    The get-up that you see in the photo harks back to zArazov’s broken Ukrainian.

    zArazov is the PM of Ukraine – but he speaks no Ukrainian.

    Previously he was trying to use the Ukrainian word for “bloodsuckers” – but instead, garbled it, and instead said the Ukrainian word for “bloody tits.”

    He is a critic of FEMEN, in that smarmy, sneering way that sovok mafia thugs learned to do during sovok times.

    So the FEMEN girls have never let him forget his garbling of the Ukrainian language.

    Hence, the bloody tits vampire costume that readers see in the above photo.

    It’s a double message:

    - zArazov is indeed a sexist pig

    - he is an incompetent, stupid sovok mafia thug who can’t even speak the Ukrainian language in Ukraine

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