November 03, 2006

The Russians are Not Coming

In re the theme of our post, Tiger by the Tail, Russia's rightist parties may be playing into present Powers That Be designs, seeking a showdown with local and federal authorities and giving them a pre-electoral rallying cry.

This from RFE/RL report (citing Nezavisimaya Gazeta) of November 3, about a planned nationwide "Russia March" for November 4 ("People's Unity Day," the holiday which replaced November 7, the anniversary of the October Revolution):

[Moscow] Municipal authorities previously banned the so-called Russian March announced for November 4 by extremist groups, including the nationalist Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI), but organizers have said they will gather in the metro in any event. On November 2, ultranationalist State Duma Deputy and march organizer Nikolai Kuryanovich told RFE/RL's Russian Service that the rally will go ahead. He stressed that "come rain or shine, the march will take place because no Moscow authorities can forbid [it] and ignore the laws and the constitution of our country. It will be a historical watershed that will show who is with the nation and who is against it. The march will be a demonstration of our ever-growing national unity, of the rising Russian self-awareness. It will be a call to the Russian authorities to finally pay attention to the majority of the Russian people, which is suffering and being discriminated against."

The march has been banned in cities across Russia, and municipal authorities are calling in extra OMON forces as a show of force. RFE/RL further rported that :

Moscow City Duma Deputy Ivan Novitsky, who represents the small liberal Yabloko party, told RFE/RL's Russian Service on November 2 that "in past months, [xenophobic] tendencies have emerged not only in Moscow but also in other Russian regions, and this has been widely discussed. I think that in places
where government authorities are failing to formulate an official stance, we must counteract by making our own proposal to eliminate the fascist threat in Russia."

Ah, the F-word. Nothing like raising the spectre of fascism to disallow dissenting voices. Sure, radical rightists are to be abhorred, and one has to have law and order and disallow anything that might incite violence. But sometimes it is better to let the fools march on the streets, so that everyone can see how foolish they and their perverted ideas are. Democracy means trusting in the intelligence of the common folk and in the cleansing powers of sunlight.

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