In the Land of White Ribbons

First we had the Arab Spring then the European Summer.  The American Autumn manifested itself in the Occupy Wall St. Movement.

Welcome the Russian Winter.

Saturday nearly 35,000 young, mostly university-educated protesters, the new Russian middle class, gathered in Moscow in peaceful demonstration.  Reportedly, a police presence on the order of 50,000 greeted them.  But still they came and marched to voice opposition to Russia’s recent election results.  Vladimir Putin’s party won the parliamentary election after multiple reports of election fraud and ballot box stuffing.  For instance, in Chechnya [hardly a place of Putin-love] the party pulled 94% of the vote.  Putin has announced his plans to run in Russia’s March presidential elections to the dismay of many citizens, who charge that fraud and corruption run rampant throughout the country’s political system.

Demonstrators, donning white ribbons, marched in various cities around the country to say: Enough is enough.

Dismissed by the official Russian press, the white ribbon demonstrators were ignored by state television, which focused on small, flag-waving pro-Putin groups. How did the word get out?  Social media—Facebook and twitter.

In an attempt to disrupt the protests, Russian authorities circulated rumors that young men present at the rallies could be stopped by police and conscripted into the army.  Health officials reportedly warned citizens to stay home for fear of contracting a virulent flu or Sars.  Twitter feeds were jammed and robo-calls flooded phone lines with messages of state propaganda.

Sound vaguely familiar?

How much press is OWS getting today with its West coast port demonstrations?  How many words have been spent denigrating protesters as un-American losers, slackers, even dangerous criminals?  Let’s not forget the MSM’s reluctance to cover OWS, the strange lack of network film footage during police actions, particularly as the encampments were dismantled.  Twitter feeds jammed, cameras turned off.

Still, the world is watching.  The world is pushing back.  Everywhere.

6 Comments on “In the Land of White Ribbons”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    It sure is starting to look like real global movement. The more widespread it is and the more coverage it gets in the foreign press, the more difficult it will be for our de facto authoritarian police state government to crush U.S. demonstrators.

    • dakinikat says:

      There is certainly a lot of global unrest among ordinary people around the world. They are not happy with the repression and the oligarchy of businesses and government and in many cases religion too. It’s reaching a critical mass and there’s plenty of pushback from the powerful.

      There is also a search for who can represent these movements. What scares me is what happened in the Great Depression Era. You had politicians like FDR that approached the problems one way and there there were strong men like Mussolini that road the same type of public discontent to fascism. Then, we had a world war. The entire situation being such a parallel to what happened in the 20th century worries me. I can’t identify many US leaders that would show similar resolve. All of the former Soviet states have varying levels of development. Hungary is one that really worries me. Russia and the US have massive stockpiles of weapons that they didn’t have before WW2. It makes you wonder how much of these weapons could be turned on the citizenry. Then, you also wonder if the country will break to the fascist side of populism ala the tea party or what. Strange days indeed!

      • bostonboomer says:

        I read yesterday that the Brits are bringing out a “nonlethal” laser weapon that causes temporary blindness to use against protesters.

    • Woman Voter says:

      I wonder if they will go back to using all their ‘anti-terror’ toys on Peaceful Protesters again? Today in Long Beach they said they would and even in Oakland they said so too. Why hasn’t congress done more work on why people are fed up? Here we have Corzine saying he doesn’t know where the investor’s money went, yet he didn’t loose any money?

  2. peggysue22 says:

    Just got back in. It does appear there’s a mind-meld around the world, a general discontent with business as usual. The White Ribbon protest in Russia is primarily the new middle class, educated and prospering with all the oil resources in the country. But the distaste for corruption and fraud, the lack of transparency, the push against oligarchic control is not unlike what’s happening in the US.

    The propaganda and dismissal made me laugh because although it’s at different tone and level, the point is the same: protesting is bad, stay home, Putin is good. Some of the robo calls mentioned were very Orwellian. We sadly are ‘getting there.’

    I have yet to hear a full report from out on the West coast, the port protests. Need to do some surfing before dinner.

    • ralphb says:

      Occupy protesters blocking gates at West Coast ports, halt operations at some

      OAKLAND, Calif. — More than 1,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked cargo trucks at some of the West Coast’s busiest ports Monday, forcing terminals in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash., to halt operations.

      While the protests attracted far fewer people than the 10,000 who turned out Nov. 2 to shut down Oakland’s port, organizers declared victory and promised more demonstrations to come.

      Looks like partial success.