In the Land of White RibbonsPosted: December 12, 2011
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.