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Ear to the Ground

Moscow Protests Get Ugly

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Posted on May 6, 2012
AP/Mikhail Metzel

A wounded opposition protester winces in pain during a rally in Moscow on Sunday.

Police in Russia’s capital began cracking heads Sunday once some of the 20,000 Russians marching against Vladimir Putin made a turn for the Kremlin. Putin resumes the presidency Monday after a four-year interlude as prime minister.

He first took office as acting president Dec. 31, 1999.

“The ongoing protests show that Putin’s support among educated and urban Russians is declining rapidly. This middle class, which has profited most from the stable economic growth under Putin, is nonetheless increasingly impatient with the lack of political participation and Russia’s endemic corruption,” wrote Truthdig Russia analyst Ivo Mijnssen in March.

Here’s a sign, captured in an article by The Associated Press, that the Putin regime would rather look tough than win over the hearts and minds of an unruly middle class:

The ground was left littered with broken glass and splattered with blood. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, defended the police action.

“I would have liked them to be tougher,” he said on the Dozhd cable television channel.

—PZS

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By heterochromatic, May 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

gerard- bless you for your past services. you’ve helped
to do good things… and people will continue such work

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By kafantaris, May 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The world has changed. 
Russia has changed. 
Vladimir Putin has changed. 
But not enough.
Not enough for the Russians, and not enough for anybody else. 
Putin either has to shift gears—fast—or get out of the way. Staying the course can only hatch problems that neither the Russians nor the rest of us would ever want to face.

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By gerard, May 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Surfboy:  Things like you are suggesting are happening in cities and towns all over the country, mostly started by small groups of Occupiers who—for obvious reasons—aren’t getting much publicity. You really have to search for it under various Occupy sites online. Or read Truthout.org
or AlterNet.org every day.  Democracy Now did a good job for a while, but not recently—has moved to other important things.
  Years ago I had enough experience doing civic actions like this to know that it can be done—but it does take some few people to spearhead it and get it started. We learned mostly by doing.  If I was able to get around, I would start right here where I life, but I’m really ancient. That’s why I write so much;  I still believe and have the urgent desire, but physical limitations prevent it, sorry to say.
  Do try to get others involved actively with you on something that needs doing and which people are already aware of and feeling a need. It will take hold because the times are ripe. And I think nonviolent preventive contructive things are the only way that will work. 
  In my day, we finally got the first above-ground nuke testing stopped, and finally the Freeze.  Locally we got rid of “restrictive covenants” against segregated neighborhoods in California. The loyalty oath didn’t last long either, because many worked against it.  Times are different, but perhaps not all that different. At least small efforts are worth trying and may lead beyond.

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By gerard, May 7, 2012 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Surfboy, the truth has its own power whether anyone seems to be listening or not.

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By Brian Frakes, May 7, 2012 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gosh!  20k stooges of USAID/NED/FREEDOM HOUSE demand a return to the good ol’ yeltsin era:when Russia was a pawn of the Evil Empire.  Think about it,obamabots.

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