Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Occupy below zero Moscow?

According to this New York Times report, people don't expect change, but they marched today anyway.

Protesters Throng Frozen Moscow in Anti-Putin March
Tens of thousands of antigovernment protesters marched on Saturday through this city, gripped by bitter Arctic cold, in a third major effort by Russians opposed to Vladimir V. Putin’s return to the presidency.

A series of similar actions in December shocked the Russian establishment with their size and giddy, infectious mood, as a famously passive part of the electorate coalesced into huge crowds that chanted “Putin, go away” and “We exist.”…

Despite that, city authorities said that Saturday’s crowd was larger than either of the December gatherings, offering an estimate of 36,000. Organizers gave an estimate of 120,000.

“It’s clear nothing will change, but at least we can demonstrate — six months ago nobody could have imagined it in Moscow,” said Marina V. Segupova, 28, who was wearing ski pants and a scarf encrusted white from her frozen breath. “We want the military and the police to come over to our side. We will show our good will, we will show that we’re kind. We’re just people who are demonstrating peacefully.”

“It’s clear that there will be no change now,” she said. “But we are a snowball, and we are rolling.”…

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