After the Siberian authorities repeatedly rejected Barnual citizens’ requests to hold legal demonstrations over Russia’s fraudulent parliamentary election, locals did this “protest.” The teddy bears, toys and figurines picketed with “I’m for honest elections!” and “A thief should sit in jail, not in the Kremlin” signs, aw. The police did not like it. They’re seriously investigating.
City’s deputy police chief says:
“Political opposition forces are using new technologies to carry out public events – using toys with placards at mini-protests. In our opinion, this is still an unsanctioned public event.”
If you’re surprised that the chief talks of children’s toys as if they’re some sort of terrorist weaponry, you haven’t been reading my Slav Beat. Lest you forget, Russians have a Constitutional right to public assembly, but they’re rarely allowed to. They even hold a monthly protest to demonstrate their right to protest, which usually ends in getting beaten by the police.
In my hometown of Sovetsk the other week, a group of young’uns waving a fringe political group flag (Nationalists? Who cares anymore…) ran through the street for a “Russians Choose Sport” marathon. Someone called the cops on them to report it as an unsanctioned gay pride parade. Russia’s real shitty about that too, so two police cars and an ambulance chased them down Lenin Street and arrested them. Oh, Motherland.