Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fighting for the right to assembly in Russia

In response to the monstrosity of Stalinist rule in the Soviet Union, ideologues of the Cold War peddled the idea that democracy & capitalism were inextricable & tyranny inherent to socialism. That doesn’t wash so well these days where riot cops around the world attack protestors & strikers with arsenals of weapons to prevent us from exercising the democratic rights of assembly & of free speech. This political conceit is quite starkly exposed in capitalist Russia today where just like under Stalinism, all protests are illegal despite plenty to protest about: election fraud, a 100 year ban on homosexuality, massive homelessness, you name it! But on the 31st of the month, hundreds of activists in several cities defy the bans & risk arrest to protest in support of Article 31 of the Russian constitution--the right to assembly. Here an activist in Moscow shouts defiantly as cops cart off protestors to the paddy wagons. (Photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters)

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