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A Protest Technique From Russia (Lighten up OWS)

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posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 05:32 PM
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I'm weird, but this struck me as a very good idea. It's baffled the police, won over the citizens, irritated the government, and has been easy for the press to cover. And, it's as non-violent as playing with toys. In fact, it is playing with toys.

Legos, teddy bears, dolls of all kinds are equipped with protest signs and set up for the people and the press to see.

Inspired by protesters in the small northwestern town of Apatity, who had come up with the idea, Barnaul’s activists decided to channel their frustration through toys. They held two so-called “nano-demonstrations”, on January 7 and January 14, which saw dozens of toys brave the snow in the city’s main square, holding tiny signs with slogans such as “We want clean elections”, “A thief should sit in jail, not the Kremlin”, and more. Activists posted numerous videos of these mini-protests online. Since then, the trend has spread to many other cities throughout Russia.


While the tiny protests seem to have amused many passers-by, the police in Barnaul have taken them quite seriously -- last week, they asked prosecutors to look into the legality of these events.
“Political opposition forces are using new technologies to carry out public events -- using toys with placards at mini-protests,” local media quoted Andrei Mulintsev, the city’s deputy police chief, as saying. “In our opinion, this is still an unsanctioned public event.”
Can you imagine the laughs that a free press would have with the police and prosecutors in this case. And no one has ever pepper sprayed a Lego.

There were demonstrations in big cities all over Russia on December 10 to protest the rigged parliamentary elections. My friends and I really wanted to participate, but didn’t have time to get a permit to hold a demonstration. So we decided to protest with toys, because this wouldn’t violate any laws and wouldn’t be dangerous for the people involved. Friends on social networks also sent us ideas of slogans to use.
Our colourful stage with Kinder Surprise toys attracted lots of people. They smiled, asked questions. The press came, too. There were also people who scolded us, and asked us why we weren’t ‘on the barricades’ with the ‘real’ protesters. But we didn’t want to make a big scandal; we just wanted to express our feelings and support those who attended real protests in other cities. In fact, the next day I received a message from a person I didn’t know who had attended real protests, saying, ‘Thank you from the city of Petrozavodsk! It’s been a long time since we laughed so loud; it raised our spirits!’ If only because of this one message, it was totally worth it.”

Consider reading the article, it's humorous and strangely inspiring.

Doll Protest Story - France24




posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 05:36 PM
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Watch the police round up all the Matryoshka dolls for hiding dissident elements.



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by Sachyriel
 

Dear Sachyriel,

Thank you, wonderful comment. I can only imagine the interrogation sessions. "Boris, where we put battery clips?"

But seriously, I don't see a downside to this. It would make OWS appear witty and human at a time when they appear to be ..... well, let's just say their image needs a little polishing.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


I do not think the OWS movement needs to lighten up, I think it needs to stop reacting to those in power and start consolidating its victories, continue its momentum towards larger victories. Toys could do that, but the people behind them have to be serious. Serious matters, light-hearted attempts to fix them? Sure, laughter is great medicine, but medicine alone will not stop the atrophy of liberty. It needs exercise to be stronger. If the change OWS demands is equivalent to a mere injection of steroids, then the face value of their change is that they don't want to work hard to achieve it.

They do want to work hard to achieve it, but they'd also settle for some smarts. :/

I really believe that OWS is merely networking now, fulfilling the demand for a new generation of society that echoed the baby boom to be the results that the baby boomers wanted in society. The tide of humanity is apparent when you look at demographics kind of objectively, youth activism in swinging up because of a small baby-boom echo and those kids don't have their parents achievements to look up to when it comes to things like civil rights movements, these disillusioned people are adults and being treated like children.

The kids gloves came off, but we were only handed mops and told to keep quiet while our elders spoke of passing their burdens to us. That was not appreciated, and many people today know that if democracy is expected to work the votes of youth need to be counted for a bit more when talking about things we have to deal with on their behalf.

We are angry, expecting us to play with toys is condescending, we have all the toys we want, we want hope that we can be more than who we are today. It's the only thing we appreciate from the previous generation, they held themselves to be the change they wanted to see in society; accepting black people in school, pulling out of colonial wars and trying to uplift a global community into a free society of a common future we work to together.

You'll find that my peers would echo my sentiments, if only I didn't hold them so deeply.



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 06:29 PM
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reply to post by Sachyriel
 

Dear Sachyriel,

Please forgive me, I had no wish to seem condescending, and didn't know that I was.

I also appreciate the passion and thoughtfulness with which you responded to me.

If I understand you, you believe that OWS needs to be more assertive, more aggressive, more angry, willing to build on its victories. That the elders have screwed up the country and now the youth should have more influence over the country.

It may be the fault of the main stream media, or agents provocateur, but OWS does not look good to America. Nothing is going to change in those areas for the next year. The defecation, bodies, drugs, flag burning, etc. all drive most Americans away.

It seems to me there are two choices, develop a fiercly dedicated band of OWSers (a very small proportion of the population) and disrupt the country, or win political power a la Tea Party.

I am not asking anybody to abandon their principles, I just want you to have both choices open. It appears, at the moment, that OWS is taking the disruption route.

Now anything I've said could be mistaken and I'd love to learn from you. I have no bad or condescending feelings toward you in any way.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


I come from the crucible that internet discussion represents, the constant bed of rebirth that anarchism has in youth, I spent a decade studying anarchism cause I knew it was the underlying current of all political change; crowns fall from heads that roll, someone picks it up.

I don't want to touch the crown, I keep asking myself how to keep it out of others hands. I wear it, it hurts, and by the time someone accuses me of a martyr complex of a god complex I've found my calling. Not keeping other people in line, but keep them on their toes, concerning that line.

It's my field of study, the ever changing struggle between the abstract forces of anarchy and authority.

So, I'd love to tell you OWS has a predicted end point, but it doesn't, I barely know its starting point in places like Reddit and Adbusters cause I was there, ear to the ground on what was coming next, because I valued the real grass-roots opposition against the government moreso than the bought-and-paid for opposition the tea party represents.

OWS isn't the Democrats answer to the Tea Party, OWS was always very much the anarchist resurgence that governments fear because it's the government who should be afraid of anarchists using the digital tools to twist society into something the government wants to pretend is impossible.

Direct Democracy is possible with the digital communications and sorting algorithms that we see here on the internet on ATS discussion boards. Most anarchists can see that not only is a dictatorship by the proletariat a bad thing because it will restrict individuals freedom, but our own struggle against authority could be cut off by a common complacency that we accept freedom at face value.

Anarchism is OWS, people are afraid of depraved anarchists and any enlightened anarchists will be drowned out by the accusations of smashing; enlightened anarchists exist, we do, I swear, but we've thrown our lot in with the ignorance of youth when it comes to the logistics of proper governance. It's not that the black bloc is stupid, they're intelligent people who utilize terrorist tactics because they believe they'll inherit peaceful lives when this is over.

They won't. but that's a hard truth to face when you're young and want to save the world with your friends. Enlightened as I am, my cohorts have chosen a violent path instead of a sublime path to what they think is utopia. The sublime path I chose is parallel to theirs, I will use my words, their fists are my solidarity.





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