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(en) Czech, afed.cz: Lessons from government repression - A small summary of the situation after the August protests in Russia by Mikola Dziadoka [machine translation]

Date Mon, 26 Aug 2019 08:07:51 +0300

Summer in Russia is marked by mass protests against discrimination against Putin's opposition. The text of our friend Mikola relates to these events, but the "lessons" from their course have a more general overlap (even if we consider the soft version of protests in our country, for example). ---- On Saturday, August 3, 2019, one of the biggest protests took place in Moscow, where 1001 people were arrested. In Russia, as in Belarus, autocratic governments are spending enormous means to suppress any popular protest, and it is good to learn from the experience of Moscow and then to make the protests more effective. ---- It is quite obvious that the government has prepared itself very thoroughly. Somewhere up there are people who aren't stupid at all and could imagine what they were going to do and how to deal with it effectively. They did not do so by simply launching a lot of heavy-garrisons into the streets to beat up and scatter everyone. They used a whole complex of thoughtful and complementary means.

The experience can be briefly summarized in the following points:

1. Cops are afraid they will stop being anonymous. In the last protest, unlike the previous one, they were disguised, because those who showed their faces last time were naming themselves on social networks. They are worried about their personal security and are increasingly aware of their own vulnerability. It is well. It is also interesting that the police-propaganda policeman persuaded protesters to break up by appealing to national unity: "Dear citizens, do not disturb public order. The Russian National Guard is on duty to ensure your safety. Most of them are your sons. Do not disturb public order and law. "This is what we often hear in Minsk from the" moderate opposition ", various spokespersons and compromise seekers who come out of the holes as soon as the throne shakes under Lukashenko. But this is a separate topic.

2. The government does not really save on its measures: in addition to tens of thousands of cops, for example, it uses helicopters. Private companies are also being pressured by pressure: YouDrive, a car-sharing company, refused to leave cars in places of protest; operators turned off mobile internet and internet in cafes.

3. A lot of activities have been initiated by the police virtually: attacking opposition sites; activated pro-government trolls in comments and groups on social networks; intensified rumors...

4. As always, the government is afraid of radicalizing protests. They checked bags for casual passersby and looked for anything that could be used as a weapon. They rated middle-aged men as a risky category. This fact speaks for itself.

5. The detainees shall be mobilized for two weeks on the pretext that this is evidence in a criminal case. They are trying to get into them (equipment for this activity is supplied to authoritarian countries by Israeli and Chinese firms). Encrypt all mobile devices! Update your operating system in time.

6. Without hesitation, criminal cases are launched with the sole purpose of intimidating: we will deprive anyone of a cozy home and family and put them in a prison cell for years.

Lessons learned:

1. Decentralized protests work. Generally, with the same number of people, the government has to spend more than centralized protests to suppress such organized protests.

2. However, legal mechanisms do not work. Do not let detainees be detained? To beat those who do not resist, not to provide medical help, to take fingerprints by force? It is easy. Hajzl with ranks do not protect the law, but the elites' privileges, their power and property. Therefore, direct, insolent and protracted violations of the law do not become a case. And it logically follows that attempting to keep protest and self-activity within the law, indefinitely invoking the law as a higher value, and thereby exposing as "provocateurs" protesters who break the law (it is the representatives of systemic opposition doing it) and myopia. It's like trying to win by the rules of your enemy. So all the pathetic declamation of the constitution to members of the riot squads is very nice, but naive and irrelevant.

Of course, this does not mean that violence must be used headlessly. Just remember that we have an a priori right to self-defense.

Finally, it is important to mention that among the fizzy was spotted former deputy commander of Berkut (Ukrainian police intervention unit) Sergei Kusyuk, characterized by unprecedented brutality in the suppression of Majdan, who fled Ukraine. The Russian government is smart, hiring those who have burned bridges behind. This man has nowhere to run and hide. If the regime in Russia fell, such as he awaits death or life. That is why his fingernails will fight for this government to the very end. Such monsters must be properly confronted by all who are also determined to fight to the end - but on the good side. So the lesson is simple: get ready.

Source: https://avtonom.org/author_columns/uroki-moskovskih-protestov

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