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«Bolotnaya» Opposition and Forthcoming Revolution

«Bolotnaya» Opposition and Forthcoming Revolution
Baranov Anatoly 06.04.2012

Likely now it is high time to make some conclusions from not happened “revolution of white ribbons” in Russia which, of course, couldn't have happened in any way this winter, though nevertheless there were hopes – from irrational – what if…

Really revolutionary lifting (not to confuse with revolution or even revolutionary situation according to Lenin) was observed during very short period since December, 10th to 23rd of the same month – one day prior to a meeting on Sakharov’s Square which by the time was perceived as the development of situation, while actually it was its closing up, at that in semi-manual regime of control.

On December, 10th, after enchanting dispersals of actions of 4th, 5th and 6th with preventive arrests, torment buses, monstrous trials, attraction of mass of police and paid by the Kremlin youth almost hundred-thousand meeting “on Bolotnaya” really frightened the power – mass protest became the first for last 20 years answer to repressions.

I will remind that the most radical slogans were heard on the first meeting on "Bolotnaya" – demand of resignation of Putin and Medvedev, dissolution of illegally elected Duma, amnesty of all political prisoners. Only “right people” were on the tribunes on this meeting, the question of performances wasn't organized – organizers appeared by themselves and were no less amazed with that fact, than the power. I tell about it from the first person as I was then considered one of the organizers together with other radically thinking people.

But the power started recovering from the first shock, perhaps, earlier than opposition – sentence to Udaltsov was announced already next day, the authorities let people clearly know that there’s no talking about any release of political prisoners, as well as about the rest.

At that moment, exactly following Lenin, it was necessary to increase radicalism of requirements – instead they suddenly got engaged in creation of empty structures and blowing up of leaders. Where’s now our president Navalny? Last time he was seen in the crowd on the meeting on March, 5th where he fought … against the banner of RNDS. Where’s great writer and master of thoughts Akunin-Chkhartishvili, where’s Parfyonov? Where are all these people in general?

Already on the eve of the meeting on December, 24th at the meeting of the Civil Council everything became clear – when Navalny refused to consider resolution of the meeting and other participants supported him in it. Next day everything became clear even to the blind – Putin’s god daughter Ksyusha Sobchak and his long-term accomplice, the former Minister of Finance – Alexey Kudrin – appeared on a scene of protest meeting. They say that performances from tribune were sold for cash by oppositionist Parkhomenko who promised to negotiate with the authorities – it’s easy to believe in it recollecting honest people ruling the meeting. As well as that, participating in demonstrations, those persons pursued purely career and financial aims, after they reached them they simply forgot about oppositional moods.

Whether Mister Akunin ran away just because sponsors for his screen version of “Diamond Chariot” and “Espionage Novel” appeared?

Why did Kudrin who decided to head the Square so promptly evaporated as soon as there appeared rumours about his appointment the governor of the native Petersburg?

Well, it’s usual business. In this northern city in the early nineties Putin and Kudrin hand in hand worked as deputies for Sobchak and then all together were figurants of the criminal case No. 144128. It was a question of transfer by Kudrin's committee of millions dollars to the company which then transferred them to the foreign offshore where they completely disappeared. Under rigid pressure of power vertical Kudrin's case was stopped, it happened at once after Putin's first inauguration, so, having become the minister, the hero of Sakharov’s Square managed to get engaged in transfer of diamond assets of the state holding ALROS into the structures of personally close bank "KIT Finance" which has officially robbed the budget on more than 130 billion rubles.

Even the documents sounded from the tribunes began accepting gloomy commercial character with such kudrins on them. Businessman Kozlov accused of fraud appearing in policy only as Olga Romanova's husband who in her turn is known in the only political role – the treasurer (!) of organizing committee of meetings - got in the list of political prisoners which should be released immediately.

It’s doesn’t matter that Kozlov had business with member of "United Russia” Slutsker, had no thoughts about revolt against repressive power vertical, but was its component. At the moment of his arrest he was assistant to the chairman of the committee of the Federation Council on international affairs from “United Russia” of Mikhail Margelov who shamefully defended in PACE the Kremlin repressions against members of the national revolutionary. It doesn’t matter Kozlov is being incriminated not politics but banal plunders and proofs of defence aren't always convincing. They are so inconvincing that even Romanova's friends, for example Julia Latynina, recognize – Kozlov really took what don’t belong to him.

It is clear that presence of kozlovs in the lists of political prisoners allowed authorities to mock publicly – and to increase the number of political prisoners. Let's say, directly in the day of meeting on Pushkin Square the Moscow City Court passed sentence to Grigory Torbeev, the activist of the Left Front sentenced for imaginary injuries inflicted to the police officer during one of the protest actions. The power in general loves symbolical gestures – the same day, for example, the court satisfied petition for Tolokonnikova's imprisonment. No matter how you treat it but "punk public prayer" was really political action.

But the destiny of the modest musician and political activist Torbeev who stayed in the pre-trial detention center 6 months before the sentence was brought is not interesting to glamour elite – millionaire Kozlov is different thing.

Simple people have absolutely other moods. Arcady Babchenko writes: “Alexey Kozlov is absolutely not interesting to me. Let his business be hundred times lawful – I won’t drink brotherhood with people who have business with the power of swindlers and thieves. Such types are interesting to me not more than cockroaches under a sink. Different thing is interesting to me – why on the meeting for honest (!) elections did they lift a banner with image of the person with, to put it mildly, not the highest moral principles? Why was I, when I came to meeting for honest elections, put on one step with the doubtful businessman hob-nobbing with swindlers and thieves against which I came to revolt?”

Really – why? After all this question, likely, was interesting to many people.

Naturally similar questions in no way promoted growth of protest moods, especially when waffle or silence is the answer to them.

Forming of a wall between Moscow and province became direct consequence, at that the Moscow opposition participated in construction of that wall absolutely meaningly.

I wrote, spoke about it, tried to influence using own example – I went to Voronezh and protested there during the second action on Bolotnaya. That undertaking, it seems to me, was supported only by Nikolay Nikolaev who worked very well in Nizhny Novgorod and was even once stolen by field investigators – with drawing of injuries. Certainly that was a drop in the ocean in country scales.

The power succeeded more, having showed protests as local performance of “growing fussy” Moscow hipster, Yeltsin thieves and sporting girls. That image was provoked quite meaningly, really all Russia hated Putin, but protesting people were showed those whom they didn't love even more.

Moreover, now Putin elected by that very province which, in principle, should hate him even stronger, than “browned off” Moscow has serious argument: look, he pulled out victory as a result of the hardest fight against opposition! We understand perfectly well that he fought against own people and he won own people, but unless it’s possible to prove anything now?

Thus protest moods in the province are motivated perhaps even more strongly, than in both capitals. In any case, I can’t recollect that earlier at the sight of my Moscow numbers on a gas station or in a roadside cafe in some Boguchar or Kamensk-Shakhtinsk, having vaguely identified familiar face, simple people approached me and spoke: “You are good fellows, Muscovites, cheer up there, we will support you!” While it’s being considered that people don’t like Moscow …

Finish wasn't, of course, unexpected – people with sufficient political experience warned in December-January that all-democratic protest will trigger all backflashes placed on its road and will exhaust after presidential elections.

“…Realization of the project "peace dismissal of Putin group from power” is on the agenda of opposition since December, 5th. Masses necessary for it started arriving since December, 5th, there were already too many of them on December, 10th. But bourgeois leaders are afraid a bit, therefore they are spinning again and again,” - Limonov wrote approximately then.

It is necessary to make amendment here. Visitors of VIP-tribunes are, certainly, bourgeois, but they are not "leaders". They are only casual scoundrels, social elements of mode running down the protest for business reasons or following direct order of the Kremlin partners. Revolutionary Danton lifting people to storm the French power vertical was bourgeois leader, thus Danton wasn't the one who robbed the French peasants following sanction of Louis XVI.

That fact that such figures betrayed the first revolutionary wave should mislead nobody. Protest moods didn’t disappear and the objective situation in the country, the state and society obviously doesn't get improved so that to consider incident settled. Simply the forms of protest and – the main thing – their motive forces become different. Aims will be changed – from all-democratic, “for all good against all bad”, they will get quite class, certain character. It’s being already confirmed by growth of strike activity, moving of protest activity to regions, transition from all-declarative statements to concrete requirements of labor collectives.

Society gained one very important thing – experience. Events of last months, I believe, will strongly complicate the process of manipulation of masses both for the power and for opposition – people after all are not a donkey which can eternally wander behind the carrot suspended before its nose.


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