Grigory Pasko: On Russia’s “Unsanctioned” Political Rallies


An unsanctioned rally – is the same kind of term as a juicy fact. Artificially thought up, pulled out of a hat by cowardly and dependent people. A rally can’t be sanctioned – according to the Constitution of the RF, it is sanctioned a priori. Sanctioned by the Constitution. And a fact – either it exists or it doesn’t. Irrespective of how cowards will call it: juicy or dry, hot or cold.

I had a dialogue on this topic today at Triumphal Square with representatives of the press-center of the GUVD of Moscow – a short and pudgy little person and a short and attractive pudgy maiden.

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This was half an hour before the start of an «unsanctioned» rally by defenders of Article 31 of the Constitution of the RF.

At least I could talk with the press-center employees (and eventhis, apparently, only because I had showed them a journalist’s ID).The OMONovites spoke little and poorly. More often than not they simplydidn’t say anything. To my question about whether he had read theConstitution, a senior lieutenant mumbled something unintelligible andlooked at me like I was seriously ill or an inhabitant of Pandora.«We’ve got an order, – after a long and tortuous pause, at last, hesqueezed out of himself, then he thought some more and repeated, -We’ve got to suppress an unsanctioned rally».

Then they began to suppress…

Take a look at these photos

The defenders of the Constitution were inside a tight ring of policeand omon. The leaders of these defenders were literally physicallyunable to take a single step. What I’m driving at is that the actionsof the «guard dogs» of the power have become much more thought throughthan, say, a couple of years ago. I recall when even at «unsanctioned»rallies it was possible to give speeches and unfurl posters. On 31January, they didn’t even manage to unfurl posters: they were grabbedand forced into buses.

The actual organization of the counteraction to the ralliers wasthought through and worked through down to small details: starting withthe ring of buses around the entirety of Triumphal Square and endingwith the specially taught «persons in civilian garb» (some of them weregathering information in the crowd, others – appeared as provocateursof some kind of actions along the lines of offensive outcries againstthe power). Besides that, officers of the police prowling around with«matyugalniki» were creating a background of struggle for law andorder: they were supposedly regulating traffic on the sidewalks.

The police and omon had already arrived in the morning. Duties andposts were written out in advance. Coordination was implemented quicklyand literately. Everyone was dressed well and warmly. That is, theywere prepared. Moreover, better than the oppositioneers: those wereobviously wanting in organization and organizers.

Kudos to the journalists. There were lots of them and they wereprepared for work in such situations. Colleagues from ARD had evenbrought along a special little ladder so as to film from convenientlocations.

I noticed that from the police-and-operatives side, there weren’tmerely many video and still cameras – there were very many. They werefilming everybody. Moreover, also with the use of little ladders. Thejournalists later show what they’ve shot on television or publish it innewspapers-magazines-websites. What do the police-KGB «journalists»publish and where? With what objective do they film? For what volumes(criminal, operative elaboration and account cases, for archives andhistory)?

This time around, the police weren’t seriously armed. That meansthey were confident that the intentions of the ralliers were peacefuland that no real force would be resisting them. But, it seems to methat upon receipt of a command to «apply fire for defeat» [Russian for”shoot aiming to hit”–Trans.], this command will be carried out. Onthis account the ralliers also should not have any illusions.

And also. At times we wonder, why is it that THEY, in prohibitingrallies, are providing advertising for the opposition? I think I’veunderstood: they couldn’t care less, about either advertising or theopposition. THEIR counter-advertising is much weightier and morebrazen. But 300-400 coming out on the square – they don’t consider areal opposition.

The police say: we’re carrying out an order. Interesting, whose?After all, carrying out a knowingly unlawful order is a violation ofthe law and ought to be prosecuted under the law. That is, by law,chief of the GUVD of the capital major-general of the police generalKolokoltsev should have said (to whom?): I don’t have the right tocarry out your criminal order.

But this general will never say this: after all, they didn’t make him ageneral and the chief policeman for this! They made him a general sothat he would disperse rallies!

Recently Kolokoltsev said that the Moscow policeare ready to go for a staff reduction, if an optimization of thefunctions laid upon them takes place. Well, here you go, general: pullthe police and OMON off the squares!

Take note: Medveputin is silent. No matter what happens! They’retaking down the «Rechnik», Kaliningrad, Moscow and Vladivostok areprotesting, they’re dispersing rallies – the tandemists are silent. Asif though they aren’t even there. But they really aren’t there! Thatis, let us imagine that they aren’t there. You think the country willfall apart? Hardly. In the first month, nobody, even from theirretinue, will immediately notice that specifically they aren’t there.Now if the driver didn’t arrive, the cleaning lady hadn’t come out orthe cafeteria serving-woman – that they’d notice immediately. But thesetwo… Take them out of the television and put them in the cupboard nextto the Soviet crystal – and in a month nobody will recognize theirfaces. They’ll be just as faceless as the Soviet crystal. Or littleporcelain elephants. Why? Because they’re just as useless, that’s why.