Opposition leader Alexei Navalny published a statement (translated by The Interpreter) explaining why he did not attend the nationalist “Russian March” which was held on November 4. The march is an annual a protest against immigration and internal migration policies, as well as against the policies that allow employers to bring migrant workers to work for sub-par wages, and the lack of enforcement that allows migrants to live in slums that are dangerous to the migrants and those around them. In other words, there are plenty of broken policies in Russian society that have led to this current crisis.
It is also undeniable that the “nationalist movement” is often populated by Neo-Nazis who conduct hate crimes and chant racist slogans. Racism is now endemic in Russian society, is is pulling the country apart.
Some liberals have written that it is Navalny’s responsibility to moderate the radical voices in the crowd while still pushing for change. This article, published in the independent newspaper Ekho Moskvy, criticizes those voices, and Navalny, and suggests a different approach. It also takes a jab at Yevgeniya Albats, a journalist for The New Times, and may unfairly characterize her writing. Regardless, the article illustrates the divide within even liberal voices in Russia.
It is part of an ongoing series where we attempt to publish many different points of view coming out of Russia on the subject of migrants, minorities, and reform. An editorial in the pro-Kremlin Izvestia on Navalny and the Russian March has also been translated by The Interpreter. – Ed.
After the Russian march, a Muscovite whom the Nazis took for a non-Russian was beaten almost to death. He was beaten by a group of youngsters aged 14-17. One of them struck the victim seventeen times with a bat, the other jumped on his head. They stopped only when he had ceased to show signs of life. He was saved by passers-by who called an ambulance. He survived [it’s noteworthy that reporters covering the Russian March saw armed protesters preparing to attack migrants, if they were ever encountered – Ed.].
Yevgeniya Albats [a Russian journalist] calls this rabble, “desperate, uneducated, not thinking the way we think.” And she suggests that we should participate in Russian marches to “work” with them. “Somebody should. A politician, if it’s a real politician, must do it! Navalny is a politician.”
As far as I know, for the last four years Navalny has attended Russian marches and “worked” very hard there with these “desperate.” Including from the stage [as noted by Navalny, he missed last year’s march as well. He says he was ill – Ed.].
For example, he does that exercise with the “uneducated,” called “the glory of Russia.”
Or teaches physical education classes. His favorite is to raise his arm in salute.
The outcome of this work – the situation has only gotten worse.
Nowadays people do hot hesitate to attack each other with knives everywhere – on buses, in trains. Some trash migrant dormitories and markets.
Great job. Congratulations.
Meanwhile, I have my own recipe for how to “work” with such “desperate” people and teach those “uneducated.” This recipe is very simple, has been repeatedly tested and has worked for decades. It’s called “legalization of handguns” and “expanding the limits of self-defense and defense of others.” As well as “a set of policy measures to combat fascism.”
And I can assure you, if half of these “desperate,” who attacked a person with baseball bats, would remain on the pavement with bullet holes in their heads, while the second half, those who survived and are now confined to wheelchairs, would be locked up for 30-35 years for assault on the grounds of ethnic hatred (by the way, in this particular case, I totally do not care how old they are), and it would be shown on TV all over the country on all the federal channels, and a man who shot these scumbags, these results of miscarriages, was awarded with a medal for preventing thuggery by Putin himself, the very same day the number of those “desperate” would be decimated. And the “uneducated” would get substantially smarter.
And if one of those passengers who was sitting in that bus with their “tongues in their pockets,” watching a drunk scumbag beating up an Azerbaijani teenager, just got up and kneecapped that low-life, and received a cash prize for this from the hands of Kolokoltseva (the Interior Minister) for preventing loss of life, the number of the “desperate” would be halved once again.
And if those “desperate” who shout “Sieg Heil!” at those Russian marches would also go to prison for using Nazi symbols, the “uneducated” in the country would almost disappear.
You know, such measures really contribute to education and smartening up.
And it is really not necessary to participate in the Russian march and jump there with everybody else shouting slogans like “Allah is a fag,” as Yevgeniya Albats suggests Alexei Navalny should do.