Alexey Navalny’s Speech at Bolotnaya Square

May 6, 2013
Russian corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny Photo: AFP

People usually expect me to say something new or I will to shout a new slogan. I haven’t thought up a new slogan, but on the other hand, I’ve come on stage with my wife, Julia. And maybe that is the new slogan — protest with your wife or together with your husband, as it happens.

As far as I can understand, we can’t be heard beyond 30 meters anyway. But in fact it doesn’t matter. It’s like the famous joke about the kid who distributed empty leaflets. And when he was asked why they were empty, he said, “Well, it’s clear what’s going on anyway”. When you go through Moscow today, everything is immediately understood anyway.

It’s understood that something huge and powerful, and something frightening to some-one has come out on the street.

I’m part of that huge, frightening thing. I’m not afraid of it. It is enormous. It is the people. It is all of us who have come out on the street today.

But some are afraid, over there, across the river, some people with tiny button eyes are watching.

Crowd:  [Laughter]

Some people with small, mobile noses are sniffing, what’s going on? And something sooner or later will happen.

These people, in their way, love something in our country. They love oil. They love gas, they love big enterprises that are left over from the Soviet Union.

They love flashing lights on their cars, and special passes. They worship all that.

But they don’t love the people themselves. The people who have gathered here. That  very people who always eternally want something, eternally ask for something, eternally demand something. Give them the right to a voice, they talk about self-respect, they demand something, they have the impudence to demand an end to the thievery and corruption.

They — you! — demand that this enormous country not be governed by the Ozero Dacha Cooperative [Lake cottage co-op near St. Petersburg, whose shareholders include Putin and others who have assumed top positions in Russian government and business –ed.].

They — you! — have the impudence to demand that the country not be ruled by crooks and thieves.

You have the impudence to demand that roads be built for a normal cost and not 300% in kickbacks.

You have the impudence to demand to have the Olympics site built according to the costs in other countries, and not 10 times more.

When will all that end? Will it end?

Will you calm down?

Crowd: No! 

Will you put up with this?

Crowd: No! 

Will you forget about your sense of your own self-worth?

Crowd: No!

Will you forget about the Ozero Dacha Cooperative?

Crowd:  No!

Will you love Churov? [Vladimir Churov is head of elections commission].

Crowd: No! 

Will you vote for United Russia?

Crowd: No! 

Then I’m at the right time in the right place with the right people, with you.

I am together with you, I am not afraid. Just like you, I have something to lose. I understand what I’m fighting for, I’m fighting for a new future, for my family, for my children and you are fighting for the same thing. Just like you, I will not give up and will not leave.

A year ago when I was here at the rally, I had 0 criminal cases. On 15 September at a rally, I had one criminal case. On 15 October at a rally, I had 4 criminal cases; now I have 4 or 6, I have even gotten mixed up counting them. But I don’t care! Let there be 124!  I will go on speaking what I want, and go on speaking what I think anyway.

And I think you don’t want to hear from me anything but truth. If I called this ruling party the party of crooks and thieves, I will go on doing so, and I don’t care about criminal cases!

Crowd: We support you! Yes!

Most of the country agrees with me but we must work so that 99% of the people realize that United Russia is the party of crooks and…

Crowd:  Thieves!

And if I chanted back on December 5 that Putin was a thief, I will say it now: Putin is a…

Crowd: Thief! Thief!

Putin is a…

Crowd: Thief!

Putin is a…

Crowd: Thief!

We will tell every citizen in this country power in the country has been seized by a man, Putin, a thief, a corrupt person, a hypocrite, a man devoid of any moral qualities, we will kick him out, we will throw him out of the Kremlin.

We don’t want him to command us.

We will not surrender and we will not be dispersed.

[Helicopter overhead]

I don’t have another country; I have nowhere to go. I don’t have another country. I don’t have another Moscow or another family or another people except you. And I don’t need anything else in fact except the support of my family, and your support, I am sure that like me, you won’t go away, and I congratulate you with the coming holiday of Victory [Day on May 9], a great victory.

I know, if our relatives and our ancestors at one time kicked of the country those who wanted to enslave us with the force of arms, with tanks and planes, then our task is to free the country from those who want to enslave us, with the help of falsified ballots, with the help of sell-out journalists, and the help of crooks and thieves in police uniforms.

We will come out here as many times as we need to.

Russia is our country, and Russia will be free!

Crowd: “Russia will be free! Russia will be free!”