Thousands of Muscovites marched in May Day parades calling for peace and labor as in the old days of the Soviet Union.
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Russia This Week:
– What Happened to the Slow-Moving Coup?
– Can We Be Satisfied with the Theory That Kadyrov Killed Nemtsov?
– All the Strange Things Going On in Moscow
– Remembering Boris Nemtsov, Insider and Outsider (1959-2015)
– With Cash and Conspiracy Theories, Russian Orthodox Philanthropist Malofeyev is Useful to the Kremlin
– Alexey Navalny On the Murder of Boris Nemtsov
– Theories about Possible Perpetrators of the Murder of Boris Nemtsov
– Novaya Gazeta Releases Sensational Kremlin Memo
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Artyom Loskutov, a Novosibirsk performance artist, has been arrested for attempting to stage an alternative type of May Day march called Monstratsii (Monstrations) which had been allowed to join the official parade in past years.
Loskutov, who has been detained and questioned by police for past actions and had his articles censored, tweeted that the Interior Ministry’s Anti- Extremism Center, known as E Center, had made the arrest.
Before his arrest, he had been tweeting some of the efforts of his group to pose with counter signs to the official march.
Translation: Park during the police period.
The sign says “Oh, that’s it.”
Loskutov also photographed some of the absurd anti-American signs in the official march: “USA Hands Off Our Pensions”.
Later, Loskutov tweeted that he was being held overnight and had been charged with Article 20, par. 2 and Art. 19, part 3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses which are “violation of the established procedure for holding assemblies, rallies, demonstrations, parades or pickets” and “disobedience of the lawful instruction of a police officer.”
Translation: 20.2 and 19.3 of CAO, review tomorrow at Zeyeltsovsky Court at 11:00. Holding me overnight.
Earlier, Loskutov tweeted that as a result of being banned, his group’s action in Novosibirsk was trending in the top stories on Russia’s search engine Yandex — in another example of the “Streisand Effect” at work in Russia.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Translation: Top news of Yandex right now. Monstratsiya is the main event of the country.
Loskutov, who is sometimes nicknamed “Lokot'” which means “elbow” in Russian and is dubbed “mayor” for his antics, said he would not come to the event unless 5,000 signed a petition.
A performance art group called Monstratsii (Demonstrations) was not allowed by authorities to take part in the May Day parade in Novosibirsk, Lenta.ru reported.
The tradition of the group each year was to march with nonsense posters saying things like “We are not you” and “A cupboard is not an exit” and “You’re a good boy, Natashka.”
The signs in this photo say “Heterosexual Poster” and “This is a smart poster.”
Photo by @SvobodaRadio
Artyom Loskutov, the Novosibirsk activist who had been detained by authorities for actions in the past, said the group didn’t get permission from city officials, but had an agreement with Yabloko Party to join their column.
Police cut the demonstrators off on Kalinina Square as they gathered to join the city march. As a result, they turned and went in the direction of the former airport.
This year the Novosibirsk mayor’s office has twice turned down the group, one for a cultural event and another time for a demonstration and rally. Loskutov then conceived of a formulation “city-dwellers’ stroll with original paintings, symbols, and so on.” Officials proposed they go to the city park on the Oba River.
Communist Mayor Anatoly Lokot had earlier suggested that the group could join the rest of the parade as they had in past years.
Russian Orthodox activists demonstrated against the group, saying they were using the masks of anti-heroes and monsters and “provoking horror” and slogans that called for “anti-social actions.”
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
to trade unions and workers that start the May holidays that will
culminate in Victory Day May 9th.
The state wire service TASS described decorations
of red or brass stars that are a vestige of Soviet war medals, combined with the
orange-and-black St. George ribbons traditionally associated with
Victory Day and now a hallmark of nationalist movements in Russia and
the Russian-backed militants in the Donbass.
authorities have revived a Soviet-era slogan, “Peace! Labor! May!,” said
Mikhail Shmakov, leader of the Federation Independent Trade Unions of
Russia (translation by The Interpreter):
“These are basic values which are necessary for each
person. Preservation of peace — that’s the main thing. Labor is labor,
everyone must have the opportunity to get a job.”
Photo by Marina Lytseva/TASS
Another key slogan for the parade was “Double Pay for Rise in Prices.”
May Day was traditionally a celebration of workers in the Soviet
era, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dominance of the
Communist Party, there was less attention paid to the meaning of the
Putin himself has recently harked back more to Communist rhetoric in his
speeches in order to reassure the public in the midst of the economic
crisis. For example on the Pryamaya Liniya call-in show earlier this
month, Putin stressed in an exchange with a farmer complaining that
he couldn’t charge higher prices for his milk to meet costs that profits
weren’t everything and breaking even was sufficient.
Putin also scolded
former finance minister Aleksei Kudrin, who called for economic reforms
such as cutting some subsidies and targeting others, that there should be a heart as well as a
head in dealing with people.
Both United Russia, the ruling party
used as a political vehicle for some years now by the Kremlin, and the
All-Russian National Front, a newer astroturf movement for promoting
government goals, were featured in the marches.
United Russia’s logo this year had a somewhat desperate-looking bear.
Translation: Russia is marking the holiday of spring and labor.
Andrei Isayev, vice speaker of the State Duma and deputy secretary of the General Council of the United Russia party said they supported the trade union demands:
“May 1 is a day when workers regardless of their views go out on the street and defend their rights and voice their demands.”
Today was rainy in Moscow but it didn’t deter people who turned out by the thousands. The parade began at 10:00 Moscow time by Vasilevsky Spusk (St. Basil’s Descent) near the place where opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed February 27.
A lot of posters took the letters “E” and “R” in Russian for Edinaya
Rossiya or “United Russia” and made them larger in the words Perviy” or
“First” which annoyed some.
Translation: May 1st. Day of solidarity with workers. What does ER have to do with it. They’re marking September 26, the day of contraceptives.
Even the oldsters have learned how to make selfies.
Translation: now there is a gastronomic Spartikiad devoted to May 1st, while my wife is with friends.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick