25 November 2007

in protest

This morning I woke up and saw about 12 militsia outside my living room window. When the tow trucks starting making the trip up and down the street, I decided to move my car. While outside I counted about 30 militsia. And, another militsia car, lights flashing, led a convoy of snowplows, street washing trucks and big salt trucks towards Palace Square.

There's going to be a protest in St. Petersburg today. SPS, The Union of Right Forces, is having a rally against Putin's United Russia party. With elections coming up next weekend, we've seen the city covered in banners and signs declaring "Putin's Plan is the victory of Russia". The signs have just changed to include a photo of a top footballer endorsing United Russia.

The St. Petersburg times recently had an article saying that people weren't impressed with this campaign. It was repeatedly mentioned that no one know what Putin's plan actually was. And, in an interview with Fox news, one market seller remarked, "We've talked to friends, neighbors, family, even customers," said Ivanova, 43. "They don't vote for United Russia, but United Russia somehow wins."

My camera is at school! I'm tempted to go out and see what's going on in Palace Square. But, reports from yesterday's protest in Moscow and the urging of friends here has convinced me to stay inside. This bit of an article from the Chicago Tribune made me think that me and my little blue passport should stay inside:

Despite the opposition's weakened stature, the Kremlin has behaved as if its detractors pose a legitimate threat. At a United Russia-organized rally in Moscow earlier this week, Putin warned that his political opponents have been turning to Western governments for financial help to foment an uprising not unlike the revolutions that brought pro-West leaders in Ukraine and Georgia into power.

"Now they're going to take to the streets," Putin said. "They have learned from Western experts and have received training in neighboring countries. And now they're going to stage provocations here."

If I see anything from my window I'll let you know. For now it's quiet.

ETA: My street stayed pretty quiet and I stayed inside. ;>


Lisa said...

Kate, I agree with your local friends... please stay inside! Russian political protests are nothing to take lightly. Be safe!

Maggie said...

Oh my. Yes, above all, stay safe.

Jim said...

If the OMON goons are out there then definitely stay inside. The last thing you need is a bloody nose or broken arm.

Now, if the protest were about speeding up the foreign adoption agency accreditations, well...


Anonymous said...

I saw the same article in the St. Petersburg times - plus that other blog I mentioned...Glad you stayed in!