Saturday, December 24, 2011

Moscow Staggered By Democracy Protesters

Photo Ria Novosti
The Russian news agency Ria Novosti, BBC and France’s Le Monde had virtually identical headlines Saturday on how Moscow was overrun by opponents of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Ria said tens of thousands, the BBC thousands and Le Monde called the crowd immense.
Rallies were reported across the vast nation.
The usually cautious New York Times headline read:  Vast Rally in Moscow Streets Is Challenge to Putin’s Power
It brings to mind how the Occupy Wall Street movement hasn’t died across the Atlantic.
People won’t take no for answer any longer. Former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, who stood up to the Army and Communist Party to end their rule, urged Putin to resign.
On Sakharov Ave., named after the nuclear scientist dissident, they held banners that called for “free elections” or blew red whistles, Ria reported.
Neverthless the Kremin has shown no sign of rerunning parliamentary elections. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton boldly effectively called them rigged in favor of Putin’s United Russia party.
The protesters also want new rules to prevent fraud in place before the presidential elections. Law does not permit a president to serve three terms in a row. So the presidency was lent to Dimitry Medvedev, who will likely become prime minister.
Even with the alleged rigging, the United Russia’s share of the vote was knocked down from 64 percent in the last vote to 49.9. Putin denies the claims.
He will have a billionaire among opponents, but his regime has not flinched at putting billionaires in jail.

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