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View Diary: Oakland vs. Moscow - An Image Gone Viral, and What It Means | #OWS (131 comments)

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  •  I'll say it: you're wrong. (1+ / 0-)
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    Minnesota Deb

    I'm sorry, I understand what people are trying to glean from photos and from their own experiences at Occupy, but you all seriously do not understand what's happening in Russia and why Russia's police state is far more entrenched than anything you're seeing here.  It's well and good to kick back online and casually scan for information, but comparisons like this don't even bother with

    1. Assassinations of journalists;
    2. Preemptive arrests of opposition members (of anyone perceived to be an opposition member: google Lilya Shibanova) and closure of institutions associated with opposition, prior to and often without any allegation of criminality (I have personal experience with this one);
    3. Civilian pro-regime 'counterprotesters' bused in to intimidate protesters (ht kalmoth), currently housed in compounds around the city;
    4. Preemptive censorship of social media organs in the weeks leading up the elections, as a way of shutting down opposition (In contrast it's possible the server outages at LJ and Ekho Moskvy were related to traffic, but given the history here, nobody's betting on it);
    5. Civilians are having to buy food to give to the detainees, who in many cases are not even being fed in detention.

    Can you find horrible stories from Occupy?  Sure, and they are horrible, especially what's happened in Oakland.  But nothing like this.  And keep in mind, everyone: this is the first week of protests, and the government is still weighing its options.  Think about how long Occupy went before clashes with police began.  

    The idea that there's any comparison to our alleged police state is ridiculous.  I wouldn't care so much - hyperbole is common enough here - but this is a genuine police state that I have firsthand experience with, and reading through this comment threads is making me sick to my stomach.  Jesus, are we this out of touch?

    On the hypocrisy of Americans criticizing Russia, I agree.  On the hypocrisy of the administration delivering stern platitudes at Putin, I agree.  But choosing pictures of happy protesters when this and this and this and this and this and this are what people over there are dealing with?  It's offensive in how much it downplays the real risks that Russian protesters are facing, as if we don't know how many people were beaten in detainment.  And commenters here think their troops are 'less militant assholes' than here because of the pictures they see on sites like this?  Ho-ly crap.  Some people have clearly never dealt with the Russian police.

    I want to make something very clear: I am not arguing that we don't have cause to worry about where our country is headed, because we do.  I am not arguing that because we aren't as bad as Russia we shouldn't be having this conversation, because we should.  I'm not at all downplaying what the various Occupy movements have had to deal with in this country - it's scary to think of the way fundamental principles to our democracy are so casually violated.  But I'd much prefer to be facing that here than there.    

    You can say 'fuck you' to me all you want, but come with me to Russia.  I'll show you some stuff that will cure of that quickly.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:58:21 PM PST

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