Saturday, December 10, 2011

In Profile: The Man Behind the Russian Protests

It is Aleksei Navalny.

NYT's Ellen Barry writes:
The man most responsible for the extraordinary burst of antigovernment activism here over the past week will not speak at a rally planned for Saturday, or even attend it, because he is in prison...

A week ago, Mr. Navalny, 35, was famous mainly within the narrow context of Russia’s blogosphere. But after last Sunday’s parliamentary elections, he channeled accumulated anger over reported violations into street politics, calling out to “nationalists, liberals, leftists, greens, vegetarians, Martians” via his Twitter feed (135,750 followers) and his blog (61,184) to protest.

If Saturday’s protest is as large as its organizers expect — the city has granted a permit for 30,000 — Mr. Navalny will be credited for mobilizing a generation of young Russians through social media, a leap much like the one that spawned Occupy Wall Street and youth uprisings across Europe this year.

The full measure of Mr. Navalny’s charisma became clear after protests on Monday night; an estimated 5,000 people materialized, making it the largest anti-Kremlin demonstration in recent memory, and Mr. Navalny was arrested on charges of resisting the police and sentenced to 15 days in prison...

MR. NAVALNY has Nordic good looks, a caustic sense of humor and no political organization.

Five years ago, he quit the liberal party Yabloko, frustrated with the liberals’ infighting and isolation from mainstream Russian opinion. Liberals, meanwhile, have deep reservations about him, because he espouses Russian nationalist views. He has appeared as a speaker alongside neo-Nazis and skinheads, and once starred in a video that compares dark-skinned Caucasus militants to cockroaches. While cockroaches can be killed with a slipper, he says that in the case of humans, “I recommend a pistol.”

What attracts people to Mr. Navalny is not ideology, but the confident challenge he mounts to the system.. A real estate lawyer by training, he employs data — on his Web sites he documents theft at state-run companies — and relentless, paint-stripping contempt. “Party of Swindlers and Thieves” has made its way into the vernacular with breathtaking speed and severely damaged United Russia’s political brand.

He projects a serene confidence that events are converging, slowly but surely, against the Kremlin.
“Revolution is unavoidable,” he told the Russian edition of Esquire, in an interview published this month. “Simply because the majority of people understand that the system is wrong. When you are in the company of bureaucrats you hear them talking about who has stolen everything, why nothing works and how horrible everything is.”

He was less definitive about the future he envisioned for the country, saying only that he hoped it would “resemble a huge, irrational, metaphysical Canada.”
Of note, the NYT profile is titled, "Rousing Russia With a Phrase". I'm sure using colors and phrases, to incite trouble is part of "Inciting Revolution 101" at the CIA. (See: From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp)

Here is WSJ's Phillip Shiskin on Sharp:
In his writings, Mr. Sharp teased out common principles that make nonviolent resistance successful, creating a broad road map for activists looking to destabilize authoritarian regimes. Mr. Sharp's magnum opus, the 902-page "Politics of Nonviolent Action," was published in 1973. But the main source of his success is his 90-page "From Dictatorship to Democracy."

This slim volume offers concise advice on how to plan a successful opposition campaign, along with a list of historically tested tactics for rattling a dictatorial regime. Aimed at no particular country, and easily downloadable from the Internet, the booklet has found universal appeal among opposition activists around the globe.

Though he warns readers that resistance may provoke violent crackdowns and will take careful planning to succeed, Mr. Sharp writes that any dictatorship will eventually collapse if its subjects refuse to obey.

He offers a list of 198 methods of nonviolent action, like the staging of mock elections to poke fun at problems like vote-rigging, using funerals to make political statements and adopting symbolic colors, a la Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. Less conventional tactics include skywriting political messages and "protest disrobings."
Go that? And where did we just see naked protests just appear? In Russia. Was that spontaneous in cold Russia, especially when the girls were imported from the Ukraine?

Curious stuff.

Here's the video where Navalny explains how to kill militants from Caucasus. (Hell of a guy. Is the CIA getting in bed with this character?)


  1. Got it. Only the dictators who cooperate with America are bad (Mubarak, Khadafi etc). No problem with dorogoi Volodja. :) Whoever opposes his glorious patriotic regime is a CIA plant, an evil American imperialist, and probably even a stooge of Haliburton and Exxon mobil.

    1. yes thats exactly how it goes, and USA is still being the "world Police".

  2. In that video he acually explains the benefit of guns (legalize firearms).

    The video goes:

    If you have a cockroach in your house, you use a slipper to kill it. If you have a fly in your house, you use a flyswatter to get rid of it.

    But what is the cockroach or the fly are just too big and aggressive (here goes that agressive beast in black coat and the lights go off).

    "In that case, all you need is a gun".

    Cutphrase: "Weapons should be legal"

  3. Navalnij IS a "dark hourse", тв noone in Russia really knows about him, all he did was trying to stop some illrgal government tenders on production of different goods. Which were many times won by a corruption way.
    That is of course good. But not enough to become a person the big coountry may follow especially when you are 35...
    He is mainly proclaimed by the anti government media many of which has western roots...
    Dont trust people who say Navalny is a new Heroe. may be for 0,001% russian -yes, but that is not the Majority ))