Meanwhile in Moscow

The worlds media eye often looks the wrong way.  In the late 1990?s while the western media was obsessing about daily large demonstrations in Yugoslavia, few were looking at the smaller, but still significant protests in Bulgaria.  The Yugoslav government held on for years, but the scrappy Bulgarian protesters successfully toppled their government.

With Occupy protests starting back up in the US, the Arab Spring and even Occupy Spain hold most of the headlines, my eyes are on Russia and the protests in Moscow.

One of the Russian Special Forces who refused to arrest protesters

The above picture is of a riot cop who refused to arrest non-violent protesters, claiming that what they were doing was not illegal and thus there was not grounds for arrest.  This does not happen much in highly hierarchical cultures like Russia.  For in the confusion Russian riot police were looking for both protestors and riot police who were refusing to arrest them.

And as is often the case in historic protests, there has been a lot of other police violence in Moscow.  However the movement has strengthened and in an equally unusual style protestors who refused the efforts of police to be evicted and have stayed their ground in the first protest where the police felt they could not push back since 1993.  And as such an Occupy type camp has been set up int he Moscow central square.  Even if it only remains a few days, it marks what was barely previously possible being attempted and successful.

Mr. Putin’s 3rd term might well be his last.

cops can become heroes

Fifty countries participated in May 12th Occupy protests (see photo collage)

Occupy Am*dam May 12, 2012

The Dutch have the most photogenic one i think.