Monday, November 3, 2008

Russians protest US foreign policy

Last night I watched a fairly long report on the Russian news about a demonstration Halloween night at the U.S. Embassy. This didn’t make any newspaper that I’ve read over the newspaper. The Russian news report said several thousand people turned out for the march on the embassy.

Organized by the group Nashi (Ours), the demonstration was to protest the multitude of US foreign policy sins. The protestors carried gruesomely carved pumpkins with little American flags. I couldn’t do a crowd count just from seeing the TV footage but the protest certainly attracted a large crowd.

Nashi is the youth wing of the United Russia party, the ruling party here. So naturally I was wondering about the sub-text of this event. Such a demonstration doesn’t occur spontaneously. Why was this event held now? The purported reason was the Halloween holiday. I guess because US foreign policy is spooky.

The protest would have had a lot more credibility if it had not been so stage managed. Also, the little bits of footage I saw did not impress me. It seemed that the protestors were spouting rote slogans. One protestor complained about US policy in Iraq, Serbia, Georgia, and North Korea. OK – I definitely agree with the idiocy and immorality of US policy in Iraq. I think most of the civilized word gets that. Serbia and Georgia are completely understandable sore points for Russians. But Korea? I have my American bias, but I rarely hear about the US oppressing North Korea.


Ani said...

The NYTimes has a story on it today:

Interesting that they had to offer lots of free bus trips into Moscow to get a crowd up for this.

Here's a background article on Nashi from 2007, just FYI--Nashi ideology sounds peculiarly awful to non-Russian ears:

Eric said...

Thanks for the tip. I hadn't seen any coverage of this in the Western media - although there was a note on the US Embassy web page.

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