Articles

Things can only get better

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2011 by grahamharrowell

The 31st of the month is the day when freedom loving Russians gather in public to demonstrate in favour of Article 31 of their Constitution. Article 31 guarantees their right to gather freely in public and demonstrate. The fact that they have this right is, of course, worthy of celebration. There is one little problem. Whenever they try to gather freely in public the authorities keep stopping them. Presumably in order not to violate the protestors’ rights today’s planned protest was pre-empted by the arrest yesterday of prominent supporters. A neat solution. A lawful gathering was planned, but nobody turned up, so their rights weren’t violated because the police didn’t need to intervene.

Not so long ago there would have been no need for the police to take this kind of pre-emptive action. Nobody would have been able to demonstrate, nobody would have written about it and nobody would have tried to defend their rights. There may be some way to go, but the Russians are getting there, if they prefer to act in this way rather than meet the people head on and in public.

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