Editorial: authorized riots
7.05.12 13:40 By Gazeta.ru editorial
The main takeaway of Moscow's March of Millions, which ended with arrests and clashes with the police, is the certainty of everyone's position in the conflict. It all happened a day beforе Putin's inauguration, and the harshness the authorities displayed couldn't have happened if they weren't authorized by the head of the state. The day before the new president ascended to his post, the public received a very clear signal: the government is ready to escalate in the conflict with the protest movement. The powers that be are so decisive they are ready to overlook the fact that today's ceremony will be remembered solely in its connection to yesterday's brutality. On the other hand, there is active part of street opposition that has also shown it's ready for clashes, that they feel that the peaceful protests with balloons and funny slogans has been exhausted.
The efforts that the law enforcement are going to in order to provoke the protesters are so evident, it's impossible to remain blind to the plan of radicalization of peaceful protests behind their actions.
The demonstration of force, the bottleneck the protesters were put in to localize the protest on Bolotnaya square, the additional cordons of metal detectors – this is what bullfighters do to bring the bull to bay. Their opponents, who suffered from excessive lawfulness all through the political season from December to May, also needed to bring this face-off to a new level.
This mutual willingness for violence has allowed both sides, with help of several provocations, to turn a peaceful march into a massive clash, the scale of which Moscow hasn't seen since the 90's. Both sides of the barricades saw proof that their adversary understands only brute force, and has to be dealt with accordingly.
That was the mobilization. War follows. Both sides expect only victory, of course.
Who can feel victorious after May 6? The authorities have shown the price of participation in protests, but there's a majority of such people in the opposition. What they will chose is very unclear. But one thing is evident: the March of Millions has shown tens of thousands of people who willingly or involuntary became a part of the riot, how deep the abyss is between political scheming and honest civic action.
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