by Sarah Hurst
Alexei Navalny has come out fighting in response to his election ban, calling for a nationwide protest on January 28. He is announcing the protest a month in advance to give authorities plenty of notice so that the “swindlers” can’t quickly set up festivals and claim all the squares are occupied by events, Navalny said on a video today. He will also send a reminder about the protest to authorities 15 days in advance of it.
“This isn’t about me being banned from the election at all, it’s about you,” Navalny said, asking viewers to imagine themselves in six years’ time and ask if they want to wait that long to get another chance to try to influence the outcome of an election. “In those six years unfortunately I can guarantee that your income and standard of living will either fall or stay where it is,” Navalny said. “The whole world will grow a bit, new ideas will appear, new technology will be invented, but Russia will gradually sink into a swamp,” he continued, illustrating his point with a picture of Vladimir Putin standing in a swamp.
Putin is a dead end
Putin and Dmitri Medvedev have taken the country into a dead end, Navalny said. “Even the best government deteriorates if it has no opponents in the election, if it doesn’t feel pressure from society,” he went on. Navalny reminded his viewers about Russia’s technological “achievements” under Putin: a hugely expensive investment in an iPhone cover that doesn’t work, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin almost drowning a dachshund recently to prove it could breathe underwater, and an immobile robot on a quad bike.
“We have a plan, and I call on you to join our actions,” Navalny said. “We need a Russia-wide street action. I think more than one.” By banning Navalny from the election, Putin left him with no alternative other than taking to the streets, he explained. “Let’s come out on the streets. For ourselves. For our rights. For our future. Because we don’t want to lose another six years,” he concluded.
Categories: Campaign diary