Monthly Archives: January 2010

January 19 Anti-Fascist Demo in Moscow: Video

Here is a short compendium of video footage of the January 19 march against neo-Nazi terrorism in Moscow and other videos connected with that action. Thanks to Vlad Tupikin for assembling and posting these in his LiveJournal blog, as well as providing the following annotations to each video (which we have adapted slightly). We apologize for the lack of subtitles throughout.

Memorial Video about Stanislav Markelov


This video was edited specially for screening at the demonstration on January 19, 2010. The authorities did not give organizers permission to set up a screen and a video project at the demonstration, however. This video is also accessible on the January 19 Committee website.

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A World Where Many Worlds Fit (Sherbrooke, Canada)

A WORLD WHERE MANY WORLDS FIT
An exhibition on the counter-globalization movement

Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University
Sherbrooke, Canada
January 27 to March 20, 2010
http://www.ubishops.ca/foreman/english/exhibitions/2009-2010/worlds/index.html

Artists: ATSA (Canada), Zanny Begg (Australia), Etcétera (Argentina), Petra Gerschner (Germany), John Jordan (England), Oliver Ressler (Austria), ®TMark (United States), Gregory Sholette (United States), Nuria Vila + Marcelo Expósito (Spain), Dmitry Vilensky (Russia)

Curated by Oliver Ressler

The trope “A World Where Many Worlds Fit” goes back to the Subcomandante Marcos, when talking about the Zapatistas’ struggles in the Lacandonian Rainforest in Mexico. Since their uprising in 1994 the Zapatistas have been fighting for a less-hierarchic autonomous world where more options exist for involvement in democratic decision-making processes. They fight against an existing world, which calls itself “democratic,” but should rather be seen as a form of sophisticated oligarchy that functions in favor of the interests of the political and economic elite. While the Mexican army and paramilitary mercenaries are brutally defending this exclusive world of the elite in Chiapas, in the part of the world where I am coming from (Austria/Europe) the stick that punishes people who envision another world is usually not so visible. But this can change suddenly in times when those in power assemble in the framework of the summits of World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, World Economic Forum or the G8. Though the decisions made by the politicians and business leaders at these meetings affect the lives of all people in the world, the negotiations take place hidden from the public gaze behind fences and ten-thousands of riot-police, becoming, therefore, a symbol for the undemocratic and illegitimate formation of global capitalism.

At each of these summits individual and collective singularities from all over the world come together to express that they – we – are opposed to this way of making decisions and ruling the world. These mobilizations against the summits form the movements’ most visible public appearance, movements that according to most narratives, originated at the 1999 protest against the World Trade Organization in Seattle. These articulated forms of resistance and protest in the center of capitalism, were strong enough to shut down the WTO summit in Seattle. Since 1999 this global movement has been showing up at each meeting of World Bank, IMF, WTO, WEF – unless, that is, the scared politicians decided to meet in the mountains, in deserts or in dictatorships in order to avoid the public manifestations of dissent at their summits. Even though this movement is the first that is truly globalized, it is usually being called counter-globalization movement. I prefer calling it the “movement of the movements.”

At the demonstrations, counter-summits and mass blockades many individuals and collectives come together: media activists, clown army, pink block, naked block, black block, anarchists, socialists, Trotskyists, members of ATTAC, human rights activists, feminists, migrants, indigenous people, artists, etc. All these singularities have their own images, banners, different public appearance and slogans, which not only represent something, but contribute to the creation of effective blockades and to the creation of a space. This space of representation is also a space for action that in the best cases spreads to other areas such as the local neighborhoods of the activists. This new social subject, sometimes referred to as “the multitude,” builds horizontally organized networks and has a radial transformation of society in mind.

The exhibition A World Where Many Worlds Fit at the Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke is based on a section I curated for the Taipei Biennial in 2008 that presents the global movement as the brilliant example of collective intelligence it is through a variety of artistic practices. The exhibition features the work of 10 artists that focus directly on the counter-globalization movement. All artists show a strong commitment to the social movement and do not position themselves as “neutral” in relation to the movement. Many of the works focus on one of the cities whose name has become shorthand for demonstrations, counter-summits and/or blockades: Seattle, Prague, Québec City, Genoa, Buenos Aires, Gleneagles, St. Petersburg or Heiligendamm.

For further information on the participating artists and images from the pervious exhibition at the Taipei Biennial 2008 please check:

http://www.ressler.at/a_world_where_many_worlds_fit/

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on the eastern front: video art from central and eastern europe 1989-2009 (Budapest)

…on the eastern front │video art from central and eastern europe 1989–2009
January 22 – March 7, 2010

Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art
Palace of Arts
Komor Marcell u. 1, Budapest

Gordana Andjelić-Galić, Apsolutno, Azorro, Yael Bartana, Pavel Braila, Egon Bunne, Chto Delat, Kaspars Goba, Gusztáv Hámos, Ana Hušman, Kai Kaljo, Šejla Kamerić, Szabolcs KissPál, Damir Nikšić, Adrian Paci, Radek Community + Dmitry Gutov, Józef Robakowski, Anri Sala, András Sólyom, Milica Tomić, Artur Żmijewski

Curators: Rita Kálmán, Tijana Stepanović

The exhibition examines the effects of the changes taking place in the region of the former Soviet Bloc on the individual and on various groups of society from the aspect of socio-psychology. It focuses on the human dimensions of the transition beginning from the end of the eighties and on, micro-processes involved.

The period since the demolition of the Berlin Wall is characterised by democratisation throughout the region. However, the rate, timing, technique and extent of this transition vary from country to country. Consequently, the challenges of transition are addressed in a multiplicity of ways by individuals, groups and by society as a whole. The exhibition uses a psychological viewpoint to examine the relations and dynamics of the various groups of society and the individuals.

Video art proved to be a perfect tool for documentation and analysis of the radical political, social and economic changes, and it began to develop and become widespread in the region during the same period of changes. The exhibition takes advantage of this coincidence, when using this medium to introduce the processes dominating the recent past of the region.

As opposed to the conventions of film production, which required complex technical apparatus, video art appearing during the 60s represented a novel alternative. With to the mass appearance of easy-to-handle, so-called portable video cameras and VHS, from the 80s increasingly wider groups of amateurs and professionals were able to record motion pictures. After photography and film, the genre of video art also offered novel possibilities of extending – and manipulating – private and historic remembrance. The methods of forming public opinion and influencing the public have changed irreversibly, and the commencement of an information society was not simply an accompanying event of the political changes taking place in the region, but the promoter of such changes.

The exhibited works addressing society with severe criticism, document, analyse and contextualise this complex region and period. But rather than offering definite answers, they probe issues that were typically avoided or swept under the carpet in the public common discourse of the countries in the region.

What is our attitude to our historical past? What are the consequences of the changes in national identity and national stereotypes? How can individual lives be carried on amidst all these rearrangements in society? What intergroup relations and conflicts have played a defining role in the last twenty years?

The artists convey numerous individual viewpoints, which provide a personal tone to the aesthetic and critical discourse concerning the political changes and the period of transition.
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Ground Floor America (Klagenfurt, Austria)

Ground Floor America
Exhibition
January 14 to February 26, 2010
Kunstraum Lakeside
Lakeside Park, Klagenfurt, Austria

with: Vyacheslav Akhunov, Factory of Found Clothes (Gluklya & Tsaplya), Yuri Leiderman, Vlado Martek, Jinoos Taghizadeh, Škart, Yelena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev

curated by: What, How and for Whom/WHW

“Ground Floor America” is the title of a travel book by Soviet writer duo Ilf and Petrov, written in 1936. Traveling as official Soviet writers through the USA during the Depression, and describing the American culture and way of life with their characteristic humor and satirical approach, they criticize both American reality in the 1930s as well as Soviet prejudices against “decadent American capitalism.” As an exhibition, Ground Floor America takes Ilf and Petrov’s approach as a starting point for questioning the notion of “curatorial research” within the broader field of cultural translation, looking at the parallels between the burgeoning liberal economy’s capacity to erode a hitherto existing social consensus — both in the crisis era of the 1930s and at present. Today, as then, one of the consequences of the economic crisis has been the massive rightward shift of the (European) electoral body. The post-89 conservative backlash, the dismantling of the welfare state, rampant anti-terror legislation and the black world of “security” agencies are all slowly eroding what was built up over two centuries of emancipatory struggles.

Ground Floor America reflects on the research undertaken by the curatorial collective WHW in the course of the two-year preparations for the 11th International Istanbul Biennial (September to November 2009) in the regions of the Middle East, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, regions to various degrees struggling with their imposed and/or internalized “marginal” position in relation to the Western or Soviet project of modernism, in which contemporary art stands in a certain tension to the ideas of “authentic,” “autochthonous” national cultures. Against the growing professionalism geared exclusively towards the staging of the exhibition, disregarding processes of knowledge production that entail more than merely acquiring and interpreting information, as well as the intentional and unintentional effects of ideologies in the process, Ground Floor America focuses on those elements of “curatorial research” that stay hidden and outside of the international circulation of contemporary art. It is critical towards hegemonic cultural and geopolitical relations and investigates oppositional strategies, dealing with issues of discrepancy between local and international reception and questioning the very possibility of knowledge production under global conditions of contemporary cultural production.

ABOUT WHW: What, How & for Whom/WHW is a curatorial collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb, Croatia. Its members are Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović, and designer and publicist Dejan Kršić. WHW organizes a range of productions, exhibitions and publishing projects and directs Gallery Nova in Zagreb. What, how and for whom, the three basic questions of every economic organization, concern the planning, concept and realization of exhibitions as well as the production and distribution of artworks and the artist’s position in the labor market. These questions formed the title of WHW’s first project, dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto, in 2000 in Zagreb, and became the motto of WHW’s work and the title of the collective. In 2002 WHW published Brian Holmes’s first book, Hieroglyphs of the Future.

_____
|   \/| kunstraum
| _ /\| lakeside
Christian Kravagna, Hedwig Saxenhuber | Curators
Anja Werkl | Coordination
Lakeside Science & Technology Park GmbH
Lakeside B02 | 9020 Klagenfurt
T (+43-463) 22 88 22-20
M (+43-664) 83 99 305
www.lakeside-kunstraum.at

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Communisms’ Afterlives (Brussels)

COMMUNISMS’ AFTERLIVES
Saturday, 13 February 2010, 15:00 – 18:00
WIELS
Av. Van Volxemlaan 354, Brussels

http://www.wiels.org/site2/event.php?event_id=345

Yevgeniy Fiks, Song of Russia no. 17, 2005-2007. Oil on canvas, 36 x 48″

A conference curated by Elena Sorokina and Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez for The Public School. With contributions from Adrian Rifkin, Marko Stamenkovic, Oxana Timofeeva, Grant Watson.

Through a series of polemic dialogues, we would like to trace different generations of intellectuals (artists, curators, philosophers, art historians) from the former East and West of Europe that deal with “shades of red,” the afterlives of Communism and its (un)expected turning points in its most recent philosophical and artistic reception following the financial and, more generally, post-Fordist crisis.

After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, communism as idea, image or problem has been regarded as “outmoded, absurd, deplorable or criminal, depending on the case.” Today, it is often presented by the mainstream media as a parenthesis of history, an aberration of the 20th century, as “a completely forgotten word, only to be identified with a lost experience.” Although the communist hypotheses of previous eras may no longer be valid, their histories, narratives and key notions have never ceased to spark attention and inform recent discussions such as the communal versus the common, and material versus immaterial property, to name just a few. Perceived from a greater distance today, communism has re-emerged as a topic for investigation in artistic and exhibition production, that reflects it in diverse ways, addressing the relevance of the term today or inviting provocative comparisons with the present.

This seminar aims at presenting various works that recast ideas related to communism and revisit it as a complex and diverse arena of political and aesthetic attitudes, which varied between nations, communities and historical periods. By no means does the seminar intends to take a nostalgic tour through the past decades, but rather seeks to address the topic through concrete art and exhibition projects realized recently. All of them are trying to deconstruct the idea of monolith, still very present in today’s reception, and to recuperate various episodes, stories and notably, the “communist apocrypha” — texts, music, visual production — which have never been part of the established ideological canon, and whose intellectual patterns shed new light on what the contemporary uses of the notion of communism might be. Instead of treating communism as pure political abstraction, the projects presented by the seminar deal with concepts, events and/or particular personalities related to communism and its history which have survived the Bildersturm of the recent past and can be artistically reactivated.

The conference is part of The Public School Brussels, a permanent project by the curatorial collective Komplot.

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Principio Potosí. Modernidad y la llamada acumulación originaria (Madrid)

(For the announcement in Spanish go here.)

imagen de Principio Potosí. Modernidad y la llamada acumulación originaria.
Melchor María Mercado, Álbum de Paisajes, Tipos Humanos y Costumbres de Bolivia.
Lámina 22. Carnaval, 1841-1869. Archivo y Biblioteca Nacionales de Bolivia, Sucre.

Principio Potosí. Modernidad y la llamada acumulación originaria
PUBLIC SEMINAR

February 4–5, 2010
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200
Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, s/n
28012 Madrid
Tel: (+34) 91 774 10 00
Free Entry


Marx describes primitive accumulation as the destruction of solidarity and power structures in traditional society as a consequence of the dynamics of exploitation triggered by capitalism. As Immanuel Wallerstein emphasizes, this does not entail a historical fact at the origins of capitalism, but persists in global society today in the same way it occurs at the origins of modernity. This condition defines a cyclical, traumatic process of expropriation and social disarticulation, which at the same time involves the mobilization of new, vital flows and complex processes of subjectification.

Principio Potosí, an exhibition curated by Alice Creischer, Max Jorge Hinderer and Andreas Siekmann (Museo Reina Sofía; Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin and Museo Nacional de Arte and Museo de Etnografía y Folklore in La Paz), contends that modernity does not have it origins or foundation in rationalism and the Enlightenment’s promises of liberty, but in the process of expansion and exploitation initiated in the sixteenth century with the discovery of primordial wealth in colonial territory. The process instigated a mechanism of instrumentalizing the Other that in many ways is far from having ended. Even greater than Paris during the French Revolution or London during the industrial revolution, Potosí in the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries marks a paradigm of globalized modernity in its concentration of capital and machinery to produce hegemony. It constitutes a principle that has operated with continuous reterritorialization throughout history. This seminar, the first public presentation of Principio Potosí, will debate the foundations, transformations and continuity of the accumulation principle as key to understanding the relationships of domination and resistance, moving beyond arguments that have led debates on anti-globalization in the previous decade.

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January 19 Anti-Fascist Demo in Moscow: Eyewitness

Here are six eyewitness accounts of the January 19 demonstration against neo-Nazi terror in Moscow. We gratefully borrow here a few of the excellent photos taken at the event by keltea and mnog.

keltea.livejournal.com/862844.html

SOVA Center

First and most importantly, despite organizational problems and the freezing weather, this action was the most massive non-political antifascist event since 2005.

Second, the authorities achieved an acceptable compromise with the organizers (given the current practice of bans), but the actions of the police at the event provoked disorders. Those police apparently did not have orders to resort to harsh measures, however, and so the clashes did not escalate into an attempt to disperse the demonstration.

Oleg Orlov (chair, Memorial)

But at the end of Petrovsky Boulevard, at Trubnaya Square, fresh police cordons stopped the demonstrators. Here stood OMON units. Again the police called over megaphones for people to fold up their banners. Young people chanted something in reply. But there were no attempts to break through the cordon. More than that, I saw people began to fold up their banners. It was at this moment that the OMON special units drove a wedge into the crowd. They pushed people onto the ground, beat them, dragged them and detained them. And they didn’t just detain those who were holding placards or chanting something. In this way Sergei Krivenko and Alik Mnatsakanyan were detained. They tried to seize Misha Mazo, a member of Memorial who was standing next to me – possibly just for holding a portrait of one of those murdered in his hands.

In total 23 or 24 people were detained and taken to Moscow’s Tverskaya district police station. It’s possible there were other detainees (there were accounts that some had been taken to Basmanny district police station, but the accuracy of these reports is uncertain).

In my view there was no need for actions of this kind by the police. If one group of demonstrators did indeed conduct a small march without official sanction, it was exclusively along the Boulevard and in doing this they caused no interference to anyone. They were blocked in, and had no possibility to enter Trubnaya Square. No attempts were made to break out. And what’s most important, the participants began to fold up their banners and so on. Moreover, it may be that the police officers in charge viewed the actions the police were taking as a form of punishment of the demonstrators, which is absolutely against the law.

Svetlana Gannushkina (Civic Assistance; Memorial)

When they finally set foot on the boulevards, the demonstrators rushed to catch up with those who had left [the site of the first picket] ahead of them. But that was not going to happen: in the middle of the boulevard they were met by a column of gallant lads in uniform and wielding sticks, who blocked the path for each new group and “delayed” it for a time. When I found myself face to face with a policeman I asked:

“What, you’re not letting us through?”

“We’re letting people through in groups,” he explained.

The sense of his words became clear to me when I heard someone rudely shout into a megaphone:

“Let’s fold up the banners! Let’s get back on the sidewalk!”

Since the police didn’t have banners, I realized that this first-person plural command was addressed to participants of the picket. This entire absurd action, in which several hundred police officials took part, was organized so that the event wouldn’t look like a march.

[…]

What happened? Why did the police have to incite a riot? Who gave the order to break up this commemoration and turn it into bedlam?

The protesters chanted, “Fascism shall not pass!” Is this really true?  I am left with a bitter feeling in my heart.

Nikolay Oleynikov (artist, Chto Delat workgroup)

I have to record what I saw before it’s forgotten. It made a vivid impression on me because I was standing directly nearby when the incident happened. Now I’ve had a look at media accounts, and there are mistakes and inaccuracies in nearly all of them.

The incident I have in mind is the stupid provocation undertaken by two policemen. They were between thirty and forty and wearing epaulettes. I’m not sure since I didn’t get a close look, but I think they had the rank of major or something like that. That is, they weren’t rookies, but they were completely brainless. What fools they made of themselves!

The members of the [January 19 Committee] were standing under the monument to Griboyedov. One of them, whom I know personally, gave a short introduction. He said something to the effect that we were going to show a video, but at the last minute we got turned down on that request. Now the members of the committee will read aloud a brief proclamation. After this there will be a minute of silence, and then committee members will hand out candles and you can place them at the foot of the monument. Then the demonstration will be over. Thank you for coming out in such numbers.

That was all he said.

The next speaker pulled out the text of the proclamation and began reading it. This is when those two courageous provocateurs showed up and surrounded this guy who was reading the text. One of them then ripped the text from his hands. This committee member managed to say [into the megaphone], “A policeman has just ripped the text of the proclamation from my hands.” Right after this the second policeman then violently snatched the megaphone from the committee member, and both policemen grabbed him and, I think, tore the coat he was wearing. When they heard the words about the text being ripped from the speaker’s hands, people standing there really snapped. They got the speaker out of the clutches of the police and continued to advance on them. The provocateurs backed off. Then they tore down the fence at the back of the picket site and moved onto Chistoprudnyi Boulevard. This is where the crossfire began: activists threw snowballs, while the cops fired warning shots into the air.

That is what happened.

But there really were tons of decent folks at the action. It seemed like everyone there was one of our people, that we had all come together in the same place at the same time, and in minus twenty weather! It was all good.

Gazeta.Ru

At the twenty-minute mark of the march, when the first column had succeeded in descending the hill to Trubnaya Square, someone on the sidewalk threw smoke grenades at the activists. Smoke shrouded the streets and the activists. And so, their faces wrapped in scarves to shield them from the minus twenty temperatures and police video cameras, the 15- to 20-year-old antifascists made their way to Chistye Prudy. Here the organizers had planned to show a four-minute video clip featuring one of Markelov’s last speeches, but a few hours before the march the police had forbidden them to show the video. The activists held up photographs of the murdered lawyer and journalist, posters, and antifascist banners. Amongst the crowd Yabloko party leader Sergei Mitrokhin, former party leader Grigory Yavlinsky, Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov, and Solidarity executive director Denis Bilunov gave interviews to the press. Chief Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin also came to the demonstration.

An activist who had concealed half his face beneath a scarf began the demonstration. “Stanislav Markelov took on hopeless cases his whole life. In the courts he represented the relatives of murdered antifascists, the relatives of ordinary Chechens kidnapped and murdered by federal troops. He defended people who had been beaten by the police. He defended leftist activists tried for political offenses. In short, he was not merely a lawyer, but also a civil rights activist.”

“Nastya chose journalism as a field of close social contact with people, as field where one could actively intervene in the life of the society, and that is why she entered Moscow State University. During the last year and a half of her life you could find her at [protests] at illegal construction sites and evictions, at ‘wild,’ unsanctioned demonstrations, at all the local trouble spots in Moscow. There is also nothing surprising about the fact that she took up the topic of Nazi violence.”

The antifascist’s speech could be heard only in the front rows of the crowd — the authorities had also forbidden the organizers to use an amplifier and speakers.

The member of the oppositional January 19 Committee, which organized the action, continued to list the merits of the lawyer and journalist who perished a year ago, when suddenly an arm appeared from out of the crowd and ripped the text of his speech from his hands. The activist managed to get out, “Police officers have just confiscated…,” before someone grabbed his megaphone.

The demonstrators began chanting, “Shame! Shame!” In response the police began pushing them back from the boulevard, and men in grey coats [i.e., the police] began grabbing for the speaker. That is when the demonstrators joined arms to form compact ranks and advanced on the police.

Thus began a massive fight with the police in downtown Moscow.

First the antifa and their supporters fought off the police from dragging the activist who had been leading the demonstration only a few minutes before into a police van. After throwing the metal barriers and pushing police back, the column of antifascists set off down Chistoprudnyi Boulevard. Several hundred antifascists marched ahead, their comrades pushing them forward from behind, and the police had no choice but to give way. After the column had advanced several dozen meters, the police officers got their bearings, and helmeted and baton-wielding OMON troops charged in to rescue their confused colleagues. Special weapons were brought into play: the antifascists who had become cut off from the main column choked on pepper spray that was sprayed on them either by police officers or by unknown provocateurs. (According to Lev Ponomarev, head of the movement For Human Rights, four people were detained with pepper spray canisters.)

The police began detaining the antifascists. They were pushed to the ground, dragged face down through the snow, and tossed over the barriers. Twenty-four people were detained on Chistoprudnyi Boulevard. The antifascists managed to free several comrades on their own. Another portion of the detainees were freed in exchange for a promise made the civil rights activists. Lev Ponomarev gave his word to General Vyacheslav Kozlov, deputy head of the Moscow police force, that the antifa would disperse if their comrades were released. The promise was fulfilled, and the general also kept his word: the detainees were released from the police vans and buses. The remaining detainees (thirty to forty people, according to various sources) were released later in the evening.

Ilya B. (Vpered Socialist Movement)

What happened on January 19 in Moscow is really quite important, and not only because this was probably the largest mass street action in recent years. And not only because a new culture of street politics, a culture of resistance, was born before our very eyes and with our participation. On January 19, Russian Nazis suffered a real defeat. Of course, this was not a final or decisive defeat, but it was the first serious, palpable defeat for them. This was primarily a moral defeat. Their claims to street hegemony were countered in a genuine way for the first time. Their Sieg-Heiling marches, terror, and provocations were opposed by a mass force, a force that declared its existence at the top of its lungs on January 19. And it was and is only for the sake for this supremely important political goal that it is worth making any tactical compromises and forming the broadest coalitions. Despite the absence of political symbols and slogans [as agreed on by the organizers], the spirit of the demonstration was unambiguously leftist, anti-capitalist, and anti-systemic. I think this was obvious to all who participated in the demonstration.

One other important intermediate result was the obvious tactical defeat suffered by the police, yet another testimony to the growing crisis of the entire modern Russian law enforcement system. The police’s stupid provocations, uncoordinated actions, and the ineffectiveness and absurdity of their constant attempts to interfere with the demonstration revealed their dumb anger and fear (which in this particular situation was almost groundless), but not their will to break up the demonstration in an organized way.

In Germany, for example, the police are a thousand times more effective against demonstrators. Their main idea is to divide protesters — to isolate those more inclined to violence, while showing courtesy and respect to everyone else’s right to protest as circumscribed by the law. In Russia (and January 19 was a vivid illustration of this), the police act in a directly opposite manner: they anger, radicalize, and incite to resistance those who come to protests in a peaceable frame of mind. All this is not a matter of one-off miscalculations or a lack of professionalism [on the part of the police], but evidence of the ever-deepening demotivation of the system. But it is another (large and complicated) question, what positive aspects there are to this process and what dangers it holds in store for us.

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