I have written many times about the current rounds of draconian legislation here in uStates, in an attempt to quell dissent and protest. As if the legislation isn’t bad enough, of course, there’s the constant narrative of lies coming out of the U.S. Regime, about protesters being paid and other such bullshit. It looks like Russia is going with the very same playbook, which is hardly surprising. What is surprising? The poisonous irony in the rather belated statement by the Tiny Tyrant’s regime about the treatment of Russian protesters:
Late Sunday evening, American time, President Donald Trump’s administration addressed the crackdown in a written statement bathed in irony. “The United States strongly condemns the detention of peaceful protesters throughout Russia on Sunday,” the statement from acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner — which was not issued until 12 hours after the first reports of mass arrests in Moscow — read.
“The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution,” Toner added.
Gee, isn’t that nice? Odd how none of that applies to American citizens, or American government, for that matter. The sheer weight of hypocritical irony in that should have been enough to flatten the white house and drive it a mile deep into the earth.
Toner’s words also contrast with Trump’s own pattern of rhetoric and behavior toward dissenters in his own country.
The weekend protests across Russia are not a particularly close analog to the anti-Trump demonstrations that American activists have staged since his election victory. Alexei Navalny, the prime mover behind the anti-Putin protests, is himself a nationalist hardliner whose political platform includes ethnocentric promises akin to Trump’s own stances on immigration, economics, and law enforcement.
But it is nonetheless odd to see criticism of Putin’s crackdown from the government of a man who has called for a criminal investigation into the Movement for Black Lives and encouraged his supporters to beat up protesters.
At rallies throughout his 2016 campaign, Trump relished opportunities to bash protesters — typically pausing his stump speech to peer into the crowd and ask his supporters to remove hecklers by force.
Today, Trump’s administration is also pursuing serious felony charges against hundreds of people who were rounded up in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day after a smaller group of black-clad Antifa protesters smashed a few shop windows and, in a handful of cases, scrapped with police.
Many of those facing felony charges were simply nearby when police “kettled” everyone who happened to be within a few blocks of the stores targeted by the radical fringe. Several journalists were arrested and charged with felonies that were eventually dropped by prosecutors.
Many of Trump’s allies share his disdain for dissidents. Milwaukee County Sheriff Dave Clark has said that protests “must be quelled” because “there is no legitimate reason to protest the will of the people.”
State-level Republican lawmakers in several states have introduced legislation curtailing the right to protest, usually by raising the criminal penalties marchers may face and broadening the scope of rioting statutes.
Trump’s team insists that such street-level dissent is not sincere but rather a synthetic display manufactured by wealthy liberal donors. The Kremlin is now saying the same about the Navalny-led protesters, many of whom were reportedly in their teens.
Sunday’s anti-Putin rallies were only as large as they were, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, because marchers were “promised financial rewards in the event of their detention by law enforcement agencies.”
Aww, isn’t that sweet, it’s the same story. Think Progress has the full story.