Alexei Navalny: Final Battle between Good and Neutrality
They stole my vote [the word in Russian also means voice] Photo from Radio Svoboda
Russian blogger and anti-corruption campaigner, Alexei Navalny, imprisoned for 15 days after the elections on 4 December made the following address from his blog to the tens of thousands of demonstrators defending their right to fair elections throughout Russia
To the demonstrators on 10 December
It’s easy and feels good to fight for your rights - and not at all frightening. Don’t believe the nonsense about inevitable riots, fights and burning cars.
The single, yet most powerful weapon, which each of us needs, is a sense of personal dignity.
We simply have to understand that this sense cannot be put on or taken off like a velvet jacket. You don’t turn it on like a switch in the kitchen with friends and turn it off shamefacedly when talking with officialdom, the police or a member of an electoral commission.
There are people with a sense of personal dignity. There are many of them. Dozens of them are lying right now on ripped mattresses just next to me. And I know that thousands of them are standing on Revolution Square, on Bolotna Square. In Moscow and other cities in Russia.
There’s no repression and batons. There are no arrests and jailing for 15 days. All that’s nonsense. You can’t beat up and arrest hundreds of thousands and millions. They didn’t even frighten us, they simply convinced us for a time that the life of toads and rats, the life of mute sheep is the only way of being rewarded with stability and economic growth.
The fog is clearing and we can see that sheep-like silence was a gift only to the gang of thieves and crooks who became billionaires. That gang and their media servants are continuing to try to convince us that election fraud in favour of their party of crooks and thieves is the necessary condition for having hot water in our taps and cheap mortgages. We were fed that for 12 years. We’ve had a gutsful. The time’s come to throw off our stupor.
We are not cattle and not slaves. We have a voice and we have the power to stand up for it.
All those who have a sense of personal dignity should feel solidarity. It doesn’t matter where they are at this moment: on the squares, in kitchens or in special holding units. We feel our solidarity with you and we know that we will win. It simply cannot be otherwise.
We say to you: One for all and all for one!
Alexei Navalny was sentenced to 15 days administrative arrest over peaceful protest immediately following the elections. On Wednesday 7 December Judge A. Kriivoruchko [Криворучко А.А] of the Tverskoi District Court in Moscow upheld this sentence. Krivoruchko has already achieved notoriety through his twice extended the detention of Sergei Magnitsky, the anti-corruption lawyer killed in a Russian detention centre.