Protests are rising in Russia against Putin's rule and gross fraud in elections perpetrated by his party minions. The Communists - KPRF- are playing an important role and they have articulated their own vision for Russia's future beyond these protests against electoral malpractice and in differentiation from the liberals who are also part of the protests. Pragoti reproduces the translation of an article from the official site of the KPRF, written by V.I.Kashin, vice chairman of the KPRF and published by 'Pravda'. The translation has been obtained, courtesy this site.
On the 4th of December in Russia the so-called parliamentary elections took place. Not being particularly shy, the powers that be accompanied this farce with massive falsifications, the use of administrative resources, bribery, coercion, intimidation, and fraud. The “party of power” that everyone has grown tired of simply rewrote the results of the voting, in violation of the constitution of the Russian Federation, and by means of this deception seized a majority in parliament. They have therefore openly spit on the desires of millions of citizens, no matter what they were. The inmates of the Kremlin and their bureaucrats demonstrated that they were not troubled by the opinion of the Russian people.
That which is taking place – it is not news in the political life of our country. In the 20-year history of modern Russia there haven’t been any honest elections. Even the current constitution that was accepted in 1993 under the muzzles of tanks was accepted with gross violations of the then-current laws.
And this time the “privatizers” in power expected that they would once again get away with a circus under the name of “elections.” These hopes had basis, so far as the overall movement of resistance of the Russian people remained at an insufficient level. But these gentlemen miscalculated. Thanks to the relentless political activity of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and due to exposure to the reality of the country’s social and economic state, slowly but surely the social and political activity of simple citizens is growing. Many of the new generation of Russians already don’t want to feel like cattle. People have gradually gotten self respect. The shameless aggressiveness of the “party of power” summoned disgust and indignation. There are more and more of such people. Many of them already joined the ranks of the Communists, and an even larger number became our supporters. The people’s anger more and more frequently is turning into an organized protest under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist party, the all-Russian headquarters of protest actions, and of our allies. We see our task is to work for the further development of protest, to give it organization, mass, and a class character.
Immediately after the initial conclusion of the “elections” the Communist Party released a statement about the illegitimacy of the results and of the presence in parliament of a number of deputies from “United Russia.” On the 5th and 6th of December there were protests and demonstrations across the entire country. On the 18th of December there was an all-Russian protest against the falsification of the people’s will. The Communist Party firmly intends to carry to the conclusion the defence of every vote submitted in its support, not only in street demonstrations, but in the courts including even international ones.
The authorities reacted to the protests in the usual way: they tried to speak with people in the language of brute force, to intimidate them. Behind the strong actions of the authorities lay fear, and a lack of confidence in the strength of their position. The authorities hoped that the cattle would make some noise and then once again return to their stalls.
No matter how much the swindlers and thieves of today’s Russia huffed and puffed, more and more people saw clearly that the country is run by a bunch of bad guys who had stolen and looted. And that their power is not in police batons or armour. The regime has rotted from the top down and even the gendarmes of today’s Russia aren’t always loyal to it. No, it is not thanks to the presence of batons that the authorities stay in power. Their force is our insufficient organization. The fear of simple workers, their disorganization, their accustomed passivity – those are the real bulwark of the current regime.
At the same time one should not doubt that the oligarch and the government really find their own people to be disgusting and, should it be necessary, will not hesitate to use military force. Many of those who were in Moscow in October of 1993 will remember the bloody grin of Russian “democracy.” Together along with soldiers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs members of the pro-Kremlin youth movement “Nashi” were brought in and were designed to demonstrate “popular rejoicing” and to put pressure on those protesting. The latter-day Russian red-guards** tried to broadcast the idea that all of the protesters are the soldiers of a future “orange revolution,” its liberal leaders, and their foreign masters.
And some of the liberal “leaders” like Nemtsov, Kasparov, and also stray leaders of the “left” movement such as Ponomarov and Udaltsov really are playing into the authorities’ hands, having organized meetings of “protest”.
It is necessary to mention, and the people remember this, that the gentlemen liberals involved in the protests on the streets of Moscow, were themselves the architects of Russia’s current political system. It was they that supported Yeltsin’s bombardment of the legally elected parliament in 1993. It was they that for many years actively carried out and supported all kinds of fraud for Yeltsin and his follows, the result of which became today’s “sovereign democracy.” It was they that did not refrain from the most authoritarian methods of fighting dissent. They are the flesh and blood of the current system. The only difference is that they were pushed to the side and now they wish to return. They wish to use popular dissent in order to change the governing elite. A kind of distinctively modern provocation with a shade of coloured revolution. And if they are able to do this, they will have used the authoritarian methods of governance of those, whom today they castigate. On this basis, it should be clear to everyone that the liberals are not on the same path as the people! The only consistent fighters for the expansion of people-power are the communists. With the liberals it is necessary not to cooperate, but to fight for influence over the masses.
Russian liberals love to node their approval at the experience of western democracies, where because of the influence of ostensibly “developed institutions of civil society” elections are not manipulated and are objective reflections of the people’s will. Legends about “honest elections” are cultivated by a wide variety of political forces, embedded in the currently existing “vertical of power.” However, they’re all lying. The relative honesty and objectivity of the electoral system in Europe are not thanks to the fact that the capitalists and their officials are particularly cultured and civilized. No, the level of bourgeoisie democracy that has been achieved is the result of a difficult, bloody, and centuries-long fight of the working class. Barely a hundred years ago had the “enlightened” Europen and US electoral systems discriminated on the basis of property, gender, and race.
It is not the philanthropy of the capitalists but the revolutions and class battles of the 20th century, and the example of the USSR that smashed these barriers one after the other. Moreover, this battle has continued uninterrupted until today. The democratic character of an election and compliance with pre-election laws – this is only a question of the relationship between class forces in a society. Truly honest elections occur only in places where workers are organized as a class force and are capable of standing up for their fairness. In Russia this is still not the case.
The Communists see a real path for the development of struggle in the combination of all democratic demands with class ones. The current regime falsified the elections in order to hold on to power and continue its destructive social-economic policies. The victory of the “party of power” is not the goal itself but a means for achieving the true goal: continue the robbery of our country and the exploitation of its people. And therefore it is time to get even with the current regime! We the people charge the regime as being guilty of: the privatization of subsoil, the destruction of industry, the starvation of seniors, the homelessness of children, an orgy of ignorance, the degradation of education, beggarly wages and pensions, the limitation of the rights to housing and work, total alienation, fear, despair, and hopelessness. All of these accusations should be united in one mighty river of popular anger! Not only the results of the elections, but the social-economic system should become the target of protests and struggle.
The Communists were and remain with their people. We are obliged to act so that those protesting do not simply should on a square and then return home disappointed. We should do everything so that every participant in a protest realizes the necessity of class struggle, struggle for their rights in all aspects of their lives, and not only the right to an honest counting of votes. In this vein the idea of communist teaching about the state remains key: a reshuffling of political parties, a reshuffling of a few people won’t change anything. It is necessary to change the entire system, having replaced it with a genuine democracy, where the people are the only true source of power.
In these responsible days we call on our citizens to rally around the Communist Party, and on the 18th-20th of December to go out on the streets of Russia’s cities in order to protest against the usurpation of power, to speak decisively in defence of their constitutional rights for a dignified life, in defence of the future of their children and grandchildren, the future of a prosperous Russia. We go to protest with the demands: “the falsifiers of the elections – to prison!” “Power – to the people!” “To Russia – a government of popular trust!” “We won’t allow Russia to be transformed into a continuous Kushchiovka!” “No to police rule!” “Everything for the election of a communist as president!”