Lev Ponomarev: Let’s Put the Nationalists in Their Place

posted 14 Dec 2011, 09:01 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 14 Dec 2011, 10:11 ]
The rally on 10 December showed that the nationalists are not influential and cannot force their agenda on others. They dissolved in the huge rally, their numbers were insignificant. 


"No radical political groups – either ultra-right-wing or ultra-left-wing – should force their programme on to the majority of those who will join the rally on 24 December. It is quite clear that now the nationalists are brazenly trying to use the current situation to their own ends. But we shall not succumb to this provocation.

I believe that, given the announced intentions of the two groups – the democrats and the nationalists - to hold rallies on 24th, both should be permitted to do so. There should be two separate locations for the rallies: one for us, the other for them. This can be decided by any means, even a drawing of lots.

In some sense I am glad that the nationalists are actively trying to stir up trouble. It opens up an important issue. The nationalists exist, and in one way or another we have to live with them. But for some time now some people have sought to frighten us with the idea that if we hold democratic elections, in conditions of civic freedom, then the nationalists will force their agenda on the country. Moreover, they will win the elections, we were told.

And this is what the Kremlin wanted to make us believe. This is what the Kremlin was telling the West: managed democracy is needed because real democracy will bring the Russian nationalists to power, or even Russian fascists. Leonid Radzikhovsky, my friend, also frightened us with this idea – though, I hope, not on the Kremlin’s orders, but from personal misapprehension.

The rally on 10 December showed that the nationalists are not influential and cannot force their agenda on others. They dissolved in the huge rally, their numbers were insignificant.

The fact that they are now trying to organize rallies in competition with us on 24th has finally exposed them for what they are. In practice the nationalists have begun a war for influence, and therefore it is necessary to put them in their place once and for all."

Source: Grani.ru, 14 December 2011
 
Lev Ponomarev lives in Moscow and is director of the Movement For Human Rights.
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