Thursday, December 22, 2005

Words and Deeds - II

Masha Gessen, on her participation in last Sunday's anti-fascist march in Moscow:
The threat of fascism is an issue engineered by the Kremlin with a transparent dual goal: to siphon liberals' efforts away from protests against President Vladimir Putin, and to provide justification for cracking down on opposition activity -- in the name of fighting fascism. At the same time, the ultranationalist movements launched with the Kremlin's inspiration and support are clearly taking on a life of their own, and should therefore be fought. We step into this trap with our eyes wide open.

So there we have it. Several thousand people spent their Sunday gathering in a parallel physical space to use parallel language to fight a battle that is parallel to the one they really wanted to take on. And the worst part is, they came because they felt they had no choice. That is certainly why I was there -- and why I did not want to be there.

There are times in your life when you feel trapped -- when you truly are trapped, in fact. You have your bearings, you can tell right from wrong, but you still cannot find a way out. That is how the anti-fascist march made me feel. It is how I feel more and more often these days. And it's cold comfort to think that I am far from the only person in this country who feels this way.
See also: Words and Deeds
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