“Those who refuse to live like this are not marginals; they are the majority”

June 10, 2017

Mikhail Khodorkovsky comments on the June 12 anti-corruption demonstrations

Dear friends,

On Monday June 12, our colleagues from the Navalny team are organising mass anti-corruption demonstrations in cities across Russia.  Open Russia will be supporting its allies in this.

We are going to be broadcasting live, and we’re going to exhibit for everyone to see the people that are making billions at society’s expense.  The people who award each other medals for corruption, who discredit state honours and who wish to become the untouchable, unchangeable masters of their country.

The Open Russia movement council, after lengthy discussion, has decided to call its demonstration “the Irremovable Regiment”.  This current Kremlin elite is unjustly trying to redirect to itself our pride for that great victory in 1945.  It’s not working.  The movement’s position is as follows: we cherish the “Immortal Regiment”, and we are ashamed of the “Irremovable Regiment”.

I personally believe that it is important in the year running up to the election that the opposition holds mass public demonstrations.  During this time people are prepared to listen to political arguments; they are ready to hear alternatives to the country’s future development.  It is clear that no number of demonstrations will force the government to put an end to corruption, as it is the very backbone of this regime.

These people came to power for the riches, and they’re not willing to risk this ill-gotten wealth on an election.  The epidemic spread of corruption gives Putin the ability to demand the unlawful persecution of his opponents, falsification in elections and the adoption of unjust laws.  Propaganda has convinced society to put up with such a state of affairs for the sake of a mythological “stability”.

What stability?

Stability in the current class structure, where the children of the “masters of life” receive as their inheritance not only property, but also positions of authority?  Stability in living standards, which have dropped for the fourth year running?  Stability in the payment of “reparations” to Ramzan Kadyrov’s feudal band of crooks?  Stability in lawlessness and the absence of a fair trial?

Those who come out into the streets on Monday will show the rest that those who do not agree with this state of affairs are not alone.  What they think and say at home in the kitchen; the same is thought and said by almost every other family.  Those who refuse to live like this are not marginals; they are the majority.  It’s time to stand up and realise that fact.