Tag Archives: unsanctioned rallies

Kazakhstan on Alert for Toy Protests

24 Feb

Image taken from Ivan Krupchik's blog http://ivan-krupchik.livejournal.com/11965.html

Reports are coming in from Kazakhstan on a crackdown on the sale of children’s toys ahead of the protests planned by opposition groups for Saturday, 25 February. Kazaxia tried to go to the Childrens’ World (Detsky Mir) store in downtown Almaty but found the doors firmly closed on a recent Thursday evening.

The authorities are worried that the toys might fall into the wrong hands after toy demos in Barnaul, Russia and Minsk, Belarus. Observers say that unsanctioned copycat demos, involving toys holding placards showing anti-government slogans, could break out in Kazakhstan unless steps are taken to restrict the sale of toys.

It is likely that Astana will follow Russia’s lead and ban toy rallies as toys are not considered to be citizens of Kazakhstan

“As you understand, toys, especially imported toys, are not only not citizens of Russia but they are not even people,” Andrei Lyapunov, a spokesman for Barnaul, told local media.

When Kazaxia called Detsky Mir to ask for comment on whether they had been told to ban toy sales to those over the age of 13, no-one answered the phone.

With Kazakhstan’s jails already overfilled with opposition figures, imprisoned for upholding their constitutional right to free assembly (via unsanctioned rallies), Astana will be keen not to see over-aged toy purchasers joining them.

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Where’s Kazakhstan’s Pussy Riot?

7 Feb

With unsanctioned  gatherings set to become a feature of the political landscape in Kazakhstan, maybe it’s time for the beleaguered opposition to look to expand its horizons by tapping into some of the  methods being used in Russia.

Pussy Riot perform in their trademark day-glo balaclavas (http://pussy-riot.livejournal.com)

Kazaxia was particularly taken with Pussy Riot, the female Russian punk collective, which has played a series of impromptu gigs on Red Square and atop a detention centre and a trolley bus to demonstrate against the men of short stature tandem running the Kremlin.

How about a dombra-wielding collective comprised of feminists from Kazakhstan to shake up the grey suited men of both the authorities and the opposition?

In common with Kazkahstan, Russia also has strict controls on people exercising their constitutional right to free assembly – some witty types in Barnaul came up with a toy protest with toy figures holding mini placards. This has got the authorities wondering whether such a gathering can be classified as ‘unsanctioned’.