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A Monstration In St. Petersburg
May 2, 2014 1:38 PM   Subscribe

In Russia today, it's illegal to engage in "homosexual propaganda", and "anti-Russian propaganda" can attract ugly attention. So on May 1, there was a "Monstration" in St Petersburg. Absurd signs and costumes had no prosecutable meaning, but the message was unmistakable. In Novosibirsk, a little further from the Kremlin, the message was more direct.

A few highlights from St Petersburg:

"Hell is ours" (a play on the Putinesque phrase "Crimea is ours")

"Down with Angry Birds and tanks"

"Down with insecticide!"

"Life" "Friendship - Love - BDSM"

From Novosibirsk:

"Jesus would walk with us."

"Love is stronger than war"

"No to the propaganda of hate"

"The queen of the gas station"
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard (32 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
Looks like the main links are swapped.

Here's my fave: He's CAT Jim!
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:45 PM on May 2 [14 favorites]


Looks like the main links are swapped.

Oh that explains it. I was curious how giant rainbow flags weren't "homosexual propaganda." Either way, good on both groups.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:48 PM on May 2


"Nothing is more delightful than to confuse and upset people. People one doesn't like."

Tristan Tzara, Dada Manifesto, 1918
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:52 PM on May 2 [41 favorites]


Wow. How incredibly clever. I am blown away.
posted by Frowner at 1:53 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


Absurd signs and costumes had no prosecutable meaning

Don't think that will stop the Russian authorities. This is very brave.
posted by shothotbot at 1:58 PM on May 2 [11 favorites]


Oops. Yes. All that checking, and I didn't notice that I'd swapped the links. ::facepalm::
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 2:00 PM on May 2


I am seriously enjoying these signs and also holy shit these people are brave.
posted by griphus at 2:00 PM on May 2 [11 favorites]


This would have been the perfect venue for Deadpool's protest signs. (God Hates Wolverine, Galactus is Nigh, Hail Hydra...)
posted by Foosnark at 2:02 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


Or, of course: Down With This Sort Of Thing / Careful Now
posted by Foosnark at 2:04 PM on May 2 [8 favorites]


Also if someone who reads Russian better than I do (which I have come to suspect is basically every Russian-literate person on MeFi) can explain this one to me, I'd really appreciate it (it says "Smile, Everything Is Good," but there's a letter missing from "smile and "Good" is misspelled on purpose and I can't tell what that signifies other than the "smile" word sounds a bit like the word for "go fuck yourself.")
posted by griphus at 2:05 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


I don't know what the Russian word for cojones is, but these people have them.
posted by Aizkolari at 2:06 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


...the "smile" word sounds a bit like the word for "go fuck yourself."

Russian is awesome.
posted by Aizkolari at 2:07 PM on May 2 [10 favorites]


[Swapped St Petersburg and Novosibirsk.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:07 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


Absurd signs and costumes had no prosecutable meaning, but the message was unmistakable.

In Putin's retro-Soviet Russia, that doesn't matter a smidge. For fuck's sake, the dude was handing out Hero of Labour medals yesterday, and next friday he's bringing back the old May 9th tank parades.
posted by kafziel at 2:13 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]


How incredibly, insanely brave.
posted by rtha at 2:16 PM on May 2


griphus: I think you've got the right idea. The misspelling of "good" is one letter off from "shitty."
posted by AnimalKing at 2:16 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]


I can't read Russian, but it doesn't matter- these people are marvelous and heroic.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 2:29 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Given that in Russia, they're beating up people who wear kilts to St. Patrick's Day parades, because that's foreign and looks suspiciously untraditional, going out in the street with actual rainbow flags sounds somewhere between epically ballsy and actively suicidal.
posted by acb at 2:36 PM on May 2 [9 favorites]


I wonder if Putin found the protest to be UNACCEPTABLE!!
posted by evidenceofabsence at 2:54 PM on May 2 [9 favorites]


Very brave, Putin will probably devise a way to crack down on absurdist demonstrations but these people have my deepest admiration.
posted by arcticseal at 3:02 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


"Down with Angry Birds and tanks"
They're dressed as Tetris pieces.

What a wonderfully absurd nod to Russian culture.
posted by schmod at 3:24 PM on May 2 [17 favorites]


These are people after my own heart.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:37 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


"If your opponent is quick to anger, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu
posted by ostranenie at 4:26 PM on May 2 [8 favorites]


LOOK OUT ESCAPE FROM THE POTATO PLANET! THEY'RE AFTER YOUR HEART!!!!

On the beating them up at the St. Pattys Day: Putin, you talk of "Fascists"? Yeah, Svoboda kinda sucks, but you, you fucking asshole? You pig, you cretin, you piece of fucking shit? The people around you, who support you? You're the real fascist pig, and I hope some sanity returns to Russia soon, because they don't deserve to have to put up with you for all the years they've had to suffer as it is. Rot in hell you fuck.

But I have to say, my first reaction was: Wait, the anti-gay thugs are just screamocore dancers?
posted by symbioid at 4:27 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


These are great. I like the one with a couple of people holding up pictures of a shark and a makeup-wearing mantis. In the distant background of that one, you can just barely make out someone holding up a figure of Perry from Phineas and Ferb. The Lemongrab one's good too. I don't know what the pun on those are, somehow I don't think it'd match up with the glorious randomness.
posted by JHarris at 5:07 PM on May 2


and next friday he's bringing back the old May 9th tank parades.

For reals? Always looked forward to those when I was a boy.
posted by notyou at 6:45 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


This is awesome.
posted by mkim at 7:06 PM on May 2


I don't know what the Russian word for cojones is, but these people have them.

For reals, Russians are the toughest motherfuckers on the planet. If the rednecks in charge realized they could be working together instead of oppressing everyone under their power, the rest of us would be scrambling to learn Russian so we might be lucky enough to get jobs polishing their shoes.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:10 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]


Fabulous photos. The people in them look so alive.
posted by telstar at 11:38 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Oppression seems to, at just the right time, bring out the best, the bravest, the most original and inventive in humans all over the world. Sometimes it is crushed and other times and places this spirit overcomes.
posted by Hobgoblin at 5:44 AM on May 3


From the St. Petersburg links, I'm getting nothing but this: Загрузка...
posted by tommyD at 5:54 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


You guys have the locations backwards. The dadaesque one with the absurdist humor is in Novosibirsk (website says so).

The outright rainbow march is in St Petersburg (the website doesn't say anything about it's location, but that's no Novosibirsk in the background).

Also, the rainbow march, and everything in the signs they're carrying, is just a straight-up anti-homophobia rally, not disguised at all like the monstration (there are some anti-militarism slogans too). These are some extremely brave people.
posted by girl Mark at 9:22 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


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