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Russia

Pirates Against Poverty: Russians Find Their Own Way To Protest Inequality

Though the global momentum of the “Occupy” and “Indignados” movement has not hit Russia, a group of self-styled anarchists in St. Petersburg are trying to undermine the establishment in other ways.

Onlookers cheer the protesting
Onlookers cheer the protesting
Vladislav Litovchenko
ST. PETERBURG – The "Occupy Wall Street" movement of mass rallies that has spread around the world has mostly missed Russia. Still, a group of Russian Indignados are finding their own way to protest against injustice and inequalities.

Unknown perpetrators raised a pirate flag on an administrative building in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. This followed a similar symbolic assault on Sunday, when a Jolly Roger was raised on a mast of the Aurora, a historic cruiser long associated with the Russian Revolution that has been converted into a museum, and is moored on St. Petersburg's Neva River.

Responsibility for the Aurora pirate flag was claimed by two activist groups, "The People's Share," and "Food, Not Bombs." Organizers dubbed the "boat invasion" "Remember October, or Aurora Sunday," and was meant as a protest against poverty. The name makes reference to the fact that October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The group of eight arrived at the Aurora on Sunday evening, and split into two groups. The first group, who were headed for the first mast, was stopped by museum employees. But the second group of three people managed to scale the second mast of the boat and hang the Jolly Roger flag, as well as a cloth emblazoned with slogans. In spite of rain and a cold wind, the "occupiers' stayed up on the mast for five hours, talking to the crowd down below and outlining demands. When they finally came down, shivering from the frigid conditions, they were immediately taken to the police station.

No group, political or otherwise, has yet claimed responsibility for the pirate's flag on the administrative building. The flag, adorned with a skull and crossbones, fluttered above the office building for around three hours before being taken down by authorities.

Those behind the "takeover" of the Aurora presented themselves immediately, after the prank had been organized on the organization's website. "The People's Share" outfit identifies itself as anarchist. They did not consider the "pirate attack" a simple prank, but rather a practical beginning of "political post-modernism."

So far, eight participants in the demonstration on the cruiser have been sentenced to administrative arrest or have been fined.

Read the original article in Russian

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Economy

Abenomics Revisited: Why Japan Hasn't Attacked The Wealth Divide

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promised to tackle wealth inequality and help struggling workers. But a year after he came to power, financial traders are once again the winners.

Japanese workers will still have to wait for the distribution of wealth promised by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Yann Rousseau

-Analysis-

TOKYO — Panic on the Nikkei, the Japanese stock market. Almost a year ago, at the end of September 2021, traders went into a panic in Tokyo. On Sept. 29, Fumio Kishida had just won the general election for the country's main conservative party, the Liberal Democratic Party. He was about to be named Prime Minister, succeeding Yoshide Suga, who'd grown too unpopular in the polls.

Kishida had won through a rather original reform program, which was in stark contrast with years of conservative pro-market politics. In his speeches, he had promised to generate a “new capitalism”. A phrase that makes investors shudder.

While he did not completely renounce his predecessors’ strategy called “Abenomics” — named after free-market stalwart Shinzo Abe, who was killed last July — Kishida declared that the government needed to tackle the issue of the redistribution of wealth in the island nation.

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