While some Russian activists were denied official permission to hold a rally on Saturday, others went ahead, not needing permission at all... Because they are just toys.
Activists in the northern Russian town of Apatity, failing to gain permission for a rally against the parliamentary vote results, decided on a flashmob instead. “Toys from Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs will represent demonstrators,” read the activist group's page on social networking site Vkontakte. The mixed and matched group of toys “will exactly depict our society,” the activists claimed. And as toys are not banned from gathering, they said, they will not be dispersed.
Organizers called on people to provide the Kinder toys, which have long been popular with Russian kids, with slogans fit for a protest. “We advise sticking the slogans on toothpicks,” the group's web page reads.
The event, judging by the photos and Internet links, proved to be a success. “I’m for honesty,” a robot proclaims with his poster, while an elf's placard reads, “We are for fair elections.”
While the ‘nano-rally’ – as organizers labeled it – could not boast marching crowds, the one thing it certainly got was public attention.