Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Transmission

Russian Police Give 'Snow Battle' Frosty Reception

Authorities in St. Petersburg thwarted plans over the weekend for a massive snowball fight at one of the city's major parks.

Police stepped in to halt the mock "battle" at the Champ de Mars minutes after the snowballs began to fly on January 6 and detained several people, according to numerous reports.

Some scenes from those first frolicking minutes -- which included mostly young people and a great many children -- were posted on Livejournal.

Some of the hundreds of disappointed participants can be seen in a YouTube video getting lectured by police on their civil and family duty not to participate:



Authorities warned the would-be warriors as they gathered that by organizing or taking part they were violating federal laws concerning illegal mass gatherings.

"If you don't want your parents to pay huge fines, then don't do it," the police officer tells them at one point.

The "Argumenti i fakty" website quoted rights activists as saying at least one person was detained for allegedly damaging the grass.

New Year's "snow battles" have been held before without attracting official attention. And organizers and participants on the VKontakte social network insisted that the mock battle was merely a flash mob that was in no way intended to be political.

But officials' intervention to block a snowball fight evoked public ridicule, ensuring it would become politically charged.

"For Fair Elections" (@WakeUpR) noted on Twitter that the "forces of law and order" had stepped in to break up a "game:"


Gennady Gudkov (@gudkov_g), a former Duma deputy and Kremlin critic expelled in September over allegations of improper business dealings (allegations that prosecutors said were baseless), extended sarcastic "congratulations" to Interior Ministry forces on their "successful combat operation":


-- Andy Heil
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by: john from: canada
January 16, 2013 02:55
Meanwhile, Seattle snowball fight sets record for numbers - almost 6,000 players! Video of the epic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd4R3RuDVBA

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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