27 October 2008

Locals Only! Ostensible Eco-Activists Embrace Xenophobia and Try to Incite Sex Panic

Left: “Illegal Driver – Criminal at Large!”

Right: “Illegal Driver – Criminal at Large! For your safety and the safety of those around you, refuse the services of illegal taxi drivers, who cannot guarantee quality services. You cannot save time or money by risking your own life. Illegals behind the wheel are a danger to everyone on the road. If you support us, on 26 October, the Day of the Driver, honk your horn for five seconds at 13.00. Put the boycott on!!!”
Stirring together a pungent stew of xenophobic, protectionist and environmentalist rhetoric, the ostensible ecological group "Locals" (Местные) are trying to "cleanse" Moscow's streets of illegal cab drivers to protect Slavic girls from dirty outsiders.

Well done, boys.

**********

p.s. Did I say something about a hiatus? Oops.

6 comments:

kg said...

"Это следует и из новых листовок "Местных", на которых изображено, как дорожный каток давит машину с надписью "Таксы"."
When I first read that, I couldn't figure out what the hell they have against dachshunds.
For what it's worth, I really don't think this particular xenophobic campaign will or even could be successful. Muscovites are usually running way too late to check their drivers' documents...

Buster said...

Yeah, I guess I was less worried about it being an effective campaign directly than I was concerned about the way rhetorics of pollution, immigration and sexual danger were being laid on top of each other. In general, this has been a dangerous combination in modern history.

And boys are stupid. I always try to make a point of observing that, too.

kg said...

"I was concerned about the way rhetorics of pollution, immigration and sexual danger were being laid on top of each other. In general, this has been a dangerous combination in modern history."
Really?! That's fascinating! Have any articles been published on this topic?! :)

sarah dorothy said...

I'm totally fascinated that this rhetoric is in use in Russia as well. You've seen the new slate of FAIR ads that have been running in the nation and the new york times connecting immigration and environmentalism, right? Apparently undocumented immigration is now responsible for clear-cutting. My favorite includes statistics about changing racial demographics in the U.S. followed by the line "the bulldozers are coming!"

Buster said...

Sarah,

Yeah, the variations on this line country to country are remarkable. My first thoughts ran to early 20th-century German views of the Ostjuden (Eastern Jews from Poland and Russia) as polluting elements. But the other comparisons abound. It's also amazing to me how tenuous the cover as "environmentalism" is here. I mean, taking the "Day of the Driver" as your moment of truth? Seriously?

Sean Guillory said...

Buster,

I think you'd be interested in this article: http://chtodelat.wordpress.com/2008/11/01/young-guards/