Plastic Pirates Putin to Prison
One more attempt was made to get hold of the cat. The lasso was thrown, it caught on one of the candles, the chandelier fell down. (Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita)
We heard that after failing to arrest the cat the Russian police turned to Margarita and some four plastic pirates. Reason – unlawful assembly.
On September 14th, 2012, Margarita Bashilova from Kaliningrad, Russia, wanted to protest against cessation of the publication of local government documents on the Internet. She started her demo with setting up plastic copies of real members of the Pirate Party from Kaliningrad. With the help of her colleagues she assembled the four pirate copies near the Kaliningrad Duma (Parliament) building.
The eyewitnesses told us that the plastic pirates remained calm and did not disturb the peace, silently presenting boards with their protest slogans. They stood there for 7 minutes when the police approached Mrs Bashilova and accused her of organizing unlawful assembly. (Mind you, an assembly occurs when four or more people assemble together). She was detained on the spot.
Neither she nor the plastic pirates resisted arresting, but it might be that the police force just outnumbered them. Mrs Bashilova was released after an hour although she may face a heavy fine or 40 hours mandatory labour. The plastic pirates may face much more serious charges – could be burned at the stake, put into a shredder or send to a labour camp together with Pussy Riot, as we learned off the record. Meanwhile, they are still under arrest and a rumour says they refuse to testify. No one knows how long they can remain silent under the good old KGB methods.