Nadya Tolokonnikova

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Putin Didn’t Hate Navalny. He Envied Him.

It’s 2007, a warm, sunny spring day in Moscow. It’s my first rally, and I’m nervous. I’m 16, silly and shy, falling in love with courageous and loud people around me. I hear my quiet voice join others screaming, “Russia without Putin”. We lock our arms and together push the police out of the street. Russia could be free: It’s a new feeling for me. This is where I see Aleksei Navalny for the first time.

For the next 17 years, I watched my friend Aleksei rise from a Moscow blogger to a global moral and political figure, giving hope and inspiration to people around the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un manifestante estrecha la mano de un miembro de la Guardia Nacional de Estados Unidos en Los Ángeles el 31 de mayo de 2020. Credit Bryan Denton para The New York Times

Punto de inflexión: La muerte de George Floyd, un hombre negro que en el mes de mayo fue esposado e inmovilizado bocabajo por un policía blanco en Minneapolis, dio lugar a manifestaciones en todo el mundo.

En 2020 no solo nos golpeó una pandemia global, también nos golpearon las macanas de la policía.

Vimos cómo manifestantes de todo el mundo respiraron el aire cargado del gas lacrimógeno, perdieron la vista por balas de goma, padecieron tortura y, en algunos casos, murieron. Con desesperación, tratamos de encontrar a nuestros seres queridos entre aquellos que fueron detenidos y encarcelados por participar en manifestaciones pacíficas.…  Seguir leyendo »

A protester shakes the hand of a member of the U.S. National Guard in Los Angeles on May 31, 2020, amid turmoil following the death of George Floyd. Credit Bryan Denton for The New York Times

Turning Point: The death of George Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed and pinned down by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May, sparked demonstrations around the world.

In 2020 we were not only hit by a global pandemic, but also by police batons. We watched as protesters around the world breathed in air thick with tear gas, lost their eyesight from rubber bullets and endured torture and, in some cases, death. We desperately tried to find our loved ones among those arrested and imprisoned for participating in peaceful protests.

This was a year of radical political imagination: 2020 invited us to take our dreams seriously and inspired us to envision a better, alternative future.…  Seguir leyendo »

The author, Nadya Tolokonnikova

By now, you have probably seen the news that Aleksei Navalny, another leading critic of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, appears to have been poisoned. It must seem so horrible, but also, perhaps like the kind of thing that does happen “over there”, in Russia, in Belarus, in authoritarian states.

It’s much more horrible up close. Sometimes I find it hard to believe this is my life. I have known too many attacked in a similar way as my friend Aleksei seems to have been. And in what feels like a terrible instance of déjà vu, it was less than two years ago that we were working with the same activists to arrange the same flight to the same hospital in Germany to evacuate and treat the father of my child, Pyotr, when he was unconscious from poisoning.…  Seguir leyendo »