I sometimes take for granted the right to free speech and assembly that I have as an American citizen. I can go to local climate strikes without fear of retaliation or arrest by the US government. Not everyone is so lucky.
Climate strikers are having a tough time in Russia. The government is uncooperative and it has been very difficult to get any protests up and running. Right now it’s basically a one-person strike.
Sometimes you have to go unnoticed. In this instance economic strikes might be able to help. According to a 2019 report by Deloitte the average Russian holiday budget for New Years and Christmas spending is 16,900 rubles. 42% of that budget is for gifts. If 100,000 Russian climate strikers give up gifts, that will have a $709,800,000 RUB ($11 million USD) impact on the economy. That will get some attention!
The Russian government can’t force you to buy gifts for the holidays. You don’t need a permit to organize such a boycott. Creative young people can spread the word through texting and social media instead of organizing in the streets. I do wish the in-person strikes were larger, and hopefully one day they will be, but for now this might be a viable alternative.
Keep fighting the good fight Arshak Makichyan! The global climate strike community is with you.