Street politics have lost their relevance in many former Soviet countries, as the political opposition has withered away. But innovative forms of protest are popping up. None of them has managed to mobilize large numbers or pose any real threat to the ruling elites. They do, however, attract young people in free-form, often social-media-directed alternatives to the picketing and chants their elders employ. And the participants are proving very difficult to punish.
Russia has the “blue buckets,” activists who affix plastic sand toys to their cars (or their heads) in a protest against the traffic privileges accorded to government officials, whose cars are equipped with flashing blue lights. In Azerbaijan, where protesters are hustled away so quickly that even gathering is nearly impossible, small flash mobs have appeared out of nowhere to perform sword fights or folk dances.
A good discussion — citizens need to stay ahead of dictators in tactics of dissent.