Staunton, June 7 – The four systemic parties of the Russian Federation have followed the Kremlin’s lead and said little or nothing about the long-haul truckers’ strike over the last six weeks, and the Moscow-centered extra-systemic parties have also refrained from saying very much about this labor action.
But at the local and regional level, some members of both these sets of parties have spoken out, especially in response to officials’ breaking their promises to the strikers and to the use of force against the truckers, something that appears to have increased over the last two weeks, most recently in the city of Engels in Saratov Oblast.
Yesterday, in response to that, the local committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) issued an appeal to “the toilers of Russia,” declaring that “it is time to unite with the long-haul truckers who are defending their rights and yours before it is too late and while there is still such a possibility!” (kprf.ru/actions/civilresistance/165993.html).
“One must give the long-haul trucker lads their due,” the appeal continued, “who are struggling against this lawlessness, and let us hope will stand strong until victory. We can win only by working together! In unity is our strength and power.”
In some places, the truckers themselves have discouraged such statements fearing that if their strike is politicized, that will make it easier for officials to crack down on them. But as pressure on the drivers has increased in recent days, ever more of them appear ready to welcome such support. Indeed, they may now see it as the best defense they have given media silence and official violence.