There are many of Russian on-line communities for “advanced” mothers. In these communities they discuss their daily issues. One of the issues is an acute shortage of places in Moscow where they can walk with their kids. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that sidewalks are filled with cars, and children’s playgrounds are covered with dogs’ droppings. One such internet community decided to do more than just mean talking. Over 200 moms declared war on “rude people from parking lots” and dog lovers.
According to Ogonyok, the movement was born from a “spark.” “I went on the war path as I am sick and tired of these people parking right at entryways. At the same time a mom with a stroller and a toddler on a bicycle is walking by, for instance. I will mercilessly break their headlights, scratch their car doors with my keys and so on!” says a mom of two kids, known as Lidia Chemodanova, on her blog.
As a modern sensible woman, Lidia collected herself and decided to fight will less radical methods. She addressed the regional administration so they could “make janitors place restraining devices for cars in pedestrian areas.” Then she got some self-adhesive paper and began placing stickers with warnings “I will break your front shield” on cars-violators.
She wrote about her actions to other online communities for parents “Let’s win over these rude drivers any way we can!” The initiative was widely supported, and over 200 women participated in the protests.
Now they are placing their stickers everywhere “Let us walk! People with strollers.” Another method used is leaflets wrapped around stones:”You don’t care about my kids – I don’t care about your car.”
Men do not participate in these protests. This is understandable since daddies with strollers are a rare sight in Moscow. Many of them have no idea that their wives have to virtually carry strollers with babies on their backs. Strollers do not fit in elevators; moms have to walk on the road maneuvering between cars and remove “dog mines” from clothes and shoes with their hands.
Moscow already noticed that it does not accommodate people with disabilities. It accommodates moms with strollers even less. Disabled people are not restricted from shopping malls, but moms with strollers are not allowed to many of them. Women cannot even walk on sidewalks near their buildings and are not able to get strollers on a bus or into the subway.
The struggle for place on the sidewalks bore fruit. “It’s been a week, and I have no one to give a sticker to,” Lidia reports. “Everyone parks as they are supposed to, in allocated places.”
The woman emphasizes: “I am not going to fight with the system, Luzhkov, or world evil. I want the place I live to be nice and pretty.”
"Should we now deal with dog lovers?" the activist calls for action. Dogs walking without muzzles and pooping on children’s playgrounds is another evil Moscow moms intend to win over. They do not know how exactly yet. “Something is cooking there,” thinks Ogonyok journalist and suggests the dog lovers watch out since there is nothing more dangerous than an angry mom.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko had a telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan