In Moscow, Thousands Rally for 1-Year Anniversary of Anti-Putin Protests

Search form

In Moscow, Thousands Rally for 1-Year Anniversary of Anti-Putin Protests

In Moscow, Thousands Rally for 1-Year Anniversary of Anti-Putin Protests
Tue, 5/7/2013
This article originally appeared on Al Jazeera

Thousands of Russians have taken to the streets of Moscow to mark one year since a major opposition protest ended in mass arrests.

Police said about 6,000 protesters were present at the start of Monday's rally. Al Jazeera's David Chater, reporting from Moscow, estimated the crowd at 20,000. Only up to 30,000 people were allowed by the government to protest.

"It looks like a very powerful protest and it looks like it's going to be full as much as the mayor of Moscow allows," Chater said.

Our correspondent said opposition blogger Alexi Navalny, who is facing charges of embezzlement by the government, is expected to address crowd.

"It's not the case yet that Putin has completely extinguished the spark of this protest," Chater said.

Hours before the protest began, a worker died after he was struck by acoustic equipment as he was helping to erect the stage for the event.

Monday's rally remembers the protests on the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration for a third presidential term that resulted in more than 400 arrests after scuffles with riot police.

The opposition hopes the latest rally will breathe new life into the protest movement following what observers say is the toughest crackdown on dissenters of Putin's 13 years in power.

More than two dozen people now face jail over their involvement in last year's rally, which took place in the same square as Monday's protest, just across the Moscow river from the Kremlin.

One activist has been jailed for four and a half years for purportedly using violence in the 2012 rally, while another has been sentenced for two-and-a-half years.

'Last chance'

Pro-opposition writer Boris Bakunin, one of Russia's most popular novelists, said the new rally at Bolotnaya Square was the "last chance" for Russians to show the Kremlin they did not agree with its policies.

"If few people come to Bolotnaya on May 6, then the regime will see it as carte blanche from society: 'Put in prison whoever you want, we are not against it'," he wrote in his blog ahead of the rally.

Authorities have allowed to gather up to 30,000 for a demonstration until 17:30 GMT.

Prosecutors warned the opposition against any provocations including any attempts to hold a march through the city in addition to the rally, while police said it would deploy 5,000 personnel to oversee the event.

Putin last year reasserted his authority through tough legislation which requires NGOs receiving foreign aid to register as "foreign agents", expands the definition of treason and introduces steep fines for misdemeanours at rallies.

Also on Monday, the justice ministry said it was putting on hold the registration of several political parties including the liberal Popular Alliance.

Originally published by Al Jazeera.

 
 
 

Article Tabs

The new 40-page report published by Oxfam International also said the global fossil fuel sector now receives $1.9 trillion in subsidies each year.

Edward Snowden

Snowden told the audience he engaged in civil disobedience because he believes the democratic system of government is not able to work when people don’t know what their government is doing.

Large corporations are the winners and taxpayers are the losers when transparency, accountability and the public interest are sold out to for-profit firms.

The city's social justice roots are centuries old – and today Seattle is also home to more than 70 social justice organizations and more than a dozen progressive film festivals.

Coinciding with the National Day Against Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration, people in Santa Rosa, Calif., will hold a vigil and community potluck Wednesday to commemorate the teen's tragic death.

“We wanted to take action to dramatize the betrayal of the American people and show that we will resist and attempt to disrupt or at least expose pro-corruption politicians' ability to raise big money.”

Posted 6 days 19 hours ago

Drug and device makers paid doctors $380 million in speaking and consulting fees over a five-month period last year – and saw a healthy return on their investment.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago

Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014, and also has a "foreclosure king" who is now disbarred for his failure to oversee employees accused of carrying out wrongful foreclosures.

Posted 2 days 20 hours ago

As of September 19, 181 institutions and local governments and 656 individuals representing over $50 billion in assets have pledged to divest from fossil fuels.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago

So little of our national wealth is going to feed people or provide jobs and instead, the richest Americans vastly increased their wealth this past year. But what vaulted these individuals to the top?

Posted 6 days 19 hours ago

Large corporations are the winners and taxpayers are the losers when transparency, accountability and the public interest are sold out to for-profit firms.

The California city of Rialto saw an 88% drop in claims of police misconduct within one year of officers wearing cameras.

Punishing local cuts are leaving communities up in arms as the removal of vital school road patrol service – known as the lollipop ladies – could go into effect.

Survivors of the Sept. 26 violence joined Mexico City protesters in informal campus activities and rallies demanding justice for their missing classmates.

The nation's richest family is funding nearly two dozen organizations working to roll back renewable energy policies, while pushing for regulations aimed at hindering the growth of rooftop solar power.

Sign Up