Read

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.

 
 
 

Add new comment

Sign Up

Article Tabs

When the NAFTA nations meet Wednesday for the annual Three Amigos Summit in Ottawa, climate change and clean energy goals may be overshadowed by TransCanada's use of NAFTA to sue the U.S. government over the Keystone pipeline.

Act Out, spoken word, poetry, art, creative activism, This War Of Mine, video games, single shooter games, war games, 11 Bit Studios, combat games, native advertising, native ads, paid posts, sponsored content, fake news, news ads, media manipulation

This week, a special look at the video game — yes video game — to take you inside what it's really like to live in war.

No Confidence Vote, Wisconsin teachers movement, tenure changes, hire and fire policies, education privatization, corporatization of education, Scott Walker, University of Wisconsin System, no-confidence votes

Just as Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10 dismantled the security and stability of union protection in K-12 education, recent tenure changes threaten a fair hiring and firing process in the University of Wisconsin System.

Podemos, Spanish elections, Spanish populism, Pablo Iglesias, Spain austerity policies

Spain was plunged into the political unknown on Sunday night as no single party emerged as the winner in its closest general election since the end of the Franco dictatorship 40 years ago.

Bernie Sanders, grassroots candidates Bernie candidates, Sanders supporters, political revolution

From deep blue California and New York to deep red Utah and Nebraska, Bernie supporters are answering his call by running for local office.

No Confidence Vote, Wisconsin teachers movement, tenure changes, hire and fire policies, education privatization, corporatization of education, Scott Walker, University of Wisconsin System, no-confidence votes

Just as Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10 dismantled the security and stability of union protection in K-12 education, recent tenure changes threaten a fair hiring and firing process in the University of Wisconsin System.

Posted 2 days 9 hours ago
Brexit, E.U. Referendum, UKIP, British austerity policies

Scotland was told in 2014 that a vote for British unity was the only way to stay in the E.U. Now, the opposite is true, and along with Northern Ireland's growing call for independence, the fragmentation of the U.K. appears to have begun.

Posted 3 days 7 hours ago
gun violence, gun lobby, mass killings, National Rifle Association

Powerful almost by default, and handled with a clear mission at hand and an eye for empathy, "91%" is a call to activist arms.

Posted 6 days 6 hours ago
tax avoidance, corporate tax evasion, corporate taxes, job creation

While candidates bicker and Congress stagnates and the rest of us dwell on the latest shooting tragedy, the super-rich enjoy the absence of attention paid to one of our nation’s most destructive issues: tax avoidance.

Posted 6 days 6 hours ago
Oaxaca teacher strikes, Educational Reform, National Coordinator of Education Workers, National Union of Education Workers, Enrique Peña Nieto, student deaths, student disappearances, Nochixtlán blockade, Nochixtlán violence, Popular Assembly of the Peopl

Teachers in southern Mexico are back on the barricades, and once again the state has responded with brute force.

Posted 6 days 6 hours ago
Podemos, Spanish elections, Spanish populism, Pablo Iglesias, Spain austerity policies

Spain was plunged into the political unknown on Sunday night as no single party emerged as the winner in its closest general election since the end of the Franco dictatorship 40 years ago.

tax avoidance, corporate tax evasion, corporate taxes, job creation

While candidates bicker and Congress stagnates and the rest of us dwell on the latest shooting tragedy, the super-rich enjoy the absence of attention paid to one of our nation’s most destructive issues: tax avoidance.

The new investment policy forces the city’s pension fund, worth $850 million, to divest from shares of European oil giants.

Brexit, E.U. Referendum, UKIP, British austerity policies

Scotland was told in 2014 that a vote for British unity was the only way to stay in the E.U. Now, the opposite is true, and along with Northern Ireland's growing call for independence, the fragmentation of the U.K. appears to have begun.

Bernie Sanders, grassroots candidates Bernie candidates, Sanders supporters, political revolution

From deep blue California and New York to deep red Utah and Nebraska, Bernie supporters are answering his call by running for local office.