Russia: Dissenters' March in Moscow (1)

Global Voices Online
Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The volume of blog coverage of the weekend's rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg is truly overwhelming - as overwhelming, perhaps, as the number of riot police (OMON) deployed from all over Russia to disperse the opposition's Dissenters' March. But nowhere near as shocking.

Below is the first installment of links, accompanied with snippets of text translated from Russian. (Please note that many entries - arranged in no particular order - link to bandwidth-intensive content.)

- LJ user mnog (photos):

Don't feel like writing.

Photos (more than 50 (about 6 MB) )

- LJ user insie (other bloggers' photos, text):

[...] In the backyards near Tverskaya, I was surprised to discover little streams of people, who chose this path as the best, just like I did. In the backyards closer to Pushkinskaya, I saw trucks with OMON, police officers giving threatening orders via walkie-talkies, fire trucks and an ambulance. People walking nearby were on their cell phones, saying something like this: "See you later, unless I get detained." Made me feel uncomfortable. [...]

- LJ user serni (photos, video, text):

Disclaimer: I was present at the Dissenters' March out of curiousity only.

[...] When people moved forward, trying to break through, yelling, "There are more of us," the regime's forces produced sticks right away and started beating everyone who was in their way. It was the first time that I saw the enraged OMON fighters, walking towards me with sticks in front of them, beating everyone left and right. By miracle, I avoided the blows. It felt like a parachute dive. [...]

- LJ user dolboeb (photos, text):

Some OMON fighters, in the Ninja Turtles' outfits, looked appropriately intimidating and photogenic, but the pointlessness of their being there, their walking back and forth, seemed to tire both them and the audience. [...] As background for portrait shooting, the police looked great, I think.

- LJ user plushev (photos, text):

[...] We only got there at the very end of the rally, when they were no longer detaining or beating anyone - all were polite and respectful. The main and, basically, the only impression that I had the time to get was that they send A LOT OF young [police] women to work at rallies. Students of the police school, that is. Many were very beautiful, even in their ugly uniforms. Didn't manage to get a close shot of anyone - [my camera is too slow], and the girls were shy, they were turning away and asking not to photograph them.

- LJ user m_gaidar (text):

When they were taking me away, I called 02 [an equivalent of 911] and told them that I and a group of 20 people have been unlawfully kidnapped by people in uniform. The girl [operator] got very frightened and asked: "Where are you?" In a bus near Pushkinskaya, I replied, and the girl just hung up on me. I called again and asked her to introduce herself and register my call, because people in camouflage were taking us all in an unknown direction. She asked again where we were detained. I said, on Pushkinskaya, and she sign with evident relief and said: "Well... you know... here... We are just having a special operation there! Nothing to be scared of." A special operation against whom - against me?!!!!!! And what do you mean it's nothing to be scared of - for whom nothing scary? For you or for whom?!!! The girl was definitely feeling uncomfortable... said, please call the boss [starshiy]. "What boss?" I asked. "The one in camouflage," she replied. Okay, I see, you are all together in it, I said and hung up on her myself this time.

Anyway, I've now got a phone call from the prosecutor's office and they invited me to come tomorrow at noon to 19 Petrovka, to Boluchevskiy Sergei Anatolyevich and answer questions about my phone call. I said I'd come with journalists and a lawyer. They replied: "Yes, sure! Come with whoever you want..." Anyway, if anyone want to come along - write me. [...]

[A RIA-Novosti photo of m_gaidar's detention is here.]

- LJ user okalman (text):

I'm going to the March tomorrow... For many reasons. I disagree with the Other Russia, too, among other things, but I'm still going. [...] I don't like Kasyanov, nor do I like Kasparov, and even less so do I like Limonov. But if in the 1990s everyone wisely concluded that Yeltsin was a [Communist] party official and why would I go to the White House "for Yeltsin"? - then we'd still be living under Communists. [...]

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