Russian opposition held rallies in Moscow and regions
17.09.12 12:37 By Zhanna Ulyanova, edited by Karina Ayvazova
Over the weekend Russian opposition took to the streets in Moscow and other cities to protest against Vladimir Putin. The third so called "March of millions" was approved by city authorities to be held in the relative center of Mosow with the final destination on Akademika Sakkharova Avenue where a rally was held
Opposition activists, gathered near Pushkinskiy square at 2 pm to start the march, split into two lines – "the lefts" and "the rights", respective to their political views. The left line was headed by Sergey Udaltsov, the right line was headed by opposition activists Boris Nemtsov, Ilya Yashin and Garry Kasparov.
The protesters carried banners demanding freedom for political prisoners. A separate line was devoted to the arrested Pussy Riot members. Huge red, yellow and blue balloons in form of balaclavas with "Free Pussy Riot" signs on them could be seen in the air.The crowd also chanted for the release of those who were arrested after the May 6 rally on the Bolotnaya square.
By 3 p.m. the protesters came to the Sakharova avenue. Many started to argue about how many people came to protest. The police reported some 14 thousand protesters. Opposition activists Sergey Udaltsov and Dmitry Gudkov said there were more than 100 thousand people. However, it was clear that on September 15 there were far fewer protesters than at the last rally on June 12
The rally was conducted both by "experienced" opposition activists and "newcomers": Ilya Yashin and Isabel Magkoeva, Dmitry Gudkov and Alisa Obrazdtsova, Sergey Davidis and Natalya Pelevina.
Ilya Yashin and the now excluded from the parliament deputy, Gennadiy Gudkov, started their speeches with historical remarks. They reminded the crowd that the famous state leaders Indira Gandhi and Evo Morales came to power after being expelled from the parliaments of their countries.
The rally was supposed to last some 6 hours, however, after the first hour it seemed that people had begun to head to the subway.
Sergey Udaltsov, as usual, urged the crowd to stay until the last minute. The crowd smiled.
In his speech, Alexey Navalniy mentioned the political prisoners of the May 6 rally. "As long as they are in a cell, we are in a cell, too," he said.
By 6 pm only a few thousand people were left near the stage. By 9 pm Sergey Udaltsov was left alone on the avenue. He was surrounded by journalists and police. He was detained because he exceeded the approved end time of the rally.
Opposition marches and rallies were also held in other regions of Russia, however, they were not as big as in Moscow.
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