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150 Detained at Anti-Kremlin Rallies

Published: May 30, 2012 (Issue # 1710)



  • A man carrying his 7-month-old son at an anti-Kremlin demonstration on Red Square on Sunday. About 100 were later detained.
    Photo: VLADIMIR FILONOV / SPT

MOSCOW About 150 people were detained Sunday as scores of people gathered for a series of anti-government demonstrations in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Police detained some 40 people outside the Mayors Office, where gay rights activists gathered to protest anti-gay legislation passed in several Russian cities and waiting for a vote in the capital.

YouTube footage from the rally showed the protesters who also demanded the right to hold a gay pride parade being approached by a group of radical Orthodox activists carrying crosses and icons and chanting Stop Sodom!

I will not allow perverts to bring the wrath of God onto our city, one gay rights opponent, Dmitry Tsarionov, told the gathering. He held a sign that said Moscow is not Sodom.

I want our children to live in a country where a sin that so awfully distorts human nature is not preached in schools, he said, The Associated Press reported.

Fierce arguing between gay rights activists and their opponents descended into violence, which ended with the police swooping in and detaining 40 people from both sides.

Another group of protesters organized a rally dubbed White Defilé, calling for people to dress in white clothes and walk around Red Square. Several hundred people showed up, waving white ribbons, the symbol of the opposition.

The White Defilé participants then walked to the Arbat, where about 100 people were detained, Kommersant reported on its website.

The Yabloko party, meanwhile, held a sanctioned rally near the Pushkinskaya metro station against a bill that would increase fines for illegal protests. A few party activists dressed in costumes resembling prison garb, Interfax reported.

In St. Petersburg, opposition activists Olga Kurnosova and Nikolai Bondarik were held by the police minutes before an anti-Kremlin stroll in the city center, Interfax reported. (See story, page 2.)

Separately, six police officers will be awarded free apartments as compensation for injuries suffered during a May 6 opposition rally in Moscow that ended in violence and some 450 detentions.

The four OMON riot police officers and two regular policemen will receive deeds for the apartments in Moscow, a police spokesman said Friday. Earlier, the police said about 30 officers had been injured in the clashes.

News of the free apartments sparked irritation from opposition-minded bloggers, who pointed out that hundreds of war veterans and people with special needs have been waiting for similar apartments for years.

Also Sunday, socialite-turned-opposition activist Ksenia Sobchak wrote on Twitter that she had been told that she will no longer host a Muz-TV music award ceremony June 1. Sobchak, who has hosted the ceremony for the past four years, said the decision came from top government circles and was in response to her support of the anti-Kremlin protesters.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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