ST. PETERSBURG, May 1 (Itar-Tass) — Representatives of all political forces in the city on Tuesday will stage a traditional demonstration in Nevsky Prospekt, dedicated to the celebration of Spring and Labour Day. They will pass on practically one and the same route - from Vosstaniya (Uprising) Square to the beginning of Nevsky Prospekt, however, they will hold rallies in different areas in the city centre. The May Day rallies, according to the local police, will involve about 55,000 St. Petersburg residents and the city guests.
The procession at 11:00 MSK will be opened by the United Russia party and the Federation of Trade Unions of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, joined by a number of organisations within the United Popular Front (ONF). The column is expected to be led by governor Georgy Poltavchenko and members of the city government. The party said they expect to gather in Nevsky Prospekt 10,000 people under the slogans ‘Give us Justice,’ ‘Honest Work - Decent Wages!’ and ‘We are Against Raising the Retirement Age!’ A rally-concert will begin in Palace Square at noon.
Supporters of A Just Russia will rally in Alexander Garden near the Admiralty - they will march on the main street of St. Petersburg second.
At 12:00 MSK an action of the combined left-wing forces will start in St. Isaac’s Square with the participation of the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, a number of smaller organisations and the St. Petersburg branch of the Other Russia party. Nationalist organisations will be the second to stage a rally there.
Representatives of the Yabloko party and various ‘non- system’ organisations will be the last to rally in Nevsky Prospekt. They will hold a common “democratic march for the rights and freedoms of citizens and election of regional governors.” “The main issues of the actions will be the demand to hold direct gubernatorial elections this autumn, as well as opposition to Putin’s third term,” the press service of the party reported.
The oppositionists will have the most motley gathering – in addition to Yabloko, such movements as Solidarity, Observers of St. Petersburg, Oborona (Defence), Russian People’s Democratic Union, the Russian Social-Democratic Union of Youth, Free Ingria, Christian-Democratic Movement, representatives of sexual minorities, Pirate Party, and others, are expected to attend. The organisers expect up to five thousand participants. The opposition refused from the idea to hold a usual rally in Konyushennaya Square, offering the participant organisations to introduce themselves to the city residents.
All the events have been authorised by the city administration. As many as three thousand police officers will maintain public order during the actions.
In connection with the procession in the centre of St. Petersburg on Tuesday, motor traffic in the first half of the day will be restricted. In particular, traffic will be closed completely in Nevsky, Admiralty and Ligovsky Prospekts, in Palace Lane and in Bolshaya Morskaya Street. Public transport routes will be changed. St. Petersburg bridges will not be raised on the night from May 1 to 2.