ST. PETERSBURG, May 1 (Itar-Tass) —— The May 1 rallies and marches are over in St. Petersburg. The police said 31,500 people took part in them.
“Fifteen participants in the May 1 events were charged with disobedience to the police. There were no serious violations of order though,” the police said.
United Russia and Russian Popular Front orators spoke about social achievements and problems at the trade union rally on Palace square. St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko congratulated the audience on the Workers’ Day and said that workers created the wealth of the country and the city. “There are still some unsolved social and economic problems but we can solve them together,” the governor said.
A Just Russia also spoke about the protection of social rights. The Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and other left-wingers demanded to suppress corruption, to solve housing and public utility problems and to review the subsistence minimum and the consumer basket. They opposed plans to rename a number of city streets and raised funds for sending their activists to Moscow on May 6.
The Democratic March (Yabloko, Solidarity, St. Petersburg Observers, Oborona (Defense), the Russian People’s Democratic Union, the Russian Youth Social-Democratic Union, Free Ingria, the Christian Democratic Movement, sexual minorities, the Pirates Party and some others) chanted anti-governmental slogans and demanded the soonest election of the St. Petersburg governor.
The police said in the morning that 55,000 people would take part in May 1 events in the city. All the events are permitted by the city authorities. Three thousand police officers provide law and order.