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Opposition march participants gather in central Moscow

September 15, 2012, 14:13 UTC+3
About 25,000 people are expected to participate in the demonstration
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MOSCOW, September 15 (Itar-Tass) —— People who will participate in the opposition march and meeting are gathering in central Moscow.

There were not many people near the metal detector frames at Strastnoi Boulevard, where the demonstration will start, an Itar-Tass correspondent reported from the site about an hour before the beginning.

Demonstrators must go thought metal detectors to participate in the march. Many have flags, mainly of communist and nationalist movements. Many have white ribbons on their clothes and bags. A white ribbon is a symbol of such opposition actions.

The demonstrators will march from the crossing to Strastnoi Boulevard and Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street to Turgenev Square. A meeting will begin on Academician Sakharov Avenue (Prospekt) at 16:00.

About 25,000 people are expected to participate in the demonstration. The number is agreed on with the Moscow mayor's office.

The so-called "March of Million" is a continuation of rallies of many thousands that took place in Moscow after the elections to the State Duma in December last year.

The marches and meeting which began with slogans "For Fair Elections" turned into anti-president actions with traditional slogans.

On May 6 this year, the "peaceful" protest developed into clashes with police on Bolotnaya Square. After that, about 20 participants were detained, and searches were conducted in apartments of opposition activists.

On June 12, the opposition again organized a "March of Millions". The searches and detentions over the Bolotnaya disorders did not result in changes in the numerical strength of protesters. The number of participants in that demonstration did not exceed the number in the previous actions.

Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov said that social demands would be also put forward along with the traditional political slogans, such as for early presidential and parliamentary elections, against political repressions and release of political prisoners. The social demands are related to protests against raised utilities tariffs, insufficient financing for science, education, public health and culture and infringement of the rights of workers and their unions.

The liberal part of the organizing committee agreed on the social demands, Udaltsov added.

Security measures are tightened up in the area of Strastnoi Boulevard. Moscow police already said that they would stop provocations during the march and the rally.

About 7,000 policemen and Interior Ministry troops are mobilized to ensure public order and security at the demonstration.

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