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The Opposition is planning a large rally

December 08, 2011, 12:57 UTC+3
The number of the participants in the Revolyutsiya Square rally on December 10 may considerably exceed the declared 300
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MOSCOW, December 8 (Itar-Tass) — The Opposition plans rallies in Moscow and other cities on Saturday, December 10, in protest against the parliamentary election fraud. In the Russian capital, a rally will be held in Revolyutsiya /"Revolution"/ Square by the "Solidarity" opposition movement. Other organizations intend to participate in the action. The federal and municipal authorities are worried about the protests.

The number of the participants in the Revolyutsiya Square rally on December 10 may considerably exceed the declared 300, the "Vedomosti" writes, "a campaign to take part in the protest is gaining momentum in social networks, not just in the Russian capital."

The "Vedomosti" estimates some 60,000 people registered as potential participants on Facebook and VKontakte, including 20,000 in Moscow. The number of potential participants keeps increasing.

"The Federation of Russian Car Owners (FAR) stated its support.»We intend to make a car run through central Moscow with the endpoint in Revolyutsiya Square, where a rally is planned to protest the election violations. We intend to support the rally by participating in it," FAR leader Sergei Kanayev said. The activists of the movement intend to put stickers on their cars reading "For Fair Election!" and distribute such stickers for free.

However, the Mosvodkanal water supply company began digging works on Thursday, which may foil the action. The company spokesman confirmed repairs of a damaged section in Revolyutsiya Square.

The Kremlin, too, is worried about the protests in the capital. The government and Town Hall are now working on their line of conduct in the situation, said the "Vedomosti," citing sources in these bodies. The situation in Moscow was reported to the president at a meeting with the administration on Wednesday, but the decision was postponed to Thursday, a Kremlin official said. The Security Council met on Wednesday. Taking part in the meeting were the president, the prime minister, and the senior officials of the Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service.

The authorities overreacted with the use of force, and even celebrities began to side with the opposition, a source close to Town Hall said, "the number of discontented is only increasing."

Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin stated his readiness to join the protest, the "Novye Izvestia" underlines, as did A Just Russia lawmaker Gennady Gudkov who stated in Triumfalnaya Square on December 6 that Opposition parties did not rule out new large rallies against election fraud. Communist lawmaker Valery Rashkin said the party had submitted an application to Town Hall to hold a march and a rally on December 18. Rashkin noted that the Communists might take part in other actions.

Lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Maxim Rokhmistrov told the newspaper that the Party is planning actions of its own: "as for the consolidated rally with other political forces, no decision has been made yet. "We don't want small parties to score points at our expense. We're capable of staging a large action on our own and will invite others to join. If it turns out to be a serious political action, we’ll see and may support what they will say."

"Our core group, which will turn up for the rally, will be making its own case," the "Moskovsky  Komsomolets" quoted member of the Communist Party's Central Committee, lawmaker Sergei Obukhov as saying, "we don't want to be Nemtsov's cannon fodder." The newspaper notes that the Party had taken a two-sided position: on the one hand, it is sort of joining the protesters, but, on the other, nobody prevents the Communists' coming out to Revolyutsia Square. Until recently, an unofficial ban on joint actions with non-system opposition forces has been in effect with the Communists recently. At present, given the rapidly changing political situation, it is allowed to join any actions. A Just Russia has adopted the same stance as the Communists. Officially, the Party is not coming out to Revolyutsiya Square, but A Just Russia activists will.

The "RBK Daily" reminds that this weekend will mark the first anniversary of the protests football clubs fans and nationalist-minded youths staged in Manezhnaya Square. "We won't allow the recurrence of last year December events in Manzhenaya Square," a Moscow police source told the newspaper. Police are actively monitoring social networks for accords on nationalists' rallies to mark the first anniversary of the event. No particular activity has been reported so far. "If they dare come to Manezhnaya Square on that day, they will be stopped on the approach to it," the source said.

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