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The opposition fails to create a new camp in Moscow instead of the liquidated one

May 17, 2012, 12:15 UTC+3
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On Wednesday, the police have liquidated at 06:00 Moscow time the round-the-clock opposition camp on the Chistoprudny Boulevard for less than an hour. However, the oppositionists immediately moved to a courtyard at the Barrikadnaya metro station. A new camp was liquidated shortly after that despite the pledges of the authorities.

On Tuesday, the Basmanny District Court of Moscow obliged the prefecture in the Central Administrative District and the police to take measures to stop an opposition action on the Chistoprudny Boulevard and to restore the cleanness and order after a petition of 12 residents in the district, the Vedomosti daily recalled. The police and the riot police OMON came at about 05:00 Moscow time on Wednesday in the camp and gave five minutes to the protesters to leave the place, after that they ousted the protesters to the metro station. The participants in the remonstrative gathering moved to a courtyard at the metro station Barrikadnaya. Head of the Moscow regional security department Alexei Maiorov noted that the activists will stay there until they behave according to the rules of conduct in public venues.

However, the authorities have found the reason to liquidate the opposition camp at the metro station Barrikadnaya already by the evening. The reason for new clashes that, according to preliminary reports, resulted in the arrest of several tens of activists, the wounding of a policeman and the damage to the police remand car, was the distribution of food in the courtyard.

The experts are convinced that by their actions the authorities alienate more and more from ‘the creatively thinking class’ and are shaking their position, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily cited the experts as saying.

The general director of the International Institute of Political Expertise Yevgeny Minchenko believes that for the reputation of the authorities it would be better to do so that the protesters will go away themselves, “As they were going to do it, if to believe to Ilya Ponomarev.” The expert noted that the breakup of the opposition camp makes the position of the opposition stronger, “Now people have concrete demands, so we want to walk calmly in the streets and no one will touch us.”

A member of the scientific board of the Moscow Carnegie Centre Maria Lipman predicts a growing number of civil initiatives, which are not compulsorily linked with rallies or marches, “This can be a coming initiative of painters, which was declared as that similar to ‘the control walk’ of writers last Sunday. All creatively thinking people, which we see, say that the most important thing in this affair is not the number of protesters, but the creative approach to the organizing of the protest action.” Maria Lipman also predicts purely political types of protest, “The elections are held in the country and not only in Moscow. Those scandalous stories, which we witnessed recently in the regions, will recur.”

A political expert Boris Makarenko noted the difference between the opposition camp on the Wall Street in New York, which was also broken up, and the situation in Moscow, “The difference is political. The orders to disperse the camp were given not in the US White House, but actually the New York residents did not like the dirt and tents in the centre of the city.” He gave Washington as an example, where not far from the residence of US President Barack Obama a minor opposition camp is staged, “The US leader is hardly glad about it, but the US president does not give any orders regarding the protesters. The protests against the authorities are not taken in the West as the undermining of the foundations of the current political system.”

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