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The opposition’s second meeting of the Coordinating Council managed to agree on a date of a new march. It would be called March of Freedom. The action is due December 15. On Saturday, the Council announced three major slogans for the upcoming event: “Down with Dictatorship and Repressions”, “Freedom to Political Prisoners” and a demand to have new federal elections.
Meanwhile the Coordinating Council split into two groups as they cannot decide whether to try influencing the regime or to overthrow it immediately, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports. The newspaper quotes commentators as saying they explain the situation by the fact the Coordinating Council tries to keep distance from Sergei Udaltsov. Experts say the main reason the Left Front’s leader is pushed to the background was not a personal dislike from the Council members, but rather a desire to return the liberal electorate back to protest rallies.
Deputy Director General of the Centre for Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin supposes most people may be attracted by a rally, which would offer rather mild slogans. He based this view on analysis of the opposition’s earlier events. “The rally in September featured mostly those who wanted to overthrow the regime in a maximum short time,” the Nezavisimaya Gazeta quoted Makarkin as saying. “While at earlier and more popular events presented less radical demands.”
The expert stresses that some people chose not to attend the protest rallies as they had disappointed in the opposition’s leaders and in their effectiveness: “At the same time, they have retained their negative attitude towards the power.” The opposition now is facing two ways to follow, he said: “Either to follow the political activists and to offer demands for immediate dismissal of Putin, or to expand political influence by addressing those who would like to have the trend changed though at the same time would not agree with revolutionary moments,” Makarkin said.
At the same time, while analysing the opposition’s decision to refuse from the March of Millions brand, the governmental Rossiiskaya Gazeta calls the action due on December 15 as “another promenade” or “demonstration.” The newspaper says the date and the name of the event seem to be the only items, where the raggle-taggle Coordinating Council managed to come to an agreement. This is so, since later on there come inter-fraction discords. Nationalists suggest rebuking the addendums to the law on Russia’s citizenship, which had been presented to the State Duma, and which suggest easer obtaining of citizenship for compatriots. The offered procedure would not depend on a term of residency in Russia, on proof of a legal source of living or on knowledge of the Russian language. The national curias are sure “adoption of the bill will case non-controlled migration, and the present citizens of Russia would become a national and social minority.” However, the majority of the vote dumped the idea – it is not complicated to guess that that voting against the bill came from liberals, left internationalists and majority of the “general civil” list. At the same time, the liberals were affected, too: the Coordinating Council rejected their draft resolution on the situation in the country and objectives of the protesting movement, which contained rough criticism of the power and which announced the right for “peaceful, non-force anti-criminal revolution.”