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The Moscow Mayor’s Office refused finally to the opposition to authorize the March of Freedom route

December 14, 2012, 11:47 UTC+3
On Saturday, December 15, an unauthorized action March of Freedom was expected to be held in Moscow
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On Saturday, December 15, an unauthorized action March of Freedom was expected to be held in Moscow. The opposition failed to agree on the route of the march with the Mayor’s Office, therefore, the protesters are going to come at 15:00 Moscow time to the Solovki Stone on the Lubyanka Square without any permission. The experts claimed that from 5,000 to 20,000 people will gather on the Lubyanka Square on Saturday.

Many users of the social networks supported an appeal of the leaders of the street opposition to come at 15:00 Moscow time on the Lubyanka Square on December 15, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily noted. “If it is authorized, I will not come to it,” “Don’t come on the Lubyanka Square on December 15, do not hamper people walking!” the users wrote in the ironical manner in Twitter on Thursday, making hints that they and their acquaintances are going to come “to walk” at the Federal Security Service headquarters at 15:00 Moscow time on Saturday. The position of principle from both sides made the talks between the mayor’s office and the opposition tense. The applicants for the protest action stated that they can agree only on the route, which will finish on one of the Moscow central squares - Lubyanka, Manezh, Teatralnaya or Borovitskaya Squares. The applicants seemed to look for excuses for a mistake made a year ago, when the leaders of the opposition agreed to pass from the Revolution Square to the Bolotnaya Square that resulted in the disruption of the protest action, according to the observers.

The RBC daily reported that the opposition has a reserve variant for a legal protest action on Saturday. Instead of taking a risk on the Lubyanka Square, where a rally is not authorized, the protesters can come on the Revolution Square, which the state authorities officially permitted for the forum of the leftist forces. The organizers of the rally are ready to pay a fine for the excessive numerical strength of participants and noted that the Constitutional Court ruled that in case of a too large number of participants the rally should not be broken up by the OMON riot police, and then the claims should be made to the organizers.

After the refusal in the Moscow Mayor’s Office members of the Opposition Coordination Council stated that they do not appeal to people to go out for an unauthorized action, but no one hampers them “to take a walk on the Lubyanka Square by 15:00 Moscow time,” the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. “I am not seeking to touch the helmet of the riot policeman with the index finger or shake the iron barrier. This is just a symbolic act. Just out of principle,” Alexei Navalny wrote in his blog. Meanwhile, several thousands of people confirmed in the social networks their participation in a protest action, even an unauthorized action. The activists are discussing what slogans are better to cry out and where announce a common venue. The proposals to make the posters on the plywood sheets are voiced among other things in order “to use them as shields in the clashes with the OMON riot police” if necessary.

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