The attempt of a certain part of the non-system opposition to organise a protest march in Moscow on May 5 was a failure - instead of planned 10,000 participants, various reports say about between 500 and one thousand people, where every third was a reporter. Meanwhile, another rally is due on Monday afternoon. It will be devoted to the anniversary of the events on May 6, 2012, where the opposition’s rally in Moscow grew into clashes with the police and consequently to several criminal cases. This rally is likely to attract more people.
The initiator and organiser of the event on Sunday was the opposition’s Expert Council, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes. Reporters, who described the event, were joking the rally’s only success was that at least others but the council’s members now came to know about it. This council emerged after the elections to the opposition’s Coordinating Council - the Expert Council unites mostly those who failed to pass the competition to the Coordinating Council. The march resembled a lot the Russian march with cheerful slogans “Russian Power to Russia” and “Who Are We? Russians!” Anyway, the ultra-rights’ march cannot be compared to the autumn rally - first of all because major nationalist movements refused to participate in the Sunday event.
The “Spring Freedom March” was planned to be the first event of civil activists, who refused from assistance of well-known opposition leaders and experienced politicians like Boris Nemtsov or Vladimir Ryzhkov, the Izvestia wrote. Right on the eve of the event, the Coordinating Council refused from taking part in the event by having announced it was not correct to have a march on Easter.
The rally’s organisers are head of the consumer rights organisation Public Control - Mikhail Anshakov, a member of Solidarnost’s political council Alexander Ryklin and a member of the Coordinating Council Nikolai Bondarik. The activists, who call themselves “The Opposition’s Expert Council,” hoped to take at least several thousand people to the streets.
The public activists tried to look cheered up, though by the event’s beginning at 16:00 it was clear: the participants are only few, even fewer than two thousand. At the same time, the number of the police at the event was five thousand. Thus, every participant could be escorted by three police, and even the media could have the privilege.
The crowd’s most vivid support was heard to the slogans “Let’s return Russia to Russians,” “Russian power to Russia,” etc. The nationalists’ flag was practically the only flag during the march to leave alone the green flag of the “Opposition’s Expert Council” and a modest one of the CPRF /Communist Part of the Russian Federation/.
The Novaya Gazeta writes about the rally due on Monday. It seems neither the power nor the opposition are planning a confrontation. The Moscow Mayor’s Office approved a rally in Bolotnaya Square only - the organisers had to refuse from a march. However, they managed to get a permission to expand the event’s territory.
The rally’s major objective is to remind everyone about the events of the previous year, where mass clashes between the activists and the police happened in Bolotnaya Square. Many people were detained, and later on some of them were brought to criminal responsibility under the Bolotnaya case. The latest, the 28th suspect, is an anti-fascist and a member of the Coordinating Council Alexei Gaskarov. On April 29, the court approved his arrest for two months.
The rally’s organisers, including the opposition’s Coordinating Council, the Committee of May 6, the Left Front, PRR-PARNAS and others, recently have presented results of an independent probe human rights experts made into the events of May 6. The results differ from what the official investigation claimed, the newspaper said. Now the activists are trying to reach the power: during the rally everyone may receive a postcard, where the addressee is Prosecutor Yuri Chaika. The organisers have printed 20,000 postcards: every card contains an application to check, whether the events on May 6 comply with respective criminal offence.
Meanwhile, the Vedomosti publishes results of a poll conducted by Levada-Cenre, which show that Russians are rather well informed, though superficially, about the Bolotnaya case.
Two thirds of Russians - 65 percent - have heard about the criminal cases against participants in the Bolotnaya Square events on May 6, 2012 in Moscow, the poll results show. At the same time, only two percent (in Moscow - every tenth) are following the investigation, and the biggest group of the surveyed - 40 percent - have only heard something about the case but could not remember any details.
The aim of the Bolotnaya case is to intimidate the opposition, 52 percent of those informed about the process said, and 41 percent believe the objective is to punish those who organised the mass disorders.