At today's meeting of the Presidium of the Komi State Council the interim amendments to the federal law "On meetings, rallies, marches and pickets" (as a legislative initiative of the republic's parliament to the State Duma) proposed by the acting head of Komi were considered. However, not all of the deputies were satisfied with these amendments.
Photo: Igor Bobrakov
The most significant amendments proposed by the head of the republic touch upon the places and time of public events. According to the chairman of the Committee for Assurance of civil protection of Komi Elena Perminova, it is proposed to submit six points to Article 9 of the Federal Law with an indication of the cases in which the government may change the time and place. For example, if a rally, meeting or demonstration is planned on the area bordered directly on the playground, educational institutions, sports and health facilities, as well as enterprises and organizations related to recreation and leisure.
Moreover, such events may be prohibited in any place, if there were complaints from citizens about violation of their constitutional right to have rest, and if a notice of another public event in the same place and the same hour was received.
Organizers can be refused if authorities decide to hold a mass socially valued event there, or there are renovation, construction and restoration works on this or neighboring areas.
And finally, the event should be moved if the day of the planned event coincides with a day of mourning.
After hearing all this, the head of the KPRF faction in the State Council of the Republic of Komi Vyacheslav Shulepov asks Elena Perminova:
“Have you ever organized public events like rallies or pickets?”
“I didn’t have to do it, but it happened to consider applications for permission to conduct them,” the clerk said.
“Well, how do you think, the things that you have listed, is it enough to make any meeting or rally ban?” the deputy continued. “The amendments have all grounds for no rally or picket to be conducted. There will always be a statement of inhabitants, whom they disturb. Any repair work can always be started.
Vyacheslav Shulepov remembered one of the rallies held by the Communists in December, 2011, when two tractor simply "pushed snow back and forth", and police said the protesters that they interfere the work.
“So, you are afraid that...” a speaker of the State Council of Komi Igor Kovzel started to clarify the position of colleague.
“I'm not afraid, I am sure,” a leader of the local communists interrupted him. “We are constantly engaged in the organization of meetings and pickets, and very often get reasonable and usually unreasonable refusals. If the amendments are adopted, all refusals will be reasonable.
“But there is a permanent place for picketing and rallies,” chairman of the Komi State Council Committee Vladimir Kosov pleaded for amendments. “There won’t be such things”.
“You know, in Michurinsky park with space allocated for meetings, there are snow banks all over in winter,” Vyacheslav Shulepov retorted.
Then Vladimir Kosov proposed to oblige the city administration to prepare a permanent place for rallies and pickets in a proper way.
Chairman of the Committee on Social Policy, the leader of the LDPR Mikhail Bragin was confused by ban on the usage of pyrotechnics during public events. He proposed to allow it, but under the condition that the organizers will announce local authorities, law enforcement agencies and fire protection about it.
“As for the "Hyde Park", for which we have advocated so much, we can take our word back,” “zhirinovets” continued. “I applied to the government and municipality to fix the place that was designated for public events. And there are really huge snow banks, no power outlets, no high platform, there is no roof in case of rain and snow”.
As a result, five members of the Presidium voted for submission of proposals for amendments to the State Duma for revision. Two — Vyacheslav Shulepov and Mikhail Bragin — raised their hands against. And the decision has passed.
Igor Bobrakov, «7x7»