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  2. "We have a right to be heard". The review of the anti-corruption rallies in Russian regions

"We have a right to be heard". The review of the anti-corruption rallies in Russian regions

Katerina Klepikovskaya, Daniil Kuznetsov, Maxim Polyakov

Rallies and pickets against corruption took place in almost 100 cities of Russia on March, 26. People demanded the reaction of the authorities to the investigative documentary "He Is Not Dimon To You" made by the Anti-Corruption Foundation. In the movie, the team of opposition politician Alexey Navalny told about the "empire of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev". The reporters of "7x7" have highlighted the actions in several regions. The most remarkable quotes, the number of detainees and factchecking of the reasons for officials to refuse to hold rallies in places activists claimed, are presented in the review of the online journal.



A variety of people, such as public figures, activists, politicians, and ordinary citizens, have participated at the rallies and pickets. "7x7" has collected the most striking of the quotes.


"If someone tells me in person: "Pavel, you're a thief," then I have two options. [To say] "Go to hell, it's not true" or "Yes, I'm guilty". In this case there is no reaction at all. I'm here because I need at least some answer", Pavel, an engineer, said.


"The government has not responded, where Medvedev has taken such billions from. They consider us rednecks, that's why they are not even going to answer anything and not going to investigate a thing!" Irina Kusova, the head of the Committee to Protect Ryazan Kremlin, said.


The rally in Yaroslavl has not been permitted [it means that the speeches were prohibited], so the organizers suggested the citizens to walk along the streets and talk. Near the Square of Youth people stopped near the workers who repaired the hatch. One of the protesters joked that "from here the construction of free Russia will begin".


"We have a right to be heard! We have this right! And do not intimidate us that we can not come there, come here, walk there, stand here! We know that our appearance here today at this time is not committing any unlawful acts! And if we offend against something, it's about healthy appetites and a peaceful sleep of corrupt people!" a civic activist Ekaterina Emelyanova said.


"Do not call people who do not understand the situation in the country “vatniks” ["cotton-padded jacket" in Russian slang]. “Vata” [cotton] of the brain is the diagnosis of most people who live in Russia. It is laid in their heads by the First Channel, the Second Channel, and so on. I knew three such people. Do not insult them, but press them with arguments. They will begin to lose ground. Today these three people, that a month ago were die-hard “vatniks”, came with me. Open their eyes", a participant who decided not to reveal his name said.



The authorities of some cities did not allow the raalies because some other events were allegedly planned at the spots proposed by the activists. Journalists of "7x7" have checked what these events were dedicated to.


In Kirov, the anti-corruption rallies were not approved at the Theater Square and in front of the city administration, because of the fact that on March, 26 an ecological campaign "Batteries, get returned!" has already been planned. The volunteers who were supposed to take batteries from the citizens really appeared on the square, but there were very few citizens themselves.






After the rally in the Theater Square has been denied in the capital of Komi republic, the organizers tried to move it to Michurinsky Park. But the mayor's office did not allow to hold a rally there either, citing the fact that an event on "promoting a healthy lifestyle and Vedic culture" is planned to be there. The reporter of "7x7" went to the park and really found the representatives of one of the confession, who were singing and dancing.




Chuvash human rights activist Alexey Glukhov went around several places where ther anti-corruption actions has been denied. According to him, there were no events at most spots at that time.


How many people were detained 


In Arkhangelsk, three activists were detained: the organizers of the "opposition walks" Marina Venchikova and Alexey Kazakov, as well as the head of the Arkhangelsk branch of PARNAS [People's Freedom Party] Yuriy Shcherbachev, as reported by a civic activist Andrei Onegin.


The police detained an underaged civic activist for a one-man protest. A few hours later he was released. The young man told the online journal "7x7" about the core of the police claims.

"I was approached by plainclothes men with a camera who has filmed me. I said that I didn't want to be filmed. They said that they probably did not want me to stand here, and then they started asking me questions. When it came to my age, they said: "All right, you knew that at your age you are not allowed to organize one-man protests. Now you will go with us to the office".


During the protest walk in Orel, the police detained two young people, Tatyana and Alexey. They both hold one poster. They were released in a few hours, in the near future the court will consider their administrative case.


Anatoly Misharin, the organizer of the rally, was detained at the Theatre square.


At the rally against corruption on the spot near the trade centre "Service" in Ukhta, the police detained five young people, administrative protocols were drawn up for each.


In the capital of Karelia, due to the excess of the number of participants in the rally, several people were taken to the police station. According to some figures, there were five of them, according to others, seven.



"7x7" journalists have selected the most interesting shots from anti-corruption rallies in several cities.






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