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  2. “Born, borne, died, pension”. How the protest against raising the retirement age looked like in Russian regions

“Born, borne, died, pension”. How the protest against raising the retirement age looked like in Russian regions

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Sofia Krapotkina
A rally participant in Syktyvkar
Photo by Alexander Noymann
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On July 28 and 29, in Russia there were protests against raising the retirement age. In Moscow, within two days, according to the volunteer movement White Counter, 18 thousand people came out to the rally. «7x7» picked up seven vivid photos of regional protest rallies participants.


Nizhnevartovsk, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. “Born, borne, died, pension”

In Nizhnevartovsk, the rally was organized by the Communist party regional office. Within two hours, 449 signatures were collected under the petition for organizing a referendum on retirement age raising.

“My husband now is 56 years old and he already can't physically work due to his state of health – and he has been doing logging work all his life. Now he does not have enough strength to work in the forest, but according to the new reform he must work another six years. Well, how is this possible?” asked one of the participants of the rally, who introduced herself as Svetlana.


Buy, Kostroma region. “We must mistrust not only the deputies, but also the media that write articles against the people”​

During the rally in a small Kostroma region town Buy (its population is 24 thousand people), its organizer, the chief editor of the local TV channel Buy-TV Olga Drobysheva, asked the cameraman of Canal 21, which belongs to the firm of the Buy mayor, to explain why he had come to shoot the rally. The operator introduced himself and said that he needed to shoot what was happening on the square. Drobysheva recommended to recall what kind of stories the channel made about previous protest rallies.

“Then you watch the story on the TV. It will be a story against the people. Now we must mistrust not only to the deputies, but also the media that write articles against the people”.

They asked also “not to call Russian to the axe”.


Smolensk. Putin at the communists rally

In Smolensk, on July 28, there were two rallies. Over 400 supporters of the Communist Party (among them there was a man wearing Putin's mask) gathered near the Oktyabr cinema, and about 100 Liberal Democrats supporters went out to protest in front of the Sovremennik cinema.

“Who cares about us? No one. And if you have some illnesses? They closed all the plants, all the factories, many factories were sold to foreigners. They sold the whole Russia, all of it. They sold the whole Siberia, they took out the Siberian forest, Siberia is all naked now. They annexed the Crimea, and what is in the Crimea? Nothing but the Black Sea. But they gave Siberia to the Chinese. Everything is sold out, and we were left naked, we now have no money to afford pensions!” a pensioner was outraged at the Communists rally.


Petrozavodsk, Karelia. “Is there anyone alive?”

In Petrozavodsk, that was the third protest rally against pension age raising. In the local hyde park, on the outskirts of the city, 300 people gathered after the march.

We've voted for these deputies of the State Duma ourselves. Valentina Pivnenko has already sat on her chair for way too long, too much so now she is afraid to show up in front of people. It's high time to drive her out from there! Why do we constantly believe her and choose her all the time?! These people do not represent our interests but express only their personal opinion!” said city activist Natalia Todua.


Syktyvkar, Komi. “Why did they give us eight year-long term?”

In Syktyvkar, there were musicians at the protest: the rally was accompanied by the drums of the Beat Boys band. According to estimates, there were from 300 to 500 people. At the rally there were posters in the Komi language and flags of the republic.

The City Committee Secretary of the Russian Communist Workers' Party Alexander Verbin at the beginning of his speech recalled the Greek philosopher Diogenes, who lived, as it is believed, in a barrel.

“One day Diogenes got out of the barrel, went out to the square and exclaimed: 'Hey, people!' People came, just like you did today, and Diogenes began to beat them with a stick. When they asked why he beat them, Diogenes answered: 'I called people, and you are just scoundrels!' So, those who came here to the rally are already people. And the scoundrels, according to Diogenes, are those who, on July 19, passed in first reading the law on raising the retirement age, especially the United Russia party representatives”, said Verbin. He added that this violated the Article 55 of the Russian Constitution (it is forbidden to pass the laws that worsen the situation of citizens and diminish their rights).


Yaroslavl. “I love you! If confused with the pension reform, dissolve it”

One of the participants of the Yaroslavl rally on her poster declared her love to President Vladimir Putin and urged him to “dissolve” the pension reform. Not everyone shared her romantic agenda. The Communist Party deputy Elena Kuznetsova drew the audience's attention to the coverage of the pension reform on federal channels.
“We see that there is a continuing authorities propaganda on the TV that raising the retirement age is a blessing. We are shown dancing elderly grandmothers and doing sports grandfathers. While the World Cup was going on, the United Russia members, like wolves in sheep's clothing, adopted harmful, antinational laws. But we are here to say that we are against the pension genocide”.
According to the organizers, about two thousand people came to the rally.


Yaransk, Kirov region. Collecting signatures

In the small town of Yaransk, Kirov region (with population of 16 thousand people), Samir Safarov, a “7x7” blogger and a political activist, visited the protest rally. He also stopped by the action in the city of Sanchursk.


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