A wide variety of left-wing activists and politicians were united this past weekend in Moscow in a protest dubbed “Anti-Capitalism 2012.”
Members of the Communist Party, Worker’s Russia, the Revolutionary Workers Party, the Left Socialist Movement, the International Organization of Communists, ROT Front, the Other Russia, and others made up the more than thousand participants who marched down along the Moscow River near the Kremlin on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Holding a multitude of banners and proceeding under the cry of slogans like “Russia without Putin” and “Russia for the workers,” the marchers demanded the release of opposition activists currently being held under suspicion of inciting riots during anti-government protests this past May. The charges are widely criticized as politically motivated, and the cases of the detainees were largely overshadowed this past summer by media attention focused on the Pussy Riot scandal.
Representatives of the leftist movements expressed a general sentiment that the system of values in Russia today is such that it’s pointless to even talk about such problems as free and fair elections, social welfare, and other necessary reforms, because whoever becomes the next president will inherit the same set of circumstances.
“We are the first to say that it’s not Putin who’s to blame, but the system, in which every new Putin is going to be just the same as this Putin,” said Denis Zommer, secretary for the Union of Communist Youth.
“Capitalism is the source of all of the problems that we’re experiencing,” he added.
While Sunday’s march was sanctioned by Moscow city authorities, the process was a long and arduous one.
Organizers presented the mayor’s office with six different routes for their march, none of which was deemed acceptable. The final route was only established after a long series of negotiations with city civil servants.
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