June 7 Press Conference

On June 7 in Moscow, leaders of the Other Russia gave a press conference to discuss the upcoming Marches of Dissent in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Garry Kasparov, Eduard Limonov, and Sergei Udaltsov explained what has been going on behind the scenes with the various municipal entities in charge of dealing with public meetings and marches. A synopsis of their comments follows.

The June 9 March of Dissent in St. Petersburg (1700 local time) was officially sanctioned by city officials, but only in the pedestrian pathways and with a maximum of 500 people. These restrictions, which seem impossible for organizers to manage, leaves the door open for police involvement. Far more than 500 people are expected, despite the illegal confiscation of 150,000 copies of the Other Russia newspaper by the authorities. No charges were made, no one will admit they were taken; they were simply stolen. Other news from St. Petersburg is that Vasily Yakemenko and his Kremlin-sponsored Nashi thugs have arrived in town, no doubt to begin their usual provocation and harassment of Other Russia marchers.

The situation around the June 11 Moscow March of Dissent (1600 local time) is even worse. The authorities sanctioned only a single public meeting from our application for a meeting, march, and concluding rally. The march was not approved and the bid for the second meeting was simply ignored. Officially, only a meeting of 500 people in Pushkin Square has been approved. They called us (nothing in writing) and said they could help us have a rally in another district, but we would have to submit another bid. Yesterday they responded to our letter of complaint, saying they had offered an alternative route, which is a lie. They said that since we had declined that (nonexistent) offer, they would only approve the meeting for 500 at Pushkin Square. Standing firm with our rights under the Russian constitution, we will march regardless.

Other official news is forthcoming as the Other Russia is set to announce the dates of our Congress, likely to take place in the second week of July.