Thousands march in Moscow after death of Putin’s political foe, Boris Nemtsov
In the city on the Neva, Nemtsov’s March was held under the slogan &# 171; Fight, Petersburg!&# 187;
Civil activists of different generations honored the memory of the murdered politician
In the city on the Neva, participants in the action in memory of the deceased politician discussed the expediency of lustration
In St. Petersburg, on the square near the Finlyandsky railway station, an action in memory of Boris Nemtsov took place. Although the organizers of the rally traditionally called it a march, in fact it was a rally, since the city administration rejected all applications for the march. And even the rally itself, the Smolny officials at first insistently recommended that the rally be held in one of the parks on the outskirts of the city, but seeing that the organizing committee of Nemtsov’s March was determined, at the beginning of the week they allowed the rally to be held in the same place where it took place a year ago.
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Rally in memory of Boris Nemtsov in St. Petersburg
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The slogan “Fight, Petersburg!” Became the slogan of the current action in memory of Nemtsov. Sending invitations via social networks, the organizers of the rally noted: “Come – to demand a real investigation into his (Boris Nemtsov – AP) murder. Come – to demand what he fought for: an end to aggressive wars, democracy, freedom, fair elections, the rule of law, the attention of the authorities to people, the rule of law. Come – so that there are many of us in this square “.
In addition, the invitation letters contained reminders that on March 26, 1989, the first free and competitive elections of the USSR people’s deputies were held in the country. “Then in Leningrad we managed to inflict a crushing defeat on the CPSU nomenclature. Although they had everything in their hands: power, money, television, radio, newspapers, printing houses, police, prosecutors, courts … But the citizens turned out to be stronger, “- + the authors of this appeal reminded. And they emphasized that in September of this year, the democratic opposition will have to solve a similar task during the election of the governor of St. Petersburg..
Boris Vishnevsky: the number of law enforcement officers at the rally cannot be explained only by rational arguments
About half an hour before the official start of the event, several hundred people gathered at the gathering place. At first it seemed that there would be more police officers and national guards than those who came to honor the memory of Nemtsov. Indeed, armored trucks cordoned off the square from all sides and blocked the entrances from the surrounding streets. And according to the testimony of some of the participants in the rally, the police were on duty at remote approaches to Lenin Square, for example, on Liteiny Prospekt and Arsenalnaya Embankment..
Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg Boris Vishnevsky
Just before the opening of the memorial event, the Voice of America Russian Service correspondent approached the head of the Yabloko faction in the St. Petersburg City Legislative Assembly Boris Vishnevsky and asked about his opinion on the number of law enforcement officers at the event agreed with the authorities. “I cannot explain this with rational arguments alone,” Vishnevsky replied. – This is an irrational feeling of fear among our authorities, which even treat the sanctioned rally as a gathering of potential terrorists. I think that all these citizens in uniform, of whom there are a huge number in sight and even more outside it, would be much more useful in clearing snow and ice. The city still has something to cleanse from, and that’s where their efforts would be both more appropriate and much better received by citizens. And what they are doing here, I honestly just do not understand “.
Former Vishnevsky’s party member, city parliament deputy Mikhail Amosov, who spoke first, warned the audience that not everyone might like his words. The main idea of his speech was expressed by a revised slogan on one of the posters. “We will not forget, but we will forgive,” Amosov proclaimed, explaining that these words do not apply to all representatives of the current “party of power”. The politician opposes the lustration of those officials who are not involved in the murders of oppositionists. The rally participants greeted these words with a whistle, and Mikhail Amosov stressed that the perpetrators and customers of Boris Nemtsov’s murder should be punished..
Maxim Reznik: you can only resist the power with the help of courage
Near the podium, the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America noticed another deputy of the city parliament – the chairman of the commission on education, culture and science Maxim Reznik. He emphasized the meaning of the slogan “Fight, Petersburg”. “This means: fight, Petersburg, and fight as Boris Nemtsov did – honestly and uncompromisingly,” Reznik said. – Believe that good triumphs over evil, because it is this faith that unites us. We are not stronger than those who oppose us, but we are ready to go all the way. Because this is what Nemtsov bequeathed to us with his entire biography. And this is very important, because, from my point of view, the authorities have already become completely brutalized and are moving only in this direction. And it can only be resisted with the help of courage, both personal and collective. Boris was an example of such behavior, and I think each of us should remember this “.
At this time, an activist of the St. Petersburg branch of the “Open Russia” movement spoke from the rostrum of the rally. Alexander Golubkov. As representatives of the older generation of participants in the memory action noted, a lot of young people came to the square in front of the Finlyandsky railway station. In addition to the activists of “Postcard” there were supporters of Alexei Navalny, members of the movements “Spring” and “Time”, young “Yabloko”.
Later, in a conversation with the Voice of America correspondent, Golubkov said that an acquaintance had brought him to Open Russia. And here he, according to him, immediately felt himself among like-minded people.
“Young people cannot be opposed to the rest of society, we are a mirror of the mood of a certain part of people. Of course, there are apolitical guys and girls, but in general, the trend is such that young people are becoming more and more politicized. And this can be seen at least in the protest rallies. Both Open Russia and Alexei Navalny are actively working with our generation, and I think this is correct. Because the future of our country depends, among other things, on us, “Alexander Golubkov is convinced..
The next speaker could be attributed to the veterans of the democratic movement in Russia. People’s Deputy of the RSFSR and the Leningrad City Council of People’s Deputies Pyotr Filippov said that they were friends with Nemtsov. And once they discussed the need for educational work with Russian voters so that they realize the importance of a democratic system..
“If each of us speaks with friends and acquaintances and convinces them that we are going the wrong way, then people’s moods will change, the atmosphere in society and our whole history will change,” Filippov is convinced..
So far, according to him, Russia “is ruled by crooks who think only about how to fill their pockets, how to take families to Europe or further away, but most importantly, how to take money out of Russia. As a result, millions of the most qualified specialists leave our country, and we find ourselves in the position of some backward African country “.
“If we ourselves do not think about our future, if we do not make efforts to convince neighbors and friends, then our future will be bad,” Filippov stressed..
Vladimir Kostyushev: protest actions are increasingly merging with memory actions
According to the organizers, the rally was attended by up to three thousand people, journalists from various publications numbered from one to two thousand. At the same time, many commentators agreed that the rally in memory of Boris Nemtsov could have been more numerous, if not for the harsh behavior of the police and the National Guard during the rallies against the “pension reform” last summer and autumn. Moreover, not all civil activists could find out about the approval of the action at the Finlyandsky railway station.
Many of those who came to the rally were holding portraits of Boris Nemtsov, flags of the parties and movements that initiated the action, as well as posters with the inscriptions: “Blessed memory of the fighter against the vile and thieves’ regime”, “We will not forget, we will not forgive”, “Heroes do not die “,” Against political terror! Stop killing the sons of Russia! ”,“ The authorities killed Nemtsov! ”,“ Putin must answer who the customer is, ”“ You won’t kill everyone, you won’t jail everyone. ” And with quotes from some of Boris Nemtsov’s statements: “I am happy that I can speak the truth” and “Criticizing Putin is a very patriotic thing.”.
Sociologist Vladimir Kostyushev’s speech
Sociologist Vladimir Kostyushev was the last to speak. He compared the crowded democratic rallies of the late 1980s with the current ones, and said that now more and more protests merge with memorial actions, because they take place after the assassination of some leader of the democratic movement. “And I ask myself and you: can we forgive murder?”
“The draft law on lustration, prepared in two versions by Galina Starovoitova – by the way, also killed – don’t we need it? The sociologist continued. “At the beginning of the rally, Mikhail Amosov said that we do not need a law on lustration, but I say that we need it.” These words were greeted with applause and a prolonged chant of the word “Lustration!”.