How the March of Millions was June 12, 2012

The

opposition procession was agreed in advance with the authorities. Dissatisfied with Putin’s reforms, people carrying posters, flags and banners marched from Pushkin Square to Akademik Sakharov Avenue. The organizers of the procession — blogger Alexei Navalny, leader of the Left Front Sergey Udaltsov, journalist Olga Romanova, Garry Kasparov, Sergey Parkhomenko and other famous oppositionists — urged their like-minded people to gather on Pushkin Square at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. However, the people began to pull up by 11 o’clock, despite the clouds that were thickened in the sky.

Liberals from the civic group Solidarity and the activist Left Front were joined by nationalists and anarchists. Many carried placards in support of “Pussy Riot”. At 14:30 Moscow time, a rally began on Sakharov Avenue, at which Sergey Udaltsov spoke (despite the subpoena for questioning by the Investigative Committee), Boris Nemtsov, Ilya Ponomarev, Dmitry Bykov, Mikhail Kasyanov, Gennady Gudkov and other opponents of Putin’s government. The majority of speakers demanded to release participants of opposition action on May 6, who got behind bars for clashes with law enforcement guards. The opposition members did not call for a revolution, but demanded the peaceful resignation of the government, the president and the holding of new, honest elections.

After the performances of the speakers, a rock concert began on the stage, but most of the participants preferred to go to take shelter from the torrential rain. Organisers estimate about 120,000 people came to the March of Millions. However, the Department of Internal Affairs estimates the scale of the action is much more modest – about 18 thousand people. In general, the protest against the authority took place fairly peacefully, without provocation from the authorities or radical flanks of the opposition.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov spoke positively about the protest, noting that such marches indicate the emergence of a new political culture in the country.

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