Thursday, 22 January 2009
Photo: Ruslan Shamukov
Amongst numerous other things, the Russian authorities do not like demonstrations, protests, unsanctioned parades or any other form of public dissent. This was clearly indicated by the swift and high-handed termination of the recent “Dissenters’ Marches” of members of the political opposition by police. The forceful suppression of the latest demonstrations against the tax on imported cars served to show that any public display of opposition to the Kremlin’s policies, even by those not officially involved in the political sphere, would not be put up with either. Now, as this most recent incident demonstrates, the government’s intolerance extends to any form of protest however small, harmless and comical it may be. (Extracts from Kommersant 21 Jan.)
30 People in Mummy Costumes Arrested in Moscow
Approximately 30 people attempting to carry out an unauthorised demonstration demanding the removal of Lenin’s body from the mausoleum on Red Square were detained on Manezhnaia Square in Moscow on Monday. Approximately 30 members of the “Orthodox Monarchists” group had previously declared their intentions to organise a “flash mob” dressed in Mummy costumes on Red Square on the 85th anniversary of Lenin’s death.
According to the representative of the city’s police force, “A group of around 25 young people carrying a cardboard coffin were arrested by members of the police force."
Before the event, the organisers had stated that “this will not be a mass demonstration. There will not be crowds of people standing round and creating a scandal and so we hope that we will not be dispersed. The mummies will join onto the Communist’s march... Our demonstration is to demand that the government and communists rebury Lenin in a modest grave at Voklovskoe cemetery in St. Petersburg where there is enough space for him to be placed and where the communists will be able to come and pay their respects to Vladimir Il’ich (Lenin) in peaceful surroundings.”