Author Topic: Russia: Riot police deployed to stop nationalist march  (Read 1401 times)

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Offline davkakach

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Russia: Riot police deployed to stop nationalist march
« on: November 06, 2006, 10:20:38 PM »
Surging nationalism all over Europe...   history repeats.



Riot police foil Moscow nationalist march
By James Kilner and Olesya Dmitracova
Reuters, November 4, 2006
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/04/AR2006110400312.html

Moscow (Reuters) -- Heavily armed riot police foiled attempts by Russian nationalists to hold a banned march in Moscow on Saturday, making scores of arrests.

Far-right leaders had called for a 'Russian March' through the capital and other big cities on Saturday's National Unity Day holiday to protest against illegal immigration and trumpet the supremacy of Russian traditions.

Authorities banned the marches in Moscow and most other cities, fearing a repeat of last year's scenes when neo-Nazis paraded through the capital chanting racist slogans. They allowed only smaller static meetings away from town centers.

'The situation is calm,' Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov told reporters on Saturday afternoon. 'We ... will not tolerate any chauvinism or fascism in Moscow.'

In the largest nationalist demonstration in the Russian capital, around 2,000 far-right demonstrators gathered at the Devichye Pole park for an officially sanctioned meeting under the gaze of police in full body armor.

The nationalists waved old Tsarist flags and chanted 'Glory to Russia' as a police helicopter buzzed overhead.

'I am for Russia and I want Russian people to walk with their head held high,' Moscow demonstrator Olga Voitenko, 49, told Reuters. Like other protesters, she complained that illegal immigrants were stealing jobs and corrupting Russian society.

Police bundled some of the park demonstrators into vans and drove them away, alleging provocative behavior, but there was no violence, Reuters reporters at the scene said.

Across the river from the Kremlin in Bolotnaya Square, about 200 anti-racist demonstrators held a counter-demonstration, shouting 'I'm Russian, I'm not a fascist.'

Riot police arrested dozens of nationalist youths when they tried to cross a bridge to attack the anti-racist protesters but there were no violent clashes.

A Moscow police spokesman was unable to give total figures for arrests but Reuters reporters saw scores of detentions. Russian news agency Interfax reported 37 people were in custody and rival agency RIA-Novosti said 233 people had been detained.

The 'Russian March' organizers claimed on their Web site www.rossija.info that 500 demonstrators had been arrested.

RACIST VIOLENCE

Non-governmental organizations have long reported that racist violence is growing in Russia, fueled by poverty and joblessness in poorer regions and resentment at the loss of Russian power after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Anti-Semitic slogans were evident at the Moscow rally, including one poster of a woman holding a dead child next to a Jewish man clutching another child's head. 'Russian, help your fellow Russians or you will be next,' it said.

In St Petersburg, police used tear gas to break up a fight between nationalists and left-wingers. About 20 people were arrested but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

In Russia's eastern port of Vladivostok, a group of far-rightists raised their arms in Nazi salutes as they posed for photographs at a parade ground. Around 200 protesters marched through the city with banners saying 'No Integration, Just Deportation.'

Skinheads also marched in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk waving banners. Most covered their faces to prevent identification.

Kremlin-controlled television channels ignored the nationalist demonstrations in Moscow and other cities.

Instead they showed pictures of President Vladimir Putin hosting a banquet and Moscow church head Patriarch Alexei II holding a religious ceremony to commemorate the National Unity Day, which marks Russia's liberation in 1612 from Polish invaders.

The Kremlin introduced the holiday last year to replace the traditional Nov 7 celebration of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.
Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.   --Thomas Mann