A stage at the end of the 700-meter avenue featured placards reading “Russia will be free” and “This election Is a farce.” Heavy police cordons encircled the participants, who stood within metal barriers, and a police helicopter hovered overhead.
Alexei Navalny, a corruption-fighting lawyer and popular blogger, electrified the crowd when he took the stage. A rousing speaker, he had protesters shouting “We are the power!”
Mr. Navalny spent 15 days in jail for leading a protest the day after the Dec. 4 parliamentary election that unexpectedly drew more than 5,000 people and set off the chain of demonstrations. Since his release, he has helped to further galvanize the opposition.
Mr. Putin's United Russia party lost 25 percent of its seats in the election, but hung onto a majority in parliament through what independent observers said was widespread fraud. United Russia, seen as representing a corrupt bureaucracy, has become known as the party of crooks and thieves, a phrase coined by Mr. Navalny.
“We have enough people here to take the Kremlin,” he shouted to the crowd. “But we are peaceful people and we won't do that - yet. But if these crooks and thieves keep cheating us, we will take what is ours.”
The recent protests in Moscow and other cities have dented Mr. Putin's authority as he seeks to reclaim the presidency in a March vote. The Kremlin has responded by promising a set of political reforms that would allow more political competition in future elections.
But protest leaders say they will continue pushing for a re-run of the Dec. 4 parliamentary election and punishment for officials accused of vote fraud. They say maintaining momentum is key to forcing Putin's government to accept their demands.
“We don't trust him,” opposition leader Boris Nemtsov told the rally, urging protesters to gather again next month to make sure that the proposed changes are put into law. Along with liberals, the rally also drew Communists, nationalists and other groups.
Mr. Nemtsov called on the demonstrators to go to the polls in March to unseat Mr. Putin. “A thief must not sit in the Kremlin,” he said.
“We want to back those who are fighting for our rights,” said 16-year-old Darya Andryukhina, who said she had also attended the previous rally.
“People have come here because they want respect,” said Tamara Voronina, 54, who said she was proud of her three sons, who had also joined the protest.
reason rally march post
good news x2 imho
My question to Russian people would be have you had a simliar backlash from having your government run by Christian-based? fundamentalist type? possible nationalist zenophobic; homophobic etc.. kinda...
you know. right wing issues like we have had in the USA... many cult leader f ups...
Nobody's perfect yet this connection mechanism called the internet/wireless thought transmission is; and streamlined how many decades now? Shux noticed Putin in vid using flexible ipadlike device; kinda like old ipod bw gui but hey... stark contrast to what citizens and people of the region have available to them; tech/bandwidth/green techs?
anyhow. Now the circuits worldwide have seem to hit a realignment of circuits ~?
oh and the ice melted between continents a bit