SEVERAL ARRESTS MADE, AS SIBERIAN PENSIONERS ONCE AGAIN PROTEST OUTSIDE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BUILDING
On February 21, in Novosibirsk, Siberia, another rally was held outside the regional administration building, demanding the return of unlimited free travel on public transport for pensioners and other people “privileged” on benefits, which were abolished from 1st January this year by governor Yurchenko’s decision. The authorities also this time refused to agree with the organisers on the rally venue, proposing that that the rally been moved from outside the windows of the governor to an uninhabited area at a local library, to where they attempting to send all rallies. Thus, this latest event went ahead without “mayoral consent”. The rally was organized by the “Pensioners – For A Dignified Life” and “Youth – For Veterans Rights”, movements which includes representatives of leftist organizations of Novosibirsk.
In the morning Russian police carried preventive detention of activists of the movement for the restoration of unlimited travel. Leader of the Novosibirsk AUCPB (All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks) Alex Denisyuk was detained and locked up in a cell for not paying fines to the State Road Safety Inspectorate.
Another Novosibirsk politician Igor Lobarev, when leaving his apartment, was met by people identifying themselves as CID officers wanting to take him down to the police station. He managed to escape and locked himself back into his apartment. He was also unable to get to the rally.
The rally was attended by about 400 people. The participants demanded from the Governor the immediate restoration of unlimited travel on public transport and chanted “Disgrace!”, “Unlimited travel – to pensioners!” “Yurchenko, come outside, sneaky coward!”
There were also slogans: “Down with the “United Russia” party,” “Let’s have socialism,” “One solution – revolution!” and “Tunis, Cairo, Novosibirsk!”
A resolution was adopted at the rally, demanding the governor rescind his decision before March 4. Another rally is planned for March 4 in the same place, notice of which has been filed to the mayor’s office.
By the end of the rally, police had arrested and detained several protesters. Protocols on administrative violations were drawn up on all of them for – participation in an rally without Mayoral consent.