Around 50 thousands of Moscovites expressed their solidarity with rejected the access to elections opposition politicians participating in a demonstration “For Freedom and Justice” . The last five weeks the demands for fair elections and inclusion of independent candidates in upcoming municipal ballot united people from different views and backgrounds.
The crowd gathered under umbrellas in spite of rain, while riot police and vans have cordoned off the area in anticipation of a possible further march of participants through the city center following the event.
People chanted that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “thief”,
“White Counter”, an independent activist group that tracks attendance at Russian demonstrations, estimated the Moscow crowd at around 47 thousand by 3:30 PM local time, but people still were arriving.
Moscow police, suspected by critics of deliberately diminishing the numbers of protesters in official statistics, assess that 20,000 people participated in the event.
In spite of the outstanding support independent candidate Lubov Sobol was arrested, according to TASS Russian news agency wire.
The participants of the demonstration are putting forward the following demands:
1. Withdraw the criminal and administrative cases that have been opened against participants of peaceful protests during last five weeks.
2. Release the illegally arrested in the criminal case of the so-called riots and withdraw the case.
3. Publicly investigate and prosecute those responsible for violating election laws and building a mechanism of political repression.
4. Resignation of the head of election commission Valentin Gorbunov and lustration of the members of election commissions at all levels.
5. At the fall session of the State Duma, amend the electoral law and lift the signature barrier.
Simultaneously there were demonstrations in support of independent candidates and fair and free elections in the other Russian cities.
AMENDED: video of independent candidate Lubov Sobol arrest in Moscow. She has registered video of storming of her accommodation by OMON (anti-riot police).