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Students and Fishermen in Moscow Protests

About 70 Moscow State University students and employees protested staff campaigning for United Russia and the student union joining the All-Russia People's Front, resulting in 15 arrests, organizers said Sunday.

Mikhail Lobanov, coordinator for the group that led the rally, said all those arrested were released by 8 p.m. Saturday, just hours after the protest was broken up by police.

Vedomosti reported that some protesters were roughed up.

The group had initially been granted permission by the Western Administrative District to hold the demonstration, provided that it took place on the Taras Shevchenko embankment, off campus.

Flouting those instructions, organizers instead chose to move the protest onto university property, and demonstrators were detained near the main building's entrance and by the eternal flame, Lobanov told

The arrests come almost a month after police detained several students who planned to hold up protest signs and ask tough questions during a visit by President Dmitry Medvedev to the journalism department.

Meanwhile, about 500 amateur fishermen held a protest in central Moscow against water pollution and plans to levy charges on anglers.

Alongside calls for the Federal Fisheries Agency chief to resign, protesters warned government officials not to make light of their demands, waving a banner with the motto, "We're all going to vote," Interfax reported.

"By this [banner], we want to ensure that government representatives pay attention to us and remember that we are also voters," Mikhail Polukhin, organizer of the event and head of the Union of Russian Fishermen, told Interfax.

While policemen were on hand at the rally, no arrests or incidents were reported late Sunday afternoon.

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