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City Hall Approves March 10 Opposition Rally on Novy Arbat

City Hall has given permission for an opposition rally with up to 50,000 participants to be held Saturday on the sidewalk of Novy Arbat in central Moscow, organizer Sergei Parkhomenko said on his blog Wednesday.

Rally organizers had earlier announced plans to request permission for a march on a route from Poklonnaya Gora to Novy Arbat, but on Tuesday dropped the idea in favor of a demonstration.

Novy Arbat, one of downtown Moscow's busiest thoroughfares, will not be closed ahead of time to car traffic, although police will close the road if the rally draws more people than will fit on the sidewalk, Parkhomenko said. The demonstration is set to last from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Vedomosti reported.

The most recent major opposition rally was held at Pushkin Square on Monday and drew over 20,000 participants. It ended with the arrest by police of around 250 activists, including opposition leaders Alexei Navalny, Ilya Yashin, and Udaltsov, after a group stayed on the square following the scheduled conclusion of the event.

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