Authorities in Nizhny Novgorod have rejected a mocking request for a “March to the Store for Bread” made by an opposition group in protest of a recent law that significantly raised protest fines.
A copy of the application, stamped as received by the city administration and posted on Facebook, stated that the goal of the march was “to buy a loaf of bread in the company of friends and fulfill the requirements of the new law on rallies.”
But the official denial, which the League of Voters posted on its LiveJournal blog, said the application was being rejected because its expressed goal doesn’t meet requirements that a rally “draw attention to a problem.”
The idea for the march was launched as part of a project by Nizhny Novgorod activists called Life According to the Law! with the aim of painting the new rallies law as absurd.
The group said on its Vkontakte page that it would attempt to submit an application every day until authorities agreed to allow it.
Fifteen applications have already been submitted and rejected, including one for “waiting for the bus at the bus stop.”
President Vladimir Putin signed a law on June 8 that dramatically raises fines for participating in an unsanctioned rally, to as much as 300,000 rubles ($9,000) from the previous maximum of 5,000 rubles.