The political opposition said Monday that it would snub meeting areas set aside for them at two Moscow parks and fashioned after the Speakers Corner in London's Hyde Park.
"The Moscow Mayor's Office has a strange sense of humor," opposition leader Ilya Yashin said Monday on Twitter. "The presentation for Hyde Park at Sokolniki looks like a concentration camp."
Moscow authorities will open the gathering places to opposition activists on May 1 at Sokolniki and Gorky parks. The proposal came after the government after tens of thousands or protesters took to the streets following disputed State Duma elections in December 2010.
But the leaders of those protests said Monday that meeting areas were too small and the locations were inconvenient. Gorky has a maximum capacity of 1,500 people, while Sokolniki has capacity of 1,500.
"We will not go there," Eduard Limonov, leader of the Other Russia group, told Interfax. "We will submit an application to hold our traditional protest on Triumfanaya Ploshchad on May 31."
Solidarity member Sergei Davidis said there was a risk that the authorities would force the opposition to hold all of its protests at the parks. "And we cannot agree to that," he said, Interfax reported.
The opposition does not need special permission from the Mayor's Office to meet in the parks. The Mayor's Office has also indicated that gay rallies would be allowed there.