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59 Detained as Opposition Seeks to Revive Occupy Movement (Video)


Video: Activists unfurling a banner that reads "Death to the Kremlin invaders" on Tverskaya Ulitsa Thursday.

Fifty-nine protesters were detained in Moscow this week as the opposition attempted to revive the local Occupy movement that started last May, according to OVD-Info, a detention monitoring site.

Most of those detained were issued misdemeanor charges or released without charges.

On Saturday, the opposition held a weekly "freedom walk" on Red Square in support of the suspects in the criminal case over violence at last May's anti-Kremlin rally on Bolotnaya Ploshchad, but no one was arrested. Later that day, police detained nine people at a bicycle rally meant to show solidarity with Alexei Gaskarov, one of the suspects.

On Thursday, 19 activists, including an 11-year-old boy with his mother, were detained at a protest on Chistye Prudy intended to mark the anniversary of the OccupyAbai opposition camp, which was established and subsequently dispersed by police last May.

On the same day, 12 demonstrators unfurled a banner that read "death to the Kremlin invaders" on Tverskaya Ulitsa to commemorate the Soviet Army's victory over German invaders and blocked the street. They were sentenced to periods of detention ranging from 10 to 15 days.

Also on Thursday, nine protesters were arrested at the OccupyGorky opposition camp in Gorky Park. One of the detainees, David Abramov, said on Twitter that he had been beaten up at the police station. OccupyGorky protests are currently held every day.

On Wednesday, 10 people were arrested at another Occupy Gorky protest. The protesters carried blank sheets of paper and posters reading "Putin, count" in Ukrainian — a phrase that sounds like an obscenity in Russian — in support of a demonstrator who was sentenced to a one-day detention in Saratov for a Ukrainian-language placard saying "Putin, count the remaining days of freedom." The phrase with obscene connotations subsequently became one of the top trends on Russian Twitter.

The Moscow city police department was not available for comment on Sunday.

The Occupy movement in Russia started after the clashes between demonstrators and police on Bolotnaya Ploshchad on May 6 of last year and faded away last summer.

Contact the author at o.sukhov@imedia.ru

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