Russian police hold far-left activists in Saint Petersburg

06 Nov 2017 / 23:17 H.

SAINT PETERSBURG: Russian police on Monday detained around 15 far-left nationalist activists at an unauthorised rally in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg, AFP journalists saw.
The Other Russia party headed by writer Eduard Limonov had called supporters to attend a "revolutionary rally" to mark the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution, held without permission from city officials.
Some 50 activists met to walk along the city's main street Nevsky Prospekt, an AFP journalist saw. Limonov was not present.
Riot police swiftly detained around 15 people who were shouting slogans including "Revolution!" and "We don't need oligarchs", after which the protesters dispersed.
The Other Russia wrote on social media that "more than 25 activists" were detained including the movement's co-chairman Andrei Dmitriyev.
Dmitriyev told journalists before he was detained that "we want to come out and demonstrate with Leninist slogans, most importantly for social justice, to reverse privatisation".
He slammed the current need for a permit from authorities to protest, after the party refused an alternative venue offered by the city.
"Lenin didn't ask permission from the bourgeois government and we won't either," Dmitriyev said.
The movement has been given permission for a rally in Moscow on Tuesday, however.
One of the marchers, 38-year-old Igor Stepanov said: "We need to show that we are against the authorities and social injustice. This spark will turn into a flame."
Limonov previously led the banned National Bolshevik party, which re-formed as The Other Russia.
Police in central Moscow on Sunday cracked down on a protest by supporters of a radical nationalist politician, Vyacheslav Maltsev, head of a banned group called Artpodgotovka.
Moscow police said Monday that 302 people were arrested with some carrying guns that fire rubber bullets as well as knives, knuckledusters, pepper sprays and masks.
Some carried items with the logo of Artpodgotovka, police said.
They said demonstrators had been charged with disobeying police, breaking regulations on organising protests as well as petty hooliganism and breaching migration rules. — AFP

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