The YABLOKO party participated in the all-Russia Peach March and also became on of the organizers of the event. The unknown people made provocations against the activists and the police took away YABLOKO’s banner which was supposed to be carried in the first row of YABLOKO’s column.
Before the beginning of the March YABLOKO activists were surrounded by a group of people who started shouting “Shame on you, traitors!” and provoke a fight. Those who came to the March said that their was information on the Internet that a provocation against YABLOKO will be prepared. However, YABLOKO didn’t pay attention to the provocateurs and formed its column. But the police took away YABLOKO’s main banner which said “War with Ukraine is a disgrace for the Kremlin”.
“It’s for the first time when we face such censorship of slogans at protest actions. Deputy head of the Moscow security control Oleynik personally prohibited our banner. Even the present draconian law on rallies doesn’t allow police and authorities to prohibit any slogans. It gives evidence of the further tightening of screws”, said YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin.
As a sign of protest YABLOKO activists chanted the slogan of the banner as well as “No war!”, “Ukraine, we are with you!”.
First deputy Chair of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO Galina Mikhaleva led the column
Head of YABLOKO Human rights defense faction Valeri Borschyov, head of the Moscow region branch of YABLOKO Alexandr Gunko, deputy Chair of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO Grigory Semyonov, YABLOKO Bureau members Alexei Melnikov, Ivan Bolshakov and Valeri Goryachev, adviser of YABLOKO Chairman Sofya Rusova, members of the Regional Council of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO Maxim Kruglov, Nikolai Kavkazsky, Yuri Medovar, head of the Altai branch of YABLOKO Alexandr Goncharenko and the others participated in the action.
By the end of the March Grigory Yavlinsky and Sergei Mitrokhin thanked the participants of the action.
“We came here to express our protest against Russia’s crafty, hypocritical policy which pretends that it has nothing to do with the war. In fact Russia carries the undeclared war in Eastern Ukraine. Coffins with our militants arrive from there, our weapons are used there, people are killed there because we cannot stop our authorities and make them come to their senses, become adequate and humane. We demand this from the authorities today.
We say: stop lies and hypocrisy, lay our cards in the table and sit down at the negotiating table. Then the war will be over. If we don’t stop the war today it may spread further to all the post-Soviet territory”, commented Mitrokhin.
“Millions of people realize that the anti-European course and the attempts to control our closest neighbor Ukraine are fatal and blind”, said YABLOKO founder Grigory Yavlinsky summing up the Peach March main result. The politician emphasized that “the course for creation of anti-democratic, nonleagal regime in Russia is very dangerous and hopeless”.
“If there were no such actions, such a policy would have spread much faster. What you’ve done today is an important civil action which will by no means play its role”, noted Yavlinsky.
According to the observers about 50 thousand people participated in the March.
The provocateurs awaited YABLOKO activists by the end of the March and tried to start a fight, but YABLOKO managed to avoid it, so the action ended peacefully.