Wave of pickets in support of Russian political prisoners
On Friday and Saturday pickets were held in twelve Russian cities calling for the release of political prisoners. In Moscow the picket on Novopushkinskaya Square was attended by more than 70 people, including activists from the United Civil Front [UCF], “Oborona” [“Defence”], the Anti-War Club, the Union of Communist Youth and the National Bolshevik Party.
The protesters held banners calling for the release of the Rostov UCF activist Andrei Grekov, the head of the Penze branch of the UCF Valery Bychkov and other political prisoners, including the former Vice President of YUKOS Vasily Aleksanian, the former head of the company Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev.
In St Petersburg about 30 people took part with placards reading “No freedom of speech without freedom after speaking” and “Zone of certain reception”. The latter was with a picture of the television Ostankno tower surrounded by barbed wire [“zona” in Russian and Ukrainian refers to penal colonies – translator].
As well as Moscow and St Petersburg, there were group pickets in Oryol and Vladimir. In Vologda, Kurgan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Tomsk, Tver and Syktyvkar there were single-person pickets. A series of single-person pickets took place in Penze. Activists with placards called for the release of Valery Bychkov stood in the most crowded parts of the city.
From a report at www.grani.ru