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12.08.2014

Siberian march in defence of the Constitution also banned

   

The Novosibirsk authorities have now banned a proposed march on Aug 17 in defence of the constitutional order.  The ‘explanation’ given is that the march would be on an a general road with this requiring special safety procedure.  The mayor’s office also asserts that Russia’s Prosecutor General has given an unequivocal assessment of the planned march as being aimed at undermining the constitutional order.  A spokesperson confirmed to the website Sibnet.ru that the event had been banned “for safety considerations”.

As reported, a march in support of Siberia’s federalization was originally scheduled for Aug 17 in Novosibirsk.  The action, under the slogan “We’ve had enough of feeding Moscow!” was aimed at achieving greater autonomy by creating a Siberian republic within the Russian Federation. Autonomy from Russia was seen as enabling the people of Siberia to introduce benefits and wage supplements for people living in harsh climactic conditions and generally achieve a fairer divide between local and federal budgets. 

Moscow which has consistently defended the ‘right’ of Kremlin-backed militants, many of them Russian nationals, to seize government buildings in Ukraine and take huge numbers of hostages reacted very differently within Russia’s own borders. 

The planned peaceful march was banned, and the Russian prosecutor worked together with Roskomnadzor, the media supervision body, to threaten all media, in Russia and even in Ukraine, that they would be blocked if they did not remove material about the planned event.

The organizers then announced another march for the same day in defence of the constitutional order, and specifically the principle of federalism enshrined in Articles 1 and 5 of the Constitution.  They also made a complaint with the Prosecutor’s office in connection with the actions of the Novosibirsk authorities under Article 149 of the Russian Criminal Code (obstructing a meeting, rally or procession). 

This meeting has now also been banned.

 

[Halya Coynash]

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