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Local Demonstrations Continue Over Ukraine

Published: March 19, 2014 (Issue # 1802)



  • Two protesters in front of Kazan Cathedral on Mar. 15 address what they see as an information war being raged over Ukraine.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

The police allowed a protest against Russias military intervention in Ukraine on Mar. 15 despite City Halls refusal to authorize the gathering. Held near the Kazan Cathedral on the eve of the Crimean referendum on joining Russia, the protest drew between 500 and 600 people.

Unlike an unauthorized rally on St. Isaacs Square on Mar. 2, where more than 30 people were detained and charged with violating the laws regulating rallies and failing to obey police orders, arrests were few at Kazan Cathedral.

The protesters attribute the small number of arrests to the presence of St. Petersburg ombudsman Alexander Shishlov and the Legislative Assemblys Yabloko deputy Boris Vishnevsky, who negotiated with the chief of the St. Petersburg Public Security Police, Col. Alexei Smyatsky, who was the ranking officer at the site.

I went because I had to, Vishnevsky told The St. Petersburg Times on Monday.

If I am a deputy and a representative of my people; I had to be with my people on that square. I also had to negotiate with the police so that they would not break up the rally simply because it had not been authorized. I think ombudsman Alexander Shishlov and I managed to do this. I think the police acted in an almost exemplary way, Vishnevsky said.

I have very good impressions of the protest. The only thing [I regret] is that there were so few of us. I had hopes that there would be more people in the city who were emphatically against what is happening now, he added.

Displaying placards at unauthorized protests frequently leads to arrest, and while some people did so, others expressed their position in other ways.

Related: Local Protesters Acquitted in Maidan Event

Some wore yellow and blue ribbons representing the colors of the Ukrainian flag, while others wore yellow-and-blue buttons reading, No to War. One young woman with fingernails painted yellow and blue was expressively reading from George Orwells novel 1984, while a man wore a coat which had the words Down with War, Up with Rock and Roll painted on it.

One woman held a placard with a quote from 19th century Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, while another pinned to her chest a sheet reading The annexation of Crimea is the road to war and a threat of fascism. Another man held a placard reading Stop and Shame on Warmongers. One placard seen at the rally bore a biblical quote: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God, another, Lies, Censorship and Violence. What Will We Bring to Crimea?

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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