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Hundreds March Down Nevsky in Protest

Published: May 7, 2014 (Issue # 1809)



  • LGBT marchers joined the parade down Nevsky Prospekt on May 1.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

  • The LGBT contingent was led by a man in a red dress wearing a large papier-mache head of Putin with a crown.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Hundreds of protesters marched along St. Petersburgs main street, Nevsky Prospekt, on May 1, to protest against the Kremlins actions in Ukraine. The protest was held as part of the May Day demonstrations which traditionally features a broad political spectrum of protests from animal rights activists to neo-Nazis, but most were pro-Kremlin parties and movements such as United Russia, Just Russia and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

Police estimate that up to 37,000 people participated in the various marches along Nevsky, mostly from parties and movements loyal to the Kremlin. The different political groups marched at a distance from each other, separated by police and then went on to hold stationary rallies at different sites in central St. Petersburg.

The main slogan written on the Anti-War Democratic Marchs banner, which was carried by the front row of the protesters, said For Friendship with Ukraine and the European Integration of Russia. No to U.S.S.R. 2.0.

Protesters carried placards proclaiming For Democracy in Russia and Ukraine, War Is Madness, Putin. God Sees Everything. Stop, Ukraine, God Is on Your Side and Putin, Leave Ukraine Alone, Better Feed Our Old People and Children.

Organized by the Democratic St. Petersburg coalition, the Anti-War Democratic March drew between 1,000 and 1,500 protesters, organizer Natalya Tsymbalova said. Protesters included those from the Yabloko Democratic Party, human rights groups, Free Ingria group and LGBT rights groups. The protesters also carried small Russian, Ukrainian and European Union flags.

Tsymbalova considered the number to be large for St. Petersburg. I think its a lot, because fewer people have attended in previous years, she told The St. Petersburg Times.

The protesters also marched to music blared from a vehicle in front of the group. The musical pieces included the national anthem of Ukraine, the Patriotic Song by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka, which served as the national anthem of Russia until it was abolished by President Vladimir Putin in 2000, and Beethovens Ode to Joy, the national anthem of the European Union and the Council of Europe.

According to Tsymbalova, city authorities did not object to the slogans used during the march and the subsequent stationary rally, even after City Hall had twice refused to authorize the rally ahead of May 1. However, this happens every time. They just want to show whos the boss, whos the one who issues permits, she said.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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