News / Europe

Moscow 'Occupy' Camp Shut Down

Russian protesters, evicted from a camp at Chistiye Prudy, at their newly chosen downtown site, Moscow, May 16, 2012.
Russian protesters, evicted from a camp at Chistiye Prudy, at their newly chosen downtown site, Moscow, May 16, 2012.
MOSCOW - Police dispersed opposition activists camping out in a park in central Moscow Wednesday, acting on a court order issued a day earlier.

Police arrived at the park, located in the capital’s Chistiye Prudy district, around 5:30 a.m., hours ahead of the noon deadline cited in Tuesday’s court order. A district court issued the ruling after several local residents filed a suit demanding the activists be evicted.

The camp was set up after a May 6 protest against President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a third term. The demonstration ended in violence and mass arrests, and was followed by several nighttime marches in which hundreds more were arrested.

Following the lead of the global Occupy movement, protesters at Chistiye Prudy pitched tents near a bronze statue of the 19th-century Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Kunanbayaev, dubbing the action "Occupy Abai." On Sunday, several thousand people led by a group of prominent Russian writers marched from Pushkin Square to the Occupy Abai campsite in a show of solidarity.

Following their Wednesday eviction, several dozen Occupy Abai activists relocated to a square near Moscow’s Barrikadnaya metro station, about three kilometers west.

One of the opposition leaders, Ilya Yashin, said closure of the Occupy Abai camp in no way marks the end of Russia’s fledgling Occupy movement.

The movement does not yet have "specific plans," he said, but it is working according to a strategy formulated even before the emergence of Occupy Abai. The square at Barrikadnaya metro would be used as a "collection point" for protesters, he said, adding that he had seen no “aggression” on the part of police there thus far.

Vladimir, an opposition activist from Russia’s northern Murmansk region who provided no last name, was among those forced out of the Occupy Abai camp. He also said the protest movement will continue.

"We [he and fellow protesters] believe Putin is an illegitimate president and are trying to make [our] views known to the rest of the world," he said.

Vladimir Pribylovsky of the Panorama think tank believes the closure of the Occupy Abai camp could backfire.

"Thanks to the camp, the opposition movement is drawing in new supporters, particularly among young people," he said.

Maxim Trudolyubov, editorial page editor of the newspaper Vedomosti, said the Occupy movement is just one manifestation of Russia’s emerging civil society.

"Society has proved to itself that people are able to organize - to produce mass events, rallies, walks, accomplish projects," he said. "So I think, on the positive side is the fact that many other things are up and running, and people individually are feeling better as being members of this newly active civic society."

The negative trend in the ongoing struggle between the authorities and the opposition, he said, is that authorities have "clearly shown" they are prepared to use force to get their way.

Meanwhile, Moscow authorities were quoted Wednesday as saying tents will no longer be allowed in city parks.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid