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Let’s give back gubernatorial elections!

In accordance with article #3 of the 3rd part of the Russian Constitution (Law of the land) superior expression of people’s power is national referendum and free elections. This article has been infracting for 6 years already since December 2004 when V. Putin rescinded region heads election. This action violated also another article of Constitution (#32). It guarantees that citizens of the Russia have got the right of participating in national affairs governance and have got the right of choice and right to be chosen in the bodies of state power. Cancellation of region heads elections was another step in the direction of authoritarian society from democratic society. Authorities have deprived us of the right to be the nationals of our country and it has left for us just the functions of taxpayers. But we wish to elect governors by ourselves!

To protect this right youth organization “Oborona” starts new federal campaign named “V means Vybory” (“V means elections!”). First events will take place on November 22. Oborona’s activists will hold a number of informational piquets near Gostiny Dvor. For example activists will tell about some promises of Valentina Matvienko (St. Petersburg governor) which hasn’t been redeemed still. Leaflets will be distributed and some performances will be arranged there also. Besides this the notifications about head rally were given to the administration. It will be held on December 4 on Pionerskaya square.

Oborona of St. Petersburg invites others democratic organizations to join the struggle. Let’s give back gubernatorial elections!

“Oborona” invites you

In the context of its educational project “Oborona” organizes the following events for everyone:

November 19, Friday
“Kino +” (“Cinema +”) — viewing and discussing different movies.
Movie: «Lord of the Flies», USA.
Event time: 7 pm.
Event place: “Soldiers’’ mothers of St. Petersburg”, Razjezjaya street 9.
The movie is about human nature and laws of society.
We shall talk about social phenomena when democracy turns into its opposite and what might be opposed to this process. Our experts are psychologists and political scientists.

November 20, Saturday
Seminars for civil activists
“Tactics of public interests protection activities”

Event time: 14-00 – 18-00
Event place: “Soldiers’’ mothers of St. Petersburg”, Razjezjaya street 9

November 28, Sunday
Over tea meetings with interesting persons

Our guest – Maksim Reznik, the leader of “Jabloko”s St. Petersburg department
Event time: 5 pm.
Event place: “German – Russian Exchange”, Ligovski prospect, 87, office №300
We shall talk about the past and the future of St. Petersburg opposition. Guests may ask any questions and get fair answers. Tea is included.

December 6, Monday
Seminars for civil activists

What is the way of communicating with law-enforcement agencies?
What is to do at the police station? What are our rights there?
Event time: 7 pm.
Event place: “German – Russian Exchange”, Ligovski prospect, 87, office №300

December 17, Friday
Kino + (Cinema +)

Movie: The Trial, France, Italy, Federal Republic of Germany, Yugoslavia, 1962
Event time: 7 pm.
Event place: “Soldiers’’ mothers of St. Petersburg”, Razjezjaya street 9
The movie is about “bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy”. Decisions are made by persons who even have not seen us, who do not care about us. Just few give a dare to the System.
After viewing we shall talk about judgment in USA, Europe and Russia as well as Khodorkovskiy’s case legal proceedings.

December 19, Sunday
Seminars for civil activists
“Internet 2010: the newest trends and opportunities of using web tools in civil activity area”

Event time: from 2 to 6 pm.
Event place: “German – Russian Exchange”, Ligovski prospect, 87, office №300.

November 14 rally’s totals

St. Petersburg Oborona has taken part in the rally against political repressions, which took place at Pionerskaya square. It was claimed as a civil rally. Members of different political and civil organizations were there: “Solidarnost”, “Jabloko”, “CPRF” (Communist Party of Russian Federation), United Civil Front, Russian National Democratic Union and others. Near 200 persons altogether. Oborona’s activists were holding the banner with “The Country is sleeping, Khodorkovsky is sitting” message.
Oborona member Grigoriy Kopp mounted a platform and made a speech. He paid attention to difficult situation when “officials of Cheka” remain in power in Russia. Then any guiltless man can be accused of crime on account of political causes. Glaring examples are Mikhail Khodorkovskiy and Sergey Mohnatkin. “It is very dangerous to remain indifferent to the events in country ruled by “chekists” (security officers)” said Grigoriy.
It will be recalled that the rally against political repressions were organized as a reaction on authorities’ actions against Strategy-31 leaders (extremism criminal case institutions threaten them) and beatings and murders of reporters.

”Oborona” invites to join discussion about migration problems

“Oborona” organizes viewing of “Bread and roses”, the film by Ken Loach. The movie was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and had other nominations in 2001 and 2002. It won jury award at the Temecula Valley International Film Festival in 2000 also.
Movie will be shown on 15 of November 6 pm at Ligovskiy pr. 87, office №300.
On completion of the viewing all visitors are welcome to discussion of the movie and the problems that it reveals.
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The rally against political repressions

14.11.2010. 14:00 Pionerskaya square (Pushkinskaya metro station).

Organizers claimed that 531-person rally with banners, placards and sound equipment (sound amplifiers) would be held. We would remind you that October 31 three opposition activists were detained at Gostiny Dvor during peaceful meeting in support of freedom of assembly. After that they were sentenced to imprisonment by Judge Alexander Kuznetsov for participation and organization of the rally. Andrey Pivovarov (“People’s Democtratic Union”) got 29-day term, Andrey Dmitriev (“The Other Russia”) got 5-day term and Andrey Pesotskiy (National Bolshevik Party) got 14-day term.

On the night of 5-6 of November reporter of «Ъ» newspaper Oleg Kashin was brutally bashed up close by his residence. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries and he was operated on several times. Doctors said that the patient’s condition was very serious. It was clear that attack was planned beforehand so reporter had fallen victim to planned criminal assault. Street cameras near the scene of the crime recorded two men had been waiting exactly for Oleg. Criminal case on the article ‘Attempted murder’ was initiated. Investigation agencies still have no official priority version of these events. Meanwhile Oleg’s friends and colleagues think that Oleg’s sharp paper articles and his blog posts may be the real reason of the attack.
12 of November 2008 Mihail Beketov was also brutally beat up at the yard of his own house in Khimki district in Moscow. Mihail is well-known reporter of local paper ‘Khimkinskaya pravda’ (Khimki’s truth).

Rally is made agree with Petersburg’s authorities!

Maria Govorova: prisoners of conscience are free. As yet

Many of you know about peaceful rally that was held October 31 2010 at Gostiny Dvor in St. Petersburg I think. More than 100 people were arrested there. As usual most of them had been sitting at police stations till midnight when they received reports about ‘violations’ of the following articles: 20.2 – ‘participation in unapproved rally’ and 19.3 ‘non-compliance with police orders’ and went home. They await notices of appointment.
But this time authorities decided push harder. Organizers of rally became first targets. As a result of it the leaders and some participants were sentenced to imprisonment with terms from one to 15 days (15 days term is maximum possible term in that case).
Andey Pivovarov — the leader of St. Petersburg ‘People’s Democratic Union’ and active member of ‘Oborona’s St. Petersburg department had really bad luck. Court session for previous ‘Strategy 31’ case was assigned on October 31, 6 pm. And Andrey was detained just on his coming to the rally. After that he was conveyed to the court session. Andrey was sentenced to 15-day imprisonment (previous case) and the same term for October 31 case. He had served already 3 days of his 31 August sentence (court decision was cancelled due to defects of proceedings). So, 27 days left, 27-day term of imprisonment for participation in peaceful rally that is clearly guaranteed by the 31st article of the Constitution, Russian Federation fundamental law.

In the courtroom. Photo by Maria Murina

During court session requests that advocates and witnesses should be called were rejected. Andrey’s attorneys Arkadiy Chaplygin and Sanya Tsaryova filed a compliant. New court session was assigned on November 4.

October 31 detainees support picket

During October 31 ‘Strategy 31’ rally police broke new record. 113 persons were detained and conveyed to police stations. “Solidarnost’”s Coordinating Committee member Alexander Skobov, “Youth Jabloko”s leader Alexander Gudimov and other five activists spend night on the floor of the ward. Almost all next day long they were sitting in the bus beside police station №203 where “justice” was dispensed by judge Kuznetsov. There was no food offered to them. The day before he gave judgment for Andrey Pivovarov and sentenced him to 27-day imprisonment. Also “Another Russia”s activist Andrey Dmitriev got 5-day term and Andrey Pesotskiy (AR) got 15-day term.

That's “E”!

It is clear now who makes the list of unreliable persons. The history about “the lists of unreliable persons” in which there is supposed to be some opposition figures, who have regularly interested the police (that’s that “Novaya Gazeta” wrote about), has finally ended.

Central Internal Affairs Directorate of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region has not only admitted that the lists really exist, but also pointed out the source of information which helped to make the lists.
The source is expected – well-known Department of Counteraction to Extremism or just “E”- department.

The officials refuse to approve the rally in support of Barto

Yesterday the official from the Central district administration connected with Andrey Pivovarov and informed that the administration refused to approve the rally in support of Barto music band which planned for September 27 because the places mentioned in the request (Malaya Sadovaya, Malaya Konyshennaya) were fixed for other events. In the alternative the official offered Chernyshevsky Garden, the place where the rally would not be visible by anybody except its participants themselves. Moreover he could not clearly reply to the suggestion to hold the rally just on another day and time when there would be no any events.

Barto music band and first of all its singer Maria Lybicheva has interested the police after the rally in support of Khimky Forest in Moscow, where she sang the song “Ready”, which has following lines: “I’m ready and you are ready to fire cops’ cars at night. It’s as a rule of life, a feature of a good taste as for those who think the law is garbage”, that gave occasion to suspicion in extremism.

The third annual strategy seminar

Sunday September 19 the third annual strategy seminar of St. Petersburg “Oborona” was held. It was lead by a member of coordination council Dmitry Izbitskiy. In the heated discussion which took about 4 hours “Oborona” members held the guidelines of development of their organisation.

The members summarized their activity for the last year as well as the period from the establishment of “Oborona” in St. Petersburg (5 years). They also discussed current political situation and the perspectives of its development during the federal elections and the elections to legislature. Finally they drew a list of the current problems of the organisation which are going to be solved in the coming year. The plans of new actions and initiatives was also made.

Andrey Pivovarov is liberated

September 16 the district court of Kuibishev discharged the judgement of the magistrate court which sentenced the leader of St. Petersburg People’s Democratic Union and activist of ”Oborona” Andrey Pivovarov to 14 days in prison for organisation of the unapproved rally at Gostiny Dvor August 31. Pivovarov was liberated just after announcing of the judgement.

Andrey Pivovarov is arrested

Today the leader of St. Petersburg People’s Democratic Union and activist of ”Oborona” Andrey Pivovarov was sentensed to 2000 roubles fine and 14 days in prison by the magistrate Alexey Kuznetsov, who found him guilty of organisation of the unapproved rally at Gostiny Dvor and insubordination to the police August 31. Andrey was taken into custody just after adjudgement of the sentence.

Tomorrow some one-man pickets for Andreys liberation are held at Zaharyevskaya, 6 where he serves the sentence.

We've taken the square!

Yesterday August 31 the rally in support of freedom of assembly was held at Gostiny Dvor. It was much more powerful than the previous ones. People held the square more than two hours in spite of the attempts of the police to stop the rally, the “cosmonauts” arresting the 31ers and some stupid “tricks” like the fire fighting vehicle which came after an anonymous call about a bomb in Gostiny Dvor metro station. There were at least 700 people who took part in the rally.

There were a lot of St. Petersburg “Oborona” activists among the arrested: Maria Govorova, Dmitriy Danilchuk, Dmitriy Izbitskiy, Andrey Pivovarov (the leader of St. Petersburg department of People’s Democratic Union), Natalia Smirnova.

The protest of the public activist at the Russian embassy in Kiev

At 18.00 August 31 a group of Russian citizens hold a protest in support of Article 31 of the Russian Constitution (freedom of assembly) at the Russian embassy in Kiev. There are some activists of St. Petersburg political movements “Solidarnost”, “Oborona” and human rights organisation “Soldiers Mothers” among the participants. They hold a picnic with water and army biscuits that symbolises their support to the political prisoner Sergey Mohnatkin, sentenced to 2,5 years in prison for defending an eldery woman from the brutal treatment of the policemen during the rally for freedom of assembly December 31, 2009 in Moscow. The participants of the protest launch the project “31 seconds”, they make some 31 seconds duration videos about Article 31 of the Constitution.

August 31 – to the Freedom Square

A regular protest 31-Strategy rally for freedom of assembly (Article 31 of the Russian Constitution) will be held August 31. As before the Smolny has turned down the application to stage the action and of course the authorities try to break up the demonstration, but anyway the 31ers are determined to walk into the square at Gostiny Dvor on Tuesday at 18.00.

There is also another rally for freedom of assembly held by the liberal democratic forces (“Jabloko”, United Civil Front, “Solidarnost”) that will take place in spite of turndown of the autorities at 19.00 on the Palace Square.