After yesterday's crackdown on protesters in Moscow rallying against the allegedly fraudulent results of Sunday's parliamentary elections, activists are reconvening to organize online the largest demonstration to date. A Facebook event page called "Суббота на Площади Революции" ("Saturday at Triumphal Square") has gained the attention of reporters from the Associated Press and Sky News as a focal point as the next step for the anti-Putin protesters. It calls for an afternoon protest on Saturday in Moscow's Triumphal Square. As of this posting, the page has some 16,400 participants signed up, about three times as many as the 5,000 or so people who tweeting eyewitnesses say showed up on the street yesterday. (Reuters was more conservative in its estimate, saying "hundreds" of protesters.)
In any case, Saturday's rally is posed to be the biggest yet against "an election that had not generated much interest during the campaign" because many "assumed the results would be manipulated anyway," reports the AP. The anti-Putin protesters' online huddle comes as pro-government demonstrators (and the government itself) own the streets today. "Supporters of the ruling United Russia party rallied in central Moscow to celebrate the party's victory in the recent parliamentary elections," report Russia Today. They're joined by "Thousands of security forces were out in the Russian capital and helicopters roam[ing] the sky" as the AP reports. But those rallying against the ruling party also had they're own big win today: ex-USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev is calling for an election redo today, saying "it is the very absence of change which threatens to provoke instability and put the future of the country in question," as Reuters reports.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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