Opposition claim March of Millions will draw 50,000 demonstrators

Opposition groups applied to the city authorities on Friday for the go-ahead to a massive protest march on September 15.

"It will be a rally which we think will draw some 50,000 people," a March of Millions organizer and Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov told Interfax.

The march is to begin in the square near Belorussky Railway Terminal at 2 p.m. Moscow time on September 15 and it will continue along Tverskaya street, to be capped by a massive rally on Borovitskaya Square at 4 p.m.. Demonstrators will start gathering near Belorussky Railway Terminal at 1 p.m., he said.

An application for permission to hold the rally has been filed with City Hall by Yelena Lukyanova, Sergei Davidis, Yevgenia Tretyakova and Pyotr Tsarkov.

The city authorities have yet to respond.

Moscow Security Department chief Alexei Mayorov told Interfax earlier this week that he has no "prejudices" against the opposition plans, and that their application will be considered in accordance with the established procedure.

"March of Millions demonstrations are to be held in 50 Russian cities on September 15 in what is likely to become the most massive of the recent civil actions," Udaltsov said.

It will proceed under the slogans "For Honest and Legitimate Authoritieis," and "For Early Parliamentary and Presidential Elections, he said. Opposition will also demand an end to the political persecution of its atavists and freedom to political prisoners, he added.

"The March of Millions organizers will draw up a list of socioeconomic demands which will cover the current unbridled rise on housing utility services tariffs, the underfinancing of science, education, health care and culture, and violations of workers' and trade unions' rights," he said.

The first March of Millions was held on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on May 6 2012. It had been authorized by the city government, but it deteriorated into clashes with police. The opposition later blamed the police for obstructing the march and the rally. Police, in turn, said the opposition had acted provocatively.

More than 400 people were detained in the unrest. The organizers said some 50,000 people had joined the march, while the police said 8,000. Searches were subsequently conducted in opposition leaders' homes.

Criminal cases were started against 16 activists on that day on charges of issuing calls for mass disturbances and committing violence against law enforcement officials.

The second March of Millions was held on June 12 and it drew even more people than the action on Bolotnaya Square. The demonstrators formed columns and walked from Pushkinskaya Square to Sakharov Avenue, where a rally was held. The March was joined by 18,000 people and the rally by 15,000, according to police. The opposition claimed almost 100,000 people had participated in the action.

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