Social reforms demanded during Moscow opposition rally

Opposition and human rights groups held a "Social March" - a procession and rally in central Moscow - on Saturday during which they demanded housing reforms and a drastic change to the urban construction policy, discussed 2014 elections for the Moscow City Duma, and expressed support for arrested activists.

The leader of the Yabloko party, Sergei Mitrokhin, speaking at a rally on Sakharov Avenue after a procession along Boulevard Ring, criticized the policy of the city administration and said Yabloko offers half the places on its 2014 City Duma election ticket to non-Yabloko "civil activists."

The ticket would be the result of primaries in all the constituencies, he said.

State Duma deputy Ilya Ponomaryov, who is a member of the A Just Russia party, urged the opposition not to limit itself to rallies where the strategic demand for the removal of the Russian leadership is raised but to carry out socially-oriented demonstrations such as Saturday's "Social March."

Support was also expressed for all opposition activists who are behind bars.

Ponomaryov asked for a show of solidarity with Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, who is under arrest and "was one of the initiators" of "Social Marches."

Left Front activist Alexei Sakhnin called for support not only for Udaltsov but for all those arrested in connection with riots during an opposition demonstration on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on May 6.

Groups that took part in the march and rally, which championed the rights of Muscovites, included the Communist Party, Solidarity, Rot Front, December 5 Party, For Human Rights, and Mossoviet.

The city police authority said in a statement: "There have been no excesses. Public order and security were ensured on the full scale."

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