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article imageHundreds Detained Ahead of Anti-Government Rally

By bobSP     Dec 16, 2006 in World
Russian authorities pulled hundreds of opposition activists off buses and trains and detained them along with scores of others on Saturday ahead of a rare anti-government rally in Moscow, organizers said.
The police action did not prevent more than 2,000 people from gathering in a central square, where leftist and liberal groups demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin stop what they called Russia's retreat from democracy.
They are hoping for change with the March 2008 Russian presidential elections. The rally's focus is on Putin's gradual elimination of certain democratic principles; since 2000, he has taken systematic steps to slowly eliminate checks and balances and to centralize power.
He has created an obedient parliament, abolished direct gubernatorial elections, tightened restrictions on rights groups and presided over the elimination of most opposition voices from the media, especially the television networks.
There were over 8,500 police officers deployed for the rally. They were in full riot gear and some even had dogs.
Obviously Putin doesn't like opposition.. but I agree with them. That man is leading Russia away from democracy more and more every day. It's good to see groups like this stepping up despite the risks to their personal safety. In 15 months we will see what Russians want when it comes to a president-- and from the looks of this, it's not Putin-- although who knows what number of people support him.
More about Anti, Government, Anti-government, Moscow, Russia
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