KRASNOYARSK, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – A trade union official in east Siberia said on Wednesday that demonstrators at a planned May 1 march should turn up with “appropriate” banners and placards.
Demonstrations across Russia have seen the participation in recent years of groups known in Russian as “monstranty,” whose trademark is to carry banners and placards bearing absurd slogans, such as “Deer can’t even think,” “Peace, Work, Cat,” and “We are for Everything!” among many others.
“We will not object if they march under slogans such as ‘Fair Labor!’ or ‘Fair Salaries!’” regional trade union chief Oleg Isyanov told journalists ahead of a Labor Day march in the city of Krasnoyarsk.
“But if they turn up with slogans we don’t understand…we will try to make sure they don’t march with us,” he added.
Some 50 “monstranty” are expected at the May 1 rally, a member of the movement told RIA Novosti.
“Our slogans are not against the law,” said the member.
May 1 has been a public holiday in Russia since the early years of the Soviet Union. Now known as Spring and Labor Day, the holiday is still marked by trade unions and other groups, which traditionally march to protest against labor grievances and other issues.