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Opposition calls off attempt to hold Moscow rally

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MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) - An opposition rally slated for May 6, but subsequently banned by the Moscow authorities, has been cancelled, an opposition representative said on Tuesday.

The Other Russia opposition coalition had planned the next in a series of 'Marches of Dissent' the day before Dmitry Medvedev was due to be sworn in as Russian president. After the authorities banned the rally, Moscow police said they would ensure that the march did not go ahead.

"This would be dangerous for the participants [of the rally], so we decided to cancel the march. I am speaking on behalf of all the organizers," Denis Bilunov told journalists in downtown Moscow.

He then called through a loudspeaker on people gathering nearby to disperse, warning of "possible provocations."

A police source meanwhile said that 11 people had been detained for an attempt to arrange a march.

Bilunov said the order to ban the rally was illegal and that The Other Russia would go to court to protest it. He said the opposition would try to hold another rally within the next six weeks.

The opposition held an unauthorized rally against the election of Kremlin-backed Medvedev in the capital on March 3, the day after the country's presidential polls. It was dispersed by police, who also briefly arrested an opposition party leader and a human rights activist. Protestors called the Russian presidential polls undemocratic and "a farce."

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