A sanctioned rally in defense of Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, giving citizens the freedom of association, was held for the first time in Moscow’s Triumfalnaya Square. Viktor Biryukov, in charge of PR and information at the Interior Ministry’s Moscow department, said about 800 people took part in the rally.
Afterward, Lyudmila Alekseyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, called on everyone present to meet there again on December 31.
Lev Ponomaryov, head of the public movement For Human Rights, made a closing address. He said the rally would have gone quite well if not for Eduard Limonov, the leader of The Other Russia movement.
Limonov’s supporters tried to hold their own demonstration in another part of the square at the same time, but the police pushed them back to Tverskaya Street because they had no permit to stage the event.