In St. Petersburg on the Champ de Mars on Saturday held a mass rally called “the March in protection of Petersburg”. The main reason for its holding action of the city authorities, forced the transfer of the Saint Isaac’s Cathedral Russian Orthodox Church.
But also, people opposed the building of the buffer zone of the Pulkovo Observatory, the merger of the Russian national library the Russian state library in Moscow and against the closure of the European University.
The meeting was coordinated with the city authorities is not the first attempt and only in the “Hyde Park” (the maximum number of participants meant only 200 people).
But from the beginning it was obvious that the event will be of interest from a much larger number of inhabitants.
The organizers — social organizations, movements and opposition MPs, among them Oksana Dmitriev, Maxim Reznik, Alexei Kovalev and Boris Vishnevsky, beforehand commented that it would be prepared to pay the fine.
However, the violation was forgiven because the action ended without incident: came “all his.”
Only one Nodules were standing on the sidelines with a poster, and not against the crowd, and in support of the Crimea. Participants this time were interested in a more local theme.
Estimates of the correspondent bi-Bi-si and a number of other journalists, came to the meeting more than three thousand people.
Participating member of the presidential Council on civil society development and human rights Natalia Evdokimova said from the rostrum, and all about ten thousand.
Co-chair of the St. Petersburg Parnas Andrei Pivovarov counted from 8 to 10 thousand people.
The police, as usual, were modest in their assessments and recorded only two thousand participants.
“Fight not with the consequences and with reason”
Interest in the protest was spurred by the actions of Smolninsky district court this week failed in a trial with a Committee of property relations of the opponents of the building of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Russian Orthodox Church.
At first, the judge matusyak Tatyana has agreed to involve as stakeholders the Museum “St. Isaac’s Cathedral”, the Ministry of culture, the city Committee for culture, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Governor.
The case was planned to be postponed until April 17. But the next morning the participants in the process received an invitation to the court: it was decided to stop.
In parallel, the media reported that city management does not intend to wait two years while the Museum will relocate from the Cathedral, and ordered to assess the possibility of moving the Museum for Easter.
The Director of the institution Nikolay Burov said the cost of the move: 139 million rubles. And said that the process will take 188 days.
In the background of this information, as well as continuing not the first week of speeches in defense of the national library and of the conflict around the Pulkovo Observatory rally in defense of St. Petersburg was very interesting to many.
Not by chance it has gathered representatives of all generations — from the old ladies with lawn chairs to students.
The campaign received an additional symbolic meaning because of what took place in the afternoon of the 30th anniversary of the famous mass protests against the demolition of the building “Angleterre” on the same St. Isaac’s square.
Although this was not the first rally against the transfer of the Cathedral, this time it was different the active support of culture.
In one of the first rows of the stage was the film Director Alexander Sokurov, performed on stage with his colleague Yuri Mamin, actor Ivan Krasko and writer Elena Chizhova.
Poet Alexander Gorodnitsky wrote a poem in the famous “Atlantis”. It was dedicated to the current situation in St. Petersburg, which is often characterized as rapid provincialisation once the cultural capital.
At the rally in St. Petersburg
Words of support to the citizens from Oleg Basilashvili gave the Deputy of Legislative Assembly of Petersburg Boris Vishnevsky. In his own speech, he tried to explain that everything that happens is only due to one cause is political.
“Let’s figure out what we face, ranging from the problems of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Pulkovo Observatory and ending with the problem of preserving Polezhaevskiy Park — it all has the same political reasons, he said. — These reasons that we have the power do not care about us, which does not depend on us and sees no need to serve us”.
The MP urged people to look at the situation in the complex.
“Until they change the system until the power that be obliged to serve us, and who will know that if she will not do, we shall expel out, it will all happen again”, — he said.
“There will be fair elections — then we will have a Governor who will carry out the will of the people, not the President, and he will not dare contemptuously to say “issue resolved”, spit on our opinion. To be honest elections — we will have MPs who will vote the way the people want, not Smolny,” said Wisniewski gathered.
“Aggression against Petersburg”
Historian and journalist Lev Lurie described the situation as “a natural aggression against Petersburg” and said from the podium that “more stupid, marginal, wild power, than now in Petersburg was not.”
Lurie suggested to pay attention to how expensive cars are often parked near the temples. And admitted that even though he was actually a supporter of the transfer of Isaac Church, but not in its form in which it now presents.
That God is not in the Church, but at heart, it reminded the author of “Window to Paris” Yuri Mamin.
“They demolished temples, now they give them — they are unscrupulous, — said the Director of the actions of mayors who ran the city on the Neva. Their main task is to please the Tsar, to lick bigger: “But let’s call a name of Kadyrov the bridge and push?” The saddest thing is that they succeeded to do that because people did not believe that it is possible to correct something. The situation is different today”.
Coordinator, “Open Russia” in St. Petersburg Andrei Pivovarov concluded said to him call for the resignation of Governor Georgy Poltavchenko. The first series was supported with a chant.
In General to young people at the rally were treated with care: in front of the stage going, mostly older people, and young people prefer to move freely behind, closer to the Eternal flame there the posters launched the defenders of the European University.
New “Leningrad affair”
Meanwhile on the field, rascisim from rain, melting ice and passed it many feet, the writer Elena Chizhova told the audience from the stage that the events of recent months have already called the new “Leningrad affair.”
“My parents knew 40’s — early 50-ies, when the city was destroyed everything — science, culture, our memory, our identity and most importantly — our sense of self-esteem, she said. — There are people who call all this RAID, and I agree with that. For these raiders of our St. Isaac’s Cathedral, our favorite Publichka, Pulkovo Observatory and everything that we love, is the only urban real estate “.
To the subject property appealed and the authors of other presentations: there were calls to review the benefits enjoyed by the ROC, and even to introduce a law to protect the rights of atheists.
The rally was surely coming to an end, and have finally found out why it was called March.
“The rally finished, but the March in protection of St. Petersburg will continue,” — sounded from the stage.