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Monday, September 05, 2005


Nashi organise Beslan rallies anonymously

From The Moscow Times:

Tourists and students from the North Caucasus joined thousands of Nashi activists near Red Square to remember the Beslan school seizure with lit candles and a moment of silence on Saturday.

At least 7,000 people gathered on Vasilyevsky Spusk, alongside St. Basil's Cathedral, to take part in a silent rally organized by the pro-Kremlin youth organization Nashi, or Us, which had placed black posters on public transportation and elsewhere around the city urging Moscow residents to join. The posters made no mention of Nashi's involvement.

"I came here because I simply could not be anywhere else on this day," said Tatyana Kopylova, 46, of the Moscow region town of Elektrostal. As she spoke, tears rolled down her cheeks. She clutched four red carnations in one hand and a candle in the other.

Kopylova was not aware who organized the event and said she had learned about it from a poster in the metro.

Nashi organized similar silent rallies in 30 other cities across the country, including St. Petersburg, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg, group spokesman Ivan Mastovich told Interfax.

About 200 people on Friday held a demonstration organized by human rights and opposition groups, apparently hoping to counter the Nashi rally. Participants chanted "Shame!" and called for the resignation of Putin's top police and security officials.

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