Russia arrests New Year’s protesters
About 200 people converged on Triumfalnaya Square in the early evening darkness, perhaps half of them journalists, for a rally organized by Eduard Limonov in support of freedom of assembly.
Limonov, founder of the National Bolshevik Party, was detained on the street before he even got to the square, and police said about 60 protesters in all were arrested because the gathering did not have a permit. They said, however, that all would be released before the stroke of midnight.
The protest differed from two rallies earlier in the month, when tens of thousands gathered in Moscow and throughout the country to demand fair elections. Saturday’s protest — called Strategy 31 after the article of the constitution that guarantees freedom of assembly — has been going on for two years, held on the 31st of every month with that many days.