An unauthorised opposition protest outside Moscow City Hall has been broken up and around 30 people arrested. Activists wanted to voice their anger at the government and the city’s mayor as well as defend their right to peaceful assembly under the 31st article of the Constitution.
“We came to defend our rights and the constitution,” said Moscow resident Irina Nabatova.
“According to the constitution, we have a right to assemble. We don’t need permission or notification. But it is always forbidden.”
Mayor Yuri Luzhkov is also under pressure from the Kremlin which criticised him for staying away from Moscow as the city choked in the smoke from recent wildfires.
Activists cried “Shame” as one man wearing a jester’s hat was led away after shouting anti-government slogans. There are reports that another 50 people were arrested at a separate protest in Saint Petersburg.