Yesterday, for the first time after many quiet years, Moscow Special Police Forces (OMON) dispersed a meeting in Pushkin Square. The question is not about skinheads. OMON was dispersing a meeting of leftist organizations, a permitted one. According to Nikolai Moskovchenko, former State Duma deputy, who participated in the meeting, OMON forces did not beat him so much, while they were more flatly tuned towards younger participants of the demonstration, students, members of Civil Solidarity, Socialist Opposition, Russian Party of Labour, Protection Trade Union. Totally, there were about 100 of them. Why did the city authorities decide to disperse such a peaceful meeting with help of OMON? All the more that the meeting was sanctioned, the permissions was received 10 days before it. The police, however, referred to some ban which arrived one day before the meeting. But it is still unknown who has issued this ban, because a ban like that would be a violation of the law. Who will be responsible for it? 27 people were detained. Almost all of them are injured. Especially two young people who have never been noticed in this company before. They seem to be just observers. The police eagerness was a bit shaken by State Duma deputy Oleg Shein who was one of the organizers and an active participant of the meeting. He is the only one who was not detained and not beaten at all. While Moskovchenko, who is not a deputy now, was beaten. He returned from Chechnya the day before yesterday to be in time for the meeting and afterwards for the reception in the Kremlin devoted to the Day of Frontier Guard. At least, OMON exist just for such aims – to disperse meetings like that. In Chechnya it showed its full uselessness in solving military problems. While dispersing of a demonstration, and with full numerical, physical and technical superiority – this task is specially for OMON. They are qualified enough for it. And there is no difference whether the demonstrators are Chechens, Azerbaijanians, or Africans. Though, Moscow officials have prepared themselves as for the explanation of the lawless ban: as if the demonstrators were not polite enough while calling the police.
Anatoly Baranov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/05/28/41882.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969