March in Memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova. Report and photos via HRO.org

posted 23 Jan 2016, 13:20 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 23 Jan 2016, 13:32 ]
20 January 2016 

Source: HRO.org

On January 19, 2016, there was a demonstration in Moscow from Novopushkinsky Square along the boulevards to Prechistenka Street in memory of the human rights activist Stanislav Markelov and the Novaya Gazeta journalist Anastasia Baburova. Both were killed by nationalists seven years ago.

Civic activists, human rights activists, and friends of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova began to gather on Tverskoi Boulevard at 6:30 PM, half an hour before the event officially began. People young and old gathered for the event. Many held flowers and portraits of Stas and Nastya in their hands.

Soon, the small space, enclosed by metal barriers, became crowded. The police closely scrutinized all signs and banners that had been brought to the event, sometimes many times over, significantly delaying the start of the demonstration.

Finally, at 7:40 pm, they removed the metal barriers, and the participants formed a column and began to move.

“To remember means to fight,” “Nationalism is a danger and a threat to liberty, equality, and brotherhood,” read the banners and posters. Some carried signs displaying crossed-out aerial bombs, swastikas, and televisions.

“Stas and Nastya should be alive!,” “I am Stanislav Markelov!,” “I am Anastasia Baburova!,” “Down with fascism, homophobia, and sexism!,” chanted the protesters. They also shouted out the names of other anti-fascist activists who have been murdered.

As the column continued along the boulevard, it stretched a considerable distance. Passers-by noticed it and became interested in the event. For the duration of the march route, the demonstration was accompanied by law enforcement officers with trained dogs, and a number of police vans were parked along curbs.

When the demonstration reached the Kropotkinskaya metro station, people folded up their signs and banners and crossed to Prechistenka Street. Portraits, fresh flowers, and lit candles already marked the site where Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova were murdered, and now even more were added to them. People placed bouquets on the spot, stood silently for a moment, and quietly left.

Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova were shot dead on January 19, 2009, after a press conference of human rights activists at the Independent Press Center, then located on Prechistenka Street. At the murder trial, Nikita Tikhonov, one of the leaders of BORN (the Fighting Organization of Russian Nationalists), was convicted, along with his girlfriend Evgeniya Khasis.

Comments