20 000 Russians protest anti-US adoption law
2013 January 13 18:08:37 | 1737 Views
- Ingabe ikuphatheleni i-MDC, njalo kusizani ukuyivotela? | 2013 May 13 17:03:55 | 2610 views
- Ikuphatheleni iMDC, kusiza ngani ukuyivotela? | 2013 May 08 19:28:47 | 2676 views
- MDC-T on course | 2013 March 27 14:05:12 | 6562 views
- People will vote for a party with sustainable economic programmes | 2013 March 04 02:36:52 | 7341 views
- Introducing: Election (2013) campaign articles | 2013 March 02 11:08:41 | 5918 views
- Prostitute dies during love making, 'resurrects' in coffin | 2013 March 23 10:13:12 | 83936 views
- Woman sends photo of naked President Mugabe via Whatsapp | 2013 January 10 15:04:10 | 45742 views
- Zim woman who had sex with boyfriend as son watched named | 2013 January 31 09:05:43 | 44370 views
- Man marries mother-in-law after his wife died | 2013 January 16 11:05:42 | 30148 views
The protest, dubbed the "March Against Scoundrels," was aimed at naming and shaming lawmakers who fast-tracked the anti-adoption bill through the lower house of parliament, the State Duma.
Participants carried pictures of President Vladimir Putin and lawmakers such as Alina Kabayeva, a former gymnast, and Irina Rodnina, Russia's Olympic gold medal figure skating champion, who voted for the measure.
Protesters stamped the word "Shame!" across their portraits in red, and a poster of Putin had mud thrown at it.
The Duma passed the bill without debate in a quick 420-7 vote during a third and final reading in December.
The latest anti-Kremlin march came after Putin signed off on a measure introducing a blanket ban on US adoptions in reprisal for Washington legislation targeting alleged Russian rights abusers.
"I am against our Duma and the thieving authorities," Yulia Shamanova, a young mother, told AFP.
"This is a very shameful law that should be cancelled."
One placard at the march read "Stop lying," while another said in English: "American parents, thank you for healing our orphans."
The marchers were also heard chanting "Shame," and "the Duma is eating children".
Moscow authorities had said no more than 20 000 people could participate in the protest and at least that number took part in the march amid a heavy police presence and temperatures of minus 12°C, an AFP photographer said.
Leftist activist Sergei Udaltsov said up to 50 000 had turned up, while city police put the turnout at just under 10 000.
"A little goes a long way," said march participant Alexei Sharapanyuk.
"Sooner or later something will change in the country. It is no longer possible to tolerate this."
Political activists have taken up the cause of Russian orphans to also make a broader point about widespread rights violations and called for the Duma's dissolution.
They have hoped public anger may help revitalise the protest movement, which lost momentum in a tough crackdown on civil society that followed Putin's Kremlin comeback in May.
Only a few thousand attended an unsanctioned rally in December, a tiny fraction of the 120 000 people who came out at the height of the protests one year ago.
"I am marching against scoundrels," tweeted Alexei Navalny, the anti-Kremlin movement's most charismatic leader.
Enemies of the state
Putin's spokesperson said the president was aware of the protest.
Speaking to Dozhd, a private television channel, Dmitry Peskov praised march participants for drawing attention to the plight of orphans but added that calls for the Duma's dissolution were "unconstructive".
At the end of the march, which lasted around 2.5 hours, some participants threw the portraits of lawmakers and Putin into a garbage bin, while others burnt them, Udaltsov said on Ekho of Moscow radio.
Critics say the ban has robbed many disabled orphans of the chance to receive adequate medical treatment abroad, dealt a blow to US-Russian relations and triggered a rare split in the government.
More than 100 000 signatures have already been collected against the anti-adoption measure and the Novaya Gazeta opposition newspaper has also collected more than 117 000 signatures on a petition calling for the dissolution of parliament.
Observers say the latest Kremlin initiative has led to a huge split in society and dented the government's moral authority.
Andrei Isayev, chair of the Duma committee responsible for labour, social policies and veterans' affairs, had earlier branded those planning to take to the streets "enemies" of Russia.
Smaller rallies took place in other cities.
Around 1 500 gathered in Saint Petersburg, Putin's hometown, with some holding placards reading "Putin is evil".
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 931 Views
Moyo Roy | 2013 May 18 | 704 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 May 18 | 1274 Views
Sports reporter | 2013 May 18 | 677 Views
Sports reporter | 2013 May 18 | 817 Views
online | 2013 May 18 | 2230 Views
Gideon Gono | 2013 May 18 | 997 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 1971 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 755 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 1962 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 1760 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 2561 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 1178 Views
Supersport | 2013 May 18 | 1773 Views
AFP | 2013 May 18 | 2410 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 1252 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 May 18 | 1362 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 May 18 | 6438 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 May 18 | 3114 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 May 18 | 4789 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 1401 Views
Patrice Lumumba | 2013 May 18 | 2676 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 2787 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 May 18 | 1925 Views
Emmanuel Ndlovu | 2013 May 18 | 745 Views
Arts reporter | 2013 May 17 | 1664 Views
Entertainment Correspondent | 2013 May 17 | 1988 Views
Moyo Roy | 2013 May 16 | 1850 Views
Vasco Shaya | 2013 May 16 | 3458 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 May 15 | 1919 Views
Arts Correspondent | 2013 May 14 | 2680 Views
Carter Chapwanya | 2013 May 14 | 2251 Views
Own Correspondent | 2013 May 14 | 1366 Views