Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#12 - JRL 7139
April 9, 2003
Students sent to United Russia's anti-war rally 

Moscow police have detained several participants of an anti-war rally held 
near the US embassy on Wednesday, as they tried to throw objects at the 
building of the diplomatic mission. The incident occurred as a column of 
protesters marched past cordons set up around the embassy. Several young men 
tried to throw objects resembling plastic toys at the windows of the embassy 
before being detained by police. 

According to witnesses, participants of the protest action organized by the 
pro-Kremlin United Russia Party and trade unions threw eggs and tomatoes at 
the walls of the US embassy in Moscow. Law enforcers said that four activists 
had been given an official warning, whereupon they were released. 

Several thousand protesters gathered in front of the US embassy in central 
Moscow on Wednesday morning holding up anti-war slogans and placards. As the 
participants arrived they were handed leaflets, in which the organizers of 
the rally urged everyone to denounce the action of the anti-Iraqi coalition. 
The protesters also sang patriotic songs. 

Fresh waves of protesters, carrying anti-war placards, kept flowing on to 
Novinsky Boulevard, where the US diplomatic mission is situated, from various 
directions. Ambulances accompanied the columns of marching protesters. One 
man, who felt unwell, was hospitalized during the march. 

The protesters were mostly United Russia members, trade union activists and 
students from Moscow's institutions of higher education. 

Some of the posters that the protesters were carrying were decorated with 
United Russia logos. Some read: ''Do economy, not war!'', ''Columbus, why did 
you discover America?'', ''Iraq is not Monica, it will not go down on its 
knees!'', ''Bush, do not fight with the diplomats!'' (an allusion to the 
Sunday attack on a Russian diplomatic convoy), ''Shame on you, America!''…. 

Those present unanimously passed a resolution urging the United States ''to 
stop the war in Iraq immediately and to bring the situation back to the 
sphere of a diplomatic solution''. The document signed by the organizers of 
the rally states that ''an organization uniting mankind must be the UN, not 
the Pentagon''. The text of the document was handed over to US embassy 
officials. At the end of the rally its participants burned a doll of 
President Bush. 

Later, it transpired that students from several Moscow universities were sent 
to participate in the major anti-US rally in a voluntary-obligatory order, 
the Ekho Moskvy radio station reported citing students who took part. The 
radio station's correspondent said that students from Moscow State Social 
University, the Russian University of People's Friendship, the Moscow State 
University and Moscow State Institute of International Relations participated 
in the action. 

However, the administrations of the institutes denied that orders for 
students to take part in the meeting had been given.  
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