Gary Kasparov arrested
MOSCOW - Hundreds of demonstrators defied authorities Saturday by trying to stage an anti-government rally banned from a landmark downtown square, setting off sporadic clashes with police across Moscow and bringing a wave of arrests.Hardly good company, and Kasparov is right in his comparison. Putin was democratically elected but his rule has been dicatorial in the extreme.
A coalition of opposition groups organized the "Dissenters March" to protest the economic and social policies of President Vladimir Putin as well as a series of Kremlin actions that critics say has stripped Russians of many political rights.
Thousands of police officers massed to keep the demonstrators off Pushkin Square, beating some protesters and detaining many others, including Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion who has emerged as the most prominent leader of the opposition alliance.
Police said 170 people had been detained but a Kasparov aide, Marina Litvinovich, said as many as 600 people were detained — although she said about half were released quickly. Kasparov, whom witnesses said was seized as he tried to lead a small group of demonstrators through lines of police ringing Pushkin Square, was freed late Saturday after he was fined $38 for participating in the rally.
"It is no longer a country ... where the government tries to pretend it is playing by the letter and spirit of the law," Kasparov said outside the court building, appearing unfazed by his detention.
"We now stand somewhere between Belarus and Zimbabwe," two dictatorships that have cracked down on opposition, he said.
I admire Kasparov's courage to stand up like he did, but it is reckless too. Weird things happen to people who oppose Putin openly. Another such demonstration by Kasparov could have serious physical consequences for the former World Chess Champ. On the other hand, would Putin really allow harm to someone as visible as Kasparov?
Hat tip- Poliblog
Linked to- Basil, Cao, Right Wing Nation,