Author Topic: March Against Moscow Government's Demolition Plans Ongoing in Russia  (Read 183 times)

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Offline yungcrux

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Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Moscow on Sunday to rally against a bill to tear down Soviet-era low-rise apartment buildings.

Protesters, mostly young and middle couples, gathered on a central street to rally against arguably Russia's largest redevelopment project to pull down entire neighborhoods of Soviet-era prefabricated buildings. City Hall has insisted the buildings are too dilapidated and outdated, while many residents and activists see the plans as a ruse to make way for high-rises in some of Moscow's leafiest neighborhoods.

The State Duma rushed to pass the first reading of a bill on the demolition in Moscow last month which will force the residents in what City Hall says are dilapidated blocks to vacate their apartments in exchange for other housing. Faced with growing criticism, the parliamentary speaker, however, suggested postponing the second reading pending a public debate.

Carrying placards "No to the demolition of the constitution!" and the flags of their neighborhoods, Muscovites chanted "Resign!" in reference to Moscow's mayor and City Hall. Police estimated turnout at Sunday's rally as low as 5,000 people while volunteers of the White Counter group, which attends opposition rallies to provide independent crowd tallies, said just over 20,000 people showed up.

Alexei Matveyev, a 36-year-old bank clerk from a north Moscow neighborhood, carried a placard reading "No to violation of the constitution and property law." He said the bill under discussion is rushed and disregards residents' interests.

"People who live in these blocks bought the apartments in order to live in quiet leafy low-rises," Matveyev said. "We are happy in our house. We don't want to live in tower blocks."

Fyodor Markushevich, a 40-year-old father of four, lives in a neighborhood in Moscow's west which has been recently taken off the list for re-development but he fears that once the bill passes the redevelopment plans would be redrafted again.



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