Anti-Putin protesters in New York put Putin behind bars
The protesters demanded that Putin pulls out all Russian regular troops and mercenaries from Eastern Ukraine, that Russia immediately returns the illegally occupied Crimean peninsula to Ukraine, that the political prisoner Nadiya Savchenko is immediately released, and that the other political prisoners who are behind bars for peacefully protesting are released as well.
The rally was started with a minute of silence to honor the memory of a Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who is widely believed to be assassinated by the Russian Security Services for his anti-Putin political activities. One banner said “Nemtsov Bridge”, aiming signify the bridge on which Boris Nemtsov was assassinated on February 27th, 100 meters away from the Kremlin’s walls. People in Moscow now call the bridge “Nemtsov Bridge”, and regularly lay flowers at the site of the murder. However, the authorities keep removing the flowers.
Throughout the rally, one of the organizers, Alex Zaporozhtsev, was conducting a Skype conference with the activists who had planned to conduct a rally for freedom in Russia and peace in Ukraine in Moscow today. The city authorities had forbidden them from conducting the rally, so they organized a series of solitary pickets. However, the police started arresting them anyway. The Skype conference was conducted with people who were at the Nemtsov Bridge, who came there to lay flowers and demonstrate against Putin’s repressive regime. However, the police started arresting the activists on the bridge as the video conference was happening.
One of the participants came to the rally wearing a Putin mask. The activists then put him in a self-made cardboard prison cell, as the audience of bystanders and passersby cheered.
Finally, the demonstrators walked to the Maidan memorial on 2nd avenue and 9th street and lay flowers to honor the heroes who were killed on Maidan during Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity.
Analogous rallies were also conducted in Los Angeles, Seattle,Washington DC, Montreal, The Hague, and Tel Aviv.