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Russian Opposition, Rights Activists Plan Protests

An opposition supporter holds up a leaflet with the number "31" on it during a rally in Moscow on May 31.
Russian opposition and human rights activists plan to gather for regular, unauthorized protests in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and a number of other cities.

Opposition and rights activists attempt to hold protests on the 31st of each month to call attention to Article 31 of Russia's constitution, which guarantees freedom of assembly.

The authorities routinely deny permission for the demonstrations -- which the activists say they do not need -- and police break up the protests before they can begin, dragging protesters away.

In Moscow, the rallies have been held on Triumph Square, but this month the city government fenced it off and announced plans to build an underground parking garage.

compiled from agency reports