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Moscow Activists: Russia Today Similar To 'Bloody Sunday'

Protesters in Moscow gathered near the subway station named after the 1905 "Bloody Sunday" massacre in St. Petersburg.
Protesters in Moscow gathered near the subway station named after the 1905 "Bloody Sunday" massacre in St. Petersburg.
MOSCOW -- Hundreds of activists from Russian leftist groups in Moscow have marked the anniversary of the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in St. Petersburg in 1905 known as "Bloody Sunday" while making parallels to the situation in Russian society today, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Left Front movement coordinator Sergei Udaltsov, one of the organizers of the gathering in Moscow on January 9, told RFE/RL that marking of the January 1905 massacre is important as "Russia's current leadership is ready to shoot at the ordinary people using different types of provocations."

"After the Parliamentary elections on December 4, the number of protesters in Russia is increasing. The situation now is very similar to what was occurring back then in Russia. By mid-January we will establish a civil committee to coordinate all our efforts to make them transparent in order to avoid any possible provocation from the authorities," Udaltsov said.

The "Bloody Sunday" massacre took place on January 22, 1905, which at that time was January 9 on the old Russian calendar. On that day unarmed, peaceful demonstrators marching to give a petition to Tsar Nicholas II were gunned down by his Imperial Guard while approaching the city center and the Winter Palace from several gathering points.

The shooting is considered one of the major events which led to the eventual Russian Revolution of 1917.

The protesters gathered on January 9 near the subway station called "The Year of 1905 Street" in Moscow holding red flags and placards expressing solidarity with workers around the world.

The activists expressed their support for the protesters in the Kazakh town of Zhanaozen, where at least 16 striking oil workers and their relatives were shot dead by police and security forces on December 16.

The leader of Kazakhstan's Socialist Movement, Ainur Qurmanov, who was present at the gathering in Moscow, told RFE/RL that he was very grateful to all activists in Russia who expressed support for the oil workers in Zhanaozen.

"The deadly shootings of the protesters in Zhanaozen are historic and might lead to a Kazakh revolution," Qurmanov said.

Activists of Russia's Communist Workers Party (RKRP), the Left Front, the Union of Communes, and the Socialist Alternative movement were among the protesters. The demonstration was sanctioned by Moscow authorities.

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