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Public protest against the blocking of Telegram in St. Petersburg, in the home of the creator of the messenger Pavel Durov, gathered about a thousand people – much less than the day before in Moscow. The St. Petersburg action in the framework of the traditional May Day procession was organized by the leaders of the “Open Russia” movement.
It is unlikely that at least one protest action in St. Petersburg was announced as large as the march organized by the “Open Russia” in defense of Internet freedom. Join the procession on the eve of the founder called Telegram Pavel Durov, sending an announcement to the users of the messenger. However, to walk along Nevsky Prospekt in protest against the blocking of Telegram came out only about a thousand people. Partly this can be explained by bad weather – the procession had to be spent in the rain, because of which the St. Petersburgers could not, following the example of the protesters on the eve of the Muscovites, launch paper airplanes as a symbol of supporting the freedom of the Internet.
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Among the leaders of the column of opponents of the blocking Telegram were new faces. The slogans “Raggers and thieves, do not climb the Internet” and “Down with censorship, thanks to Pasha Durov” Ilya Gantvarg, a sophomore student, shouted into the megaphone, whose name became known after he was arrested for ten days before the presidential election for participating in a rally of supporters Alexander Navalny. One of the participants in the procession, instead of a poster, carried a portrait of Pavel Durov, stylized as an icon.
Photo: David Frenkel, Kommersant
The fact that on the traditional May Day march along Nevsky Prospect the opposition will demand, including the lifting of the blocking of Telegram, the leader of “Open Russia” Andrei Pivovarov announced at the last moment. The column with the banner “The rights do not give, the rights are taken” and the emblem of the movement of digital resistance lined up behind the column of democratic opposition – the supporters of “Fair Russia”, “Yabloko” and the Party of Growth – who claimed mostly hail protection requirements. Therefore, in the resolution of the rally, which ended both processions – in defense of St. Petersburg and in defense of the Internet – the requirement to cancel the decision to block Telegram entered the last, twenty-second point, after the demands to stop the building of parks and the destruction of monuments.
Maria Karpenko, St. Petersburg