Police detain Russian opposition protesters

AP News
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Posted: Jul 31, 2011 12:58 PM
Police detain Russian opposition protesters

Russian police detained dozens of anti-government activists in Moscow and St. Petersburg on Sunday.

They were the latest in a series of protests that Russian opposition leaders call on the last day of every month with 31 days, with the date a reference to the 31st Article of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of assembly.

This month, however, the activists in Moscow adopted a new tactic and about 100 of them sat down near a central square in what appeared to be an attempt to demonstrate that their protest would be peaceful.

Moscow police, who usually break up the opposition protests, also appeared to have taken a new approach. The police said they would not detain the activists Sunday as long as they posed no danger to pedestrians.

After two hours, however, the activists stood up and began to march toward the Kremlin. Police moved in quickly and detained dozens.

In St. Petersburg, police said about 50 protesters were detained.