Kasparov Leads Putin Protest

My parents have been in town for the past two days, so I’m a bit behind on my blogging. So how about we get back into the swing of things with a little chess news.

Sunday’s New York Times had this article about a protest held in St. Petersburg against the government of Vladimir Putin. The leader of the protest? None other than former world chess champion Garry Kasparov:

The rally was held in advance of local elections scheduled for March 11. Opposition events typically draw no more than several hundred people, but several thousand gathered for the rally in Vosstaniya Square.

Two leaders of what is left of Russia’s liberal opposition, Garry Kasparov, the former chess champion, and Mikhail A. Kasyanov, a former prime minister, spoke to the crowd. Then the protesters, accompanied by Mr. Kasparov, marched most of the length of the street, pushing through three police cordons as sirens wailed and Interior Ministry riot police scrambled to block their path.

When the police arrived to break up the protest, they left Kasparov alone but arrested the person who spoke after him:

Minutes after Mr. Kasparov spoke and left the area, the police broke up the crowd, first arresting the speaker who had taken Mr. Kasparov’s place.

Mr. Kasparov had handed the bullhorn to Sergey V. Gulayev, a member of an opposition faction in the local legislature in St. Petersburg.

“The government is afraid of the slightest wind,” Mr. Gulayev he told the crowd. “The government is fragile, and afraid, and will collapse with one push.”

As he spoke, riot police shoved through the crowd and grabbed the bullhorn from his hands, smashing it against the wall of a building. A policeman put Mr. Gulayev, grimacing, in a headlock and dragged him into a police vehicle as members of the crowd yelled “Shame! Shame!”

I guess Kasparov is too high profile to drag off in a headlock.

Comments

  1. #1 Ginger Yellow
    March 7, 2007

    “The government is afraid of the slightest wind,” Mr. Gulayev he told the crowd. “The government is fragile, and afraid, and will collapse with one push.”

    Sadly, this just isn’t true.

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