Seven cities have issued demonstration permits to Alexey Navalny’s supporters for protests on July 1 against proposed pension reforms. The authorities in Stavropol, Lipetsk, Belgorod, Krasnodar, Khabarovsk, Murmansk, and Komsomolsk-on-Amur all agreed to allow rallies, though they offered the activists “alternative venues” at less central public spaces. At least three cities have rejected permit requests from Navalny’s activists.
The Anti-Corruption Foundation hopes to stage protests in 20 cities.
How do officials justify their refusal to grant protest permits? The deputy mayor of Novosibirsk claims that the region’s anti-terrorism commission has tracked incitements shared online to stage July 1 “terrorist attacks against the government in every city and riots with arson attacks against those who defend the state.”
On June 21, Moscow City Hall rejected three permit requests for protests in early July against Russia’s proposed pension reforms. City officials say the demonstrations would interfere with FIFA World Cup festivities.