One-person protest in support of education held near Penza mayor's office
Penza, 21 December 2017. PenzaNews. The coordinator of the Left Front regional department Victor Khomets held a one-person protest in support of education near the building of the Penza administration before the start of the 40th regular session of the City Duma, where it was planned to adopt budget for the year 2018 and the planned period 2019-2020.
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He was holding a banner reading "Deputies, where is money for school repair?" and the flag of the movement.
At first, Victor Khomets tried to stay on steps of the main entrance but Oleg Vikulov, section manager of the law violation prevention and civil and religious organizations issues department of the Penza city administration, immediately came out of the building and convinced the activist to go down the steps.
After that, the official suggested that the Left Front coordinator moved a little further from the entrance but that protester refused.
Then, Oleg Vikulov informed someone about the campaign and returned to the building of the mayor's office.
Officials, deputies and ordinary citizens entered the building of the Penza administration during the one-person protest from time to time. Some of them tried to pay no attention to the activist, while others carefully read the inscription on the banner.
Thus, the head of the Communal Affairs Department Andrei Grishin asked Victor Khomets whether he had got acquainted with the budget project but the protester said nothing.
About 30 minutes after the start of the rally, a police officer approached the coordinator of the Left Front regional department and asked how long he intended to hold the protest. Having received an answer, the law enforcement officer, the same as Oleg Vikulov, made a phone call telling the interlocutor that Viсtor Khomets did not interfere with citizens going to the city hall.
The essence of the rally was explained to a PenzaNews correspondent by the press secretary of the regional Left Front department Sergei Padalkin, who was also there.
"The education department needs 900 million roubles. [...] Only according to the requirements of various inspection bodies – the prosecutor's office, firefighters, Rospotrebnadzor – the elimination of violations will require 157 million roubles. It is necessary to install CCTV at some educational institutions, at others – to carry out repair, gas masks are missing," the interlocutor said.
He also claimed that the one-person protest was conducted in support of the Penza education department.
"We organized another rally near the mayor's office during the previous session. One of the requirements was to optimize the work of the district administrations. If we decide to close them leaving only improvement and communal services department, the city will save about 100 million roubles. This money can be sent to schools and preschool institutions," Sergei Padalkin said.