Unauthorised rally takes place in centre of Penza
Penza, 31 January 2021. PenzaNews. An unauthorized rally in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny took place in the centre of Penza on Sunday, January 31.
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Even before it started, considerable forces of law and order had been brought to Moskovskaya Street and those streets surrounding it. Metal fencing was installed to prevent a possible march. The protesters were expected to start moving from the Vysshaya Liga shopping mall to the Penza regional government building at around noon.
However, shortly before that time, when it became obvious that people would not be able to freely proceed down Moskovskaya Street, information appeared on the Internet about the change of the so-called “meeting point” to a public garden near the Rostok Stele.
As a result, confusion arose, but then people intending to take part in the unauthorized event gradually moved to Slavy Street. Fully equipped law enforcement officers arrived there.
Soon after several people unfurled posters, one of the protesters began to loudly complain about a low pension and high utility rates, drawing the attention of those around her in every possible way. The police took her across the public garden to the opposite side of the street to a squad car. After a short time, another person was escorted from the scene of the mass gathering.
An audio message was broadcast on a loudspeaker of a police car warning that the rally was unauthorised and that there was administrative liability for taking part in it. In addition, one of the police officers used a loudspeaker to call on the Penza residents to disperse.
Law enforcement officers subsequently pushed the protesters away from the Hotel Penza and took measures to separate them. Eventually the crowd split up and small groups of people began to wander aimlessly around the centre of Penza under the supervision of the security forces.