On April 8, street rallies were held across the country in memory of the terrorist attacks victims in the St. Petersburg metro on April 3, where 13 people had been killed. Online magazine "7x7" presents an overview of the rallies in several cities.
Where did the authorities mobilize state employees to participate in the rally?
In his blog, the journalist from Orel Dmitry Krayukhin collected the students' testimonies that they were "forced" to come to the rally. The students assumed that the authorities wanted to side-track the attention from anti-corruption rallies.
The Open Russia movement in Chuvashia coordinator Dmitry Semenov posted in his Instagram blog the conversation from the chat room of the Chuvash State Pedagogical University students. It follows that the trade unionists were urged to bring to the Cheboksary rally “Together Against Terrorism” ten people each.
The students at the Yoshkar-Ola rally said to the "7x7" reporter that each class had a quota of the rally attendants.
On April 7, a student of the Syktyvkar State University told that the university had issued an order on the participation of students and teachers in the rally "We Are Against Terror". The purpose of such a decision was "breeding a sense of belonging to the global problems of the modern world".
At the anti-terrorism picketing in Voronezh, the students spoke about different reasons for participating in the rally: someone came for the sake of "plus" from the construction brigade, someone was "strongly recommended" to come and "check in" there.
At the rally in Kostroma, the "7x7" journalist noticed the organized columns of students and teachers from different schools. The children refused to talk to reporters and redirected all questions to their classroom teachers, but they also avoided talking to the press.
In Ryazan, the medical university students explained that they had come to the mourning rally “willy-nilly”.
The estimation of participants' number was splitted over
The estimations of the protesters' number in Murmansk have been disagreed enormously (300 and 2000 participants estimated), as posted by a civil activist Violetta Grudina in VKontakte.
The activist Dmitry Krayukhin doubted the official estimates (10 thousand people) of the participants' number in the mourning rally in Orel. In his opinion, the maximum capacity of Lenin's square is five thousand people, and people did not occupy all the designated area.
"However, these things are insignificant," the activist wrote in his blog. "Any official understands perfectly that it's better to overgrieve twice than to undergrieve three times!"
"Brevity is everything"
In many cities, the mourning rallies came to an end very quickly. For example, in Syktyvkar, the participants of the antiterrorist marathon began to disperse within half an hour after the event started. The rally in Yoshkar-Ola was also conducted within 30 minutes. In Yaroslavl, the "street part" of the event lasted about 15 minutes.
In Ryazan, the "7x7" reporter drew her attention to frequent participants of any "patriotic" actions, the Cossacks. They came to the rally with whips and were ready to frighten the enemies of Russia.
In Yaroslavl, the authorities decided to hold a mourning event in a religious way and set a special funeral service at the Dormition Cathedral. After that the metropolitan came from the church porch, and volunteers laid out 200 candles on the ground in a form of a phrase "Piter [St. Petersburg], we are with you".
In the capital of the Komi Republic, the "anti-terrorism marathon" rubbed shoulders with the Syktyvkar Health Day. Due to lack of electricity, the organizers even had to switch off the fluorograph for a while.
In Kirov, a communist Sergey Mamaev, in the shadow of the anti-terrorism theme of the event, mentioned one of the opposition leaders Alexey Navalny, "who made a real mess of things not in our favor".
In Petrozavodsk, a representative of the veteran organization Nikolai Chernenko even called those, who believe that anti-terrorism rallies do not make any difference, eunuchs.
Daniil Kuznetsov, «7x7»