Exhausted Russian reporters plan anti-demonstration protest

March 13th, 2012 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook Moscow, March 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian media employees who are sick and tired of the incessant pro- and anti-government protests in Moscow have set up a Facebook group “Journalists Against Demonstrations” and are planning their own counter-event.

“After yet another demonstration we were back at our desks, exhausted. We began to understand how sick and tired we were of all these repetitive protest campaigns; sick and tired of running around in the street till late at night,” Yelizaveta Surnachova, a correspondent for the Slon.ru web portal, told Business FM radio.

“So as a joke we set up the group; and as a joke, several of our colleagues supported the idea,” she said.

The group’s motto is: “Let Journalists Return to Their Families!”

It includes correspondents from news outlets like Vedomosti and Kommersant dailies, Ekho Moskvy radio and the Polit.ru and Gazeta.ru internet portals, Surnachova said.

The group is considering inviting riot police to their event. “Those guys must be sick and tired of the rallies for fair elections, for Putin or whatever else,” Surnachova added.

Recent anti-government demonstrations in Moscow have taken a toll on city services, resulting in costs totaling about 3 million rubles ($102,000), a deputy mayor said in a report Monday.

The report spans the mass rallies held in December 2011-March 2012, including two protests over Vladimir Putin’s presidential election victory last week, Kommersant daily said.

Allegations of widespread fraud during December’s parliamentary elections in favour of Putin’s United Russia party sparked the biggest anti-government protests seen in Moscow since Soviet times. The protests continued after Putin won a landslide victory in the March 4 presidential polls. His victory has been recognized by foreign states, but Russian monitoring groups said the election saw “systematic” fraud.

Moscow’s public services faced long delays because of the demonstrations and were forced to increase the number of employees during the rallies, Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov said in the report.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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