Staunton, May 29 – After the wall around the planned dump in Shiyes for trash from Moscow was demolished and most protesters left, approximately 60 members of private guard force attacked the remaining 20 protesters, injuring three of them to the point that they had to be sent to local hospitals. One activist said the guards had “acted like Nazis in World War II.”
In a New Times article headlined “Activists Destroy Fences; Guards Destroy People,” journalist Elena Solovyeva describes the clashes which occurred two days ago at the site near Arkhangelsk and said the behavior of the guards was especially bad because they said they enjoyed the backing of local police and Moscow officials (newtimes.ru/articles/detail/181097).
“If all this continues,” Viktor Vishnevsky, a leader of the Committee for the Defense of the Vchegdy, said, “in many population points of Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Komi Republic will begin unlimited protest actions against the illegal construction of the site. People ever more understand that there is no other way to have an impact on the authorities.”
Given the behavior of the guards, the support they have from on high, and the anger of the people, “the recent declarations about the stopping of work and the commentary of the president have not been able to lower the level of protest attitudes in Arkhangelsk Oblasst and the Komi Republic. On the contrary, it is growing.”
“People are certain, Solovyeva says, “that only they on their own will be able to stop the construction of the trash site” for wastes coming from Moscow. She notes that a major protest meeting is planned for June 2 in Syktyvkar, which is located “less than a hundred kilometers from Shiyes.”
In the last 48 hours, conditions around the site have deteriorated with protests continuing and local police arresting four activists who oppose the continuing construction of the dump which would be the largest in Russia (t.me/mbknorthwest/2616 and znak.com/2019-05-29/na_stancii_shies_zaderzhany_chetyre_eko_aktivista_vystupayuchih_protiv_stroitelstva_poligona).
In its reportage about the same events, the Tallinn-based regionalist portal Region.Expert says that after the guards moved against the demonstrators at Shiyes, several hundred people in Arkhangelsk went into the streets to show their opposition to the actions of the guards and their support for the demonstrators (region.expert/pomorye-maidan/).
According to Region.Expert, such “massive” protests have passed “out from under the control of the authorities there.” And as a result, “the situation is beginning to resemble no the Moscow Bolotnaya Square protests when after the police used force, the protests ceased, but rather the Kyiv Maidan when the use of force only intensified the protest.”
Moreover, the portal continues, these “protests certainly will become more massive because of the obvious lies by the powers that be. They said they were stopping the construction of the trash site until public hearings could be held and an environmental impact statement prepared, but in reality, construction there is continuing with ever more building materials being brought in.”
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