On Saturday, there'll be at least four rallies here in Moscow: The Other Russia's Dissenters' March either at Pushkinskaya or Turgenevskaya, or both (or neither); an SPS rally at Slavyanskaya Square; Rogozin's nationalist rally at Bolotnaya Square; the United Russia/the Young Guard's rally at Pushkinskaya AND Vorobyovy Gory.
And here's a relevant item from Gazeta.ru (RUS):
"All journalists planning to cover street rallies this coming weekend can visit us at the Center for Extreme Journalism and receive special jackets. It'll say MEDIA on them and there'll also be listed those articles of the legislation, which protect journalists' professional rights and for violation of which those guilty are to bear responsibility," said on Thursday Igor Yakovenko, secretary general of the Russian Journalists' Union.
He noted that "these jackets are in fact meant for journalists working in "hot zones," but, taking into account the tensions surrounding the upcoming events, the Russian Journalists' Union is ready to lend them to reporters."
Yakovenko has appealed to law enforcement officials, calling them "to follow the law and let journalists do their job during the upcoming rallies." "You should understand that journalists are not participants - they are just there doing their job, just as the police do their job. And you should approach it from the legal, not political perspective."
This is so fucked up. And after Kyiv and our "on the verge of civil war" state, this seems especially crazy.
What about, say, a group of Japanese tourists who might happen at the site of one of those rallies and, of course, start taking pictures? Do they need flak jackets, too?
Or, what about someone with the soul of a Japanese tourist - someone like myself?