For peace in Chechnya

IssueDecember 2001 - February 2002
News by Ella Polyakova, Elena Vilenskaya

For two years, with a small break of a couple of months, our human rights organisation “Soldiers Mothers of St Petersburg has held a picket every Thursday on Nevskij Prospekt, where members of the group gather opposite the Kazanski Cathedral.

With banners like: “Peace in Chechnya” , “I am against war, and you?” , “From war to reconciliation” , “Forgive us Chechnya” , and “You can t stop terrorism by using terrorism” , we protest against war in general and against the war in Chechnya specifically. We also collect signatures from supporters and send them to President Putin.

Unfortunately a lot of people support the current war and are participating in the anti-terrorist hysterics. We feel that holding such a regular picket provides us with good indications of the public mood and that people have become more and more aggressive recently, with some of them literally attacking us. We find our Forgive us Chechnya slogan provokes a lot of reactions in particular, and a poster with this on was torn apart by a hysterical woman just last week.