Last Tuesday, no more than two dozen doctors, teachers and “social activists” managed to block one of the largest streets in Moscow, Tverskaya (once considered the city’s main) for five-ten minutes. Police did not interfere.
The people were protesting against the eviction of six families from subsidized housing in the south of Moscow. Since early December, these families – who have not been physically evicted yet but are living under threat of eviction – have also been camping out next to a United Russia office in Moscow.
“Subsidized” or “social” housing sounds close to “council estate” or “housing project” but those families are not unemployable misfits. They – at least some of them – are what is called byudzhetniki in Russian, that is professionals paid by the state, such as school teachers and doctors: most (not all) Russian schools and clinics are state-controlled and financed.
Echo Moskvy claims that most of yesterday’s protesters were not family members but activists, probably left-wing. They also attempted to break into the Moscow City department of city property. Over there as on Tverskaya, police made no arrests.