Police block anti-Putin demonstration in Moscow

Reuters reports:

Russian police detained at least 170 people, including chess champion Garry Kasparov, on Saturday as they snuffed out an attempt by opponents of President Vladimir Putin to protest near the Kremlin.

Activists had planned to gather at a city centre square about one km (half a mile) from the Kremlin to protest at what they say is Mr. Putin’s trampling of democratic freedoms and demand a fair vote to choose a new president in 2008.

Teams of riot police, acting on a ruling from the city authorities banning the protest, pounced on protesters as they appeared in small groups near the square and swiftly loaded them into buses, Reuters witnesses said.

The blog Whims of Fate has photos from the scene.

It’s deeply unfortunate that Kasparov and other genuine democrats in the Other Russia movement have allowed the creepy National Bolsheviks to participate. No matter how much I detest Putin’s authoritarianism, it’s hard to support an opposition that includes them.