Since the middle of last week, opposition activists have tested authorities and themselves by maintaining an around-the-clock presence in a corner of the park that runs down the middle of Chistoprudny Boulevard, near the pond that gives the street its name.
In the past, Moscow police have broken up unauthorized political rallies swiftly and forcefully. This camp technically does not qualify as an unsanctioned protest because there are no political posters and its residents do not chant any slogans. The legal hair-splitting shows how opposition leaders are searching for new tactics to keep alive the massive wave of dissent that broke out this winter.
Anastasia Kudryavtseva, a 28-year-old protester from Naberezhnye Chelny city in western Russia, said the protesters don’t even need to voice their demands because "everybody knows why we’re here."