There are marches in Putin Russia which are officially sanctioned and the police will assist those engaged in a march which supports the current regime of Vladmir Putin, and there are angry, unlawful marches in which people actually believe there is something wrong in the current state of affairs. Of course, these individuals are mentally unbalanced because they find clouds in the sunshine of a Russia in which all agree Putin and Medvedev can do no wrong. About a hundred people in St. Petersburg asked permission to march and suggested three alternative routes but police insisted they can gather at the spot identified by authorities and say what they wished and they had to leave. To ensure “public safety,” over 3,000 police also gathered in case the 100 tried to act like the famous 300 of Greece and challenge despots.
The same scene was repeated all over Russia wherever anyone gathered to protest the current rule of those in authority. Police bullied detainees and anyone who dared to hand out material had the subversive material destroyed before they were hauled off to the nearest police station. One activist noted the day before she did not feel well and called for an ambulance, but before that vehicle could arrive, police came inquiring if she was OK. I guess those who tap phones are also concerned about the health of activists since they want them in good shape in order to beat up.