Moscow: Picket at the Oblast Duma

KRAS-MAT pickets at Moscow Oblast Duma

On September 3 2015 activists of KRAS, the Russian Section of the International Workers' Association (IWA-AIT), took part in picketing the building of the Moscow Oblast Duma (the parliament of the Moscow region). The picket was conducted by groups of pensioners from various cities and by social organizations of Moscow and its Oblast.

This action was part of ongoing protests against the cancelling of free travel for pensioners of Moscow Oblast on public transport in Moscow. This benefit was cancelled as of August 1 2015. Affected are almost 1.2 million residents of the Oblast, who previously were able to use their social cards for the subway and buses. Now they will have to pay for trips across the city out of their own pockets. To put this in perspective, many pensioners of the Oblast receive monthly pensions in the 7,000 to 10,000 ruble range ($150 to $200); one trip on the Moscow Metro costs 50 rubles, ground transport: 40 rubles.

The organizers of the picket displayed banners and signs demanding the repeal of the law cancelling the benefit (passed by the Oblast Duma and signed by Governor Vorobyev), as well as the resignation of the deputies who voted for this law along with the governor. A group of pensioners from Chekov Raion [County] also demanded that pensions be raised to an adequate level -- to the 90,000 rubles which bureaucrats receive.

The KRAS activists are in complete agreement with demands for the raising of pensions and the repeal of the law, which they regard as one of the typical attacks on social gains and people's rights launched by plutocrats and "efficiency-oriented" bureaucrats, fanatics of the ongoing "social chainsaw massacre". At the same time, KRAS doesn't believe that replacing officials will lead to a change in policy. It's not just individual rulers who are rotten – the whole system is rotten!

The Russian section of the the IWA-AIT promoted its own demand at the picket: immediate free travel on public transport for everyone. Public services should be free. This applies not only to travel, but also education, health care, etc.

Thanks to www.aitrus.info for this press release.