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Riot police chase soap bubbles

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.




Riot police in Russia’s city of St Petersburg broke on 18 April 2010 a spontaneous “flash mob” organised to celebrate spring by blowing thousands of soap bubbles. The event — dubbed “Dream Flash aka Soapy St Pete” — brought together around 500 youngsters carrying flashy scarves and umbrellas and blowing soap bubbles near the Gorkovskaya metro station.

The flash mob’s organisers pointed out that the event was entirely apolitical. Any aggressive behaviour or attempts to use the event for political or other ends have nothing to do with the celebration, the event organisers stressed. Dream Flash promotes no political movement and does not lend support to any cause; the participants came just for a walk.

Riot police announced that the meeting was not sanctioned and called on the participants to disperse immediately. At the same time, a group of young men behaving aggressively, possibly Neo-Nazis, suddenly joined the marchers, began shouting some slogans, and throwing crackers at the crowd. Police then began dispersing people, arresting about a dozen.

Dream Flash is a flash mob organised by the Livejournal community ru_dreamflash in Moscow and St Petersburg. The Soap Bubble March usually takes place in the beginning of April. The event is all about celebrating spring and blowing soap bubbles. It is one of the most popular unofficial events organised in Moscow, and probably in Russia as a whole.




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