Thousands protest against cathedral in Russian city | TribLIVE.com
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Thousands protest against cathedral in Russian city

Associated Press
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Associated PRess
Demonstrators wave their cell phones Wednesday, with the words on one of them reading “Park has to be! ” as they gather in front of a new fence blocked by police. They are protesting plans to construct a cathedral in a park in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
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Associated PRess
Riot police stand Wednesday next to demonstrators gather in front of a newly built fence blocked by police during a protest against plans to construct a cathedral in a park with the Church on the Blood (in the background), a cathedral erected on a place where the last czar; his wife, Alexandra; and their five children were executed in 1918 in Ural Mountain city of Yekaterinburg, Russia. Hundreds of riot police have surrounded a park in Russia’s fourth-largest city for a third consecutive day of protests against building a new cathedral.
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Associated PRess
A police officer speaks Wednesday on two walkie talkies as demonstrators gather to protest plans to construct a cathedral in a park in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
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Associated PRess
Demonstrators gather Wednesday in front of a new fence blocked by police, to protest plans to construct a cathedral in a park in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Hundreds of riot police have surrounded a park in Russia’s fourth-largest city before a third consecutive day of protests against building a new cathedral.

MOSCOW — Several thousand people rallied on Wednesday in Russia’s fourth-largest city as the showdown between authorities and activists protesting the plans to a build a new cathedral in a local park entered its third day.

Thousands gathered Wednesday evening in a riverside park in Yekaterinburg. Some of them were on bicycles, more camped out on the grass while others were walking their dogs.

As night fell, protesters turned on the lights on their mobile phones and flashlights, chanting “We stand for the park!”

Security measures for what has largely been a peaceful protest were heightened on the eve of the rally, with hundreds of riot police deployed to the park. Earlier, construction workers started building a new, sturdy fence to replace the chain-link fence that the protesters brought down a day earlier.

Opponents of the cathedral, which is promoted by authorities and funded by the owners of two major local industrial giants, say the construction project smack in the city center would take away green and recreational space needed by residents of a city with 1.5 million people.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier Wednesday that the Kremlin has full trust in the local government to handle the protests but also decried the rallies which he described as unsanctioned demonstrations which violate Russian law.

Hundreds of protesters stayed in the park well after midnight facing several rows of riot police who were encircling the fence around the proposed construction site.

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