They were all here. Politicians, trade union members, ecologists, drummers, students, pensioners, children, supporters of most political parties, anarchists, anti-fascists, gay and lesbian, the Northern fleet’s orchestra, nationalists and Soviet-nostalgic communists. And of course hundreds of police officers and onlookers along the short kilometre long route down the Lenin Prospekt towards the Five Corner square and the Cultural Palace downtown Murmansk.
Wasn’t it for all the other colors than red, the scene could have been from before 1992.
There were two different parades along the main street in Murmansk this May 1st. The second one, walking Lenin Prospekt an hour later, consisted of Russia’s non-system opposition. Including the Communist Party, this march was by far the one with fewest participants, around 200 people.
The first, larger march gathered several thousands, estimates say from 3,500 to 5,000 people.
Most ballons were red, blue and white, symbolizing Russia’s tricolor flag. A few carried yellow and blue ballons, the Ukrainian colors, and posters stating Russians and Ukrainians are one people. LGBT supporters even carried a huge rainbow flag. This May Day allowed everyone’s voice to be heard.
The majority of banners, however, were proclaiming supremacy of workers’ rights, like May 1st parades around the world.