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Russian court ousts 'Occupy' camp

May 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM
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MOSCOW, May 15 (UPI) -- A Moscow court ordered a camp of "Occupy" activists Tuesday to disperse from a downtown park, citing complaints from neighbors.

The court decision comes after 12 neighborhood residents filed a complaint with the city, accusing the camp of being disruptive to the area. Anton Kulbachevsky, head of City Hall's environmental department, estimated the damage to lawns and shrubs to be around $650,000.

RIA Novosti reported the Occupy camp tried to maintain order by picking up trash and prohibiting alcohol.

"We will not leave because no court decision can ban people from gathering in parks and on boulevards," said activist leader Ilya Yashin, who added protesters are willing to cooperate with the police in other ways.

After two days of police crackdowns on protests throughout Moscow, activists set up camp May 9 at the monument to Kazakh poet Abai Qunanbaiuli, adopting the moniker "Occupy Abai." They intended to keep camp until Russia Day June 12, when they plan to stage a mass rally.

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