Demonstrators in San Francisco stood in solidarity with Russian opposition supporters overseas on Sunday to protest the assassination of activist Boris Nemtsov–the opposition leader and staunch critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin–as well as what dissidents call Putin’s destruction of the Russian constitution.
“This has gone way beyond Russia [and] Ukraine,” said protest organizer Julia Heller to local CBS News affiliate in the Bay Area.
Dozens of people reportedly attended the gathering, according to the local CBS News affiliate in the Bay Area. Several told CBS that there is a tremendous amount of brainwashing taking place in Russia through the use of propaganda, and that it is their hope that Nemstov’s assassination will wake people up to the reality of the situation at hand, namely a “dangerous dictatorship.”
Sunday’s San Francisco protest arrived on the heels of Nemtsov’s funeral procession in Moscow, which became a silent march by those in attendance to express through action what they would not be able to with words.
A similar protest was reportedly held in Washington, D.C.
Heller expressed to CBS News her message for the people of Russia: “To stay strong, to believe in democracy, to fight for freedom and to never stop.”
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