The protest - on a weekday afternoon, in Woollahra - has attracted a total of 6 (six) protesters from Australia, France and Russia, which made for a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere as vodka and ice tea were shared and the implications of the G8 continued existence were discussed.
However, the consulate - an eight storey high building of non-descript Soviet-style architecture - has been closed for visitors from 11:30 a.m., part of the street was cordoned off, and at least ten police officers were guarding the area near the entrance. After having a few pictures taken, the protesters have delivered the following statement to the consulate staff.
To Whom It May Concern:
We, the undersigned, demand immediate halt to the illegal and brutal repressions that Russian authorities, police and Federal Security Service are subjecting the participants in the Network Against the G8, Russian Social Forum and other members of the political opposition to. The fear of the the disturbances at the Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg is so big that the self-imposed rulers of the world ignore even their own laws.
Illegal shadowing, searches, detentions, arrests for crimes that the police are thinking up as they go along, deportations, and compliance of the courts that slap sentences left, right and centre only based on the confessions of the witnesses in the police force, - that's the reality for hundreds if not thousands of activists in Russia today. These are the methods that are used to curb the dissent and to prevent people from voicing their protest, however peaceful it may be. Operation "Barrier" should be stopped, and everyone detained despite committing no crime should be freed immediately.
We also express solidarity with the activists in Russia who are faced with incredible oppression.
July 14, 2006
We ask those who share the sentiments expressed in this letter to offer solidarity to activists in Russia by forwarding this letter via either of the following contacts:
Consulate General of the Russian Federation, 7-9 Fullerton Street Woollahra, Sydney NSW 2025
Fax: +61 (0)2 9327 5065.