On Sunday, December 17th, there was a rally in memory of journalists who had died or been killed on the job. According to the rally's organizers, more than 200 members of this profession have been killed in the last 15 years in Russia. The rally's date was no accident - December 15th is the traditional time when relatives, friends, and acquaintances of fallen journalists gather at the House of Journalists.
At first it had been planned to hold a procession from the House of Journalists along Nikitsky boulevard to Novopushkinsky Square, but the Moscow authorities decided that a memorial march (as opposed to those held by the 'Nashi' political movement) would bother Muscovites on their day off, and so that was forbidden.
Therefore a majority of the people met at the square, while only about sixty walked from the House of Journalists. The journalists held photographs of their dead colleagues, and along the boulevards they carried a banner reading "Memorial March for Fallen Journalists". Almost immediately, however, they were required to put this away, in accordance with the demands of the police.
Once at the square, they again opened their banner and lit candles. A few politicians took part in the rally with the journalists, including Grigory Yavlinsky and Sergey Mitrohin, members of the ("Yabloko" democratic party), as well as members of the Committe of Anti-war Activities.
There were no speeches. The people had gathered in order to hold a moment of silence as a sign of grief and in memory of those who had died or been murdered while carrying out their professional duties. The silence was broken only by a reading of the names of the fallen. It required a full hour to read this tragic list in full. The last name read was that of Novaya Gazeta correspondent Anna Politkovskaya, who had been shot down in the elevator of her apartment by unknown assailants on October 7th, 2006.