First Quebec’s government outlawed dissent with its notorious Bill 78, which galvanized hundreds of thousands of Canadians in the struggle against university tuition hikes. Now Russia’s parliament has approved legislation fining demonstrators more than $9,000 and organizers as much as $18,000.

The bill was backed by 132 senators, with one opposing and one abstaining. It now waits to be signed by President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to make it law in time for anti-government protests planned in Moscow next week.

BBC:

The bill boosts fines for violations from the current maximum 5,000 roubles (£99; $152) to 300,000 for participants and 600,000 for organisers.

… Gennady Gudkov, an MP with the opposition Just Russia party, described the bill as “draconian”, saying it reflected the Kremlin’s “fear of people”.

“It is the path toward civil war, it is the path towards massive repression and we all know how that ends: in blood, poverty and revolution,” Mr Gudkov said.

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— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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