Russian activists and journalists have survived beatings, arrests and intimidation during our campaign to save one of Moscow’s last old-growth forests from destruction. Our movement to reroute the toll highway that would cut through Khimki Forest has become Russia’s most inspiring and largest activist movements in a long time.
It is about more than just a forest.
We are fighting a legacy of corruption and bribery among government officials, law enforcement and industry that has allowed this project to move forward. Last year, after thousands of citizens protested in Moscow’s center, we won a huge victory when President Dmitry Medvedev temporarily halted construction. One of our lead organizers, Yevgenia Chirikova, is a mother of two who lives in Khimki and who has bravely spearheaded this campaign since 2007 at direct risk to her family’s safety.
Now construction is set to begin again.
As soon as this month, the French multinational construction company Vinci is authorized to begin the first phase of the highway.
This is the best chance for us to stop the project before construction crews arrive. We are turning to you to increase our international support.
Since the Russian government has failed us, we are targeting Vinci, which could make a huge profit from this project. It is the only Western company involved in the construction.
We are asking Vinci to end its involvement in the Moscow to St. Petersburg highway until an alternative route that spares Khimki Forest is selected.
We are also organizing an international week of action from April 24th to April 30th. We hope cities around the world will participate in demonstrations in solidarity. One action you can take to stand up for the environment and human rights in Russia is to support this petition.
Please sign now. You may also leave a personal message when you sign: http://www.change.org/petitions/save-khimki-forest-stand-with-russias-human-rights-and-environmental-activists