Moscow City Court has ruled that the public movement that fought illegal parking by putting huge insulting stickers on vehicles, publicly telling off violators and posting subsequent conflicts on the internet, should be dissolved.
The court said that the process to liquidate the Stopkham movement had come from the Justice Ministry over activists’ refusal to publish a report about their activities, as required by the Russian Law on Public Organizations. It also said that the movement can appeal the ruling within one month.
The name Stopkham is a Russian neologism that can be translated as “against rudeness” or “stop uncivilized people.” The movement was started in 2010 and quickly became well known to mass media and broad public because of its trademark action style. Stopkham activists picked wrongly parked cars, usually in Moscow, and put huge stickers reading “I don’t care about anyone I park wherever I want” on the vehicles’ windshields. Such behavior sparked many conflicts and sometimes verbal confrontations evolved into very physical ones – to the delight of the self-styled traffic cops who recorded everything on video and posted clips on the internet.
In 2017 Stopkham founders said that they intended to expand the sphere of their activities to “all publicly important issues” not just violations of some particular traffic rules. In press comments the representative of the movement described their new initiative as a nationwide internet channel collecting and distributing reports about various problems as well as about people who react to criticism in a wrong way.
It should be noted that the Justice Ministry already submitted a lawsuit requiring Stopkham liquidation in 2016, but recalled it without explaining the motives.
Stopkham founder and leader Dmitry Chugunov told reporters on Friday that he and his comrades were actually happy about the fresh ruling ordering the dissolution of their movement. He noted that in 2016, after the first liquidation attempt the activists understood that they didn’t need to register as a public movement to go on with their mission and stressed that the group would continue to exist in virtually unchanged form regardless of official titles in its name.
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