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REVOLUTION CELEBRATION HAS ELEMENT OF PROTEST

Carrying the Soviet hammer-and-sickle flag and singing as they marched, Russians marked the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution on Sunday with both a celebration of Soviet times and a protest against a parliamentary proposal to scrap Revolution Day, a once-revered Soviet holiday.

At least 8,000 Communist Party backers and members of the ultranationalist National Bolshevik Party gathered at a square once named for Vladimir I. Lenin and marched across Moscow toward a statue of Karl Marx. They bore a giant portrait of Lenin and banners proclaiming "U.S.S.R. -- Our Homeland."

Some pro-Kremlin lawmakers have proposed replacing the Nov. 7 holiday with one on Nov. 4 to be called National Unity Day. Russia's lower house, the Duma, is expected to consider the measure Wednesday.

Dominating the speeches were criticism of President Vladimir Putin, changes to social benefits and complaints about inequality.

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