Protests on the Lenin Hills

Address: Vorobyovy Hills (Lenin Hills from 1935–1999), Moscow

John Lennon commemoration meeting on the Lenin Hills, 1980. Photo:

John Lennon commemoration meeting on the Lenin Hills, 1980. Photo:

On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was killed. On December 21, around 200–300 Beatles fans gathered in Moscow on the Lenin Hills to honor the memory of their idol. The participants carried posters and handmade badges and some made speeches with a homemade microphone. At the end of the gathering, the police began to detain people, causing the participants to protest. Altogether, dozens of people were arrested.

An international day of commemoration honoring John Lennon was planned for December 12, 1982. The meeting in Moscow was supposed to begin on a viewing platform, which was heavily patrolled like all of MGU’s territory. A group of youngsters (roughly 30–40 people) was arrested and then released by the police. A short text ("Appeal to Peers") was read aloud on the river bank to support the commemoration day of John Lennon and to symbolize the global solidarity of youth against war and violence. This demonstration took place without incident.

The following year's meeting was organized by a pacifist group called "Free Initiative." It was held on December 8, the day Lennon was murdered.

Alexey Makarov