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Lennon's monument on Lenin's Hills

"Tomorrow at 11 am we pay the last respect to John Lennon by meeting on the observation platform of Lenin's Hills. Join in if the name "Beatles" does says anything to you".

Such leaflets were distributed among Moscow students on the 20th of December 1980, 12 days after Lennon had been shot in New York. Hand-written and typed, these announcements did hang long on universities' walls - they were taken off by administration. The Beatles was not banned in the USSR, its discs were being sold, but all sorts of unofficial, self-organized gatherings were not welcomed. So, the hand-written text below says "Those who are afraid of repressions - don't come".

The next day, on Sunday, the observation platform on Lenin's Hills (Sparrow Hills today, this very place where all tourist buses stop) started to get filled with mourning people. Around 500 came.

Someone brought a self-made American flag without stars on it (like: the country which failed to protect the singer lost all its stars), self-painted portrait of the musician; all this was placed on the granite parapet, with a candle lit in front of it. A type recorder was playing back Lennon's songs.

An hour passed, it started to rain. The fans decided to exchange contacts to meet again and to gather money for the monument to John (Lennon on Lenin's Hills, right). When the crowd started to walk towards the metro, many of them were detained by militia (police) and thrown into buses. On the way to the police station long haired young men were singing "Don't Let me Down" and "Back to the USSR".

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