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(en) Russia, Police evicts a squat in Moscow

From "Aleksei" <itasitihki@tao.ca>
Date Tue, 15 Oct 2002 15:24:20 -0400 (EDT)


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Police evicts a squat in Moscow using brutal violence
- solidarity needed!

Evgeni Schetov is an artist, to whom Moscow Union of Artists provided a
space some
two and  half years ago. Since then, small space in Armyanskiy Pereulok 1
has become important hub
for libertarian revolutionaries in Moscow, in particular for radical
ecological movement Rainbow Keepers and Radical League of Artists. This
made both city officials and bureaucratic art prats from Moscow Union of
Artists unhappy, and during more than a year the space has been under a
threat of an eviction. In reply to threats, Schetov has quit paying rents
and municipal services - making space the first political squat in
Moscow since 1997. Neither the Moscow Union of Artists nor the person who
owns the place bothered to go to court to nullify the contract which is in
force until October 2004. Instead they decided to use illegal direct action
and violence to reach their goals.

Pressure against the place has been growing during last months, with regular
attempts of police to break into the place and violent beatings of activists
by people from Moscow Union of Artists. Breaking in has not been an easy
task since the place is located below ground level and has a heavy door
protecting it. However in the morning of Saturday 12th of October police
managed to destroy door with axes, and police and members of Union of
Artists rushed in smashing all the people on their way. One of the attacked
got a brain crash, some others bleeding wounds. 3 persons had to visit
hospital. Everyone got arrested. In time of the arrest, Moscow Union of
Artists threw all property to street and changed the locks.

Squatters are now launching a campaign against eviction, to get back
what is rightfully theirs. Please help us in our campaign, and distribute
this message! We are organising a fax campaign for MONDAY 21ST OF OCTOBER
to pressure institutions which are responsable for the eviction. Please send
faxes Monday 21st of october to following adresses:

Moscow Union of Artists: +7-095-921-86-08
Head Department of Internal Affairs in Moscow (GUVD) +7-095-973-20-41
General prosecutor's office +7-095-921-41-86
Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow (MVD) +7-095-237-49-25

Best time is the working time in Moscow, which is 6 AM - 14 AM Greenwich
Median Time. If you have problems with the schedule, send faxes
any other time later in the day or the same week.

Below a a sample letter you may use.
Any further edition of the letter on your own
 is very much recommended!

Please report how much you have send faxes, by whom and to which
adresses to dikobrazi@lists.tao.ca. Reporting is very important!
Write also if you have problems in getting the faxes through.

A Sample letter:

To <Select appropriate among the following:>
Moscow Union of Artists/Head Department of Internal Affairs in Moscow/
General prosecutor's office/Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow

Saturday 12th of October police and Moscow Union of Artists attacked the
space in
Armyanskiy Pereulok 1.
The place is hosted by Evgeni Schetov and Radical League of Artists, who
have worked closely with Rainbow Keepers movement and other left
organisations in Moscow. Now the Moscow authorities and Moscow Union of
Artists have decided to smash this important centre of Moscow left youth. 3
of the
squatters were beaten up and then moved to hospital, others were
evicted from space and arrested.

We strongly condemn this attack of bureucrats against autonomous
culture. You are not following even your own laws here!
We demand returning the place back to artists, as their contract remains in
force
until October 2004 and you have not bothered to go to court to
finish the contract.

Date, signature


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