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(en) Russia, Azov protests update 8th of August 2003 Harrassment and arrests in the eve of next major protest

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 8 Aug 2003 11:16:44 +0200 (CEST)

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In Friday 1st of August, several police officers invaded camp uprooting
tents and verbally abusing participators. Pretext of their action were false
claims by terminal staff that ecological protesters had stolen property from
the terminal construction site.

1 PM the same day Andrei Tsarevskiy (Autonomous Action-Rostov) and Ivan
Ovsyannikov (Autonomous Action-Yaroslavl) were arrested for distribution of
posters and leaflets about upcoming major protest of 9th of August, which
has promised to blockade Krasnodar-Rostov highway in case administration has
not taken steps to halt the construction.

In contradiction with police claims, distribution of leaflets and posters is
completely legal.
It is unlikely police had any doubt on this either, since Tsarevskiy and
Ovsyannikov were not fined but they just spent 7 hours in a police station,
during which police was abusing and threatening activists with torture and
burning. Police also promised to destroy the whole protest camp.

In Sunday 3rd of August police tried to arrest Tsarevskiy another time in
the centre square of Azov, but city dwellers present in the square began
protesting immediately and police had to let him go. During weekend, 3
activists were also arrested for lack of the registration.

5th of August workers of the terminal tried to destroy blockade which
protestors are
maintaining in the supply road every day during working hours. Seven persons
came to blockade
by cars, and began tearing down the blockade armed with night sticks,
handcuffs and pepper spray.

Attackers managed to beat up some people, but soon protesters set up a human
chain with 20 persons, which attackers could not move. Some protesters were
injured, but nobody moved.
Soon attackers, apparently from the security of the terminal, realized that
they are photographed, and assaulted photographer. He managed to escape, and
two chasing guards of the terminal had an unexpected bath in a swamp nearby.
Police arrived soon, halting the attack of the terminal security and
carrying them away.

6th of August, two Rainbow Keepers were arrested in the area of the
terminal. Vladimir
and Evgeni tried to climb to a crane, but were caught by workers and beaten
up, Evgeni maybe had his rib broken. When protesters learned about this,
they organised a meeting in the gates of the construction site and moved to
police station around 5.30 PM. Protesters shouted "Freedom to our
comrades!", when they learned that Evgeni was imprisoned for five days for
"minor hooliganism", they began shouting "Shame on the justice system!"

In legal terms, hooliganism by definition is an act without any motivation,
which for sure was not case in this political protest. Vladimir is 17 years
old and he was threatened to be sent to children's camp, but in the evening
he was released. Protestors decided to organise another action against
repression today, Friday 8th 4 PM in front of the police station.

Next major action will take place tomorrow, 9th of August. If decisionmakers
have not taken measures to halt construction of the terminal, protesters
will blockade Rostov-Krasnodar highway, and this protest will not be a
symbolical one anymore. Supply road of the construction site is blockaded
every day from 8 AM to 4 PM.

Backround of the problem

Methanol is a strong poison influencing nervous system, and has a strong
cumulative effect. ZAO "Asovprodukt" majority of which is owned by Italian
Triboldi, is constructing a terminal which will store 25 000 cubic meters of
methanol to be exported via Azov and Black seas. Construction site is in the
city of Azov, which has 80 000 inhabitants and is located 45 kilometres
south from Rostov-na-Donu which is the biggest city in South of Russia. More
than 7000 people have participated to biggest protest actions in Azov.
Planned export of methanol will be 400 000 tons annually. Sanitary and
security zones around such objects should be one kilometers by Russian
legislation and 7 kilometers by Italian, but in Azov terminal is being
built 400 meters from closest houses. One accident with a tanker will be
enough to destroy ecological system of the shallow Azov sea.

Update is written by activists of Rainbow Keepers and Autonomous Action

More information:
>From Azov: +7-86342-409-92, y_golubev-A-rambler.ru (Yuri Golubev)
from Moscow: +7-095-124-79-34 (press service of Socio-Ecological Union, only
until beginning of August)
from Moscow: +7-8916-732-78-96, kuzja-A-ecoline.ru
Rainbow Keepers: duplo1-A-mail.ru, dees-A-mail.ru

Follow continuous updates in Russian language from russia.indymedia.org
or Autonomous Action-website, www.avtonom.org

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