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(en) Anarchist Mayday in Russia

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 3 May 2004 19:45:53 +0200 (CEST)


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Almost all cities reported this far scored record-big anarchist actions.
Many cities did not recorded numbers, those who reported sum up to at
least 500 anarchists demonstrating around Russia. For pictures, check up
russia.indymedia.org and www.avtonom.org. Minsk action was only reported
in Belarussian language, so you must check Indymedia to get the idea how
was it like up there. Ivanovo
14 members, supporters and friends of Autonomous Action joined general
Mayday march with 2 red and black diagonal flags. During march, anarchists
scanned "Against power and capital", "State is the main terrorist" and
other slogans. One crazy guy did not liked anti-war message, and threated
to attack anarchists, but he thought again and backed up. During meeting
after march, anarchists were harassed by copper who demanded documents and
put the flags down. Eventually anarchists were outnumbered 2-3 times by
coppers, and they got surrounded.

Anarchists sat to ground and took a hold from each other, but eventually
cops managed to untie know and push all anarchists to a bus. Due to
support of friends outside, anarchists were released without charges.

Kaliningrad

This year coppers were a bit more nasty than usual, 10 activists of
Kaliningrad Union of Anarchists
(section of both Autonomous Action and ADA-IFA) were arrested and all their
papers confiscated. However, anarchists managed to make a new banner and
have their action. Local leader of NBP was beaten up by coppers.
Anarchists failed to raise public awareness about police brutality through
mainstream media.

Kazan

"Communists" gathered less than 300 peoples in rainy and cool weather.
6 anarchists were present. Some local nazis were noticed, after a short
educational debate they hit the road. Anarchists went on to organise
their own picket. There were no any conflicts with coppers or other
unpleasant forces, with exception of few crazy elderly ladies coming
up asking how much anarchists were paid. When they were offered a chance
to join anarchists, and asked to choose whether they want to be paid with
dollars or shekels, they backed up.

Translated and edited from report by Pavlov/Alliance of Anarchists in Kazan

Moscow

Moscow anarchists used tactics proved to be useful during last
half years - in announced meeting place, anarchists splitted into
groups of 5-15 persons, which went on their own to starting place
of the March, known to very few beforehand, where instead of a lengthy
convergence March was launched exactly 2 PM, 1 hour after original
gathering.

We gathered at Nikolskaya street, our plan was just a sketch, and a many people
felt wary since centre was totally full packed with cops, liberal meeting
in Lubyanka square just 100 meters away was surrounded with a legion of
cops and OMON. But we decided to go on anyway, since Red Square was
completely closed we turned to Bogoyavlenskiy and Hrustalniy side-streets,
then to Vasilevskiy spusk, passing by Red Square and cathedral of Basil the
Blessed we headed towards Kreml entrance. Some cops ran to Red square blockade and
we made a sharp 135 degree turn - since cops were outnumbered, they may have
acted very roughly. Just two years ago peaceful ecologists where brutally
beaten up after illegal civil disobedience action in this very same entrance.

Since bridge was cleared of all traffic, we launched a sea torch (those
red football things, I do not know how you call them in English)
and passed over Moskva river and walked all the way to metro Tretyakovskaya.
Really march took only half hours, but it felt like much more since I was
waiting busloads of mean coppers to show up anytime. We had banners against
housing reform, "No to war - peace to Chechnya", "Rights are not given,
rights are taken", "War is an electionary spin technology", "Stalin died,
Putin lives".
We scanned "Our enemy is not in Chechnya but in Kreml!", "Fascism won't
trespass!", "Hey comrade, we have a patriarchy, just like 300 years ago - no
any liberty!", "Down with the FSB!", "Raise the black flag higher, state
is our main
enemy!", "I do not want to go to do my duty, I want to live very much!",
"Freedom, equality, anarcho-communism!", "We won't pay housing bills with
our crap wages!" and other classics.
Fact that loudspeaker went to strike was not a disaster, centre was almost
completely closed for cars so our message was well heard. Small 10x15 cm
black @-flags distributed to participators were a hit.

People from Rainbow Keepers, recently launched Food not Bombs of Moscow
and Autonomous Action participated - however most were probably "non-aligned".
Even a number of non-anarchists joined, aware that our action will be the
coolest;-)
Numbers were again a small disappointment, only 60 people - not counting
some 20 disappearing
during the tactical feint operation before action, these folks obviously confused
anarchism with disorganisation and undiscipline. This was another 10 year record, but
still one could hope to gain more than 5 new people in each action, which is the
current trend.

Not taking into account small numbers, march was another success for Moscow anarchists.
I am not the only person getting very suspicious wondering why we are not repressed.
Action of mostly elderly "communists" 9 AM was surrounded with metal defectors
through which every one of thousands of participators had to go, "security" was
guaranteed not only by coppers and OMON but volunteer guard and conscripts in
another huge show-off of state power. Even liberal well-off middle-class "rebels",
who gathered some 1400 supporters of Yabloko and SPS parties, had to go through
the same metal detector ritual - when anarchists, who do not even bother to try to
legalise their action hit streets which others may only dream about, without any
harassment whatsoever.

It may be that huge police operation of Mayday is so clumsy, that they just had
not enough time to react. It may be that they just wait us to do something
really "radical", and then they will hit us with a total force. It may even be
that they leave anarchists untouched while treating other young radicals such
as Stalinist "Avant-garde of Communist Youth" AKM or nazbols with iron hand,
just to create an image among Stalinist youth that we are favourite kids of
Kremlin. In 23rd of February they definitely tried to have us, a busload of
coppers missed our scattering point with 5 minutes only, but two recent
successes are just surprising. If Moscow coppers let us to do anything,
what can we do next time to amaze everybody when our numbers are still so
small? If passing by Red square is nothing anymore, what could be?
Translated and edited from report of Aleksei/Autonomous Action of Moscow

Murmansk

Anarchists of Murmansk participated to general demonstration, some 50 people
marched in anarchist bloc. In convergence place anarchists raised black, and
red and black diagonal flags, distributed leaflets and anarchist press,
which all were greeted with a popular demand. In contrary to usual boring
marches, anarchists were playing reggae, ska, punk and popular children's
songs.
One person masked as Putin carried banner for "world without politicians
and bourgeoisie".

Anarchist bloc pushed into middle of the queue, in order not to be near
nazbols (National Bolshevik Party), who were asked to sod off after
they had proposed cooperation. Anarchist bloc scanned "All power to the
people!", "Fascism won't trespass" and Mayakovski's classic "Eat ananas,
bolt down a hazel grouse,
your end is near, bourgeoisie!". When boring official meeting began,
anarchists hit the road to have their own celebrations in another place.

(Translated from report of Vyacheslav/Autonomous Action of Murmansk)

Nizhni Novgorod

Nizhni Novgorod anarchists did not sent a report yet. However we received
news that a bus full of OMON speeded up to peaceful KPRF demonstration,
killing one person and injuring many. Mainstream media was completely
quiet about this event. ACAB - you all will be hanging high one day!

Novosibirsk

Wild rumours about artistic association "SAT" bounced back and forth in the
city well before action, which caused coppers to go overdrive. Mainstream media
wrote "Novosibirsk antiglobalits are planning to demonstrate with anti-social
and deeply beside the point banners". When very first participants
of the Monstration showed up 9.30, they got immediately surrounded by a bunch of
gopniks in uniform, demanding to give up banners, since they were "anti-social",
even when these were not even unrolled yet. Cops had one banner unrolled,
revealing a shocking demand "Tanya do not cry". "That's it, an anti-social
slogan, give it up!". However coppers did not really managed to explain what
exactly was anti-social aspect of the message, and eventually folks managed
to negotiate their way to back of the queue. Some other more
aggressive coppers appeared, demanding to meet with leader (sounds familiar?),
to give up banners, to show permission, to go home and whatever, but soon they
withdrew after some journos took close-ups.

Eventually some 100 people joined Monstration, third time around coppers
managed to steal some banners. Those which remained stated "Something
like that", "Where am I?", "Siberia is JaMAYca", "I am broke", "Make
love, not work", there was also a banner without text, all red with white
columns. Placates included "Forward", "Closed", "I am against", "I am for"
and "del *.*". A portrait of Salvador Dali was proudly carried.

March went to Lenin square, coppers came with force and surrounded
participators of Monstration.

No-one was planning to stay in the boring meeting, but cops annoyed
people - in case all the rest are allowed to stay, why we shouldn't?
Participators told coppers that they will not go anywhere.

Cops got violent, and eventually people left the square. Journos were
threaten by cops. Soon people learned, that a couple of people were
arrested during the march.

People headed to police station, support group stood by entrance, which
which annoyed cops.

Soon first of the arrested was let free, he told that no-one was
beaten
and cops were calm. They just asked what does banners "Monstration" and
"Y-Y-Y-t`" mean. When they were told that these banners mean nothing,
coppers got surprised - "But they are anti-globalist banners -
how come they mean nothing!".

Everyone was let go after 3 hours, after subscribing a statement "Our
banners did not demanded overthrowing of constitutional order of Russia".

Translated and edited from report of SP published in Russian Indymedia

Omsk

Omsk section of Siberian Confederation of Labour (SKT) formed a bloc in the
official trade-union march. Among 8 flags of the queue, 5 were red and
black diagonal flags of SKT. This march met another queue in Lenin hills,
where rivers Irtysh and Omsk meet, and meeting began. A special issue of
"SKT-contact" was distributed, explaining anarchist origins of Mayday,
and announcing Siberian Social Forum which will take place next June.
Tabloid of Autonomous Action "Situatsiya" was distributed as well.
Altogether
some 500 persons participated to general meeting. In discussion with other
workers, syndicalists learned that official trade unions paid 200 roubles to
all participators from their ranks.

After meeting syndicalists marched back to Drama Theatre with flags,
this time without permission. Only when syndicalists met colon of Communist
Party of Russian Federation, police got interested what were syndicalists up
to.

After demonstration, film about occupation of Argentinian factory "Zanon"
was shown in premises of SKT. Film was made by German comrades and had
Russian subtitres. Film showed a possible model of production without
bosses.
Besides film screening, there was a discussion on self-governance of
production and self-governance in our life in general.

Translated and edited from report of Vasili Starostin/SKT

Rostov-na-Donu

Anarchists from Rostov and surrounding cities participated to "communist"
demonstration.
They were immediately surrounded by police and FSB, who demanded putting
down red and black diagonal flags. Anarchists learned that this was demand
of KPRF leaders,
and it was impossible to reach any agreement with them. Finally anarchists
were allowed
to stand by. All literature, such as local paper Protest which anarchists
had with them was sold.

Translated and edited from report of Ilya/Federation of Anarcho-Communists

Perm

In Mayday morning everything was as usual in front of Circus in
Motovilihinski area.

Radical bloc, co-organised by Anarcho-Ecological Resistance gathered 100
persons,

twice more than last year. This was too much for status quo, and trade union
bossed

ordered them to end of the queue. Banners "Reclaim the city!", "Sack
Kamenev" (city

mayor) and others were raised. Anarcho-Ecologists distributed a leaflet
about anarchist

origins of Mayday. During march, two rows of coppers separated radicals from

trade-unionists in order to protect workers from "bad influence".
Participators

scanned "Be a realist - demand impossible!", "forbid prohibition!", "Get to

the streets, reclaim the city!". Cops did not let radicals to pass by
mayor's office,

but he got a well-deserved share from slogans.

Coppers stopped demonstrators in Pushkin street, not letting them to go to

Komsomol street in order to join official event. Since there were no any

people around to witness possible mass arrest and police brutality,

participators decided to roll banners and get to main event by side

streets and yards. Cops were however pushing for a hard line, stopping

people in a yard, 10 OMON showed up and some spanking to come seemed pretty

likely. Cops however backed up after a short stand-off, and let

participators to join general meeting.

Demonstration re-organised when approaching the main event, and anarchists

began shouting their slogans even more loudly. Most of the people

reacted positively. Among people, activists scanned most "popular"

slogans - "Do not sell out Perm dormatories!", "No to privatisation

of Permvodokanal!", and when passing by city duma, "Burn those

rockets in your own cabinets" - referring to a campaign against

missile utilisation project against which a radical ecological

protest camp will be organised next summer. When passing

by oil giant Lukoil, anarchists shouted "No to ecocide!",

"Bash Lukoil - save Russia!".

Common meeting of KPRF and pro-government FNPR trade union was pretty lame,

300 participators much less than last year. Their speeches were not paid
much

of attention by radicals. 400 leaflets were distributed, and action was
noticed by

thousands of people.




Sankt-Petersburg



This year SPB anarchists showed the way to rest of Russia - crowd of 120-150
was biggest anarchist action in the city since Perestroika times.
Participators
of anarchist bloc in general left demonstration were from Sankt-Petersburg
League
of Anarchists, Punk-Revival, infoshop Epicenter, radical artists, many
supporters
and punks, also from other cities. Part of a big turnout was for sure to be
credited
to comrade who had access to typography where plenty of advertisements about
action could be
printed. Anarchists raised black and red and black
diagonal flags, accompanied by sirens, tambourine, whistle-blowers and
loudspeaker as they marched by Nevskiy Prospekt towards Palace square as
most lively bloc in the general oppositional manifestation.

Anarchists had several banners, such as "Get to streets, reclaim the city",
"It is
banned to ban", "Dump nationalism", "Long live revolutionary
self-governance", "Antifa",
"All states are concentration camps" and "We do not need a piece of your
pie,
we want the whole bakery" (for defence of squat Pekarnia, now renamed as
Klizma)
and others, scanned slogans included "Death to fascism, antifa
unite!", "Antifa front!", "Death to state, free labour!","Factories to
workers!",
"We trash all the power!", "Fascism won't trespass!", "Main enemy is in
our own country, main enemy is in Kremlin!", "Free political prisoners!",
"Our motherland is humanity!", "Freedom to peoples, death to empires!","War
against
war!", "Rubber bullets and tear gas, present of state
to working masses!" and "Anarchy is mother of order!". Cops also got their
well-deserved share of shouts, but this time they preferred not to give
anything
back. In meeting at palace square anarchists got plenty of attention from
rest of the participators and mainstream media
and distributed 1500 leaflets, paper trades were soaring so that anarchists
could purchase their
own Baltic fleet, or at least enough beer to celebrate a work well done.

Translated, edited and interpreted from reports of Makhno (Autonomous
Action)
and R-17 (Sankt-Petersburg Leage of Anarchists/ADA/IFA)



Tomsk



Mayday in Tomsk was pretty cold, minus 5 degrees of Celsius. General
demonstration was sizeable, according to some estimates 10 000 people.
Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Tomsk Oblast and Tomsk organisation
of Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists (KAS) were last bloc in
the queue. However anarchist and syndicalist bloc was the most lively,
with much young people with red and black masks, drums, and flags.
This all was something completely new for Tomsk. General meeting was
very boring, since microphone was controlled by pro-government FNPR
trade union and communists. Anarchists and syndicalists were distributing
leaflets about history of Mayday, anarchist press such as Volya (of Moscow),
Noviy Svet (of Sankt-Petersburg Anarchist League), Sled (local)
and Situatsiya (of Nizhni Novgorod group
of Autonomous Action), leaflet "Democracy is not anarchy",
and a placate to commemorate Kolya Muravin, beloved anarchist who died
prematurely in mid-nineties.
After meeting anarchists and syndicalists gathered to discuss a campaign
against project
to build a plant producing nuclear MOKS fuel in the city of Seversk of Tomsk
oblast.

Translated and edited from report of Samoilenko/KAS Tomsk



Yaroslavl



Mayday action in Yaroslavl also surpassed all expectations of organisers. It
was cold and
a freezing rain, but some 50 people came to Sovetsky square anyway - youth,
young workers,
teachers, pupils and punk. Anarchist march was launched 12.20, when
communist were
diverging another part of the town, giving place to action of yellow trade
unions. Anarchists
were present there as well, since most of people were just normal workers
carried there with
carrot and stick from all corners of Yaroslavl Oblast.

Some 30 of the participators of the radical demo were anarchists,
among rest there were people from other left-wing
groups and independent trade union "Defence of labour". Bloc had black and
red and black
diagonal flags, banners "Class hate" and "Rights are not given - rights are
taken". March went
through Sovetski side-streets to river bank, scanning "Revolution!", "Peace
to people - war to
power!", "Freedom!", "Anarchy, communism!". "No saviour to the country but
class war!".
Ending point of the march was beginning of the Mayday boulevard, scene of
the first ruckus in
Yaroslavl history back in 1905. Meeting was grouped around statue of N.A.
Nekrasov,
among orators in the meeting there were Nopasaran of Yaroslavl anarchists,
Ivanov of ADA-IFA,
Kelt of Autonomous Action - worker from Severohod factory A. Perlovich made
an anti-militarist
speech. During breaks among orators, participators scanned "Revolution!",
"Everything to people - nothing
to power!", in the end International was sung although many still do not
knew the words. Sweet ending
for Yaroslavl Mayday action was kicking 3 bonehead asses in Mayday
boulevard.

Revolution will continue!

Translated and edited from report of Nopasaran/Yaroslavl anarchists


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