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(en) Russia, Some recent anarchist actions in Russia

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 16 Feb 2005 10:44:07 +0100 (CET)


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1) After protests, regional administration partially gives up neoliberal reform in Omsk
2) Kaliningrad 28th of January - anarchists and pensioners attempt to raid mayor's office
3) 28th of January - solidarity action for Israeli anarchists in Moscow
4) 29th of January - anarchists harrassed in the Moscow suburb of Zhukovsky
5) Other actions against monetarization of benefits and repression in Murmansk
6) 12th of February - old joke in a new city
> 1) After protests, regional administration partially gives up neoliberal reform in Omsk
Omsk is among many cities where protests against neoliberal reforms have taken place during
last month. Protests gained quick success, Omsk was among first Siberian cities where
administration announced continuation of free transport benefits for the whole year 2005.

This was however only a partial success, because costs of municipial housing services
(water, electricity etc.) raised 50%. Where pensioners often received around 200 roubles
of additional fiscal compensations, they had to pay extra 300-500 roubles (10-15$)
for housing services.

27th of January there were 4 simultaneous actions in various part of the
city, two of which included
blockade of traffic. It was a warm day for a Siberian winter, a heatwave
of -22 celsius degrees (-8 F).

Around 10 AM KPRF had a meeting at legistlative assembly of Omsk region,
there were also red and black flags of Siberian Confederation of Labour,
alltogether some 500 people. SKT had banner "No to social terror!", and satirical
leaflets.



Police had raised fences to protect traffic, but pensioners broke through fences
and police cordons. After a scuffle of 5 minutes, pensioners managed to block traffic
in the main road of the city. Leaders of KPRF made appeals to pensioners to return
to sidewalk, in vain. Police had to reroute traffic by another road.

In the same day, there were also actions at city mayor's office and city
council. In a spontaneous action in the South-Western suburb of Moskovka
pensioners blocked traffic as well.


2) Kaliningrad 28th of January - anarchists and pensioners attempt to raid
mayor's office In 28th of January there was a non-legalised demonstration
in Kaliningrad against cancellation of free benefits. Some days before, a
previously unheard organisation "No to law" had plastered city with
leaflets, inviting to action. Some 200 people appeared in the crossing of
Chernyahovsky and Leninskiy streets, mostly pensioners.

In beginning of the meeting, a group of young anarcho-communists
from Autonomous Action unrolled banner "There will always be a
revolution!", and invited elderly to form brigades of self-defence
in order to struggle with the power. After 15 minutes, crowd
began shouting "Let us storm mayor's office!" and "Everybody to
Savchenko!" (he is city mayor). Police tried to block crowd and seize banner
from anarchists, but they were pushed aside by elderly people. Majority of
the demonstration moved towards city mayor's office, blocking
traffic on the Lenin street. When people arrived to mayor's office, they
founded it blocked by some 20 police.

People began shouting "Savchenko, get out!" and "Give us back our
benefits!". Chief of administration of mayor's affairs came out, and
announced that he will call OMON special forces, since meeting was not
legalised.

Elderly people kept pushing cops, shouting to them "you have fathers and
mothers, how may you tolerate this power!". A busload of OMON arrived, and
began to arrest younger participators of the meeting, and brutalize
everybody without age discrimination. Police managed to arrest 4 activists
of Autonomous Action, but we do not have information about charges.

Some pictures from the action:

http://www.avtonom.org/news/0382.html

> 3) 28th of January - solidarity action for Israeli anarchists in Moscow
Anarchists gathered at Israeli embassy to protest against court processes
against Israeli Anarchists Against
Wall, and eviction of the squat in Tel Aviv. This was a synchronous action
with one in Tel Aviv, also banners were the similar to those used in Tel Aviv.
Some 25 anarchists formed a happy company in heavy snowing, which was going
on another day in Moscow. Drumming and shouts "No war between Jews and Arabs!"
and "Down with repression of anarchists in Israel!" got police scared - first
they were 3, then 5, then 15.

In Tel Aviv, problem was not weather but police who beat up some of the
demonstrators. In hostile Moscow weather, 40 minutes was considered to be
a picket long enough, appeal was left to embassy staff and picket
was finished.

As a curiosity, it may be mentioned that nazi boneheads sent a scout to this action.
For some reason, nazis imagine that anarchists have something to do with the
fact that they have had their asses kicked pretty much lately, and they are getting
interested about open activities of the movement. In Sankt-Petersburg, recently 10
nazis from Russian Nationalist Unity came to harrass Food Not Bombs, but
without much of a success.

> 4) 29th of January - anarchists harrassed in the Moscow suburb of Zhukovsky
Protest action against monetarization of free benefits have been organised in at least two
dozen Moscow suburbs. One of them is Zhukovsky, which is located 15 kilometres Southeast
from Moscow border, and has a small but stable core of anarchist activists.
Around 10 Moscow anarchists took a local train to support them in the morning of 29th of
January, when snowing was already bit less than during previous two days.

No matter proximity of the capital, Zhukovsky had authentical provincial
repressive atmosphere.

Plain clothes FSB sticked to anarchists right when they showed up. They did not succeeded to
arrest anybody, but during the whole meeting they surrounded anarchists, trying to tear down
banners and get them provoked. All in all, meeting was little inspiring -
some 300 elderly people were passively listening speeches of speakers of "patriotic communist"
orientation, who were verbally bashing jews and other "traitors of the
motherland". Anarchist leaflets however gained some interest among the
people.

When anarchists were leaving, plain clothes FSB made another arresting
attempt. However everybody managed to stick together, and appeal to
solidarity was addressed to rest of the demonstrators. Since a crowd gathered
around anarchists, police got scared and FSB gave up soon.
But few hours later anarchists learned, that one local
activists who had left meeting alone had been snitched, and he had to spend
4 hours in a police station, without following charges. .

Originally trouble was not expected from side of FSB but
from the RNE (Russian National Unity) fascists,
who are also busy doing outreach in the wave of a
social movement. Unlike anarchists, who managed to
stand up for themselves, these big grown-up macho
men were neutralized by plain clothes
very quickly, and they spent rest of the day in a police station.

> 5) Other actions against monetarization of benefits and repression in Murmansk
Anarchists participated to general demonstrations against
monetarization also 28th of January in Rostov-na-Donu

and Irkutsk, 2th and 5th of February in Yaroslavl
(latter demonstration gathered 5000 participators) and

12th of February in Kaliningrad. In Irkutsk, anarchists
had their own picket against monetarization 5th
of February. More information and pictures
from some of these actions available at
http://www.avtonom.org. There has also been plenty of actions in
Sankt-Petersburg.

15th of February mainstream media reported,
that private corporation "MUP Elektrotransport"
wants to open an civil suite against several
members of Autonomous Action in Murmansk and one
Komsomol member, demanding compensation of 30 000
roubles (1000$, maybe 5 times average local monthly income)
for lost profits during demonstration of 23rd
of January, when a breakout march from
a 2000 strong meeting blocked traffic to corporation.
In reality, there is no doubt that this
civil suite is initiated by state organs
who want to shut down dissent and
to "stabilize" situation in the country.

> 6) 12th of February - old joke in a new city
Shocked because of unexpected wave of unrest, Russian
powers decided to use good old Soviet means
to show their legitimacy - demonstrations organised from above. 12th of
February, ruling "Edinaya Rossiya" party (a pure Kremlin tool without any
real membership base) was to organise a huge show off of loyalty to neoliberal
reforms, a demonstration under banners "for stability of the
country, for president". Students of some universities
of capital area and even some children from school were
forced to demonstration (students were paid 300 roubles),
but main core of the some 10 000 (pro-governement media claimed 40 000)
people who gathered to Tverskaya boulevard were pensioners taken by buses as
far as from Ryazan, and workers of some bigger enterprises, bosses of whom
wanted to show their loyality to powers. There were some people, who really
wanted to show their support to president, but for sure not more than 5% of
the total. Much of the message was targeted against communists, one often
seen, conveyor produced lollipop was "Communists, enough misleading
elderly!". Other slogans included "Putin, we are with you!" and "We support
course of reforms!".



To big extent, it was usual Russian absurd - one elderly lady
passing by the demonstration shouted provocative slogans,
such as "long live reforms, take my last piece of bread
and clothes!", to which people responded with enthousiastic
"horraah", laughing. Some drunken yuppies were shouting "Vencerimos!" from a
balcony of an elite appartment, to which people also responded
enthousiastically. Some were there for money they were promised, for the
rest it was just a circus.

I counted 40 buses waiting for demonstrators in Lyubyanka only, and they
were also in Teatralnaya square - the budget of the circus of transferring
them to place, and paying a majority hundreds of roubles must have costed
millions of roubles, perhaps enough money to subside free travelling
benefits for everyone in Moscow region during several weeks, if not months.



Anarchists were not only people doing provocation - some liberals came with
a banner "We wish your tsardom will last forever, Vladimir Vladimirovich",
and they did not even got harrassed. Anarchists had a banner "For sale", and
distributed the following leaflet:

++++

PRICE LIST
picket: 200 rubles (or a seminar course for students)
meeting: 300 rubles
demonstration (legalized): 400 rubles
demonstration (non-legalized): 600 rubles (or exam for students)
bonus in case of arrest: +50%
street blockade*: 900 rubles
riot*: 3000 rubles (or diploma for students)
coup*: 300 000 rubles.

Payments are to be given individually to each participator of the action,
according to deal between orderer of the services and Syndicate of Professional
Demonstrators. Minimal number of participators of action is 10 persons,
except in cases noted with *, when it is 100 persons. All prices include
VAT.

We offer certified services for organisation of demonstration of any level
of difficulty. If you get involved with non-professionals, who work without
necessary licenses, you risk loose of reputation which cannot be compared with the
possible financial gains of such affilation. Syndicate of Professional Demonstrators
is a guarantee of quality. We have worked in the Russian market of demonstration
services 15 years already, and our achievements are well known.

We think, that qualified work of a professional deserves a decent reward.
Demonstrators!

Do not ever agree to work in exchange of a payment, less than one established
by Syndicate of Professional Demonstrators! In case contractor did not fulfilled
conditions, set by Syndicate of Professional Demonstrators, contact us
immediately!

We will defend your and our rights by any means available in the current
legal framework!

Right now, when our services are more in demand than ever before, common
action to defend our professional dignity are
necessary. When rating of our president is falling
like a meteor, when war in Chechnya goes on for
6th year, and when in every city of Russia
brutal reforms for monetarization of free
social benefits and hikes of prices of
housing services have provoked people to
streets, and when only decisive action by
governement may save country from rule of free
councils without bureaucrats, cops, officers
and oligarchs (that means, from anarchy), our
work has a huge demand! Who else, if not us,
may show that somebody is still loving our
president (at least for money).

Do not sell your self for pennies!
Political prostitutes of all countries, unite!
Syndicate of Professional Demonstrators
antijob.nm.ru, russia.indymedia.org

+++

More of the same topic:

Protests against neo-liberal reforms in Russia and following repression
http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20050119061520472
"Russia on the brink" by NY Times:

http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20050214100112593


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