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(en) Belarus-Russia, Update of Arrests in Minsk, solidarity action in Moscow and happy ending]

Date Tue, 17 Jan 2006 10:23:12 +0200

14th of January in Minsk of Belarus, 10 Russian and two Belarussian activists
and anarchists were arrested next to movie theater "Pobeda", accused of making
a graffiti. Arrested included whole punk/hardcore band "Change the world
without taking power" from Moscow, which had came to Minsk from Moscow
to play in anarchist new years party, and also activists of Autonomous Action
and independent liberal student group "Ya Dumayu" ("I think") from Moscow.
We had a reason to be worried, since in a new recently approved penal
codex of Belarus, expecially targeted against "orange revolutions", "libelling
president" may result you landing to jail for 5 years, and graffiti action
for 3 years... so solidarity work was hastily organised in Minsk and in Moscow.
Advocates were searched, and food was passed to arrested on Sunday.

On Monday in Moscow, some 20 anarchists joined solidarity demonstration of
"My" ("We") for Belarussian opposition at Belarussian embassy in Moscow,
which gathered some 60 people alltogether.
"My" is one of the several Russian "clone-Pora" (or "clone-Otpor")
organisations, which are up for an "orange
revolution". Name "My" is an obvious reference to pro-Kremlin goon squad
"Nashi" ("Ours").

Activists of "My" lighted candles and carried portraits
of disappeared and jailed Belarussian democratic
activists. Picket was illegal, so any scanning of
slogans or unrolling of banners was likely to result
arrests (police practice in this respect varies a lot
between Russian regions... Moscow being one of the most
liberal ones. In most of the other cities illegal picket would have been
immediately dispersed, and suspected ringleaders ticketed). Anarchists
however unrolled a placate with names of 9 of the 12 arrested comrades
(others were unknown), and began scanning "Freedom to Ukrop" and also slogans
related to other arrested. Very soon one person was arrested and banner was
confiscated. Other spectacular events did not occured during demonstration,
and soon arrested person was released without further consequences.

New actions were planned in Moscow, but fortunately
just few hours ago we received great news that
everybody was released in Minsk without any charges. It could be police was
taken by surprise by attention given to case, but obviously they had not
much proof either because none of the accused was caught red-handed.

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