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(en) St Petersburg Anarchist Statement about G8 Summit - another take

Date Fri, 16 Jun 2006 09:04:40 +0300

The International of Anarchist Federations have republished the following on
their website in English and Russian. It's available in both languages on
On 15-17 July in Strelna, which is the suburb of
St.Petersburg (Piter), the next summit of G8 is to
take place. Unfortunately the resource of protest
movements of Russia does not enable us to prevent this
meeting. Yet, some organizations plan to take their
own actions during the summit.
The main campaign of reformist organizations in Piter
will be within the framework of the Second Russian
Social Forum (RSF), which will be held from July,11
till July, 15. The RSF organizers – trade union, human
rights and left movements – are now negotiating with
president’s administration and city authorities. The
complex of buildings of the former Kirov Stadium on
Krestovsky island has been allotted for the Forum.
Also, during the RSE a left reformist demonstration is
going to be held in the city center and a meeting near
cruiser Aurora.
Last autumn a number of activists of Anarchist and
Autonomist movement united into the Network Against G8
(SPB8). One of its principles is refusal from
cooperation with reformists in preparation of protest
actions during G8. Moscow activists of SPB8
concentrated their efforts on organizing Alternative
Libertarian Forum in Moscow. Yet, in February 2006 at
the international autonomist-anarchist meeting in Kiev
it was considered necessary to hold anarchist actions
in Piter as well. In particular the participants of
the Kiev meeting agreed to hold “big open Anarchist
action” on July,15. It was decided to discuss its
details at Alternative Forum in Athens in the
beginning of May. Unfortunately, we could not do this
as almost nobody from the foreign comrades who had
taken part in Kiev meeting came to Athens.
On May,28 some practical matters concerning actions in
Piter were discussed at a meeting of Anarchist,
Autonomist and radical protest movement of Piter and
Moscow. Now definite decision on the May,15 action was
taken; some of the comrades also supported the idea of
using the RSF premises for Anarchist activity, which
does not fully agree with the SPB8 policy.
The main difficulties of holding actions in Piter
during the summit are connected with the police
regime, which has been strengthened by the authorities
before the summit. The city is stuffed with police,
who constantly check the documents. There are video
cameras in the central streets. The police received
special armored vehicles to disperse street
demonstrations (equipped with gas, water-throwers,
shooting with unwashable paint). The forces of Piter
Anarchists are limited – there are several dozens of
people in permanent groups and up to 200 can be
mobilized for demonstrations. The usual police
practice in Russia is considering all actions not
sanctioned by the authorities as illegal, which, if
you take into consideration the experience of “police
anti-terrorist campaign” in the North Caucasus, makes
them rather risky – but not impossible.
An additional problem is the lack of material
resources. Piter Anarchist League (many of its
participants also belong to SPB8) has not yet received
any money for preparation of anti-summit activity.
This does not enable us to rent any rooms to
accommodate people who could come from other cities
and countries. May be our Moscow comrades will give us
support in the nearest future. With our own resources
we can put up a few dozens of people. Anarchists who
consider it acceptable to use the resources of RSF can
use their premises for accommodation, but this would
increase the problem of police control. Anyway, each
comrade who comes to Piter should better bring a
sleeping bag and a polyplene rag and, if possible, a
The problem of practical actions during G8 will be
decided depending on the number and the opinion of the
comrades who come. As a minimal program we can suggest
to form an Anarchist block at RSF demonstration – with
our outspoken refusal to propose any reformist slogans
and demands (as the problem for us is not the
particular decisions taken by G8 but the very
existence of all government institutions). Radical
criticism of reformists does not mean that we
encourage violent actions during RSF demonstration.
Those comrades who believe that force must be used and
understand the risk involved can do it at a different
time or in other districts of the city.
We believe that it is worthwhile to establish contacts
with participants of different protest movements at
the RSF as well; moreover, we are interested in
cooperation with non-Anarchist (e.g. left radical and
human rights organizations) whose approach to some
problems, like fight against facism and colonialist
policy, is close to ours. Besides, RSF premises can be
used for meeting of activists of Anarchist and
Autonomist movements – with this aim we suggest that
some of our comrades who can help to solve any
problems that may arise are always on duty at the
We hope to discuss with the comrades who will come to
Piter a number of problems which Anarchist movement
now faces. This will depend on the interests of those
who will come and on the possibilities which will not
be blocked by police and security.
Every week on Sundays from 2 p.m. till 4 p.m. we hold
a picket in the city center against colonial
militarist policy of Russian authorities in the North
Caucasus. It is not yet clear if this action will be
held on the 16th – it will depend on the position of
the city authorities as well as on our determination.
One of the problems may be the language barrier –
unfortunately not all of us know foreign languages
enough. Though this problem can be solved, our foreign
comrades should be aware of it.
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