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(en) East Europe, Anarchist mayday in Minsk and Gomel of Belarus and Irkutsk and Magadan of Russia

Date Fri, 05 May 2006 08:56:19 +0300


> Mayday in Belarus
1 May is traditionally celebrated around the world as a day that marks working
people's struggle for their rights. The powers that be have long been trying
to impose this date as a mediocre holiday, a day to get loaded, some sort of
abstract "day of spring and work." We, on the other hand, remember the real
meaning of this holiday, and what price working people've paid for today's gains.
> City of Minsk.
This year's Pervomai was a protest day even for our local bourgeois
opposition. A rally was allowed for Bangalor square. Nonetheless, the
opposition and other protesters gathered at 11am at Akademiya Naook (Academy
of Sciences street/avenue/sq) so that they can later on march to Bangalor
square. A full march didn't work out but still around 1000 people gathered
at Bangalor square by 12 noon, which is quite small for this type of
occassion. One eye-catching aspect of this gathering was the large number of
scum wearing tracksuits, who were either KGB-shniks or hired "sportsmen"
provocateurs.

The rally itself was dedicated to the struggle against the condescending
contract system, imposed by the authorities, practically a "factory serf
system." The anarchists stood at a bit of a distance from "the Opposition,"
holding their own banners that said: "Net Polizceiskomoo Gosoodarstvoo" (No
Police State!), "Segodnya Kontrakt - Zavtra v Lagerya" (Today it's the
contract, tomorrow - the camps), "Dlya Rabochego Kontrakt - Doroga v
boorgooazniy ad" (For a worker, the contract is a path to bourgeois hell).
An additional banner read "Po kontraktoo pakhat' - po zhizni ne bookhat'"
(~Plowing under contract won't get us no good stuff). 3 red and black flags
were raised.

During the rally, participants were questioned on the following subject:
"what are you prepared to do to struggle against the contract system?" 250
flyers were handed out that contained the following text:
"1 May - Day of Struggle For Our Rights!

The authorities have long been trying to convert Pervomai into some barely
comprehensible holiday that sorta celebrates "Spring" and, perhaps,
celebrated "Labor." Meanwhile, if one's to believe Belarussian Television,
for the People that supposedly adores the sovereign president Lukashenko,
the authorities are lately kind of scared to organize even official
"holiday" demonstrations. They're correct to be fearful, since 1 May isn't
just some tear-jerking show of "unity" between the People and the
authorities that're perched on the peoples' backs. 1 May - it's a day of
struggle for wage laborers and students, our day of resistance!

This day is celebrated in memory of the 5 workers-anarchists, executed in
Chicago in 1896. They were convicted under falsified charges fabricated by
the police. The real reasons for their executions included the formation of
"unregistered" workers organizations and their participation in the struggle
for the 8 hour work day.

Today, by using the introduction of the unprecedented harsh contract-based
wage labor system, the Lukascistic regime is attempting to force us back to
the situation of 2 centuries ago where the worker remained totally under his
master's control. Belarus' nomenklatura developed our homegrown bureaucratic
capitalism for its own benefit and is willingly adopting the most repressive
methods of "savage" neoliberal capitalism.

Nonetheless, "isms" aren't the root of the problem. Bosses everywhere aim
to force workers to plow away for the bosses' benefit until exhaustion but
this isn't possible everywhere. In places where workers and students know
how to defend themselves (for example in France, where the proposal of
contracts for young workers were quickly shelved after the threat of an all
around general strike and millions-strong street demonstrations) state
"raids" on the rights of people are curtailed by solidarity and mass
protest action.

After all, those of us who work and study, who live by our labor and our
mind/intellect, are the overwhelming majority. All we need to do is
self-organize (internet and mobile communications are on our side!) and come
out in defense of our just rights and interests all TOGETHER, ALL AT ONCE!
United we'll win!

NO - TO THE COMPULSORY PLACEMENT OF STUDENTS!
LET'S CANCEL THE CONTRACTS, LET'S CANCEL ALL BOSSES!
ALL POWER TO PEOPLE'S SELF-MANAGEMENT!

Organizing Committee,
Movement for People's Self-Management
e-mail: rabkor@tut.by
As usual, the black bloc stood out quite a bit from the rest of the
protesters. For the most part, people who approached us gave positive
feedback to our slogans and actions. Then again one grannie, who criticised
us, expressed proclaimed that she sincerely couldn't understand "what is it
exactly that we don't like about a police state?" Lucky for us, we didn't
encounter any others who resembled this retrograde individual. Overall the
black bloc consisted of around 50 people and, as usual, stood out from the
crowd carrying multi-colored banners and flags. And now -- some of the
negative moments of the event. Special "thanks" is due to the DIY partyers
who apparently showed up not to protest but to discuss the latest concert or
the latest scenester gossip. None of them even wanted to consider taking a
turn holding a flag, a sign or a banner, they merely stood around in small
groups, far away from everyone. Apparently, even now many still don't
understand that DIY, punk rock and hardcore, aren't mere buttons, patches
and moshing at shows, but a political action. It'd be great if those who
show up at political actions would somehow express themselves, rather then
just standing around "to add bodies." After the action everyone went home
without any incidents. Photos available on Belarus Indymedia:
http://belarus.indymedia.org.

Gomel

In this town Mayday didn't turn out as well.
Around 11:30am, 30 or so people (including 10 anarchists & sympathizers),
who decided to celebrate not by consuming litres of booze but through
political action, gathered on Gomel square. Even at this point the assembled
group was under the watchful eye of "men in civilian clothes," watching from
their cars. "Armed" with slogan-bearing balloons and pamphlets people began
to proceed down Sovetskaya street, leafleting along the way. When one woman
decided to cross the street to hand someone a leaflet, that's when the shit
really hit the fan. The woman was first tackled onto the pavement and then
forced into a vehicle. Plain clothes pigs showed up from all directions and
started cuffing the rest of the demonstrators. It seems, that at this event
the officers outnumbered the protesters. The "inconspicuous" people in
civilian clothes were stationed in the courtyards of nearby buildings, each
of whom (for conspiracy purposes, no doubt) was issued a 0.5 bottle of
Sprite to make them each individually and collectively "absolutely
unnoticeable" to other people present in the courtyards. They arrested about
half the protesters. As one of the cops stepped on a protester's head,
after the guy was already tackled on to the asphalt, he said: "In America,
you'd already have a bullet in your head for such stuff!" The heroic feat of
this Belarus sherif was successfully filmed on video and will soon be
available online.

Irkutsk

This year's May Day demonstration saw it's first participation of ecologists
from the Baikal movement with their blue flags. Irkutsk autonomes brought a
long banner that read "Oil instead of water?" (Recently, in April 2006,
there were major street protests in Russia over a proposed oil pipeline
route very close to Siberia's Lake Baikal, a World Heritage Site). Even
though Putin ordered the Transneft (state) oil company to move their
re-route their pipeline, it's a good idea to keep the pressure on.
Autonomous Action activists were joined by people from the radical labor
union SKT-Shelekhov (the Shelekhov section of SKT: Sibirskaya Konfederazciya
Trooda | Siberian Confederation of Labor). We gave out copies newspapers
like Situazciya, Volnaya Sibir (~Free Siberia), Shelekhovskiy Rabochiy
(Shelekhov Worker) and flyers in support of French students. After the rally
the crowd marched down Lenin street. Autonomes chanted: "svoboda, ravenstvo,
anarkho-komunizm" (freedom, equality, anarcho-communism), "vyshe vyshe
cherniy flag, gosoodarstvo glavniy vrag" (~higher higher black flag, the
state is the main enemy), "nashe otechestvo vsyo chelovechestvo" (our
fatherland is all of humanity). May day has been and still is the day of
international workers' solidarity, a day of resistance and struggle!

Irkutsk autonomes

Magadan

The first of May in Magadan turned out remarkable because of the totally
outrageous behaviour of the authorities towards us. About 15 of us gathered
together to join the main demo, bringing along leaflets, Situazcya papers,
and our first informational bulletin. We didn't register for this rally but
were assured a place in the march via a prior agreement with the KPRF
(Communist Party of Russian Federation) organizers of the event. Almost as
soon as we joined the march, we were surrounded by heavyset lads from the
RUBOP (special comando-type police troops - Rayonnoye Upravleniye po Bor'be
s Organizovannoy Pristoopnostyoo | District Unit for Combating Organized
Crime) who immediately confiscated all of our printed materials. At least we
got to hand out some portion of the leaflets... Fine, moving on. When the
column approached "main street," the cops were apparently ordered to "jump!"
"Hey, hand over your flag!" -- they yelled cheerfully, as they ran towards
us. While we were able to hold on to our flag after their unsuccessful
attempt to take it from us, we decided to leave the march at this point. Ah,
perhaps we should say "fuck May Day." There are better ways to express one's
discontent...

Magadan autonomes
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