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(en) Black Bloc in "social march" of Belarusian opposition in Minsk 4th of November]

Date Thu, 15 Nov 2007 23:07:35 +0200


4th of November saw anarchist action in both Belarus and Russia. In Russia, anarchists made counter-actions against nationalist and Nazi marches celebrating "unity day", which celebrated October revolution holiday (meaning of which was already twisted during 15 years) in year 2005 - we will summarize these actions soon. For anarchists in Belarus, it was important for other reason - this was a date of major mobilization of Belarusian opposition, "social march". --- "Social march" was much less prepared than "European march" few weeks before. Latter event demanded integration of Belarus to European Union, and it was mostly ignored by anarchists by obvious reasons, just small group went to leaflet protesters to inform them of the anarchist position that EU is nothing but an imperialist project, where role of East-European countries is nothing else but be a source of cheap labor and a buffer against Russia. But social march was on some real issues, such as cancellation of free social benefits and price hikes, thus anarchists decided to be present in a form of a separate bloc, although their positions widely differ from those of right-leaning, nationalist liberal opposition, for which social issues are a mere populist move.

In contrary to expectations of anarchists, social march turned out to be a
rather interesting event.

Around 12 AM in square of the Academy of Science up to 1000 people were
gathering. Opposition had not put much effort to preparation of the march.
Anarchists also failed to bring big numbers - only around 60 people, in
Chernobyl day march last April Black Bloc was 100 persons strong.

Atmosphere soon turned out tense, as some 20 Nazis from "White wolves"
turned up, something which happens extremely rarely in oppositional
demonstrations in Byelorussia.

Soon their numbers increased to 50. Boneheads came to take photos of
anarchists, who were not intimidated and kept on drumming and shouting
slogans.

When march went on, anarchists did not hesitated to occupy place in the
front of it. In front of the march, there was a banner which put bluntly
anarchist position on welfare state - "State may never be social".
Immediately when anarchists began to move, some party bureaucrat ran to them
and began to plea them to wait for rest of the march. During the resulting
confusion, 20-30 activists of main oppositional organization, managed to
pass anarchist bloc - a lesson for naïve ones! However anarchists managed to
occupy all sidewalk, make a proper queue, and scan "State is robbing us and
not the first time!", "Social state is like humanistic slavery!" and more
common anarchist slogans of "Raise the black flag higher, state is the main
enemy!", "Rubber bullets and tear gas, present of the president to working
masses", "Power gives birth to parasites!" and others.

In Surganov street, anarchist moved out from the sidewalk and took the whole
road. As usual, traffic cops got nervous and party bosses of the opposition
pleaded anarchists to move back to sidewalk, but anarchists kept their
course stubbornly. Now a bunch of Nazis stack to rear of the anarchists,
throwing sieg-hail greetings and shouting some bullshit slogans.

Nazis moved to side of the anarchists, showing middle finger (apparently
another international Nazi greeting), anarchists answered by shouting "Nazi
scum!", "Antifa!" and others, at which points Nazis jumped to anarchists.
Some heavy fighting started, although odds were uneven - less than half of
the anarchists took part of the fight, boneheads had also prepared iron bars
whereas anarchists only had wooden sticks of the flags and a drum which was
thrown to Nazis from time to time.

Anarchists managed to keep the fighting formation for a while, but
eventually Nazis ran them over and could beat up two persons, luckily
neither of them was seriously hurt.

Anarchists retreated next crossing, and gathered more weapons and ammo.
However Nazis had took enough damage during their first attack, and were not
in a mood to continue the fight. During the whole fight, OMON riot police
was nowhere to be seen, but at this point they appeared and anarchists moved
to side street. Some boneheads were following them, but still too hesitant
to continue fighting.

Most likely Nazi attack was a planned provocation, which gave Belarusian
state-backed Media a chance to show opposition beating the shit out of
itself. This was first time ever when Nazis showed up in such a numbers in
an oppositional meeting, prepared to fight. Number of people warned bosses
of liberal opposition, that a fight was imminent if Nazis were not kicked
out from the meeting, however they were totally negligent. Apparently they
have no interest at all what is happening in their meeting.



Reaction of official media was expected and joyous due to this chaos in an
even of opposition. Opposition was using their media to wash their hands -
anarchists have been regular guests in meetings of opposition for more than
a decade, but now opposition claimed that they saw anarchists first time,
and that they were provocateurs hired to discredit opposition. This
commentary by people, who just passed by while anarchists were fighting
heavily for their right to shout anti-fascists slogans.

For anarchists of Belarus, this was an important day. Although they had to
retreat, they consider this a decisive movement which showed who is who in
Belarus - who is ignorant of Nazis turning up in events of opposition, and
who is fighting back.

(This report is mostly translated from
http://mikola-a.livejournal.com/79743.html)

Reports in site of Autonomous Action of Belarus

http://belarus.avtonom.org/?p=621

More photos:

http://belarus.avtonom.org/?p=631

Video from youtube (may be filmed by nationalists - it only includes retreat
of the anarchists):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5icFj09zOc
(for version with photos, check http://www.avtonom.org/index.php?nid=1307)
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