(en) Russian News & Views #6

`i (agony@dorsai.org)
Tue, 5 Aug 1997 00:05:21 -0400 (EDT)


A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA

NEWS AND VIEWS No. 6

Spring-Summer 1997 P.O. Box 500 Moscow 107061 Russia cube@glasnet.ru

SO, WE'RE NOT INVITED TO THE "SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP"?

On May Day in Moscow a really despicable scene happened during the unions' annual first of May parade. A group of anarchists and left radicals, marching in the column of the independent trade union "Volya" were attacked by the police on the orders of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia.

Many left groups have long ago broken from the trade union's annual festivities; there is no question about their role as footservant to the criminal capitalist class. We hold our own independent festival or demonstration but still, we, like many others, tend to go to the larger demonstrations to meet with the workers and to offer them more radical alternatives than the trade union bosses. Many of us have participated in this May First demo before and we partcipated in the March "strike" without any incident. On May Day, far fewer than usual showed up (all of 17 people) (how many people want to meet at 8:30?) and we had brought radical banners, but were saving the real raucous stuff for our demo. Much of our literature was for self-management and did not even mention anarchism. The most radical things were banners reading "Death to the State and Capital" and "We'll Take our Pay by Force".

Obviously the "organizers" of this demo (whom, by the way, we know VERY WELL and include some of our ex-comrades who became bureaucrats) had a problem with us being there from the very start and asked the police to clear us out. They can of course now "innocently" claim that they didn't know what the police would do, that they didn't know that the police could beat or arrest us. That's just shit. They understood this - they don't give a shit. All they give a shit about is that there were no people there to tell the workers about what a bunch of traitor-pimps they are. The police came and starting beating and arresting people. Three of our comrades were taken to the infamous 108th precinct (where many of us or our friends have been beaten seriously) and several were violently beaten. Two of our comrades, Larisa and Nirmal, had to be hospitalized, suffering from injuries inflicted by the police. Both have sustained concussions from being beaten on the head with riot sticks, both were beaten in the kidneys. Larisa had to be hospitalized for a week and perhaps has suffered permanent damage as a result of her injuries.

Russia is a place where police brutality is par for the course and there are no precedents for even dealing with such things but at this point we are going to try to bring a case against the police and focus maximum attention on these problems. Traditions of suffering and martyrdom aside, there is no reason why people should continue to allow such an oppresive regime to continue without at least raising their voices in protest.

The three comrades taken in were fined and released. The police obviously did not want another big scandal. (The week before there were also arrests (Nirmal incidentally was one of those taken in) which led to a press conference and some noise.) At the station they met four Kurds who were also arrested for trying to celebrate May Day. So much for the holiday of workers' discontent.

These fucking trade unions, they try to get the government to outlaw the other unions all the time, they get rich off their monopolistic state legacy, they are in this all for their political careers. Obviously we are now at full blown war with them.

We have no intention of going into social partnership with the bosses; these people have offered up the workers' heads on a platter. It's our job now to occupy the remaining heads, to inspire them to bite the hands that bleed them.

MAY DAY, TRUER TO SPIRIT

Despite these unpleasantries, we held our own demo outside of Gorky Park. The weather was georgeous and we had good leaflets but unfortunately they had set up all sorts of carusels and stuff next to our demo and we looked, well a little clownish trying to have a serious demo there. Had we known... but no matter. About 40-45 people came, which was a considerable drop from last year, but, in general there is a more apathetic climate than last year. (The morning's demo drew only about a quarter of the amount that came to the March demo.) After the demo we walked around the city tearing down, detourning and destroying fascist leafelts. (They're here and they're there and they're everywhere.) We stopped at the new Kropotkin statue (well, actually it's Engels, but we were tired of looking at Engels standing at the beginning of the former Kropotkin street, so we changed it a little) and on Gogol Boulevard before heading to the Balaklava Club for the Victor Serge Library party. On the way we agitated people on the metro. (In the good sense and, probably, the other as well.) At Balaklava we celebrated by singing revolutionary anarchist songs from all over the world. Afterwards an anti-fascist concert was held in the abandoned Lenin Hills metro station. All in all, not a bad day, with the exception of the injuries to our friends.But we will try to answer that in kind.

YOU FUCKED UP ON KRONSTADT, BUT...

still there's a library in your name, wonderful contradictory bastard! The Victor Serge Library has opened in Moscow and houses several hundred left books and periodicals in various languages. This is one of several similiar projects around the world started up by the Serge people and is a welcome part of the new Moscow "Black Renaissance". A small collective here is overseeing the collection and always looking for new books, especially anarcho-titles, as the librarian is an anarcho-syndicalist and anarchists will probably be among the main readers at this library. (OK - the main reader will be ME and I'm also on the board of this thing, so I wanna see some good shit there, OK?) Actually though, the library is a real rarity in Moscow not only because of the books it houses but because it is a lending library; very few libraries allow you to take books out and we'll have a small collection of different general interest titles there in attempt to attract people from the neighbourhood. The space is also home to Balaklava Club (radical discussions) and botanists. (Don't ask.) So anybody out there who has extra radical books that they couldn't even give away can - give them away. To us. Any donations (well, almost any) would be greatly appreciated.

ANARCHO-PATROL

One of the funny stories of the year is about one of the latest attempts of local anarchists to keep the streets clean of fascist scum. On the 20th of April, the nazi skins did their usual march down the Arbat (famous pedestrian mall in Moscow), beating up people on the way. The anarchists of course love to police that event and to kick ass. Only this year they were outsmarted (talk about dumb and dumber). The march was supposed to happen at 8PM and everyone got there early. They met up first with a group of 7 skins who promptly fled when confronted with the sight of such angry, unwashed anti-fas. (They were, BTW, carrying "examples of the technological achievements of anarchists." Don't ask.) But, after that nobody else turned up, and they found out that the fasists had held their march at 4:00. So, they just went and looked for skinheads to beat up. Luckily they ran into those same skinheads again and decided to fight them. It's then that the anarcho-technology was used, and I'm not sure what the fuck you can call that thing (I didn't make it) but it sure made a loud noise and scared the fuck out of not only the skins but pedestrians who ran for cover.Well, I don't know how one can evaluate that action, but one thing's for sure - Moscow fascists think we're one bunch of sick motherfuckers.

THE BLACK SEA SHOULDN'T REALLY BE BLACK...

But that's how it's getting, thanks to increasing incidents of oil spills and so forth. The Rainbow keepers, together with the commune "atshi", the Kuban Anarchist Federation (whose acronym spells FUCK) and others organized a multi-city spectacle/ protest against the development of an oil pipeline on the Black Sea. They walked around different cities like Anapa and Novorossisk doing some radical street theater, protests, education. Much of the local population was in support of the action, thousands signing petitions and some coming out and taking part inthe event. there was seeemingly more support in Novorossisk than in the resort towns where people just wanted to vacation.

In Novorossisk the Keepers tried to keep the local bureaucrats from entering the building by lying down in front of it, which of course got them busted. They were accused by many, including the mayor, of being Turkish counterintelligence officers; apparently business concerns want to be sure Russia controls the pipeline, not Turkey.

KAZAKHSCAM

Oh boy, I'm in trouble again! Sometime in the spring, comrades from around the world received a weird letter from one Nick from Alma Aty who claimed that they have a thriving anarcho-syndicalist movement there, that they had some strikes, that he was repressed and that, surprise, surprise, they asked for (financial) support. See, the thing is that some people I know are in regular contact with the guy and this is the first we'd ever heard about any of this. Peculiar? Damned right.

We've had an unfortunate history of so-called anarchists conning people out of money so I issued a warning and asked Nick to send information about this group he claims he has. Well, needless to say I haven't received any. On the contrary, others just insist that no such group exists.

Since I mentioned Nick's affiliations with Dmitry Kostenko (who once wrote an article on how to con left groups out of money) and Dmitry Modul, the word around Moscow is that I spread "false" information about Modul over the internet. The fact that I just mentioned his name as a friend of Sick Nick has been turned into a major lie by Modul and is being manipulated by Robert Jones of the Militant (a person that one of teh founders of the sect has labeled a "flaming asshole") because I have been outspokeningly critical of them, their politics and the Left Anti-Fascist Resistance, a group started by Jones which I embarrassingly pointed out, had signed up none other than the editor of the newspaper of the National Bolshevik Party! Well, I don't give a shit.

And as far as Kazakhstan is concerned, we don't have any news of any anarchist happenings there in a long time.

A GOOD USE FOR ROTTING VEGETABLES

On April 22, some anarchists, and some others, decided to throw rotting tomatoes at Gennady Zyuganov. Why not? Let's have some fun. Of course it became a big news story (better to divert us from corruption scandals). The anarchs should, however, know better than to party with the commies, even a lone commie. Four of them were arrested (the fifth arrested, a confused kid with ties to the Komsomol, is currently in jail for some Moscow bombings). Needless to say, the commies claimed responsibility for this action, just like they try to do with everything. Well, they're idiots and so is anybody who has anything to do with them. They claimed responsibilities for bombings as well, but instead of the people who say this going to jail, everything gets pinned on teenaged kids. As for Zyuganov - well, let's just say that our friends need to develop their aim.

SIEMENS

I don't even remember when this thing was (as if you REALLY CARE) but the Rainbow Keepers did an anti-Siemen's thing here in Moscow. The action, well, it was OK - you know, handcuffs, climbing on buildings - but the thing is that the whole thing was sort of sleazily orchestrated by demon of the day, Vladimir Slivyak, who has apparently moved down from Kaliningrad to organize us, sell information and make a little left political career.

The sleazy Slivyak of course told the foreign press (good thing I read it) that the action was organized by his group and Greenpeace (?), whose ass he must be trying to kiss. Apparently there's talk that he invented news of Siemens building power plants in Russia to get the activists out but no such stuff was up. People suspect him of wanting to get in good with some German suckers, who apparently like to send him abroad for conferences and the like. He was one of two denounced in the Moscow zine "Grass and Freedom" as being a parasite on the radical ecological movement. Well, the whole thing is just a festering green ghetto if you ask me. And that people are playing around with a lot of money - well, hopefully the american grant givers will cooperate with records of grants given out here, then we can start to investigate GREENGATE.

INDONESIAN HOLIDAYS

On June 28 we had yet another picket at the Indonesian Embassy. Those poor diplomats can't figure us out - we're there at least twice a year. Now everytime we show up it's like something of a holiday for the bored suckers - they come out and look at us, read flyers, take videotapes for the kids back home... We were there this time because they like to buy Russian arms to repress people back how and some sleazy minister was in town trying to get warplanes. We had a fun little spectacle and then went home.

WISHING WE WERE IN ALBANIA

Kievan anarchists made some stink on March 28 when they joined up in some demo and had the slogan "Let's Do Like in Albania". (On the 27th in Moscow we were well greated with our "Albania is just the beginning" sign.) In the end, 10 people got arrested. they were later released. Unfortunately, nobody did like in Albania.

CAN "SCUM" - LIKE STUFF BE FAR OFF?

On March 8, International Women's Day was celebrated in Moscow with a play called "Anti-Man at the still -disgustingly named Jerry Rubin Club. The show was so popoular it was even repeated.

Speaking of women, the number is growing in the movement. There was even an idea (OK - my idea) to make an A-feminist federation. It would turn out to be the biggest fed in Russia. But alas I'm just not one to make a federation just to gather mass. After meeting with some so-called anarcha-feminists, I remembered that it wasn't labels that united me to people. As a matter of fact, such an endeavour would either put me into a federation with some devil worshippers and brainless cunts or have me trying to defend the faith and keep such people away. What thankless tasks. Better off to figure out what I can concretely do with the few women who are cool. (get your minds out of the gutter.) Castration squad?

I decided to make "Ex", the first A-feminist zine. Ex is short for expropriation and a prototypical Ex-girl likes ex and sex, not necessarily in that order. Although hopefully even those who practice neither will like the rag.

For anybody who keeps track, I've come down pretty hard on some of the ideology of the US feminists in the past, but after hanging around the testosterone filled Evil Empire a while, the word feminist takes on a new meaning. It's like a curse in Russia, but not because people have seen feminists and criticize their ideas, but because of rampant machismo and the real threat that their basic ideas represent to male power.

As I've noted elsewhere, a small feminist movement is growing but these are bourgeois feminist; that's how it seems it's started historically. There's no reason to have anything to do with them, but there is hope that traditional Russian sexist values will start to erode. from every point of view, this is an absolute prerequisite; there can be no talk of a libertarian society here without a serious frontal attack on sexist and racist ideas.

Speaking of sexist ideas, one of the big tragedies I see around me is that women get so trapped by families and housework... Hopefully things are changing cause as it is too many good women, including those from the A movement, have been lost due to their offspring slavery. Hey, but sometimes even men get caught up with this. Congrats to M. Tsovma, formerly of this hijacked rag and already one year AWOL, on his entrance into holy matrimony.

GOMEL

Many demos - anti-fascist, social politics, commemoration of the Paris Commune on March 18. On Apr. 2 did an anti-Luka demo against the dictator and his union with Yeltsin. On Apr. 26 they had a demo to commemorate Chernobyl. And of course they participated in May Day.

MOSCOW

In March, memberes of KRAS leafleted striking workers from the Academy of Sciences.

On March 27, all sorts of anarchists took part in the trade union spectacle which was trying to pass itself off as a general strike. We talked with people, most of whom were much more interested in radical alternatives than the FNPR's social partnership.

WHO'S IN THE ARMY NOW?

I heard some interesting news on the draft from leading sectarian and sectologists Vadim Damier (whom I need to thank for some info and jogging my fading memory). Apparently some 701,000 kids were drafted last year in Moscow, but only 11,000 showed up. Of those, a third were let go for health reasons. In addition, 9,000 plus outright refused to go. Well, that's pretty good, but, as I was quick to point out to Vadim, this is more of a reflection of class reality than a decline in the Russian army.

See, Moscow controls most of Russia's wealth. And if Moscow kids, who enjoy a higher standard of living and greater prospects in general, can get away with avoiding the draft, this may be more a reflection of their abilities to give bribes if caught, or a reluctance to deprive the city of a work force, or both. In the regions everything is much more strenuously enforced and as a result, military service is increasingly perceived as just another hardship that provincial working class boys must suffer. While Moscow teens might be thinking of getting and spending money, there is not much hope that in some places, (except through criminal activities). So these kids go to the army and get under the influence of groups like Russian National Unity (whose presence in the Russian army is growing rapidly). As the Kuban anarchists will attest, a lot of people from their region want to go off to Chechnya, just to whip those black asses. What you then is an army of lumpen kids ripe for recruiting for the fascists, with a great deal of resentment for the rich, pro-West kids in Moscow, who have life "easy", who don't have to serve. And their training might come in handy. Unlike the over-thirties, today's young people don't know how to load guns or use rocket launchers. (A handy skill in Russia, as we've seen.) Not that I'm saying that anybody should serve - but there's enough reason to be concerned about the links to poverty, neo-Stalinist and ultra-right fascist groups. When "Radical" Party's Nikolai Khramov (formerly of McGlynnProp fame - who would be better off doing a repeat of Panello's Robin Hood act on Red Sq.) calls for a professional army and an end to obligatory service, he's quite off the mark. Just think of what the army has the potential of becoming then. A nice job for people who want to get paid for their fascist training. State - subsidized fascio camps. Great for supporting a dictator.

As anarchists, nothing less than the destruction of the army will do. As long as swaztika bearing fascists use the army to subsidize their activities, anarchists should be at war with the military, and not into it's so-called reform.

LIPETSK/VORONEZH

On Feb. 22 the Lipetsk people had an illegal demonstration to protest the banning of an anti-militarist concert. Two days later, in Voronezh, they had an anti-militarist happening in which up to 300 people took part On March 15, the first conference of Anarchists of the Black Earth (Chernozyom) from Lipetsk and Voronezh met. This is another example of a growing trend of making smaller regional federations rather than national ones. It's not feasible in a country the size of Russia to meet often on a national level, especially due to growing poverty and train prices. (Part of an agreement for an IMF loan was to raise up train prices and try to end state subsidies for that transport.) Regionally people can work on coordination of specific actions and so on, so good luck to them.

The Black Earthers did have a follow-up conference the next weekend - talk about taking up the ball and rolling with it. On the 27th they took part in this union sham (we all basically went out to our local spectacles - what the hell) and unfortunately one guy was penalized at work and lost some money. Rats! And, in keeping up momentum, on April 6 (or 7th according to one source), 20 people made an anti-war demo. They stormed a recruting station and captured it, but, you can figure out the results. One guy got fired for taking part in that action. Too bad the unions who love us haven't come up with any mechanisms to fight unfair dismissals. (As far as I know, they are in favour of the right to fire workers, a post-Soviet privledge.) Then they went out on the first of May and decided that they'd form an anarchist students' union. Hope that turns out better than that neo-stalinist "Student Defense". And on the 9th of May they did an anti-fascist thing. I don't know what they've done after that, but it looks like they've gotten into the spirit down there. Don't take hostages.

NIZHNY

On March 23 the second congress of Anarchists of the Nizhny Novgorod region was held. People from Nizhny, Derzhinsk and Pavlov na Oke came. They came, they sat, they had an agenda. They declared April 1 anti-McDonald's day and held an action.

The anarchists of Nizhny have come under the influence of hardcore Bookchinism. One can assume this love for Bookchin stems partly from financial considerations- gift money from Bookchin and the CIA to visit the man in Vermont and partly from the continued spreading around Europe of the Bookchinist myth; that is that Bookchin is the grandfather of american anarchism who syntheized green ideas with anarchism.

It helps of course not to be able to read Bookchin to appreciate him. The Nizhny anarchs passed a resolution that calls for the abolition of the post of governor (conveniently vacated by Baby Boy Boris Nemtsov) to be substituted by a confederation of municipal soviets of the Nizhny Novgorod region. Yikes! True, with people like Derzhinsk born fascist Eddy Limonov running for governor (he lost), this may seem like some alternative, but given the history of local soviets, and, more importantly, the history of anybody in post-Soviet Russia who's gone into politics at all, the best one could hope for is a kabal of bureaucrats - a collective corruption if you will - rather than the feudal model. It still would be interesting to hear what kind of councils they think are realizable in this area of 5-6 million people. Maybe a more radical solution would be to abolish the region of Nizhny Novgorod.

MOSCOW

On March 11 the squat on Ostozhenka street (near Kropotkin metro) was busted. (Not by cops even, but by fellow squatters.) There's a lot to say about the incident, but this is one where I'm just gonna keep my mouth shut and trash the article I wrote. In short, nothing good happened, there was a lot of bozofied stuff, fights, even one guy was murdered and his body torched. The people arrested for the murder, former members of the anarchist youth federation. Not pleasant stuff. I've been in the anarchist movement long enough to know that it's a waste of time to run a big article on what happened, that most anarchs can't deal with such things and others, well, they either don't care or are confused. Similiarly, nobody in Russia is talking about this either. Apparently some people have smartened up a little though.

The timing was OK for me cause I had found a new building for a squat and needed people. Only thing is that I didn't want to invite all sorts of assholes, and due to the shit that went on, some people understood this. We went to this squat but everybody concerned is out of town and it's just inhabited by some homeless folks.

We'll see what happens.

The whole situation around the squat is part of much bigger problems, which have been affecting people all over the place for some time now. For example, how to include new people into projects without having to get stuck with a bunch of assholes? A lot of people really want to attract new blood into things, to get people to learn new ideas, so they tolerate some young rebellious types, hoping they'll get radicalized (in the right direction). Often it doesn't work out. With the squat, I knew some people there well and really believe that they were just trying to include new people as best as they could. A lot of people see the crowds around places like that, or around places like the anarchist university and say that they're just a bunch of idiots and then go denouncing the people who tried to get them involved with things. From their side, they tend to accuse those who don't go out and try to get new people (or don't manage it) of being sectarian, armchair types. Add to this an age difference, a difference in education and status, and you get name calling a la Bookchin.

I'm not interested in getting people to join together if they have real differences but you can't help but notice a few things. Like how people with a good knowledge of radical theory, who tend to read a lot and have institute educations, are constantly using this to try to seem more authoritative on everything. As if an emotional response or impirical knowledge doesn't count for anything. Nothing wrong with reading and making criticism, but it depends on how obnoxious you are in doing it and whether your purpose in criticizing is to dialog with people and to try to get them to understand your point of view or whether you are trying to elevate yourself and humiliate your opponent. (Of course if your opponent is himself obnoxious, this is another story.) And like how people who take part in a lot of protests often accuse others of being apolitical if they don't. And how so much judgement is made on you based on how you look and if you consume cool culture. Egomaniacs fighting to be king of the anarchist jungle.

Well, that's what goes on - I'd get into more details except - well, I just don't want to. It may seem that I got a little sidetracked from the issue of the squat, but the real issue of the squat has more to do with interpersonal political nonsense than repression. Pretty soon the police won't have to ever send provocateurs to us - we'll find them ourselves.

PAINTING THE TOWN BLACK

Some anarchists from what some people call the Moscow Anarchist Club (add that to Balaklava and we have two whole semi-fictional clubs - which, ironically are more real than most organized ones) have been going out spray painting a lot. And certain trouble makers (who shall remain nameless) even made a clever detourment: the statue of Engels which stands at the beginning of the former Kropotkin St. was transformed into - you guessed it - Kropotkin. Lots of us have been attacking fascist posters recently - we had great fun after May Day getting rid of them all, or writing nasty stuff on them. BTW, it is fairly common to see these things up, even in the subways and buses. And, in the buses, it is always the drivers who put them up. (They're allowed to put up their own decorations. Usually it's just naked chicks or fluffy kittens.) Next stop - the art of billboard improvement.

When labour problems occurr, anarchists respond! Some folks went and leafleted the Kuntsevo Textile Factory. Yeah, I didn't think it was so newsworthy either, but if sitting around a conference drinking beer is newsworthy (just cause there's an AGENDA), then certainly going out and trying to talk to people should be twice as newsworthy. (Don't tell me about twice 0 either - I can multiply.)

On April 1 some people held Green Day. Nothing got any greener. (Maybe that was the joke.)

And hey, one cannot forget the opening of the anarcho-university. True this is a place for people who would never be let into a real university and are proud of it. It's in the ill-named Jerry Rubin club (I hate that yuppie ass licker). They have lectures down there, discussions, drunken visions... Well, we are doing a good job of anarcho-pluralism in Moscow, providing discussions for all layers of the anarcho food chain.

Speaking of food, the Rainbow Keepers are having their camp again in Volgodonsk. There's a nuclear power station there and they like to protest against it. And live in tents and chat and drink cheap vodka... Well, I'm hoping to have more info on that for next time.

BLACK RENAISSANCE: MYTH OR MYTH?

OK, so it's a myth, but we like it that we've impressed someone enough to hear talk of a "Black Renaissance", a virtual kaleidescope of anarchactivities. Well, we DO do something. We have lots of meetings and discussions - we could put most major North American cities to shame - and we make up for our lack of resources with some good dirty anarchospirit. One thing I could mention is that there have been a lot of zines and magazines. Our "Naperekor", (OK - I am an editor, but that's not why I'm plugging it) has become one of the best things in the world. We expanded and the latest issue is 74 pages, in 8 and 9 pt. type no less, small margins, few pix, in other words, a lot of info and articles. A nice glossy called "Anarchy" started up. I'd like to joke that it's a Russian version of the american magazine, but it's not. But it's glossy.

They do that over in Nizhny. (Centers of anarcho-importance (get out your map): Moscow, Petersburg, Gomel, Donetsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnodar, Maikop. Others: Tver, Lipetsk, Kazan, Voronezh, Alma - Aty, Khabarovsk, Tomsk, Seversk, Kiev.) The 6th issue of "the Kazan Anarchist" came out. They're a little weird there. Some of them like Stirner and some like the market. (Stirner - yes, market - no.) Two issues of "Grass and Freedom" came out. Now THAT is a real nasty rag. Something in it to get everybody upset. KRAS put out "Direct Action". It's gotten better since we took Damier into "Naperekor" and he learned how to party. "Rainbow Keepers" looks really nice now and even has one or two articles worth reading. "Autonome" from Krasnodar has a militant attitude, but not all militants are my kind of militant, if you know what I mean. Issue number 38 of "New World" (Novy Svet) came out and also had a militant flavour, but not this leftie, kiss-ass-of-anybody with a gun idiocy; at least they wrote some intelligent criticism of the Tupamaros. Nice little zine. But the one zine we couldn't figure out was "Black Border". (Just where is the anarchist border and can one just step over it - or do you need a visa?) And of course, I almost forgot the resurrected "Obschina" which the bureaucrat former anarchists wanted to do. We can't figure out why, but it's a provocation! With an editorial staff including known thieves and liars, like the guy who had us beat up on May Day and who uses union money to run a casino on Georgievsky Lane in Moscow. That's just a few of them that have come out lately. Now if we only had some more people and more money... (A raid on the casino would be nice.)

SEND STUFF TO READ!

Since we have a super-cool radical library here, we'd like to invite generous souls to send contributions of books or magazines for people's self-edification. All contribs can be sent to AKAI, P.O. BOX 500, MOSCOW 107061. Sorry, can't write this off your taxes (if you are unfortunate enough to pay 'em). But, we will be eternally grateful. And, for a sponsorship contribution of $500, we would be glad to rename the library from the Serge Library to the YOUR NAME HERE library. Of course we won't guarantee you that we wouldn't proceed to rename it yet again, but...

PETERSBURG

Russia's second city. Lots of stuff going on up there in the land of the White Nights. The Petersburger Anarchist League put out a good statement for the 27th. On the 2 of February, the governor of Petersburg decided to double municipal rents so the League wrote a resolution against it the next day. (They like resolutions.) On the fourth they participated in a demo against this, unfortunately with all sorts of disgusting kommunyaga like the CPRF, RKRP and the Russian communist Party. OK - hopefully they drew some attention away from those police staters. But pretty much they were working together with these RKRP assholes throughout Feb. and March on this question, making mulitiple demos and pickets. I don't know - Kronstadt's too close by to forget about anarchist experience with the commies.

On the 19th of February the Green Cross organized an eco-conference with greens and anarchists. Maybe they'll be doing some eco-actions. (Maybe this will start up in Tver too.) Exactly one month later, the League, along with the Democratic Union, commemorated the Paris Commune.

And I hear they did a good seminar on Marcuse.

KAZAN

Well, it's quiet in Kazan but the anarchs keep plugging away. They took part in the trade union action on Mar.27, and in May Day. But the more interesting thing is the idea to start up a House of Anarchy. I don't know what this is, but I like the way that it sounds. If it happens, you'll be the first to know. (Well, not the first, but...)

EVEN IN IRON TOWN

On the 23 of March an anarchist federation was founded in Zheleznogorsk, some iron town in the Kursk region. (I'm not sure where it is myself. Sort of a mini-Pittsburg.) Haven't read their declaration yet. (What - am I supposed to be an information service?)

THE NEAR ABROAD

Well, we hear that the Estonian anarchists did a conference but you know, the former Soviet Union has been broken up into worlds of slavophones and non-slavophones and, well, the folks in the Baltics have no use for Russians much, and maybe vice-versa, so, what I'm trying to say is that I don't have much info on this and in general I don't have any fucking idea of what goes on in the Baltics, so I'm not even going to try to report on that. If you want info on that you'll have to refer to the info below.

SUBSCRIBE TO ALTER-EE

Zaczek (a nice Varsovian anarchist of infinite energy) has berated me for not getting people signed up for ALTER-EE, which is a list for activists from the former block. So, I guess, if you are interested in finding out what we do, or if you know people in our corner of the world with e-mail, let me know so I can sign you up and get brownie points over in Poland.

That's all for this issue of News and Views. Wow! For the first time news has practically caught up with views, but probably because the news changes quicker than my views (or something like that). All material here is ANC (absolutely no copyright), so feel free to hijack it and spread it around. Apologies in advance for any gross omissions; I DIDN'T KNOW!

NEWS FLASH!!!!!

On the date of this printing I found out that the ecological camp in Volgodonsk was attacked. Apparently more than 500 workers from the station attacked ecologists blockading it. Many were severely injured with things like concussions and broken noses while armed militia men looked on! For more information on what happened there you can contact Volgodonsk - root@rk.vdonsk.ru.

****** A-Infos News Service ***** News about and of interest to anarchists

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