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(en) Russia, Two anarchists defending tenants from eviction are arrested in Moscow

Date Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:26:31 +0200

On January 19th, 39 activists were arrested in central Moscow, with anarchists among them. They were involved in a campaign protecting tenants from raiders. Next morning they were released, but two activists were then re-arrested and taken to the Khamovniki police station. They are detained for 48 hours with a criminal case under article 213 - hooliganism (5 year imprisonment) opened against them. The detainees' surnames are Pogosov and Polozenko. -- Some context -- Halls of residence in central Moscow, inhabited by 10 families, is targeted by private eviction raiders. Legal means of eviction failed due to the families' registration. Instead, the buildings' status was changed from residential to industrial. This allowed the private security raiders to harass the tenants by other means.

The raiders insist that the tenants have been provided with flats outside of Moscow,
but those are still in possession of the “Moscow Silk” firm, which is
threatening eviction.

On Janurary 14th, stoves and tables were removed from the kitchen. Audio
and Video surveillance was set up, a security guard was stationed at the
premises and a coded lock installed at the entrance.

On January the 15th the halls were stormed by security. They took a door
away and broke through a wall of a room inhabited by a women and her
6-year old child. Activists and lawyers were barred from access. Only
one activist to get inside. Talks with security broke down, and the
tenants remained imprisoned in their own homes.

On January the 18th the water supply was cut.

On January the 19th 39 activists were arrested on Bolshoy Savvinkiy
street. Prior to this, they had assembled at the halls' entrance and
attempted to break through to the tenants, which were still trapped
inside. The Moscow Silk raiders is attempting to evict its former
workers and their families with the help of hired security. The social
and political activists, which included libertarian communists, left
communists and anarchists, organised a 24-hour watch at the halls, but
security erected grating at the entrance. On the 19th, activists were
met with gas and steel girders, but nevertheless broke through into the

Police was at first reluctant to intervene, and only removed some
journalists from the stairwell used by activists to access the tenants.
After that, the police negotiated with the Moscow Silk raiders to switch
electricity in the halls back on.

Then, at 20:15, the police received an order to storm the premises.
Everyone but tenants and journalists were arrested and taked to the
Khamovniki police station. No cases were filed, but some activists were
at times separated for “talks”. The next morning, everyone was released.
However, as the day went on two activists (Pogosov and Polozenko) were
re-arrested and were returned to the station, and have been accused with
article 213, which may lead to a 5 year sentence.

This is not the only instance of tenants being raided for eviction and
of anarchists and left communists coming to their aid.

We call for an end to bourgeois and police harassment! Freedom to the

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