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(en) Russia, 7th of November actions

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 22 Nov 2003 21:09:45 +0100 (CET)

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7th of November is day of rememberance of the October
"revolution". After collapse of the Soviet Union, official
name of the date was changed to contentless "Day of
pacification and agreement", since cancelling a general
holiday would have angered people. In many cities bolsheviks organise
mass meetings, 7th of November is their thirdmost
important celebration after the first of May,
and victory day 9th of May, and 7th of November is the
most politically controversial of them, in has a specific
"bolshevik", not a popular character.
For vast majority of their supporters these three are only
reasons to get to streets.
Official yellow trade-unions and governing "United Russia"
party organise meetings as well in order to create popular

Anarchist attitude to October putch, and thus to
7th of November is anything but uncontroversial. In some
cities anarchists go happily to queue with bolsheviks to
celebrate their common assault against provisional
governement 86 years ago, forgetting what happened
just 5 months later. In some other cities anarchists
just use celebration as an unique opportunity to leaflet
critical citizens, and in some cities anarchist stay far
from these pathetic and demoralizing actions.

This year anarchists in Moscow decided to give a completely
new context for 7th of November - for coincidence it happens
to be also birthday of Nestor Ivanovich Makhno!
Nestor Ivanovich was born 26th of October 1888, although
later on his parents announced false date 27th of October
1889 in order to avoid draft (later on this fraud saved his life,
because he was too young to be executed). Tsarist
Russia followed old Yulian calendar, where 26th of October
1888 corresponds with 7th of November 1888 of Gregorian
calendar, approved in Russia after October putch (this is also reason why
October "revolution" is celebrated in November). Since
long 3-day weekend from 7th to 9th of November was an opportunity
to organise actions not to be missed, Moscow anarchists
used 115th birthday of Makhno in order to avoid any positive
judgement of the October putch. We'll see, if this approach
is approved in other Russian cities in upcoming years.

For pictures of the events, check out www.avtonom.org and

Anarchists organised actions connected to 7th of November
at least in the following cities:


7th of November was a day of political circus in
Kaliningrad, all flavours of authoritarians, in another
side KPRF and other self-declared "communists", in
another side United Russia were fighting for
spheres of influence. First calling day "a day
of Great October Revolution", second "a day of
pacification and agreement". Anarchists decided
not to make peace or agree with either of them,
but to make their own show instead.

First anarchists appeared in communist meeting,
raising black, red and black diagonal flags and
banner "People before profits". Both communists
and cops tried to harrass anarchists, but they
managed to set up their own bloc of some 30-40
persons in the demonstration.

March went from hotel Kaliningrad to victory square,
during march anarchists shouted "smash bourgeoisie",
and "kick fascists out from Kreml". Nazbols marching
in front of anarhicsts shouted "Kaliningrad is a Russian
city", but anarchists shouted "Kaliningrad
is a city for everyone" louder.

In square anarchists gave a shame present to journalist
Mark Kibanov from bourgeois paper "Novye kolesa", who
had libeled anarchists. After giving the
shame price anarchists decided not to listen bullshit
speech any further, and they moved on to fountain next
to Schiller monument, close to meeting place of "United
Russia". Anarchists moved to center of the fountain
(which is not working during season), and set up their
counter-meeting with revolutionary shouts. From
here anarchists moved to Kant statue, where they
set up an acoustic concert playing reggae,
early Grazhdanskaya Oborona and Bashlachev. Concert
was closed around 5 PM, there was no problems from
the side of nazis or cops, since all right-wing
forces were concentrated to Victory square around
the pompous show of United Russia.

(Translated and edited from report by Patsifist)


Anarchists distributed paper of Russian-Chechenyan friendship
association in bolshevik meeting, which gathered 800 people.
United Russia gathered 100 persons, exclusively party bureaucrats
and trade school students who were forced to attend by
school leadership. Party leadership
was heard yelling orders "to send quickly 50 more persons"
to mobile phone.

(Translated and edited from report by AKA)


Only 11 anarchists came to demonstration, Krasnodar
scene has recently suffered seriously from repression.
Anarchist decided to join the general demonstration,
which in Krasnodar was even more post-modernist than in other cities,
here ruling elite was cooperating with "communists", organising
march and meeting without any obvious political content...

Anarchist marched together with workers of the compressor
factory, who were forced to attend the demonstration by
pro-governement administration of the factory.
Anarchists raised banner "Autonomous Action", "We negate
negation" and some red and black diagonal flags. Anarchist
scanned "Not to fascism, not to war!", "Against power
of transnationals!", "Peace to world, flush Putin!" and
sang Warshavyanka. Workers of the compressor factory
were boozing vodka and laughing to other participators, such
as cops and bolsheviks. Some workers showed some
minor interest to anarchists, one felt offended when
anarchist refused vodka offered by him, anarchists
declared that they do not booze during actions.

Anarchists met some nazi-skinheads, this time physical
force was not necessary in order to underline anti-fascist
lecture. Anarchist marched whole Krasnaya street without
any problems, it was decided not to attend the general meeting
but to have some beer instead.

Not a big success, but anyway anarchists succeeded to show
that they won't give up, no matter the pressure of cops
and FSB!

In the evening, some unknown group of anarchist anti-fascists
raided a fascist center, but did not found anyone to
beat up. Better luck next time!

(Translated and edited from a report by Asmodey)



Anarchists from Autonomous Action and Rainbow Keepers together
with independent anarchists and supporters of Radical
Union of artists organised a three-day festival to celebrate
115th birthday of Nestor Makhno. Although attempt to organise
a concert failed, festival alltogether was biggest single success
of anarchists in Moscow during many years.

In the morning of 7th November anarchists were distributing
leaflets and literature in the "communist" meeting. Festival
itself was launched 2 PM with opening of anti-sexist
exhibition in the Jerry Rubin club in Lenin street,
where all festival events of the first day were organised. Corridoor of the center
was saturated with real and hypothetical sexist employment advertisement
("Looking for waitress... salary will be dependent from
the size of your positive qualities"), together with
various banners selling products with help of womens bodies.

But among all those female tits and butts also appeared advertisement using
men's bodies as an attraction and sexual object, due to rarity of
such phenomena organisers of the exhibition could not recycle
existing advertisement but to make their own. Male "top-models"
were used to sell flowers, tights, parfumes and bakery products among
others. For some reason many male guests of the exhibition did not
liked all this male beauty. In their manifest, authors of
the exhibition write: "Gender discrimination is not womens trouble
only... it is problem of the society, where everyone is
suppressed and humiliated. And if for you sexism is nothing
but imagination of the feminists, and has no any relation
with you, you probably just do not figure out some things... bloke."

After opening of the exhibition, a press-conference with title
"Modern anarchist movement" was organised. Press did not
appeared yet, but who cares, there were plenty of interested
people from outside the movement. In press conference activists
of the anarchist movement told about current campaigns.
most attention was given to Azov campaign, where local inhabitants
supported by Autonomous Action and Rainbow Keepers managed to
halt construction of a terminal meant for export of methanole
this summer. Currently "Azovproduct" and Italian transnational
Triboldi are trying to continue the construction, so campaign
has to be continued. Short video about summer protest actions
was shown. Other anarchist projects presented was
fight against black hundred "Holy Russia" party in Moscow
suburb of Zhukovsky, Russian Indymedia and several
anarchist publications.

After press-conference, there was a discussion with theme "Ideas of
Nestor Makhno today". Some guests were sceptical with personality
of Makhno, where anarchists present appreciated Makhnovist experiment
on the self-governance of the Ukrainian peasantry in conditions
of a civil war. After discussion, Ukrainian video "World is not for sale"
about Prague protests of 2000, and another video by Undercurrents
collective were shown.

Anarchist literature stall was met with unforeseen demand during
the meeting. Currently there are at least 12 regular anarchist
periodicals in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, and two anti-authoritarian
feminist ones. Recently published interesting books include
translation of "The joy of revolution" by American anthologist of
the Situationist movement Ken Knabb. Around 60 persons participated
to events during first day of the festival.

In evening of the 7th of November an anonymous group of anarchist
anti-fascists attacked the headquarters of the National-Bolshevik
Party in Luzhniky. What could be better way to celebrate
birthday of Nestor Ivanovich than some good bolshevik-bashing!
Red-brown scum hanging in the headquarters received some
well deserved punches and kicks, and were knocked down faster
than you may spell "left unity". Unfortunately tactical
retreat was not completely succesfull, one anarchist was
caught by fascists, taken to hq and beaten there while
nazbols attempted to get some information from him. But
we'll be back!

Event of the second day of the festival, 8th of November
was a non-legalised march along the
busy shopping street Arbat, which is one of the most popular
tourist attractions of Moscow, and usually quite tigthly secured
by police.

Theme of the demonstration was "Reclaim the city", the following
are extracts from the press-release:

"...Arbat such as most of the Moscow centre has been recently transformed
from a popular hang-around to mix of expensive bourgeois restaurants and shops.
For those who do not belong to elite these places are closed,
some of them filtrate 'undesirable elements' in the door, in others
there is nothing else to do that have a glance to their
super-expensive offers..."

"Our city is not ours anymore, it is separated between closed
zones, a ghetto archipelago. Those who have something to loose,
exclude themselves from the others with fences, security guards
and electronic surveillance. Yards become closed to trespassers,
fences appear around prestigeous premises, green spots are
occupied by parking places and shopping centres. If
you have not money, you are not necessary to no-one..."

"But we do not want to have 'respectable outlook', we do not want
to spend all our days to earning money, in order to at least
once a week afford to be a human being in the center of
all this commercialized existence. We want to be alive every day,
creatively, in a city which loves us. We want to write to walls,
sing and gather with groups 'bigger than 3 persons'..."

The logistical operation of anarchists in prior
to demonstration, which included 5 separate meeting points,
including publicly advertised separately from the one for people known to us,
and a separate meeting with journalists managed
to overperform police intelligence.
Some 60 participators of the demonstration
appeared in the beginning of the Arbat street only in the
very last minute, and march was quickly started.

Demonstrators raised banner of Rainbow Keepers and
huge 6-meter banner "Death to state and capital"
and banners "Rainbow Keepes" and "Against power and capital"
and moved on Arbat towards Smolenskaya scanning "Trash
all generals!", "Russia without fascists, Moscow without
Barkashovists!", "Down with FSB!", "We do not want to pay
communal services with our crap salaries!", "No Justice,
no peace, fuck the police!", "Shame to FSB!", "We wish
to whole military HQ a quickly date with Hattab" (Hattab
was a wahhabist leader of Chechen resistance murdered by
federals last year), "Our enemy is not in Chechnya, our
enemy is in Kreml!" "Raise black flag higher, the state is our
main enemy!".

Demonstration finished Arbat street in 30 minutes
and turned to right towards Smolensk square, after which a
decision to disperse was made in order to avoid arrests.
Unfortunately some 9 persons dispersed too slowly, and
were arrested - besides them also the whole legal support
group, consisting of one person, was arrested while monitoring
the arrests! Arrested were threated and shouted in the
station, but let free the same day, with exception of
one anarchist from Volgograd who was only 15 years old,
and due to official regulations should have been sent to juvenile
prison waiting to deportation to his home city, in which
he has no relatives with whom he is connected. Solidarity
picket was waiting until release of the last from the
9 other prisoners the same evening 0.30 AM, fortunately cops let the
juvenile arrestee go the next monday two days after,
maybe due to pressure from outside.

Sunday program consisted only of the discussion on
self-governance, which was part of the weekly "Bespartshkola"
series of lectures and discussions by Moscow anarchists.
This event did not anymore gained such a popularity as events
of the previous days, maybe due to exhaustion.

(translated and edited from reports by Olga Miryasova and Ukrop)


Already in the beginning of the action police confiscated placate
"I want to live", where only letters H, U and I ("cock") were
coloured. 15-20 anarchists marched behind KPRF march, "communists"
threated with arrest in case placate "Lenin was uncle of Putin" would
not be hid. There were plenty of cameras, all those of cops or
FSB's, media was completely silent about the protest. During march,
anarchists yelled "KPRF is filth!" and other slogans. When Komsomol
was shouting "Lenin, Party, Komsomol", anarchists shouted "fuck it all!".
Anarchists had two orange flags with encircled A, one black flag
with red sabocat, only placate which did not get cencored by hostile
forces stated "we demand higher standards of boredom".
For some reason this one really irritated KPRF. During meeting,
anarchists sold Avtonom and other publications. When three anarchists
left meeting, cops immediately caught them, confiscating flag and
wrote down personal details. Fortunately they had not a car
nearby, so anarchists managed to escape arrest.

(Translated and edited from report by Autonomous Action of Murmansk)

Photos from Murmansk :

Nizhni Novgorod

This year anarchists gathered some 15-20 persons.
They decided not to participate to march
of bolshevik pensioners towards Lenin square,
memories of shouts of last year such as "Stalin will return from the grave"
and "Real communist is not freemason, not a zionist" were
too fresh.

However anarchists from Autonomous Action decided to go
distributing their fresh paper "Situation" to meeting,
raising 4 red and black diagonal flags when they approached
the square. But they were stopped by plain clothes cops
and OMON. After heated discussion police let anarchists
to square without flags, but in square anarchists were
assaulted by OMON, who were confiscating sticks and
arresting one person. All other young people were cleaned
from the square as well, seems like in Nizhni Novgorod
participating to communist meeting is now banned for
young people, since political elite wants to show
opposition as deranged elderly people only.

(translated and edited from report by Autonomous
Action of N.N.)


7th of November anarchists from Rostov-na-Donu
with guests from Krasnodar and Novorossisk
went to demonstration of KPRF. Anarchists raised
two red and black diagonal flags, and banner
of Autonomous Action. Anarchist press was sold,
and an interview was given to one local television

8th of November anarchists organised a non-legalised
picket in the center of city with red and black
diagonal flags in order to commemorate 115th
anniversary of Nestor Makhno.

When picked had lasted one hour, some person asking
for permission to have a picket appeared, he showed some
unclear identification and demanded from anarchists
to roll their flags. He was almost beaten up, after
which he called cops. Two anarchists were arrested,
but they did not faced any legal consequences.

(translated and edited from report by Neponyatniy)


Alltogether several thousands of people participated to
demonstrations. Two demonstrations moved on Nevsky street,
first the "red" one, moving from Oktyabrskiy concert hall to
Palace square, after "reds" mix of Putinist "bears", Mironovists,
Seleznevists, yellow trade unions and other scum, having
their meeting in Isakievsk square.

After stalinist RKRP had asked cops to stop "all provocations"
during march, police officer Mezhevich had announced to "pick
up all anarchists". However Saint-Petersburg League of anarchists
decided to participate to general demonstration, due to
sorry experience from attempt to have a separate march last 1st
of May. Anarchists distributed a call for "Revolutionary
internationalist block" with some other leftists. Alltogether
this block consisted of some 70 persons in the "red" demonstration
of some 5000 persons. Some two thirds of this block were
anarchists with black and red and black diagonal flags,
and banners "all states are concentration camps" and
"long live revolutionary self-governance". Anarchists
shouted "anarchy is mother of order!", "Ungovernance!"
"Anarchy!", "No any power to anyone!", "Destroy
all power!", "Fascism won't trespass!", "Death to
fascism!", "Irak, Palestine, Chechnya!", "Get to
streets, reclaim the city!", "Revolution!",
"Free political prisoners!" and "Down with cops!".

In contrary to their promises, police did not attempted to
stop internationalist demonstration, but they filmed
it to videotape. In Palace square anarchists formed
their own group with some 40-50 persons. There was
more demand for anarchist literature than ever during
last 11 years. During day anarchists distributed some
2000 leaflets. After meeting anarchists organised a
weekly meeting in Vasilyev island in a cafe, occupation
of which had blessing of it's elderly clerk who had
invited anarchists.

9th of November, to commemorate international day against
racism and xenophobia, a demonstration was
called by "Punk-revival" (organisation of anti-fascist
punks) and members of Saint-Petersburg League of
Anarchists, demonstration was joined by
members of Autonomous Action and one liberal with
tricolor flag of Russia (!). Demonstration was announced
to city governement, but they did not legalized it.

Some 30 people marched from BKZ by Nevsky street to Konyushennaya
street, where a weekly picket against war in Chechnya has
been organised during 4 years with participation of anarchists.
Demonstrators raised banners "Death to fascism" and "Nationalism
won't trespass", and scanned slogans "Anarchism is
mother of order!", "Fascism won't trespass!" and others.
Police did not interfered with the demonstration during
the march, obviously they were caught with surprise. Anti-war
picket after demonstration lasted two hours, with overall
participation of some 50 persons which is several times more
than the usual.

(Translated and edited from reports by R-17 and Makhno)


In Yaroslavl anarchists organised a common demonstration and meeting
with KRI and Revolutionary Alternative, which gathered alltogether
some 30 persons and several friendly and hostile observers.

Although action was not a big one, local anarchists judge it as most
succesfull organised in Yaroslavl lately. March started 12 o clock
in a busy Kirov shopping street. Participators raised red
and black flags, 2-meter symbolical guillotine and sizeable
banners "Time to destroy!", "Shame on stalinism" and "Death
to bureaucrats". Plenty of fascists from National Bolshevik
Party which has a relatively sizeable organisation in
Yaroslavl came to meeting, surrounding anarchists and verbally abusing
them. 12.15 demonstration moved to direction of the Volkov square,
shouting "Death to fascism", "No other saviour than class war!"
"Let us break the bars, our demand is free labour!", "Electorate
take up arms!" and so on. In Volkov square local militants
and guest speakers from Moscow anarcho-syndicalists speaked,
attacking stalinists. United Russia party, gathering in
neighbouring square was verbally attacked by I. Ovsyannikov from Autonomous
Action. Andrei Stuzhev, one of the most talented poets
of Yaroslav shouted out some revolutionary rhymes. Event
was also attended by anarchists from Tver. Unfortunately
during meeting megafon declared a strike, and meeting had
to be closed before planned time with singing of International.

Nazbols kept observing event, and when meeting was finished
7 of them assaulted some of the participators in the vicinity.
Anarchists took a succesfull stance, but also suffered some casualities.
This episode however did not spoiled the celebration, which
continued in unformal atmosphere. Local anarchists saw support
of anarchists from neighbouring cities as the most encouraging
detail of the action.

(Translated and edited from report by I. Ovsyannikov)

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