Monthly Archives: January 2009

Our Silence = Complicity (Moscow & Elsewhere, February 1)

Here is a translation of the leaflet that will be handed out on Sunday, February 1, at the rally against political terror in Moscow at Chistye Prudy. The original text (in Russian) can be found here and here. Feel free to use and adapt this text for your own protest memorials in other parts of the world. Russian social activists and human rights advocates (and just plain ordinary people) need to see that the rest of the world cares.

 

Stop Political Murders in Russia!

Our Silence = Acquittal of the Murderers

Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova were murdered on January 19 in the center of Moscow.

Why do their murders concern each person who lives in Russia, each person who aspires to have the rights for which people like Markelov and Baburova fight? Why should we come together to share this pain and express our outrage?

Because our silence is tantamount to acquitting the people who terrorize us. It is tantamount to admitting that they are right. They terrorize us with these murders, which are the latest in a long series of violent acts against social and political activists. These terrorist acts have become the dangerously familiar backdrop to our daily lives.

After such outrageous murders, the time has come for us to decide: do we want this violence to continue in our country? Are we prepared to make our peace with the fact that criminal investigations into violent attacks against social and political activists never lead to convictions?

You lose your job. You lose your home. You lose your rights. The people who defend you are murdered. How far must this humiliation go before you stop putting up with it in silence?

People who say or think that such things are typical the world over are mistaken. Russia ranks third (after Iraq and Algeria) in numbers of murdered journalists. In every country that has gone through a similar phase in its history, people took to the streets in order to change their country.

It is enough for thousands of people to take to the streets in order to put an end to this “criminal immunity”—immunity for those people who terrorize free society. We need mass protests to reverse the direction our society is headed.

Come with your friends and family to share this pain, to cope with it, to express your outrage, to change the situation.

3:00 p.m., Sunday, February 1. The Griboedov Monument at Chistie Prudy (Moscow)

The demonstration will be attended by concerned citizens, anarchists, anti-fascists, The Institute for Collective Action, The Moscow and Mosow Region Dormitories Movement, The Council of Initiative Groups, The Movement to Defend the Khimki Forest, Left Front, The Council of Coordinating Councils, Vpered Socialist Movement, Socialist Resistance, The Revolutionary Workers Party, Leftist Socialist Action, Memorial Human Rights Center, The Anti-War Club, RKP-CPSS, For Human Rights Movement, and other civic organizations.

STANISLAV MARKELOV was no ordinary lawyer. He was one of a handful of lawyers who defended workers, railroad men, evicted dormitory residents, cheated apartment co-op members, anti-fascists, refugees, and victims of police abuse. He fought for the rights of Mikhail Beketov, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Khimki Pravda, who was viciously beaten this past autumn for criticizing the local administration. Markelov took on the cases of social activists, whose work is invaluable for our society. Markelov helped many of them pro bono.

Stanislav represented the victims in the trial of Colonel Yuri Budanov; the Nord-Ost hostage tragedy; neofascist attacks on anti-fascists and migrants; and the massive police pogrom against the residents of Blagoveshchensk. He worked with Anna Politkovskaya, traveled to Chechnya on many occasions, wrote critical articles, and participated in environmental protest camps.

He understood that society is something you have to build yourself, and so he organized the Rule of Law Institute, which gives legal assistance to journalists, lawyers, activists, homeowners, and workers.

ANASTASIA BABUROVA was a fifth-year student in the journalism faculty at Moscow State University. She worked for Izvestia, Novaya Gazeta, and several other publications. She was an activist in the anarchist and environmental movements. She participated in many protest actions and civic initiatives, in particular, the European Social Forum in Malmö (2008). Nastya covered non-mainstream youth movements, street actions and protests, and court trials.

Stanislav was thirty-four; Nastya, twenty-five. Both of them were just beginning their work: they could have accomplished a lot more had they not been killed. They took on toughest, most important problems of our time. They were people who understood quite clearly that freedom in our society could only be fought for and won—fought for and won by citizens themselves. If citizens don’t fight for this freedom, it will become less and less, until society is strangled by totalitarianism or fascism.

SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON!

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February 1: Stop the Terror!

February 1

Stop the Terror! An International Campaign of Solidarity with Russian Social Activists

On February 1, in Moscow (3:00 p.m.), Paris (3:00 p.m.), Rome (5:00 pm), and other Russian and European cities, protest demonstrations will be held in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, and in solidarity with all those bold, active people who do not merely live in our society, but who also try to change it for the better, to make it a freer and more just place.

What is the point of going to a demonstration? Why do people in different cities assemble and discuss such things with each other if

THERE IS NO POINT IN DEMONSTRATING?

  • Because we won’t bring Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova back to life this way;
  • because we won’t shed any light on this case by standing in the streets;
  • because we will also be demonstrating against ourselves—
  • because in fact we are also responsible for their deaths:
  • because we allowed someone to think that it is possible to murder people in broad daylight in Russia, in the center of Moscow, without upsetting anyone.

Stanislav Markelov defended the rule of law. Anastasia Baburova covered crimes against justice in the press. They defended our rights, the rights of the citizens of Russia. The rights of young people who are not content with arbitrary treatment and abuse by the authorities. The rights of adults who have been persecuted. They stood up for us, and we lost them.

So why go out on the streets? Because

IT IS AN ASBOLUTE NECESSITY!

We won’t give those people who want us to wait the storm out at home another chance!

We will no longer put up with all this in silence. We do care about what is happening!

We will come together for these demonstrations. Bring your friends and acquaintances!

Journalists, anti-fascists, and foreigners are being attacked on the streets of Russian cities. People who did something for all of us have been murdered in the heart of Moscow. These people did something for us, people who live in Russia, and so their murders affect us directly, even if we’d rather close our eyes and slink into the shadows. Because this didn’t happen somewhere beyond the horizon, to people we don’t know anything about. This is our life, this is our country. In days past, it was still possible to sit things out at home, waiting for the streets to become safe again. But now it is inaction and silence that are dangerous. They are even more dangerous than the desire to say something. Silence is a signal to the criminals and murderers: everything is fine, you may go on doing what you’re doing. The people of Paris and Rome are prepared to support you. This includes activists of various political persuasions and age groups, scholars, journalists, lawyers, and human rights activists. They will be joined by people who have heard about the Moscow tragedy from their friends, people who read it about in blogs and newspapers and have decided not to remain indifferent. All of these people have their own problems. But they, too, care about what is happening: they will demonstrate in solidarity with everyone who takes to the streets in the cities of Russia. They understand that something is wrong in Russia when social activists are gunned down in the streets. We understand this ourselves. The murders of Markelov and Baburova have shown us the cost of our silence. We will go into the streets and look each other in the eyes. And there we will see not fear and obedience, but solidarity, the faith that change is possible, and the readiness to defend our common values. We will find the words to say and the courage to say them on February 1.

Slogans for Our Demonstrations:

  • Put an End to Political Murders!
  • Stand Up for Stanislav Markelov and the Rule of Law!
  • Stand Up for Anastasia Baburov and Fearless Journalism!
  • Stop the Violence against People Who Fight for Justice!
  • Solidarity with Activists Who Fight for Our Rights and Freedoms!
  • I Am a Social Activist, Too!
  • We Are Not Extremists or Victims! Our Weapon Is Solidarity!
  • We Are Not Extremists or Victims! We Will Put an End to Political Murders!
  • Say No to Crimes against Justice!
  • Solidarity Is Our Weapon!

In Italian:

  • No al silenzio sui crimini contro la giustizia in Russia!
  • Basta con gli assassinii politici!
  • Solidarieta per i militanti russi esposti alle violenze!

In French:

  • Assassinats politiqes: ASSEZ!
  • NON aux crimes contre la justice!
  • SOLIDARITÉ avec les militants russes exposés aux violences et persécutions!

Leaflet for Distribution at Demonstrations in Russia, with Information about Stanislav and Anastasia (.pdf file, in Russian)
Information about the Memorial Actions in Moscow and Elsewhere (website of the Institute for Collective Action; in Russian)

What You Can Do:

If You Go to a Demonstration: 
If you have a printer at home or work, choose a slogan you like, print it out on a sheet of paper, and bring it with you to the demonstration. If you plan to attend one of the demonstrations (whether in Moscow, Rome, Paris or elsewhere), you can find downloadable .pdf files with these slogans (in Russian) on the website of dvizh.org. If you plan to attend a demonstration outside of Russia, it makes sense to print out, as you like, slogans in your local language as well as in Russian and English, considering that (we hope) these events will be covered by the foreign press as well.

In Moscow, Paris, and Rome, there will be lots of strollers and passerby in the places we gather on Sunday. Do you think that all of them have heard about what has happened? You will be both surprised and discouraged by what they say. Many people probably have heard something, but they know few details and know nothing about the protests and solidarity actions. If you are in Russia, please print out several copies of  this leaflet, which contains information about Stanislava and Anastasia (in Russian). If you are outside of Russia, you may use any of the articles published on this blog or on the Internet at large. Pass the leaflets out to people and talk to them about what it all means. Solidarity begins with conversation. (Editor’s Note: We will try to have a translation of this leaflet posted and available in English translation by the end of today.)

  • In Moscow, our demonstration will take place at the Griboedov monument in Chistye Prudy (Metro station Chistye Prudy), at 3:00 p.m.
  • In Paris, our demonstration will take place at La Fontaine des Innocents (Les Halles district, 1st Arrondissement), at 3:00 pm. For more information, write to infoaction@mail.ru.
  • In Rome, our demonstration will take place on Piazza Cavour, next to the Adriano movie theater and opposite the Palazzo di Giustizia, at 5:00 p.m. 
  • In Krasnodar, our demonstration will take place at 2:00 p.m. near the Pushkin monument. Notification for the demonstration was submitted to the Krasnodar municipal adminstration on January 28. For updates (in Russian), go here.

If You Cannot Make It to a Demonstration, Live in Another City or Feel That It Is Important to Do Something:

  • Print out a leaflet (above) and post it in the lobby of your apartment building, on a notice board, in a shop, at a bus stop, at your university, at your workplace. Make people stop for a minute and think about what has happened.
  • Print out one of the slogans (in any language), put it an envelope, and mail it to the Russian Federation Prosecutor General’s Office. Mail another copy to the Russian Federation Interior Ministry. You might ask: who there is going to read these letters? In all likelihood, no one. But they will open the envelope. Your next question: but won’t they toss the contents of the envelope into the trash? Probably. Then what is the point? The point is in the number of such letters they receive. The point is to make them feel our rage over the murders of Stanislav and Anastasia and our solidarity with them. When the Prosecutor’s Office and the Interior Ministry get fifty or five hundred such letters, their trash bins will fill up. And then, perhaps, the high officials there will realize that they can no longer keep silent. Let them know that you care. Here are the addresses:

Russian Federation Prosecutor General
GSP-3 125993 Moscow
ul. Bolshaya Dmitrovka
Attn: Yuri Chaika, Prosecutor General

Russian Federation Interior Ministry
119049 Moscow
ul. Zhitnaya, 16
Attn: Rashid Nurgaliev, Interior Minister

We will update this information as needed. Watch for updates and breaking news here at Chtodelat News, as well as (in Russian and Italian) at:

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Porridge on the Brain: In Praise of Authoritarianism

imagesThe Russian language is rich with picturesque expressions. One of the most common is каша в голове—literally, “porridge on the brain.” Someone with porridge on the brain is someone who has “lost his marbles.”

A subscriber to our e-mail platform evoked this expression to characterize the following fragments from an interview with members of the Moscow rock group Obshchezhitie (Dormitory):

I wrote this piece while thinking about the Soviet Union and the nineties, when all of us were dragged face down through the mud, across the pavement, and then once more through the mud. I was a kid in the nineties; I watched TV all the time with my grandmother. I really took to heart what was being shown. I remember feeling fear, humiliation, ignorance, depression, an indescribable thirst for vengeance. In the first place, [I wanted to take] vengeance on all of us for the weakness that led to this dark state of affairs. Concrete individuals—Chubais, Gaidar, Grachev—should of course be put against the wall, but the main point of what I’m saying is metaphysical: overcoming oneself, rising from the dead. Resurrection. And so when I’d finished writing this song, the horror of memories from those days flooded away from me. I had the sense that, in the song, I managed to put everything in its place, to restore order, to punish the guilty and so forth.

Propaganda of totalitarianism is not a very precise definition [of our music]; [propaganda of] authoritarianism would be a better definition. The Russian individual needs a tsar. We need a tsar. Without a tsar, Russia suffers catastrophes. And I’m not talking literally about reviving the monarchy, but rather about a force that takes the lead. The authoritarianism that we praise is, in fact, a stage on the road to freedom, to communism, to Kropotkin’s anarchy. What democracy and liberal western doctrine has led the world to is unacceptable, and we are against it, of course.  In essence, though, authoritarian power is a stage in the education of man, in his preparation for a free life in harmony with nature and with himself. Our pro-authoritarian protest is also a protest against integral spirituality (that is, the liberal absence of spirituality), the understanding that, without Orthodoxy, without a sincere faith in God, nothing at all will work out for us in Russia, and everything we do is in vain.

That is quite a mouthful of . . . porridge. While you’re digesting it, you might want to check out Sean Guillory’s discussion of a new study in the Lancet, which argues that the economic shock therapy of the nineties led to three million premature deaths in Eastern Europe and the FSU. As he argues there, it is hard not see a link between massive impoverishment and the ideological symptoms so richly presented, in this case, by these young musicians.

 

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Despite Everything

We got this reflection on reactions to the murders of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova from Comrade A., a student, writer, and activist in Petersburg.

I usually don’t swear, and I don’t know what to think when I come across an abundance of such words—or even more ambivalently, one such word—in a text. But now I realize that all I can do is swear—in letters, blog posts, and articles.

Wise gentlemen reproach the anarchists who marched in Moscow in memory of Stas and Nastya in Moscow: “Grief is grief, but why smash shop windows?” Well, one wants to smash the fuck of out everything in Russia right now.

And it is not just a matter of grief.

Oleg and I return to the city, and Sveta informs us the news right there in the bar: “Markelov has been murdered.” Nastya Baburova, an anarchist who was accompanying him, tried to “detain” the killer and took a second bullet—in her head—and was at that moment dying in the intensive care ward.

I will write only about myself. Perhaps this is the most honest thing now, when completely predictable memorial rituals commence and threaten to obscure what happened. I really didn’t now either Markelov (aside from the fact that he was “the only leftist lawyer in the country”) or Nastya (although she was part of the Russian delegation I traveled with this past fall to the European Social Forum, in Malmö). But this doesn’t matter either, because in this mode of distanced engagement you can ponder things a bit more soberly, without “understanding the pain of the loss” one bit less. However, I would hope that our understanding would not be limited to this. While this is definitely a tragedy, we need, despite everything, to make it an occasion, a cause. A cause for what? That is what I will explain in what follows.

All the more so that the co-optation really happens instantly and “unconsciously.” It already turns out (I see this in the photos of the first memorial in Moscow) that “they perished for Russia’s freedom.” There is seemingly nothing wrong with this phrase, but in fact there is. Liberal circles are good at quickly commencing their self-satisfied ruminations. True, in this situation all that leftists can do as well is chew over their own helplessness: their numbers make them more a collection of political freaks than a movement. A situation like this is as demoralizing as ending up in a weak class or school (for anyone with half a brain).

When your city (a place where a socialist revolution took place ninety years ago) turns out a hundred people at most for an action in memory of the victims of a political murder (there is no need here to remember the horrors of Soviet times and the valiant dissidents: this time there has been sufficient information about the murders in all the media, although it was given the correct ideological spin of course), then all you can do is swear.

When you realize that even the march of the anarchists in Moscow and their window-breaking caused bewilderment in some people or (a more complicated case) provoked some others to strategically warn them against scaring off the population (but if the population is frightened by shattered shop windows and not by the fact that someone was shot in the back of the head in the middle of the capital or by the fact that the only person who tried to stop the killer was a 25-year-old anarchist . . .), then you can no longer help but smash shop windows.

But when you realize that once again nothing will come of this—that everyone walked the walk with their candles (in Petersburg) or flares (in Moscow), but that this is the extent of what they are prepared to do—then you cannot help but realize that we need to create an organization.

Despite the total passivity of the population. Despite the fact that this is not the first time this thought has occurred to you, despite the fact that some work is even being done in this direction. Despite the fact that “revolution is always impossible—you have to make it.”

 

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Shattered Windows

img_0841Yesterday (January 26, 2009), Novaya Gazeta published a short compendium of joyous LiveJournal reactions to news of the murders of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova on the part of Russia fascists and neo-Nazis. We simply don’t have the heart to reproduce even the slightest bit of that hate-fest on these pages. If you want to test your knowledge of sub-standard Russian hate speech, then you’re welcome to go here. Be warned: it is not for the faint of heart. The editors of Novaya Gazeta say as much in their brief introduction to the publication. The only point of their intervention, they write, is to make one thing perfectly clear to their readers: a war is on.

In a sidebar piece entitled “The Nazi Chronicles: December 2008−January 2009,” they show why this war is not just a matter of the “sensational” murders of Markelov and Baburova and similar infamous cases. Last year in Russia, no fewer than 87 people were murdered by Nazis, while 387 people were injured in neo-fascist attacks. In the past two months alone, at least 50 people have fallen victim to such attacks: 26 of them were killed; the other 24 were injured.

So now we know the reaction of the fascists to the latest episodes in this civil war, and we know the reaction of Novaya Gazeta. But what about the rest of Russia?

In a footnote to the Nazi hate-fest piece, Novaya Gazeta makes a point of quoting a Russian Foreign Ministry press release. Their spokespeople are concerned that the murder of Baburova is being “artificially politicized” in order to discredit Russia. This, in turn, explains the most remarkable non-event of the past week: the total absence of a response to the murders on the part of the President and Prime Minister. For them to say anything at all, then, would be tantamount to admitting that there was something in the politics of Markelov and Baburova either to warrant killing them or to warrant talking about their murders. We are thus left to make three (perhaps mutually inclusive) conclusions. 1. They could care less. 2. They approve. 3. They have completely lost control of their country—and thus are loath to “politicize” this awful fact by admitting they both care and disapprove.

But what about everyone else? When we add up the Nazis; the staff at Novaya Gazeta; assorted editorialists, journalists, and TV reporters; some deputies in the State Duma; human rights activists; all the folks who have attended various memorials, marches, and protests countrywide (the bulletins on the Institute for Collective Action website are a good source here), I think we’ll barely make a dent in the 142,008,838 people estimated to be living in Russia.

So what gives?

Something’s got to give. For example, the windows. . .

Shattered Windows

On the news wires I read that the anti-fascists and anarchists who came [to downtown Moscow] yesterday to honor the memory of the murdered human rights activists smashed shop windows in a fit of rage and caused a pogrom in the metro. To my great surprise, I detected solidarity in my heart with these barbaric actions, and I even felt regret that I hadn’t been there myself and smashed everything up. And this despite the fact I’m not an extremist at all, and not even a leftist activist, but an ordinary, quiet university teacher. I like going to department store sales and drinking coffee on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. And I am against such actions in principle. But in this case I got it: this is righteous anger, justifiable rage, a reaction against contempt for our lives, for our feelings, for our intellectual life. When people begin to publicly smash up a city, this means that they no longer have any other way to draw attention to the problems that trouble them. When French hooligans burn cars, schools, and libraries in their own cities, they do this because snobby French politicians don’t consider the problems of these poorly educated and unemployed people important or a priority. The same thing is happening in Russia. The entire population of the country—including highly educated people, the intelligentsia, and all those whose personal political culture has taken on the semblance of views and convictions—is treated with nothing but contempt. The most horrible thing about all this is that we have heard about the LATEST political murder. No one is surprised anymore: that is the terrifying thing. Comparisons are made with [the murders of] Politkovskaya and Starovoitova, with the beatings of this person or that. The cases are analyzed—what is similar, what is dissimilar. . . In terms of the quantity and quality of all these murders, Russia is probably already on a par with Pakistan or Lebanon. There is nothing at all here that even smacks of Europe. Notwithstanding my respect for the country of which I am a citizen, Russia was and remains one big prison camp. When distinguished, famous people, supremely professional people, are “taken out” in broad daylight simply to scare everyone else, and everyone understands that nothing will happen, and all that remains is to wait for the next such criminal act; when our intellectual efforts are of no avail, and no one has any use for our brains and even less use for our conscience (it might  just as well be flushed down a toilet), then apparently all that remains for us is to smash shop windows. Because this way we can vent our aggression against this humiliating situation we all find ourselves in.

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March of the Assenters (Petersburg, January 25, 2009)

3It has been a grim week for leftist activists in Russia. So it was encouraging to see that not everyone in the community has completely lost their courage—or their sense of humor. Yesterday (January 25, 2009) several dozen anti-fascists, leftists, and preservationist activists took to the streets of Saint Petersburg to express their total assent to state policies.

Well, since they totally agree with Plan Putin and all its ways, they had to do everything by the books. First of all, that meant applying in advance for a permit for their march. (We should note that this action was planned well before news came of the murders of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova.) Second, that meant agreeing to the march route proposed to them by the police—in this case, two hundred meters of a lonely snowbound street on the far end of Vasilievsky Island, right next to the icebound Gulf of Finland. Third, that meant (more or less) “cheerfully” not resisting arrest by the police. Because, despite their enthusiastically demonstrated support of Russia’s oligarchic police state, five of the demonstrators ended up being taken to the hoosegow. Although they were later all released, they were charged were breaking the agreed rules for holding a demonstration—i.e., for crossing the road (a common charge made in the absence of any real violations), while a sixth “assenter” (who showed up at the precinct to get them out) was charged with desecrating the Russian flag (see below).

Still, one cannot help but be gladdened by the absolute precision of yesterday’s action. Subversive affirmation gets overused in protests and quasi-protest artist interventions, but this was one instance of its use when the message will be absolutely clear to anyone who reads or sees press accounts of the event. And the organizers were savvy enough to get a good press presence there for their act of utter self-abnegation. For example, local Channel 100 aired this report in its evening news broadcast:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The fetching news reader explains that the march was organized by anti-fascists and that around fifty people took part in it.

March co-organizer Alexei Yarema (whose name is misspelled in the captions) tells the Channel 100 reporter: “Right now there is nothing more important than saving the national economy. And for its sake we’re ready to sacrifice everything, including paying however much money for anything whatsoever.”

In this video, we see in the march in progress. Another of the march’s co-organizers bellows out a text expressing the marchers’ complete confidence in the ability of the country’s leadership to bring the country out of the crisis. This is followed by scenes of the arrest of him and another assenter. The cheerful anti-fascist who now has the megaphone registers his surprise that people who support the government should be arrested by the police. The clip ends with a young man, a “Saint Vladimir” icon on his chest, shouting, “Long live the dictatorship of the banks!”

An activist from DSPA (Pyotr Alexeev Resistance Movement) posted the following account of the day’s events on their LiveJournal page:

March of the Assenters
Yes, now even rank-and-file citizens have understood how heavy is the lot of activists from the Nashi and Young Guards youth movements. It turns out that it’s not so easy to carry out an action in support of the Russian government in the Northern Capital. Nevertheless, during this difficult hour for the country, simple laborers found the strength to assemble at a specially designated site on the Maritime Embankment and declare their sincere, passionate support for all the initiatives of our dearly beloved government.

After they had assembled at this lively, crowded spot (practically on the ice in the Gulf of Finland), the demonstrators raised their banners, standards, and placards in an outpouring of unanimity. They brandished such slogans as “Yes to Price Increases for Basic Products!” “Yes to Utility-Rate Hikes!” “Yes to a Twelve-Hour Workday!” “Yes!!!” “Life Has Become Better, Life Has Become Merrier!”

Chanting “More Work, Less Pay!” and “Crisis, Crisis, Go Away!” in a fit of patriotic ecstasy, the demonstrators marched the two hundred meters of their sanctioned route under the trusty protection of the police, who outnumbered them several times over. In their speeches, the action’s organizers appealed to the government to impose a tax on air and introduce an eight-day work week.

Stopping next to a picturesque bio-toilet, the martyrs were on the point of marching back in the other direction when suddenly a vigilant policeman detected in the actions of the Assenters illegal use and even desecration of the Russian Federation national flag. The fact of the matter was that some irresponsible citizen had written the phrase “We Agree to Everything!” on the flag. It was for this offense that several demonstrators, including DSPA activists, were arrested.

Moreover, the Assenters quite quickly assented to this decision on the part of the brave police and, after demonstrating a bit more, they went home. And that was the right thing to do, gentleman! If the police believe that those who support the authorities have to be put behind bars, then that’s the way it is—because the police are always right. 

The more diligently our police do their jobs, the fewer people there will be who agree with the authorities! Hurrah!

You can find more coverage (photos, videos, articles—in Russian) here:

Humorous Action by Leftist Radicals in Saint Petersburg (Israeli site)

Petersburg Indymedia

In Petersburg, 5 People Are Arrested for Desecrating the Flag (Polit.Ru)

Petersburg Police Arrest Five People for Desecrating the Flag (Gazeta.Ru)

Photo Reportage: “We Agree to Everything” (Fontanka.Ru)

Local Protest Chronicler Vladimir Volokhonsky’s Account

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Warning! Gypsies Are in the Station!

080415The SOVA Center reports:

On January 22, 2009, in Saint Petersburg, at the Dostoevskaya metro station, a staff member announced over the loudspeaker, “Warning! Gypsies are in the station!

At this moment, a group of [Roma] were walking through the transfer tube between the Vladimirskaya and Dostoevskaya stations.

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