Today [January 20, 2009] antifascists in Petersburg and Moscow honored the memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, who were murdered yesterday. In both cities, radical young people [and not only young people or radicals−editor’s note] held demonstrations. In Petersburg, around one hundred people took part; in Moscow, around two hundred.
The action in Petersburg was openly announced on blogs and activist sites, and demonstrators gathered downtown at the Bukvoyed bookstore on Ligovsky, the place where, in November 2005, Timur Kacharava was stabbed to death by Nazis. The approximately one hundred people who gathered there were surrounded by a large number of policemen. After several minutes of negotiations, the antifascists managed to get the police to let them hold a march. They walked to the Field of Mars, which had been their original plan. You can read more here [in Russian], but more details will be forthcoming.
In Moscow, after a daytime memorial at the site of Stas and Nastya’s murders, an evening memorial also took place that attracted mostly working youth and students, the core of the antifa movement. At first, everyone gathered at the square in front of the Bolshoi to express their rage and indignation over the murders of antifascists and social activists as well as the fact that the authorities practically cover up these murders insofar as the majority of them have not been properly investigated: they have not named the people who carried out these crimes nor the people who commissioned them.
However, before those gathered took any action, around thirty-five OMON troops, shouting “Let’s do it!” attacked several small groups of young people. Arrests were carried out in a rough manner: people were rudely thrown to the ground, beaten, kicked, and pressed to the cold, dirty pavement. Approximately fifteen to twenty people were detained in this way.
Those demonstrators who remained dispersed and headed into the subway. In the station closest to the Bolshoi, Okhotny Ryad, OMON troops and the handful of plainclothes officers who were commanding them once again carried out an unprovoked attack on a group of young people: seven or eight people were arrested. These young men and women were similarly thrown on the marble floor, held face down, and not allowed to get up. Then they were led away.
On the third try, the antifa demonstration managed to get underway at the Novokuznetskaya metro station. Two hundred people with lighted flares moved out into the road on Piatnitskaya Street and headed towards downtown bearing banners that read “The fascists kill / The authorities cover them up” and “For the authorities, fascism is hooliganism.” When it got to the river, the demonstration passed down the embankment and turned onto Bolshaya Ordynka. The marchers chanted “While we are united, we cannot be defeated!” “Antifa!” “Take to the streets, reclaim the city!” “Stas should be alive!” “Nastya should be alive!” “The fascists kill / The authorities cover them up!”
After a long string of unforgivable, insolent attacks on social activists, after the murders of young antifa, after the murders of lawyer and activist Stanislav Markelov and anarchist and journalist Anastasia Baburova, and, finally, the OMON brutality that all the demonstrators had just witnessed, there was nothing surprising about the fact that the windows of several banks along the route as well as those of the bad food restaurant McDonald’s (near Tretyakovskaya metro station) suffered damage.
After the demonstration was over, the antifa exercised their right to free public transportation by entering the Tretyakovskaya metro station. Police and security guards attempted to stop the young men and women. Shattered to smithereens, glass from the lamps on the escalator flew in all directions as the kid were forced to repulse the attacks of the men in gray uniforms, who had become quite an annoyance. Nevertheless, several more people were detained.
The greater part of the demonstrators successfully descended into the metro under a hail of glass shards. The entire demonstration of rage and hatred for the fascists and the complicit Russian authorities lasted twenty minutes, from 20.20 to 20.40 Moscow Time, January 20, 2009.
You can find photos here and here. I hope to post video soon.
The hostages taken by the authorities earlier are being held, at a minimum, at the Kitai-Gorod and Tverskoe precincts.
Please make enquiries about the fate of those detained.
This text will be updated with details and links to photos and videos, as well as to other reports from the field.
Please link to this post yourself.
And finally, a personal note. It was cool! That is, if it weren’t for the occasion.
Markelov should be alive! Nastya should be alive!
January 20, 2009. Moscow: Bolshoi Theater − Piatnitskaya − Bolshaya Ordynka
Appendix: Who Stas Markelov and Nastya Baburova Were
Text of the antifa flyer, January 20, 2009, Moscow:
On January 19, the famous Moscow lawyer Stanislav Markelov and Novaya Gazeta journalist and anarchist Anastasia Baburov were murdered in downtown Moscow. The murderer shot them with a pistol as they were leaving a press conference on the release of Colonel Yuri Budanov, who raped and murdered the Chechen girl Elza Kungayeva. Stas represented the family of the dead girl in this case. Stanislav defended the victims in such cases as the murders and kidnappings of civilians in Chechnya, and the murders of antifascists in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. He also represented Mikhail Beketov, the journalist and defender of the Khimki Forest, who was brutally attacked. Recently, he had also been handling the case of Alexei Olesinov, who is still being held in pretrial detention on political charges.
Anastasia Baburova was a freelance journalist and active participant in various social and environmental movements. In her articles, she wrote about severe problems of Russian society as Nazism. She frequently took part in protest actions against the construction of refuse burning facilities, the persecution of political and social activists, and the eviction of people from dormitories.
There can be no doubt that Stas and Anastasia were murdered because of their active civic stances.
We want to know exactly who executed Stas and Nastya. But we have no illusions about the Russian state. Whoever is behind the crime, they are part of the authoritarian system in the country, part of the system of KGB officers and oligarchs who have practically crushed everyone who does not agree with their policies.
These are not the first political murders in recent years. Anna Politkovskaya, Ilya Borodaenko, Yuri Chervochkin, Magomed Yevloyev, Fyodor Filatov: the list goes on an on. We see no serious progress in any of these cases. The prosecutor’s office takes personal supervision of these cases and makes sure that the people who really ordered these crimes are not taken into custody.
Because this is the case, we demand, at a minimum the resignation of Interior Minister Nurgaliev and all his deputies! We demand an end to the persecution of social and political activists who oppose the current authorities! We demand real public control of the investigations of all such crimes!
We will never forget! We will never forgive!