Daily Archives: June 15, 2012

Friday Evening Musical Moment: The Anthem of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation

The Anthem of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation:

While all the fanfare? Well, because there’s reason to celebrate. The Voice of Russia tells it like it is:

Bastrykin – Novaya Gazeta: conflict is over
Margarita Bogatova
Jun 14, 2012

Bastrykin - Novaya Gazeta:conflict is over                                         Alexander Bastrykin. Photo: RIA Novosti

One of the greatest public scandals recently seen by Russia is over: Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee, and the Novaya Gazeta chief editor Dmitry Muratov have made reciprocal apologies and shook hands in reconciliation.

The scandal began after newspaper’s deputy editor Sergey Sokolov had published an article which accused Russian law enforcement agencies of helping a mafia gang leader Sergey Tsepovyaz in Russia’s corrupted Kushchevskaya village in Krasnodar. The author was especially critical about Bastrykin’s agency.

The official invited the journalist to a meeting in Nalchik, where the Kushchevskaya massacre was discussed. They had a talk during which Bastrykin called the accusations a lie and demanded apologies. They ended up in a quarrel and the reporter was expelled from the meeting.

But this was not the end. Shortly after, Dmitry Muratov wrote an open letter in which he claimed that Bastrykin took Sokolov to a forest where he threatened the journalist’s life. No proof except Sokolov’s testimony was provided.

Reporters were impatient about June 14 when Bastrykin was to meet chief editors of top Russian media. The meeting went surprisingly peaceful and Bastrykin started with apologizing for being too emotional. Dmitry Muratov accepted the apologies and said that the conflict was over. Then he called the author of the article, Sokolov, and they exchanged apologies with the top investigator.

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Truth Is Concrete 24/7 Marathon Camp (Graz)

Truth Is Concrete
24/7 Marathon Camp, September 21—28, 2012, Graz

We are now on the final lap to firming up the programme of the Truth Is Concrete 24/7 Marathon Camp (which has already become a marathon for all of us organising it). We have had some great talks, suggestions and criticisms and everyone is looking forward to seeing things take clear shape very soon – even though the detailed programme won’t be published until September 11, 2012. This newsletter gives you a brief update about what is happening.

Travel & accommodation grants
As part of our Truth Is Concrete 24/7 Marathon Camp we are inviting some 100 students, artists, activists and theorists interested in artistic strategies in politics from all over the globe. The open call for the travel & accommodation grants ended on May 15. We were overwhelmed by more than 600 applications from around 50 countries that came in – thank you all for your interest. Applicants are chosen according to qualifications but also with the aim of achieving a productive mix of people. We will notify all applicants about the selection asap.

Truth in Context – a graphic design project for the 24/7 Marathon Camp
Truth is concrete in many ways, the contexts define the fields of action. And so the visual appearance of Truth Is Concrete is a platform for graphic designers and artists who devote their work to a social, political cause. Censored cartoonists, Egyptian sprayers, graphic designers from the Serbian student movement, newspaper-makers from Belarus, photographers from Brazilian favelas, concept artists from Palestine… a series to be continued until September on postcards, as advertisements, on posters, on the Internet …

With Absent (GR), Anton Litvin (RUS), Ganzeer (ET), Iconoclasistas (AR), Khaled Jarrar (PS), Jisun Kim (ROK), Leo Lima (BR), Marina Naprushkina (RUS/D), Dan Perjovschi (RO), Seth Tobocman (USA), Aseem Trivedi (IND), Tzortzis Rallis (GB), Josef Schützenhöfer (A) et al.

The Camp venue – a living and working environment
While we have started working on the programme schedule of the marathon camp, meeting more people to be invited and looking through the hundreds of grant applications, the camp venue and some of the side projects have already been finalised.

Berlin-based artist-architects raumlaborberlin are creating the camp venue, linking the two buildings Thalia and Opernring 7 in Graz. They are giving the marathon camp a flexible form, creating a landscape for working and living, a landscape that wants to be used. Not a turnkey facility handed over when the festival begins, but one that is constantly changing during the course of the marathon camp. The camp is a temporary habitat with contributions by many different artists: here the sleep areas, there the Herbst exhibition, over there the kitchen and next to it the bookshop. The video library alongside the hairdresser’s. Camp radio, speech karaoke, plenum. Open all the time and for everyone, day and night.

Now online is the general programme of the Steirischer Herbst festival, in the context of which the Truth Is Concrete 24/7 Marathon Camp is taking place: www.steirischerherbst.at

For more information, news and tips on the 24/7 Marathon Camp, you can follow us now also on Facebook and twitter:

All the best, and see you soon in Graz!

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Manifesto of the Occupy Movement in Russia

The organizing committee of the June 12 opposition march and rally in Moscow refused to let members of the Occupy movement read their manifesto onstage. Activists assembled a mini-rally at The March of the Millions and, using the “human microphone,” read out their manifesto along with sympathetic anarchists.

The text we are going to read aloud was composed collectively and publicly by members of the Occupy movement.

On May 7 we took to the streets of our cities and remained there. Moscow, Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Kaliningrad. When we were illegally detained by the police, when the riot cops chased us away, we returned again to our streets, we occupied them once and for all in order to liberate them from the violence of the authorities. This is our city! This is our country!

We took to the boulevards and squares, and began living together, setting aside ideologies and disagreements. We organized ourselves. We got field kitchens, security and public awareness campaigns up and running. We set up camps at various points in the city to protest day and night.

We learned to negotiate with one another and make decisions at General Assemblies, decisions that give every individual opinion the right to be heard and to influence the decision of the majority. We made mistakes, suffered divisions and came together again, for we had no teachers and no one to help us except ourselves.

Over this month of hard daily work we have gained practical experience: we have learned to organize ourselves and solve problems independently.

We do not trust the authorities. We do no trust the laws they pass, and we do not expect someone to come along and write better laws behind closed doors and make sure they are enforced without our involvement.

But we trust ourselves: this is how direct popular democracy is born. A democracy without leaders whom we only know from TV screens, leaders who are somewhere far away, while we are right here. A democracy without leaders who forget about us as soon as they have clawed their way to the top.

You cannot change the system by acting the way the system does. The goal of our self-organization is to build a different political system, a system based on the principles of horizontality and democracy.

Only the opportunity for each person to influence how decisions are made will enable us to live in our country the way we want to live.

Do we want Russia to join the WTO?

Do we want to live under the new law on demonstrations?

Do we want to have commercialized education and medical care?

Will we continue to let ourselves be duped during elections?

Or do we not want all this?

Or can we take to the streets and begin acting independently? Right here, right now, without waiting for help from the authorities or media personalities?

We can make our own education by organizing free lectures, seminars and discussions. Make our own decisions and prove ourselves by getting things done. Make our own public television rather than waiting for Channel One to tell the truth. Come to municipal governments with ready-made solutions rather than waiting for them to figure out how to improve our lives. Form cells on the ground that will organize society around them and become district councils. Take to the streets with public awareness campaigns, telling people about the crimes of the regime and how to stop them.

Each of us who begins doing something in their cities, in their districts, lays the foundations of self-organization along with their friends and neighbors.

We are asked, “If not Putin, then who?”

We reply, “Who if not us?”

We ourselves, our self-organization, are the powers that be!

Occupy in order to liberate!

(The original manifesto in Russian has been posted here.)

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Filed under activism, film and video, open letters, manifestos, appeals, protests, Russian society, urban movements (right to the city)