Tag Archives: Nizhny Novgorod

Stop the Crackdown against Russian Anti-Fascists! (open letter)

Original in Russian published here: www.colta.ru/docs/7991

The crackdown against anti-fascists in Russia has recently gained momentum. The country’s repressive law enforcement authorities view involvement in the anti-fascist movement as a crime in itself.

Moscow anti-fascists Alexey Sutuga, Alexey Olesinov, Igor Kharchenko and Irina Lipskaya are currently in jail in connection with dubious and unproven accusations of “disorderly conduct.” Anti-fascists Alexandra Dukhanina, Stepan Zimin, Alexey Polikhovich and Vladimir Akimenkov are among those accused of involvement in “mass riots” on Bolotnaya Square on May 6 in Moscow, when riot police brutally dispersed an authorized opposition rally. Clear evidence of their guilt still has not been presented.

In Nizhny Novgorod, law enforcement authorities are attempting to have anti-fascists declared an “extremist group.” Although on October 18 a court sent the case against the fictional organization “Antifa-RASH” (whose alleged IDs “anti-extremist” police detectives planted on activists during a search) back to the police for further investigation, the Nizhny Novgorod political police are unlikely to leave the activists alone. Igor Kharchenko has also been charged under this same article of the Russian criminal code (“involvement in the the activities of an extremist group”). Alexey Olesinov and Alexey Sutuga’s defense attorneys also expect that authorities will attempt to have their clients declared “extremists.”

The attorneys and comrades of the arrested activists believe this is being done to make it easier for police to prosecute anti-fascists and social activists. If guilty verdicts are returned in the Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod cases, a wave of similar “extremist” cases will follow all over Russia. Anti-fascists are today officially stigmatized as “extremists.” What is next? A court ban on anti-fascist views?

We consider it unacceptable that an individual can be persecuted simply for political views and activities dedicated to the fight against racism. We demand a fair and partial investigation in these criminal cases, and prosecution of all law enforcement officers who abuse their authority and flagrantly fabricate criminal cases against civil society activists.

[signed:]
Svetlana Reiter, journalist
Pavel Chikov, civil rights activist
Andrei Loshak, journalist
Oleg Kashin, journalist
Artyom Loskutov, artist
Pavel Pryanikov, gardener, journalist
Shura Burtin, journalist
Arkady Babchenko, war correspondent
Igor Gulin, poet, literary critic
Maria Kiselyova, artist
Ilya Budraitskis, leftist activist
Alexander Chernykh, journalist
Victoria Lomasko, artist
Anna Sarang, sociologist
Tatyana Sushenkova, photographer, artist
Jenny Curpen, journalist, political exile
Sergei Devyatkin, journalist, political exile
Mikhail Maglov, civic activist
Pavel Nikulin, journalist
Alexei Yorsh, artist,
Maria Klimova, journalist
Nikolay Oleynikov, artist
Alexander Tushkin, journalist
Daniil Dugum, journalist, anarchist
Andrei Krasnyi, artist
Dmitry Grin, artist
Alexander Litinsky, journalist
Isabelle Makgoeva, leftist activist
Yuliana Lizer, journalist, documentary filmmaker
Dmitry Vilensky, artist
Ilya Shepelin, artist
Tasya Krugovykh, photographer, filmmaker
Vyacheslav Danilov, political scientist
Tatyana Volkova, art critic
Yegor Skovoroda, journalist
Georgy Rafailov, leftist activist
Dmitry Tkachov, editor, journalist
Alexander Delfinov (Smirnov), poet, journalist
Nadezhda Prusenkova, journalist
Anton Nikolaev, artist
Yulia Bashinova, journalist
Denis Mustafin, artist
Matvei Krylov, artist
Olesya Gerasimenko, journalist
Grigory Tumanov, journalist

______

Articles (in Russian) on the cases mentioned above:

“Antifa-RASH” case
«Лента.ру»: Экстремисты из Нижнего
Открытое информагентство: Свидетель обвинения дал показания против оперативников Центра «Э»
«РБК daily»: В Поволжье судят «придуманных» экстремистов
«Автономное действие»: Нижегородское дело

The case against Alexey Olesinov and Alexey Sutuga
«Новая газета»: Когда я спросила, почему Алексею не разрешили позвонить, следователь промолчал
«Новая газета»: В Москве продлили срок ареста двум антифашистам

The case against Igor Kharchenko and Denis Solopov
«Известия»: Антифашиста хотят вернуть в Россию новым уголовным делом
«Газета.ру»: Четыре статьи за ненависть к националистам
«Новая газета»: Игорю Харченко снова продлен срок содержания под стражей

The case against Irina Lipskaya
«Каспаров.ру»: Задержанные антифашисты проведут 2 месяца в СИЗО
«Автономное действие»: Дело об инциденте у клуба «Баррикада»: двое антифашистов заключены под стражу

The case against the screening of the “extremist” film “Russian Anti-Racist Skinheads” in Vladimir
Openspace: Кино на букву «Э»
Открытое информагентство: Эксперты нашли в фильме москвича призывы к действиям против скинхедов и пропаганду их неполноценности

On attempts to have the entire Russian anti-fascist movement declared “extremist”
«РБК daily»: МВД «повысит» статус антифашистов с хулиганов до экстремистов
«Большой город»: Социальная группа «гопники»
«Эхо Москвы»: Фанаты-единороссы, «удостоверение анархиста» и другие способы посадить антифашиста
«Новая газета»: Антифашистов пытаются объявить вне закона

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2+2/Practicing Godard (The Story of the “Communal Life” Seminar)

Vodpod videos no longer available.
2+2/Practicing Godard (Part I)

I was inspired to make this film after the police forced me to delete video footage of the OMON raid on our seminar in Nizhny Novgorod. I was struck by their brazen confidence that they could erase things from people’s memory as easily as you can delete a video image.

This film is meant as a response to their challenge. It shows that we can not only document the crimes of the authorities for posterity, but also shape our own space of interpretation. We can recreate our own histories, in which the deeds of the police will be remembered as shameful acts against society.
—Dmitry Vilensky

You can read the working version of the screenplay here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
2+2/Practicing Godard (Part II)

Concept and Direction: Dmitry Vilensky
Screenplay and Film Crew: Oleg Zhuravlyov, Nikolay Oleinikov, Kirill Medvedev, Dmitry Vilensky 
Camera and Editing: Dmitry Vilensky
Actors:  Andrei Amirov, Alexander Kuritsyn, Anna Tolkacheva, Andrei Nosov, Diana Sakaeva, Oleg Zhuravlyov, Nikolay Oleinikov, Marina Prokhorova, and many others who wish to remain anonymous.
This film is the result of a collaboration between the Vpered (“Forward”) Socialist Movement and Chto Delat Platform.

 

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OMON Arrests Our Comrades in Nizhny Novgorod

IMG_9310This just in from the Institute for Collective Action:

Today (May 9, 2009), Leftist Art. Leftist Philosophy. Leftist History. Leftist Poetry, the first experimental 24-hour “seminar dormitory,” was to take place in Nizhny Novgorod. However, at approximately twelve noon, OMON troops burst into the room where the seminar was supposed to take place and stopped the proceedings. Around thirty people were present at this moment. According to one participant, the OMON officers are behaving in a very aggressive way. They have confiscated identity papers and are now loading detainees onto a bus.

The seminar dormitory was meant to bring together four disciplines and four young practicioners of these disciplines: Nikolai Oleinikov (leftist artist), Alexei Penzin (leftist philosopher), Ilya Budraitskis (leftist historian), and Kirill Medvedev (leftist poet).They planned to hold a series of seminars and lectures on art, history, and philosophy, as well as video and film screenings and poetry readings.

Nikolai and Alexei are members of the Chto Delat work group (Moscow/Petersburg), while Ilya and Kirill are correspondents on our e-mail platform and good friends and comrades. We will keep you informed of new developments in this story as they become know to us. Unfortunately, this is just the latest sign of the total collapse of the “rule of law” in Russia and the ongoing war against social and political activists. Please repost this information as widely as possible in your blogs and e-mail lists.

The telephone of the police precinct where they are being held is (+7) 831-434-02-02. Please call this number to inquire about the health and safety of our comrades. The latest information is that the police have confiscated their mobile phones and preventing them from otherwise sending us on the outside any information. They are being interrogated individually, after which they are allegedly being released one by one.

Even if you cannot speak Russian, please call: it will remind the Nizhny Novgorod police that the whole world is watching, that it is their duty to uphold human and civil rights, which are guaranteed not only by the Russian Federation Constitution, but also by all the relevant European and international treaties and conventions. The Russian Federation is a signatory to these conventions, however much it has made a complete mockery of this fact during the past several years.

IMG_5966UPDATE: We have just received word that all the detainees have been released and the seminar is continuing. We have learned from our sources that the OMON raid took place while the seminar participants were watching a Jean-Luc Godard film. Allegedly, the police had received information that the seminar was a gathering of “extremists,” which is the code word the Russian authorities and their apologists now use for anyone even mildly opposed to their policies or otherwise not wholly compromised by their management of “managed democracy.”

Here is part of the statement we just posted on our Russian-language LiveJournal. A more comprehensive statement will follow in the next day or so.

We categorically protest police abuse. During these May Day and Victory Day holidays the impression has arisen that martial law has been declared in Russia. There are OMON officers posted every two meters on the streets. Some of these policemen break up peaceful demonstrations. Others are intoxicated and speed around the city in their vehicles, thus endangering people’s lives. Still others stop civilians in their tracks at every turn and inform them about non-existent “laws” that supposedly require them to carry their internal passports on their persons at all times. When will this come to an end? Probably not under the current regime, which tolerates police abuse in the name of the police’s loyalty and thus every hour bears witness to its own cynicism and weakness.

The hysteria of the authorities—especially the security forces, which often act in a completely uncontrolled way—is without real foundation. In our peaceful society, which has not yet reacted strongly to the growing economic crisis, the authorities not only break up public demonstrations, but also oppositional intellectual gatherings. They ratchet up tension, which in the end will lead to a destabilization of the regime.

As we know from experience, however, public opinion can influence the situation during such power vacuums. That is why in cases like the dispersal of the anarchist/antifa May Day demonstration in Petersburg or the arrest of seminar participants in Nizhny we need a consolidated public outcry against the actions of the authorities.

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