Moscow students call for solidarity
This is a statement from the Moscow State University Student Initiative Group, forwarded by friends in Moscow. Please circulate and re-post it.
Russia will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup – a grandiose event both in terms of tens of thousands of fans from around the world, and for big business and the Russian government.
As is often the case with events of this scale, the organisers do not hear the voices of ordinary people, even if there are thousands of them. This time, it is planned to hold the FIFA Fan Fest in Moscow in
an extremely inappropriate place, near Moscow State University (MSU). Students, graduate students, staff and local residents are protesting this decision.
The noise and the security measures will affect badly the educational and research activities and the life of the campus with 6500 inhabitants, 37,000 students and 9000 professors and researchers.
Faculties are to shorten the courses and the exam sessions; researchers are being forced to take holidays. Dormitory residents are either to suffer from the noise or to risk eviction. Citizens are to suffer from a transport collapse caused by the installation of a strict gating system around territory that has always been open to public. The green territory around our University was not designed to host a festival with 25,000 football fans.
After the protests, the zone was moved a little further from the main building. This is a fake response. This placement will damage the University. We demand to move it away from the University district. Not considering the opinion of the university community, and making it suffer in order to organise a commercial event, is an insult to all of us.
So we collected more than 4500 signatures on petition, wrote letters to FIFA representatives and picketed government buildings in Moscow. Now our efforts are met with stiff resistance from responsible persons.
We are convinced that sport exists for people, not for profit. Our voices will only be heard when they are united.
Send an open letter from your organisation to Gianni Infantino, President of Fifa (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), or representative of FIFA in your country, and join our demand to move the fan fest.
Spread the information, use #noFanFestMSU in social networks.
Please, send a copy to MSU Student initiative group: firstname.lastname@example.org or through our spokesperson Alexander Bykov Aleksandr.email@example.com