Russian anti-fascists: appeal for cash

December 13, 2018

Supporters of 11 anti-fascists and anarchists facing terrorism charges in Russia have launched an appeal for cash. You can give here, via Firefund.

The money will go towards legal expenses, relatives’ travel to visit the 11, who are in detention awaiting trial, and other similar expenses. Please put a little something out of your midwinter holidays budget into this fund now!

The 11 are being detained in connection with the “network case”, which has been fabricated by the Russian security services against the activists. They have been brutally tortured in detention with electric shocks and other illegal treatment.

■ On Tuesday, a Petersburg court once again extended pre-trial detention for Viktor Filinkov, one of the 11. He will soon have been in jail for a year.

Another of the 11, Yuly Boyarshinov, last month published a graphic description of the conditions in pre-trial detention, reminiscent of a medieval dungeon. On Saturday 19 January, supporters of the 11 in the UK are organising a solidarity demonstration with the Russian anti-fascists. That will be the tenth anniversary of the assassination in Moscow of prominent anti-fascist campaigners Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova.

Viktor Filinkov arriving at a court hearing. Photo: rupression

Yuly Boyarshinov. Photo: rupression

For more information on the Network case, see:

https://rupression.com/en/

https://therussianreader.com/

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia

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Russian anti-fascists under attack: solidarity demo in London

December 4, 2018

All are welcome to a solidarity demonstration with Russian anti-fascists, on Saturday 19 January, at 2.0 pm at the Cable Street mural (236 Cable Street, London E1 0BL).

The action is supported by London Anti Fascists, the Anarchist Communist Group, Feminist Fightback and Plan C London. Other organisations are welcome to add their support.

The demonstration is drawing attention to the “Network Case”, in which the Russian security services have detained and tortured anti-fascist activists.

On 29 November, two of the detainees, Dmitry Pchelintsev and Andrei Chernov, went on hunger strike, claiming that during the review of their

Cartoon by Alexei Komarov, Novaya Gazeta

criminal case file they were intimidated by prison officers and staff of the FSB (federal security services). Full report here.

The Parents Network, a support group set up by the parents of the defendants, said in a statement: “If our children have violated the law, they will answer to society to the full extent of the law. In the present circumstances, however, they are unable to answer to society. They answer to Read the rest of this entry »


London: callout for solidarity with Russian anti-fascists

November 1, 2018

We are an ad-hoc collective of anti-fascists in London who want to organise a solidarity event to support anti-fascists in Russia on 19th January 2019.

19th January is a significant day for anti-fascists and anarchists, as each year demonstrations are held to remember Russian comrades, the journalist Anastasia Baburova and lawyer Stanislav Markelov, who were murdered by fascists in broad

“They’re not terrorists. The terrorists are at the FSB, and they torture people.” Participant in a picket in St Petersburg in May this year. Photo by Jenya Kulakova. Courtesy of the Russian Reader.

daylight 10 years ago, as well as other fallen comrades who were victims of fascist violence.

Markelov, an experienced lawyer and social democrat, spent years fighting for justice in workers’ struggles, environmental protests and against the violence of the Russian state. Read the rest of this entry »


Brazilians against Bolsonaro

October 28, 2018

Brazilians gathered last night in London, in front of their country’s embassy, to remember the musician Mestre Moa do Katendê, who was murdered this month.

The event was also a protest against authoritarianism and violence, and against attacks on democratic rights. “It’s a very worrying moment in Brazil”, one of the organisers told the crowd of about 200 people, during a break in the music.

Mestre Moa was reportedly killed on the night of the presidential election first round, after saying he would vote for the Workers Party. The killer, who has been arrested, was a supporter of Jair Bolsonaro – who is the front runner in the second round of the poll, being held today.

There were drums aplenty, and singing and dancing, at yesterday’s event. Leaflets were Read the rest of this entry »


Prisoners of a frack-friendly establishment

September 27, 2018

The British establishment is stepping up its deranged assault on anti-fracking protesters. How else can we interpret the 15-16 month jail sentences handed out yesterday at Preston Crown Court to three peaceful protesters?

Simon Roscoe Blevins (26), Richard Roberts (36) and Richard Loizou (31) were convicted in August of causing a public nuisance. They took part in a four-day direct action that blocked a convoy of tricks carrying drilling equipment from entering the Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool, operated by Cuadrilla.

The judge, Robert Altham, made clear the political nature of his decision in court yesterday. He said he thought the three men posed a risk of reoffending, and could not

Anti-fracking protesters (l-r) Rich Loizou, Richard Roberts and Simon Roscoe-Blevins, outside Preston Crown Court with supporters before sentencing

be “rehabilitated” – because “each of them remains motivated by an unswerving confidence that they are right.”

He added: “Even at their trial they felt justified by their actions. Given the disruption caused in this case, only immediate custody can achieve sufficient punishment.”

The judge’s vindictive sentencing is squarely in line with a small section of the UK Read the rest of this entry »


Starting to understand the Syrian tragedy

August 14, 2018

Review of The Impossible Revolution: Making Sense of the Syrian Tragedy by Yassin al-Haj Saleh (London: Hurst and co., 2017)

We all need an understanding of the fate of the Syrian revolution: what it was up against, how and why was it drowned in blood, what its future holds. To this end, the publication of Yassin al-Haj Saleh’s book in English is very welcome.

The Syrian tragedy is a turning-point for movements of social liberation internationally. A mass popular uprising of exceptional scope and scale was defeated with an exceptional torrent of violence. In the rich, horrific history of repressive governments, few have waged such savage, relentless war on their citizens, or so cynically chosen to destroy the fabric of society by civil war rather than lose control of it.

Not only did the world’s governments allow the regime a free hand to torture and murder Syrians, but much of the so-called “left” stayed silent, or even supported the torturers and murderers. Reckoning with this disaster, and the reasons for it, is a precondition for any meaningful radical politics in future.

Syrian fascism

Saleh’s book comprises a series of articles written between the 2011 uprising and 2015, in which he returns again and again to analyse the Syrian regime, the “new bourgeoisie” with which it is most closely associated, and the social forces that support it.

In “The Roots of Syrian Fascism”, written in April 2012 – when the uprising was just over a year old – Saleh calls for a discussion of the roots of the fascist violence by Bashar al- Read the rest of this entry »


Support Ukrainian political prisoners

July 24, 2018

Ukrainians and Londoners demonstrated at the UK parliament yesterday, calling for the release of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia. On the hottest day of the year, they chanted “free political prisoners”, “free the hostages of the Kremlin” and “stop the war in Ukraine” to passers-by.

They highlighted the case of film director Oleg Sentov, who was yesterday on the 71st day of a hunger strike, and is seriously ill. Sentsov is demanding the release of the 70 Ukrainian prisoners. The

The demonstration in Parliament Square, London, yesterday

prisoners include opponents of Russian military action in eastern Ukraine, some Crimean Tatar community activists. Many of them, including Sentsov himself, have been framed up on fictitious “terrorism” charges that have been condemned internationally as bogus.

For information on the prisoners’ cases, see these links.

“Sentsov considers his solo release would be a ‘total failure’”: article, with links to pages on other Ukrainian prisoners (from Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group)

Report of a visit to Oleg Sentsov (from the Russian Reader)

An interview with Oleg Sentsov’s cousin, Natalya Kaplan, who visited him earlier this month (from the Russian Reader)

An outline of the case of Pavlo Hryb, the Ukrainian school student framed up by the Russian authorities (from Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group)

Report of the campaign of repression against Crimean Tatars (from Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group)

What Sentsov could die for, by Maria Kuvshinova (from the Russian Reader)

■ Stories by Oleg Sentsov, on the PEN International web site: “Testament”, “Autobiography” and “Dog”.