I am very pleased to publish today an article about the Leeds clothing workers’ strike of 1970: “You’re not a worker, you’re a pair of hands.” How Leeds women workers struck back, by Liz Leicester. It describes an unofficial strike by almost 30,000 clothing workers who demanded an increase in the hourly pay rate of one shilling (5 pence, worth about 75 pence today, taking into account). The action snowballed as the strikers, mostly women, marched around the city calling on others to join them. They were angry at an agreement signed between their union and the employers’ federation which discriminated against women workers. The article is based on a talk Liz gave in December 2018 in London.
Hundreds of Moscow students have joined a protest campaign over the arrest and torture in detention of Azat Miftakhov, a graduate student at Moscow State University.
Miftakhov was rounded up together with ten other anarchist activists, and charged with
Miftakhov, and Daniil Galkin, were denied access to lawyers, brutally tortured and paraded on state TV. At least ten other people were arrested.
Many people in Russia feared a new case, similar to the “Network” case, in which a group of anti-fascist activists were tortured in detention and are now awaiting trial on terror-related charges.
When Miftakhov disappeared in to the security service’s dungeons, his fellow students put together a protest letter demanding “the immediate cessation of torture”. It was signed by more than 250 teaching staff, more than 500 students in the mathematics faculty where Miftakhov is studying, and more than 800 others from other faculties and outside the university.
Here is the text of the letter. You can read – and sign – the original here.
An open letter in support of mathematician Azat Miftakhov
Multiple sources confirm that on February 1, 2019 Azat Miftakhov, a graduate student of the Moscow State University Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, was detained on suspicion of manufacturing explosives. He was tortured by the police and the Federal Read the rest of this entry »
Anti-fascists have launched an international campaign to defend Russian activists who have been arrested, tortured in detention, and charged with terrorism-related offences in the “Network” case.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) claims that 11 people arrested in St Petersburg and Penza were part of an underground terrorist group seeking to sow disorder ahead of the 2018 Russian Presidential elections and the football World Cup.
Several of the detainees have described in detail how they were tortured by the FSB. For example, Viktor Filinkov described how he was tortured with an electric shocker after being
detained at St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport in January 2018. Filinkov stated that FSB officers put him in a minivan, and then drove him around the city while torturing him into learning a forced confession.
The quasi-official Public Monitoring Commission has compiled evidence of torture, and the issue was raised on the Kremlin’s own Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights. Nevertheless, preparations for what the defendants and their families describe as a show trial continue.
On 19 January, demonstrations in solidarity with the defendants were held in Moscow, St Petersburg, Kyiv, London and other European and American cities. (Information on the London event here and here.)
On 17 January, defendant Igor Shishkin received three and a half years for participation in a terrorist organisation. Shishkin admitted his guilt and came to a pre-trial agreement with the investigation. Most other defendants have renounced their confessions, referring to the fact that they were tortured by FSB officers.
The following text, by TATYANA LIKHANOVA of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, describes the use of what appears to be an agent provocateur in the “Network” case. This agent, who attended the same sports club as one of the case’s investigators in Penza, previously gave information to Ilya Shakursky, one of the defendants, and appears to have encouraged Shakursky to take radical action. We translated it with the author’s permission.
Following the conviction of Igor Shishkin, his lawyer Dmitry Dinze published several extracts from the case materials in a Facebook post. According to this post, a certain “V.I. Kabanov Read the rest of this entry »
What they said at the 19 January demonstration in London to support Russian anti-fascists
More than 150 people marched through the east end of London on Saturday, to voice solidarity with anti-fascists in Russia.
The march was held on 19 January, the tenth anniversary of the killing in Moscow of two prominent Russian anti-fascists – Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer, and Anastasia Baburova, a journalist. The date was marked by demonstrations in Moscow, St Petersburg, Kyiv and other cities in Russia and Ukraine.
The event expressed solidarity with 11 Russian anti-fascists who have been arrested and tortured in detention in the so-called “network” case. These young people have been
beaten up, struck repeatedly with electric shockers (like cattle prods), hung upside down and suffocated by security services officers.
The London event started at the Cable Street mural, which commemorates the “battle of Cable Street” in 1936, when the fascists were driven out of the east end. It ended at Altab Ali Park, named after a young Bangladeshi textile worker killed by fascists in 1978.
Right-wing radicalism grows from social injustice, M from Russia said to the marchers in a speech before they set out. “As long as we have rich and poor, people will be angry”, he Read the rest of this entry »
On Saturday 19 January we will demonstrate in London, in solidarity with Russian anti-fascists. Eleven of them, who have been arrested, tortured and accused of fabricated “terrorism” charges, are awaiting trial. Many others have faced a relentless campaign of persecution by officers of the federal security services (FSB) and the police – which is reviewed in this article.
Please join us on Saturday, to support the Russian anti-fascists and strengthen international solidarity against fascism, xenophobia and state terror. Please re-post and share this article.
By Misha Shubin, 31 December 2018 (Original Russian text here)
I’ve also decided to sum up the year’s results. Not the results for me, but rather to remember what happened to anarchists and leftists in Russia in 2018. This post will be long and many of you know about, or heard something about, the events that I recount here.
But I think it is very important not to forget about all this. [Note. Links from the original article to Russian-language sources are included. Links to English translations or relevant articles in English added where available. Translator.]
The “Network Case”
Eleven anarchists and anti-fascists have been arrested. They are accused of setting up a terrorist group and preparing terrorist actions. According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), they wanted to organise an armed uprising in Russia.
Almost all the evidence has been gathered with the help of torture. The detainees were beaten up. Some of them were tortured with the help of shocks from a stationary electric dynamo, others with hand-held electric shockers [similar to cattle prods]. At least one of the accused, Dmitry Pchelintsev, was hung upside down.
The accused are: Yegor Zorin, Ilya Shakursky, Vasilii Kuksov, Dmitry Pchelintsev, Arman Read the rest of this entry »
On Saturday 19 January we will be demonstrating in London in solidarity with Russian anti-fascists, including those being incarcerated and tortured by the security services. Please come to join us – meeting at the mural in Cable Street, London E1 0BL at 2.0pm. There will also be events that day – the tenth anniversary of the notorious killing of anti-fascists Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova in Moscow – in Russia and Ukraine, and other European countries.
Here is a message to supporters, sent to mark the new year by the imprisoned anti-fascist Viktor Filinkov, who was arrested in St Petersburg in January 2018 and tortured by officers of
the federal security service (FSB). He and 10 others are in detention, awaiting trial on trumped-up “terrorism” charges denounced as fraudulent by human rights organisations, in the so-called “network case”. Please share and re-post.
Viktor Filinkov wrote a letter to Grandad Frost [a Russian fairytale character, like Santa Claus] in Veliky Ustyug [where he lives, according to legend] and sent us a draft for review.
Hello, Grandad Frost!
I am writing to you from St Petersburg, from the same place where Lenin served time.
In the new year 2019, I would like you to give at least a little justice to all those in need.
Help the regional heads of Memorial, Yuri Dmitriev from Karelia and Oyub Titiyev from Chechnya. [Memorial is Russia’s largest human rights campaign organisation. Dmitriev was framed by local security services on child pornography charges. A court found him not Read the rest of this entry »
Between October 2017 and February 2018, the Russian security services tortured several Russian anarchists and anti-fascists as part of an investigation into alleged terrorism offences. As a result, eleven people in St Petersburg and Penza have been arrested and charged in the “Network” case. They are being detained awaiting trial in 2019. [There will be demonstrations to support them on Saturday 19 January (details at the end of the article).] Those tortured have spoken out about their treatment – Viktor Filinkov did so here, and others did via the rupression web site. This article by Tatyana Likhanova explains the reaction by the Russian security services and other officials. It reports on investigations into the defendants’ claims of torture by the Russian Investigative Committee, the St Petersburg Public Monitoring Commission, and the defendants’ lawyers. It was published in Novaya Gazeta, the main liberal opposition newspaper, on 16 December 2018, and also published in English in Freedom News.
“Federal Security Service [FSB] officers don’t work in those minibuses. They aren’t there. Physically.” This is how Russian president Vladimir Putin reacted to a statement by Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, that defendants in the “Network” case claim they were
subjected to electric shock torture in state security service minibuses. But Putin admitted that what Fedotov had said was “really disturbing” and “that it’s absolutely impermissible”, and promised to “look into it”.
Let’s note straight away: only St Petersburg victims of the “Network” case — Viktor Filinkov; Ilya Kapustin, who was questioned about the case as a witness; and Arman Sagynbaev, who was transferred from St Petersburg to Penza after Read the rest of this entry »