Материалы зимних собраний инициативы в России







These are texts from FNB groups from several cities, translated by Daria.


From Saratov – Report back at FNB general meeting 2009- excerpts

First off, about FNB. FNB started up in Saratov about 4 years ago. Initially FNB was organized by a group of antifascists and hardcore kids, they passed their experience on to us. During the last season of FNB meals – we would cook, and after serving we would bring back the pots and gather at my house and watch activist films on different topics.

We organized a performance promoting animal rights in a public square. There was a bunny, which was murdered by a hunter and then symbolically buried, with a cross erected over its grave. We laid a rabbit fur skin over the grave, and buried a chest of leather clothing as though it was a funeral. About twenty young activists attended – people associated with animal right, antifascism, and FNB.

On Sunday April 27 th, during the global week of protest against vivisection, we held an action. We gave out fliers that read:

Do you know how your cosmetics, household cleaners, and drugs are tested?
I do. That’s why I no longer use anything that was tested on animals. Your choice – their lives

In an act of solidarity with Greece,  and in an action against police violence, we hung a six meter banner across our bridge that read “Police Murder: Not Only in Greece.”

We gave out leaflets. One side talked about the murder of Alexander Grigoropoulos in Greece. We won’t forget him. The other side talked about the murder of Armen Gasparan [an Armenian], in Saratov, on the 20 th of October. We’ll never forgive them, there’s no end to police violence. It was so awful I still can’t believe it. Drunk police officers detained him for stealing gold. First they beat him, then they poured kerosene all over him, and set him on fire. They kicked him until he died. They buried his body somewhere out in the woods. They’re facing life in jail.

In Saratov, we have an art and performance group that promotes anarcho-feminism. We’re called the Volga Girrlz. We’re collaborating on actions for the 8 th of March [women’s day] with Moscow feminists. We had an art exhibit called “Husband or Dog?” We made collages about domestic violence with photos of dog taken at our local animal shelter where our friends who are animal rights activists volunteer.

We made a surrealist film about women’s liberation.  In the film, a woman stirs a huge FNB pot of borscht in her kitchen. She decides to leave her husband and tells him – “Honey, the universe won’t wait.” She and her other girlfriends fly off into space in a rocket ship. We’ve shown the film in two Moscow film festivals and in one in Saratov. Its also on YouTube. [Also on volga-girrlz.livejournal.com]

Do you have a movement for LGBT rights?

No, we don’t have anything like that yet. But I think the only is issue the lack of people to support it. But if we make it a goal it can be done. There are many LGBT people within our feminist art group. I just know that if we don’t do it, no one in Saratov will.

Oh, I forgot to mention antifascism. We have a fairly large antifascist group in Saratov. The main obstacle for antifascism is that we have a few areas of Saratov where the local police force is closely tied to fascist groups, their dads all work for the police force. So when antifascists are detained by the police, the kids have it really bad. They’re beaten, questioned, and tortured.  I know of a few awful instances where fascists tipped off the police: once the fascists called the antifascists out to meet. But the police showed up to the meeting place instead and beat all the antifascists. Foto https://hippy.ru/fokv/fnbzimasaratov/

Activism in Archangelsk – excerpts from the general meeting 31.12.2008

Tasya: These are our views, and we are independent activists.

In 2006, we had an active FNB group here in Archangelsk. A group of hardcore kids served meals regularly, during a period of several months, unfortunately the initiative died out, they did not survive for long, and we met them only afterwards.

Mistakes, in our opinion: they stopped serving because they stopped seeing the political point of the action. The problem was an informational disconnect from the movement’s center. They didn’t give out fliers, they didn’t have any banners, so no political agitation at all, they just fed people on the street.

I’ll tell a little about our Antifa (anti-fascism) movement. We have quite a bit of fascists and other people in the “right”. The antifa movement here isn’t very numerous. They spread their beliefs primarily through hardcore shows. The whole initiative consists of periodic violence with street fascists, but these are militant antifa, we don’t have that many of them, and on the whole the antifa movement in fairly peaceful.

We always have some form of street violence – someone is always getting beat up in the streets [by the fascists]. Some people have 10-13 concussions. But writing a police report isn’t that great. So they fight with each other (facists and antifascists) and don’t report it, naturally. That’s how it was up until this year, when they [the fascists] beat up Alexei S, our animal rights activist, and he reported the incident to the police. The trial is happening right now [post script: the judge released the fascists, but if they get arrested within the next year, they will be sent to jail for two years].

We had a hardcore benefit concert for animal rights, and all kinds of movements were there – anti-fur, anti-circus, anti-vivisection. We had a lot of folks show up, and the fascists were waiting for us outside after the show.  We got word of it in the middle of the show, that we have to leave all as a single group because the fascists are waiting for us.

There’s no limit to police violence. There were solidarity actions in many cities in support of those who suffered from police tyranny in Moscow on April 4 th, 2008, and we supported them as well [police used tazers on a group of anarchists, which resulted in one person having a heart attack]. We held our solidarity action on April 11 th in the central square, Lenin square. It wasn’t a city sanctioned protest, naturally. It lasted about 10 minutes, we had time to unfurl a banner that read “STOP POLICE VIOLENCE”, to light some fireworks, and to chant anti-police slogans. About forty people took part. Everything ended when the police arrived. We all fled, but they arrested about ten people that they chased down. A few people were beat up at the station, but everyone was released shortly after.

Animal rights- this is our most supported activist initiative in Archangelsk. Radicals, anarchists, and people who act through legal means all take part. This is ending animal experimentation in laboratories, the defense of homeless animals, against the use of animals for entertainment, and anti-fur.

Protests against the use of animals for entertainment: We don’t have our own circus or zoo, but traveling zoos stop by frequently. People really enjoy them. The come three or four times a year. 

In 2007 we staged an active protest against such a visit. There were legal actions: we wrote three notices to the traveling circus, which were used to evaluate whether the animal’s living conditions were humane, and we staged a boycott (of about 25 people) with a banner, posters, and fliers. There were people sitting in cages, representing animals.

There were illegal actions: radical activists vandalized circus walls at night. After the second night, the circus tried to clean them off with acetone. After the third night they set up security, but this didn’t deter the activists.

One of our biggest actions is anti-fur. On the whole, this topic gets the most support, especially from young people. Wearing fur is becoming unfashionable, and many people that wear fur experience harassment. We regularly graffiti store displays and walls in stores that sell fur, fences, and billboards.

You’ve probably heard, but one of our most serious problems is the culling of baby seals (grey ones and white ones). This practice exists only in Canada, Norway, and Russia. This practice is one reason Russia doesn’t have any national laws protecting animals from abuse. [Norway’s demand for seal fur fuels the seal cull in Russia.]

In February of 2008, radical activist blocked the entrance to the regional administration building, by chaining themselves to the doors. Others unfurled a banner that read “Kiselev, Save the Lives of the Seals”. Kiselev was our regional governor at the time. Kids from St. Petersburg were there. The police couldn’t pry the protestors off for a long time. The protest sent the entire administration into a stupor. They had no idea what to do. Eventually they arrested the kids, well, after they cut them off the doors.

We held a legal action as well: It took a lot of preparation, we spent a lot of effort to get the cities permission/sanction. It was held on December 2007. We held a contest in our cities grade schools for the best drawing on the theme of defending baby seals. In April 2008 we held a demonstration. About 70 people participated. We handed out the children’s drawings of seals to the participants. There was a cage with four girls inside it, dressed like seals.

What we achieved with our actions – as a result of public pressure a temporary national ban on [white] baby seal culling, but after two week white baby seals turn grey and are no longer protected by the ban. Foto: https://hippy.ru/fokv/fnbzimaarh/

31.12.2008 Activism in Kirov. Excerpts

Anti-fascist Action: A few years ago Kirov was the Russian capital of Anti-Fascism. But it wouldn’t be accurate to say that today. The majority of the people who were with the movement from the beginning – they either left activism for one reason of another, or ran into trouble with the law – especially those who participated in radical actions. Today the fascist movement in kirov is very strong. The situation must be a lot like Moscow. There’s always some sort of street violence going on. There isn’t much of a point to it – but what can you do. The Nazi’s are constantly trying to lead/make violent direct action. Also, on the 4 th of November we had our first Russian March [a national phenomenon where Russian nationalists march through the street chanting xenophobic slogans like “Glory to Russia!” “Russia is for Russians!” while giving Nazi salutes.] The Kirov anti-fascists really showed them who’s boss [sarcasm], showed them how organized and active we are[more sarcasm]. There are one or two hundred anti-fascists in the city, and only nine people made only two banners, and we were glad anyone did anything at all.

About FNB – it must be the most successful initiative in our city. FNB has existed in Kirov for over three years. FNB actions happen consistently, basically each week. We have two FNB groups, and each one does meals one every two weeks. The groups maintain regular contact. We used to have a source of free food. Right now, its sort of strange but we end up having to buy the food with our own money [because its almost impossible to find surplus or donations]. We buy the food ourselves, the motto of the action loses its meaning. The motto is “Food for all.” But we buy the food ourselves and give it away, so it ends up being “Food for all, that have money or happened to be at the meal.” It ends up being sort of meaningless.

Banners are very necessary [for our FNB], in order to attract people’s attention and interest. When we serve meals without banners, people don’t take our leaflets, they’re uninterested. Actually, last time we served we had to cover our faces, because the journalists said they wouldn’t blur out anything. And when the passerbys saw us, some strange people in bandanas serving food, everyone stopped and took our leaflets.

About animal rights – I forgot to mention, that we recently had a protest against fur during the week of actions against the fur industry. It was a high quality action, it was interesting because it was sanctioned [by the city]. We gave notice to the city, they said “fine, go ahead.” Within an hour, the head organizer of the protest got a phone call, from the FSB [FBI], basically, they were interested in our ties to extremism, political affiliations and all those things.

Kirov is the fur capital of Russia – I’m sure you know all about that. We have this area, for example, in the city, where there are over forty fur stores. You just walk down the street, on your left on your right, they’re everywhere. Basically, there are always some sort of destructive action going on in that area, and that must be why the FBI is so interested in the topic.

About feminism and LGBT rights – we don’t have any of that, there isn’t anything to tell, we don’t have any activists of that kind, no one is really interested.

We had a hardcore benefit concert in support of a Kirov animal shelter. It was the only animal shelter in the whole region and now it’s closed, because they couldn’t pay 40 thousand roubles for electricity and all that. Now they’re closed and the dogs were all adopted.

In Kirov, who interrupts your actions?

Well, you can do what you want, but then the FSB (FBI) will call you immediately afterward and ask all about it, what were you involved in and where you were.

Who comes to your meals? Only homeless?

Well, no, basically anyone who want to eat. But mostly homeless. About half or three fourths of them are homeless, the rest are pensioners. Regular people don’t come often.

What other actions do you have in Kirov?

Well, none yet. We did have a free market, in which fnb also participated.  Foto: https://hippy.ru/fokv/fnbzimakirov/001.html


13.11.2008 Minsk Belarus – excerpts from report in FNB zine, issue 7

Today the Minsk antifascists lead an action of solidarity with our Russian comrades, we hung a banner near the Russian consulate. [The banner read: HANDS OFF RUSSIAN ANTIFASCISTS]. We scattered 30 leaflets on the territory of the actual consulate, explaining the point of our action. Our action protested the actions of the Russian government with regard to the members of the antifascist resistance. In many Russian cities, antifascists are subject to repression for their actions. The governing bodies interfere with anarchist and antifascist actions (like Anti-Cop 2008 in Moscow) and concerts, detain and beat up activists, but when it comes to the neo-nazis, who attack the antifascists, the police either let them go without serious consequences or don’t pursue them at all. The government and neo-nazism in Russia are the same thing. This promotes the continuation attacks and murders, in October Feodor Filatov was murdered on the doorstep of his own apartment; he was one of the founders of the skinhead-antifascist movement in Moscow. The day of our action, November 13 th, wasn’t chosen by chance. On that day three years ago neo-nazis murdered our friend, Timur Karachev [at least seven cities in Russia held events in remembrance of Timur that day]. Since then, attacks and murders on activists of the antifascist resistance have continued in different cities across Russia.

Antifascists experience repression not only from fascists, but from the law enforcement as well. For example, tomorrow, the 14 of November, there will be a trial for Alexei Buchin. The night of June 12 th a group of about twenty punk-antifascists were walking through the center of the city. Alexei and his girlfriend lagged behind the rest of the group. They walked by two nazi-skinheads, who were throwing their arms up in the nazi salute and shouting “zig hail.” One of them carried a broken bottle in his hand. Alexei understood that he was about to get attacked. A fight ensued, Alexei used a knife to defend himself from the two attackers. He wounded one of them with the knife, and the two neo-nazis fled. Later on information surfaced that one of them was a law enforcement officer. However, instead of addressing internal corruption, the law enforcement persecuted Buchin for the attack.

Aside from St. Petersburge, antifascists experience persecution from the govt in other cities as well. In Izhevsk…. During investigations members of the law enforcement use tactics that break the law. They torture, beat, threaten and degrade the alleged, their witnesses, as well as members of their family and colleagues. For example in April, the police and SWAT team (OMON) attacked (theres no other way to say it) a punk concert. They made all the attendees lay face down on the asphalt, illegally searched them and beat them with rubber batons. Then proceeded to take them to the police department. The main cause of their actions was the suspicions that people with antifascist views may have attended the concert.

Moscow: In April, several antifascists were detained and delivered to the police department in Sokol’niki, were they were beaten during a period of several hours. The police officers involved made racist remarks and admitted to be abusing them because of their antifascist work.

Bryansk: An activist of the movement Food Not Bombs, Sergei Il’uhin has been attacked three times this part year: in December, March, and May. Il’uhin tells us “After the second attack I received a call from an unknown member of the special services [FBI, CIA?]: ‘Do you want these attacks to stop? I can help.’” Sergei refused the offer. In may he was attacked again by the same assailants….

In recent years there have been six murders of anti-fascists, an attempt to bomb a concert where AntiFa (radical antifascists) were in attendance, and an attack on an eco-camp near Angarsk. After all that’s said above, its apparent that the law enforcement does not want to investigate crimes against antifascists, and even covers for them, and work alongside neo-fascists.

We, the antifascists of Belarus, demand the immediate release of our comrades and the cessation of the persecution of Russian antifascists. Its not necessary to remind anyone how threatening Nazism is, anyone acquainted with twentieth century literature knows that. This is especially dangerous for a country as diverse as Russia. It is the duty of every honest person to protest Nazism.



14.1.2009 – Interview with Lubava, Moscow

To what degree is xenophobia present in Russia?

The Russian government supports the ultra-right, while antifascist views are violently repressed. In many cities across Russia the special services (law enforcement) and neo-nazis work together. There’s more than just a graffiti battle going on in the streets of Russia. You saw yourself, Daria, our city is covered with swastikas and anti-fascist graffiti. Attacks on immigrants occur daily, we hear about several nationalism-motivated murders each day. This year, SOVA (center for documenting nationalist and hate violence) has documented 7 attacks on people of “non-slavic” appearance in the first 10 days of the New Year. You can get an idea of the level of xenophobia violence in Russia by visiting their website http://xeno.sova-center.ru/ .

The courts do not take the threat of fascism seriously. Ukraine-phobia, Georgia-phobia, and US-phobia are flourishing in the mass media. The society is pierced/threaded with threads of nationalism [I am at loss about how to translate this]. All the billboards and advertisements today are written in the old Slavonic font Cyrillic, you wouldn’t have seen this just ten years ago. And when we open a new metro station, we call is “Slavonic Boulevard” [Is saw advertisements for its opening], and when we design a new metro train we call it “The Russian.” As though there is only one ethnicity in this country. Former members of law enforcement engage in nazi-terrorist acts. Our markets are regularly bombed – immigrant laborers work at the markets [the week before I arrived in Moscow the market Lubuva frequents was bombed]. The things going on within the law enforcement itself are unfathomable. The head inspector of the MVD [law enforcement] is Musa Medov, the murderer of Magomed Evloev. Evloev was the editor of the site ingushetiya.ru (now http://ingushetia.org/ ) [an independment media portal].

But all these occurrences are completely normal for this country, where any biology textbook is a manual for racism. Any Russian grade student can tell you about the racial subspecies of the human race [if you read Russia, take a look at the Russian wikipedia entry for race].

Annually, in the “Day of National Unity,” – which would be more appropriately called the “Day of National Shame,” – November 4 th – Russian Marches occur in the streets of Russia – thousands of fascists chant “Moscow for Moscuvites,” “Russia for Russians!”

But how can the national government allow such protests?

In our country, all public demonstrations are prohibited, unless they’re fascist or Russian Orthodox [Christian]. Our mayor expresses ideas promoting the full expulsion of illegal immigrants from Moscow. Pride-Moscow 2007 gathered 150 LGBT people in from of Moscow City Hall. Police officers, fascists, and Orthodox Christian extremists violently beat not only the Russian LGBT, but the attending deputies of the Euro Parliament as well [If you haven’t read about what happened at Moscow Pride 2007, I recommend you do]. Attempts to spread slogans like “Love is not a crime” and “No to LGBT discrimination” were labeled as homosexual propaganda in all mass media resources [to this day pride parades are banned by the Moscow mayor].

Any imaginable right of the LGBT is violated here. We cannot even register an LGBT organization.

Is there a movement for women’s rights?

No, practically not.

Do left activists differ from the rest of Russia in their views on the rights of women and LGBT?

Only rhetorically. Sexism, homophobia, and chauvinism infiltrate the left movement.