MINELRES: SOVA Center: Conference in Moscow: "Future of Russia under the Threat of Fascism"

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Mon May 22 20:40:06 2006

Original sender: SOVA Center <mail@sova-center.ru>

Conference in Moscow: "Future of Russia under the Threat of Fascism"

On May 14 2006, more then 150 representatives of different NGOs, youth
associations, democratic political parties, independent antifascist
groups, ethnic associations, experts, journalists and cultural figures
took part in an antifascist conference in Moscow.

The conference was organized by Moscow Helsinki Group, Memorial, the
“Sova” Center, Anti-war club, the “Holocaust” Foundation, Moscow Bureau
for Human Rights, Independent Union of Afghanistan Veterans, the “Civic
Assistance” Committee for Refugees and Forced Migrants, Center for
Development of Democracy and Human Rights, Moscow Antifascist Center,
Forum for Migrant Organizations, the Public Verdict Foundation, the
Committee for Human Rights, “Ezhenedelny zhurnal” (“Weekly magazine”)
magazine, Youth Human Rights Movement, professors of Maxim Gorky
Literary Institute, members of Republican party, “Yabloko” party, United
Civic Front, “Sojuz Pravyh Sil” (Union of Right Forces) party, youth
movement “Da!” (“Yes!”). 

The problems discussed at the conference were racism, xenophobia and
discrimination in Russia, counteraction practices and plans for

The conference started with awarding the winners of the contest for
local journalists who write about ethnic tolerance. The awards were
given by the Ombudsman of Russian Federation Vladimir Lukin.

Lyudmila Alekseeva (Moscow Helsinki Group), Emil Pain (Center for
Ethnopolitical and Regional Studies), Boris Dubin (Levada-Center),
Alexander Verkhovsky (Sova-Center), Andrey Yurov (Youth Human Rights
Movement), Yury Dzhibladze (Center for Development of Democracy and
Human Rights) made their speeches, stating great level of nazi violence
and nationalistic tendencies in society as well as violation of civic
freedom by the state under the banner of fighting xenophobia and the
danger of pseudo-antifascism translated by such groups as “Nashi”. 

The conference adopted the declaration “Russia is under the threat of
fascism again” suggested by Natalia Novozhilova, Vladimir (available in
Russian), and urged the society to sign it. It’s possible to sign the
declaration on the site of the Russian Civic Congress. “We claim, that
there is only one way to stop fascists – unite efforts of civil society
and authorities. And it is mass civil activity which can make the
authorities enter into the antifascist struggle. It’s useless to wait
for the authorities to awake by themselves” – says the declaration.

The conference has adopted the Program of Action (available in Russian),
which will become a basis for forming the Antifascist Front.

There were several moot points during the debate on the Program, two of
them are the most notable. First, there was a suggestion to include in
the Program a statement about necessity to fight against radical
nationalists together with moderate ones, which was declined, moreover
there is a statement in the Program urging to boycott every public
figure who ventures racist speeches. Second, all the suggestions to
toughen the legislation against nationalists were declined, because of
the inefficiency of such measures and because of the danger of provoking
the state to misuse repressive mechanisms.

The further work will be coordinated by the organizational committee and
working groups formed during the conference. To contact the
organizational committee, send your e-mail to mshndcr@yandex.ru .

One of the first activities of the Antifascist Front will be an
antifascist demonstration on the June 22, day of the Nazi invasion to

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