MINELRES: UNITED: Solidarity with Russian Antifa-Net

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sat Sep 29 09:55:11 2007


Original sender: UNITED <dontreply@unitedagainstracism.org>


UNITED E-NEWS 28/9/07: Solidarity with Russian Antifa-Net 

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Dear Friends

Please view:
http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/index.php?link=RussiaSolidarity.

It would be really good if you could send a donation to this important
campaign to raise funds to assist Russian anti-fascists who are at the
sharp end of the struggle and who, every day, face intimidation, assault
and murder.

Donations through PayPal (scroll down on website) will be gratefully
received.

Or, you could send a cheque directly to the Russian Human Rights
Solidarity Campaign account ( full details are now on above website,
including the IBAN number and SWIFT code)

Either way, your support and solidarity  would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Graeme Atkinson, European Editor Searchlight magazine.

On behalf of the Russian Human Rights Solidarity Campaign.


MESSAGE IN TEXT FORMAT

We need...your help
"International support is vital and valued" explains St Petersburg
anti-fascist activist Bruno Garmson

It is not easy being an anti-fascist in Russia at the moment. We are
under constant attack from racists and fascists and we receive little or
no protection from the authorities. Several of our activists have been
murdered in recent years and even when the attackers are caught they
often walk free with suspended sentences.

The rapid decline of Russia's fledgling democracy, marked by gross
violations of human rights during the government's Chechen campaigns,
the granting by parliament of unprecedented powers to the secret
service, the abolition of elected executives (governors, mayors etc),
the introduction of censorship and political show-trials and murders
have changed the political atmosphere. This has enabled nazis and their
extreme-rightist allies to stage campaigns as well as using nationalism
as an alibi to commit murders, many of which go unpunished.

Outside Russia, this is not always easy to grasp.

In the heroic stories about the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 against
the Nazis that flicker almost nightly on Russian television screens, it
is nowadays hard to find any other motives described than "defending the
motherland".

Unfortunately, there are few eyewitnesses left who can describe the
genuine anti-fascist enthusiasm they felt for the Republican cause in
the Spanish Civil War or spell out the common conviction, held during
the Second World War, that the Nazis intended to enslave and exterminate
Russian citizens as subhumans and explain how, therefore, the
anti-fascist struggle was above all a battle of humanity against fascist
barbarism.

Today's Russian nazis use official nationalist myths about the war both
as proof of Russia's superiority and as an example of how the Stalin
regime misled the whole Russian people, sacrificing millions of soldiers
and civilians against Hitler's anti-Bolshevik crusade to "liberate" the
Russians. Ignorance about Soviet history, lack of a proper analysis of
the theory and practice of fascism and the reduction of the term
"anti-fascism" to mean simply a nationalistic fight against the enemies
of Russia make it difficult to oppose such obvious lies.

Real anti-fascism, challenging nationalism and facing down nazism, is a
risky course of action. Such "dissident" behaviour is viewed as
"suspicious opposition" to the policies of President Vladimir Putin and
the state. Any person displaying such behaviour is regarded as an
"extremist", like the nazis. Openly opposing fascism means being
targeted by the violent gangs of nazis who patrol the streets of
Russia's cities looking for victims to attack in broad daylight.

Young anti-fascists have started to fight back. The courageous stance of
young Russian anti-fascists against the growing street violence by nazi
gangs is often the subject of court proceedings, which have proved
inconsistent. The outcome of trials of nazi killers tends to depend on
what charges are brought by the public prosecutors: almost always
hooliganism (violently disrupting public order) or being involved in
hooliganism.

There is no real pressure from the Kremlin or Duma (parliament) on
public prosecutors to use hate crime charges and there is a widespread
practice of negotiation between judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers
to achieve cooperation in trials. Finally and crucially, there is a lack
of pressure from anti-fascists who, because there is no deeply rooted
democratic culture, rarely get involved with investigations or court
proceedings.

Here in St Petersburg, anti-fascists have actively helped the public
prosecutors as expert witnesses since the early 1990s and have run some
successful campaigns. The nazis reacted by murdering Nikolai Girenko in
2004, then the most visible anti-fascist specialist supporting the
public prosecutors in cases against fascists.

Now a younger generation of anti-fascists is emerging to oppose the
nazis in the courts and on the streets. Their battles are essential ­
the alternative is capitulation ­ but expensive. It costs a great deal
of money to participate in court proceedings even when the lawyers act
pro bono. In the case against the murderers of Timur Kacharava,
anti-fascist funding enabled his family and friends to help put away his
killers.

In Russia, there are no big trade unions, labour movements or
long-standing anti-racist structures with democratic anti-fascist
traditions that we can turn to for help. As a result, we depend on
ourselves and the anti-fascist movement internationally.

Support from our brothers, sisters, comrades and friends abroad is ever
more vital and valued.

Other articles:

* Russia: the killing goes on Searchlight September 2007
* Racist Attacks Threaten Multiculturalism in Russia
ABC News September 2007
* Online video by Russian nationalists shows apparent execution of 2
nonwhite men Herald Tribune August 2007
* Activist Killed As Nazis Attack Anti-Nuclear Camp In Siberia Indymedia
UK July 2007

Antifa-Net International Appeal

SOLIDARITY WITH ANTI-FASCISTS IN RUSSIA

ANTI-FASCISTS are under attack in Russia. Intimidation, terror and
murder by a new generation of neo-nazis are daily occurrences. The wave
of violence reached a peak this summer when film of the cold-blooded
fascist assassination of two people was posted on the internet.

That this is occurring in a country that lost many millions of people
toHitlerıs Nazis in the Second World War is even more shocking.

Nikolai Girenko
Murdered by
nazis: Professor Nikolai Girenko
The facts speak for themselves.

* 122 people have been murdered by racists and fascists in the past two
and a half years.
* There are an estimated 70,000 skinheads in Russia today.
* Anti-fascists are being systematically attacked and even murdered.
* The perpetrators are often charged only with "hooliganism".

President Putin has promised to stamp out rightwing extremism but has
done little. Anti-fascists are not only few in number but are
politically isolated in the face of an enemy that whips up hatred and
brutality against immigrants and national, ethnic, religious and sexual
minorities. Merely ³looking anti-fascist² means being targeted by the
nazis who patrol parts of most Russian cities looking for victims. In St
Petersburg and Moscow, nazis gather intelligence to track down
anti-fascists, and attack and, in some cases murder them.

Earlier anti-fascist campaigns against the public use of fascist symbols
and the sale of racist propaganda achieved some success but the nazis
reacted by murdering Professor Nikolai Girenko, one of the most
highprofile anti-fascist specialists who had supported these campaigns,
at his St Petersburg home.

The authorities talk proudly of the war against Hitler but do so now
from a nationalist standpoint. The nazis claim to be defending ³Russian
identity² and ³the interests of the Russian nation² and the toleration
of violent nazi gangs stems from the fact that Russian nationalism is
touted, even officially, as a remedy for the continuing feelings of
defeat resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Anti-fascists in Russia now desperately need financial and material
assistance but cannot generate this themselves. With funds, they can
produce leaflets, organise campaigns and pay for lawyers. They can also
build up a more organised, modern, computer-linked infrastructure to
create proper networks of resistance.

This can only come about through the international solidarity of
progressive people, and all anti-fascists and anti-racists outside
Russia.

Donate to the Russian Human Rights Solidarity Fund

Please send donations to: Russian Human Rights Solidarity Campaign, c/o
Searchlight, PO Box 1576, Ilford, Essex IG5 0NG

Or pay directly into our account at: Russian Human Rights Solidarity
Campaign
Branch Sort Code: 40-03-36 Account Number: 41284479
IBAN : GB76MIDL40033641284479
SWIFT CODE : MIDLGB22

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Your donation is most welcome:
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UNITED, Postbus 413 NL-1000 AK Amsterdam
Account: IBAN NL77PSTB0002343715, BIC: PSTB NL2A - Bank: Postbank,
Postbus 1800, NL-1000 BV Amsterdam
(From NL: postbank 2343715)

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