In this podcast special, I spoke with Antti, Antti is a member of Moscow Anarchist Black Cross, which does anti-repression work for anarchists and anti-authoritarian antifascists. Many members of Moscow ABC are now living abroad and doing their work from there due to intense repression by the government of Russia and it’s client states.
For March 11-18 there has been a call out for international solidarity with Russian anarchists and anti-fascists facing repression, and Moscow ABC has specifically called for solidarity on March 18th, which is the first round of elections for the Russian Presidency. During this hour, Antti will speak about the cases of anarchists repressed in Penza, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Crimea, Sebastopol and elsewhere as well as the situations of imprisoned Russian anarchist and anti-fascists. For more information on the work of Moscow ABC, organizing and resistance in Russia, check out the website avtonom.org
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Moscow ABC on Solidarity w Russian Anarchists & Antifa
This week’s episode features a conversation with Antii, a member of Moscow Anarchist Black Cross about the call-out for solidarity with Russian anarchists and anti-fascists. This starts off with a description of the cases of: Dmitry Buchenkov (accused of participating in anti-Putin protests in Bolotnaya square on May 6th, 2012); Alexei Gaskarov (accused of anti-police violence and riotting in anti-Putin protests in Bolotnaya square in 2012); Alexei Sutuga (a Siberian street-level antifascist accused of brawling with neo-nazis); Ilya Romanov (anarchist former prisoner accused of attempted terrorism to stop the development of Kulibinsky park in Nizhny Novgorod); Alexander Kolchenko (Crimean antifascist accused of attempting to resist the Russian takeover of the region formerly of Ukraine); & Elizaveta Tsvetkova (accused of hate-crimes against police for posting up anti-police leaflets). Each of these prisoners are inside because of their activism and are considered political prisoners locked in the Putinist prison system.
During the hour Antii, who was exiled from Russia, talks about the cases of these 6, a more general context of anarchist and antifa action in Russia these days and about the prison system Russia.
Kara Wild is an artist, comrade and resilient force of nature, currently being detained in France for her alleged participation in a protest against draconian labor reforms and police repression. She is a trans woman and is currently being held in a mens jail without access to hormones. She is also a U.S. citizen and has been denied bond because French authorities consider her a flight risk.
On May 18th, thousands of people converged in Paris to defy an ongoing siege of police violence and to oppose a new neoliberal labor reform. During one of these marches a police car was attacked and set on fire. Kara was brutally arrested in connection to this incident more than a full week later, at a separate event. She is currently being accused of attempted voluntary manslaughter of a person holding public office, destruction of property, group violence and participating in a masked armed group.
Kara is among 6 people currently facing charges in connection to this incident. To make matters worse, Frances Prime Minister, Manuel Valls is vowing to execute unrelenting punishment, in order to set an example and de-mobilize protests.
You can learn more about this situation and donate to Kara Wild’s support effort by visiting the website https://freekarawild.org/
Calais is a port city in France that sits as the major nexus of migrants attempting to leave the French (and thus European) mainland to reach the U.K. in seek of asylum. These migrants are fleeing the effects of imperialism (sometimes war, always capital) in their home countries. They hail from Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Chad, Nigeria, Sudan and many other places and seek peace and stability in the EU. The irony is that the EU, like the U.S., is a major exporter of the troubles the migrants seek to escape. In many ways, the “immigration crisis” in the U.S. mirrors the reality of the “immigration crisis” in the EU.
This week’s episode of the Final Straw features a conversation with Greta, a No Border Activist living in the UK about struggles of immigrants in Calais, where over the last 2 months there have been raids that have netted hundreds of migrants seeking to leave the mainland and land in the UK with expectation of receiving a refugee status. Greta tells us about the immigration structure of the EU’s Shengen Zone (of which the UK is not a part), about the recent raids and squat evictions in Calais, and the new squat “Impasse de Saline” outside of the city. She also touches on the plight of immigrants in the UK. http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/
The second half of the episode features a segment recorded by our audio-comrades at A-Radio Berlin, entitled “Europe and beyond: the resistance against mega-projects”. From the A-Radio blog:
“We present an interview with Bogdan, an activist from Rumania. The main topic is the recent 4th Forum against unnecessary imposed mega-projects, a network of major struggles against infrastructure, mining and fracking projects (in Europe an beyond). The last meeting took place in May in Rosia Montana, Rumania. The preparation, the subject of the involvement of political parties in such movements as well as the future perspective of this particular coordination are at the heart of the interview, but it also gives a quick overview of the development of the local struggle against the proposed biggest open-cast gold mining project in Europe.”
More at http://aradio.blogsport.de/
This week William talks with Volodya, a Russian anarchist podcaster whos podcast Echo of Freedom can be found at http://freedom.libsyn.com. They talk about his experiences working in the anarchist milieu, anarchafeminism, and intersections between the LGBTQ movement in Russia and movements such as antifa.
Sean Swain (website http://www.seanswain.org) discusses Mumia Abu Jamal and class/race struggles as related to police forces. Among other things…
First up, an announcement from the Autonomous Worker’s Union in Kiev, Ukraine, about Russian military invasion of the Crimea and other parts of Ukraine. More info at http://avtonomia.net and http://nihilist.li
First, we hear Sean Swain, anarchist prisoner in Ohio’s super-duper-mega-ultra-uber max prison at Youngstown talk about accusations of Utopianism thrown at him for his anarchism.
Secondly, we speak with author, activist and advocate Staughton Lynd. Mr. Lynd speaks with us about the ongoing hunger strike at Menard Correctional Facility’s administrative segregation units in Illinois. The strikes are in response to prisoner complaints of lack of heat and hot water in the freezing facility that was built in the 1870’s, leaks around the windows, rodent infestations and the lack of transparency around how people get put into the hole or get out of it. Upon initiating the hunger strike, prisoners (in particular Armando Velasquez who was witness being beaten, thrown down stairs and stomped by correctional officers/screws) have faced threats of force, including forced feeding for which Illinois law does not require court orders. You can find out more by contacting the Alice and Staughton Lynd at salynd(aat)aol (d ot)com. Also, check out articles at The SF Bay View on the subject.
If you care to call/write officials to press for an end to the torture:
Warden Rick Harrington, (618) 826-5071, P.O. Box 711, Menard IL 62794-9277
Illinois Department of Corrections Director Salvador Godinez, (217) 558-2200, ext. 2008, P.O. Box 19277, Springfield IL 62794-9277
Gov. Pat Quinn, (217) 782-0244, http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/Pages/ContacttheGovernor.aspx, 207 State House, Springfield IL 62706
The final portion of the episode is an interview with ecological and social activist, Yaroslav Nikitenko. Yaroslav has been involved for years in the struggle to save Khimki forest, the only old growth forest in the Moscow area, from development by a public-private construction project between Russian government, companies and VINCI construction (out of France). Yaroslav argues a lack of transparency by government, profit not surprisingly overshadowing concerns for peoples lives or the environment, neo-nazi thugs hired for home invasions and street attacks on journalists and activists working to speak out about Khimki and about how people can do solidarity work with those struggling to save this forest. Yaroslav also did solidarity work for incarcerated members of Pussy Riot, some of whom were involved in social struggles including the defense of Khimki. President Putin, prior to the Sochi Winter Olympics, released a number of political prisoners including members of the feminist punk band, Pussy Riot (albeit 2 month before their release). Lastly, Yaroslav shares his perspectives on the #euromaidan protests threatening the Ukrainian government, threats from the far-right in that nation, and his own fears as a Russian of the Ukrainian civil society coming further under Russian political sway. http://khimkiforest.org
In late November of 2013, Kiev and other parts of Ukraine saw the building of spontaneous plaza occupations and street demonstrations against President Yanukovych apparent decision to stall steps towards integrating Ukraine into the European Union. The protests, known as Euromaidan or EuroPlaza in Ukrainian, called on the ruling government to move forward with the integration, fearing that the stalling was a sign that the Ukraine was giving in to pressure from the competing Customs Union (made up of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) which had been courting Ukrainian participation. The protests are ongoing, despite the signature of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych into a deal with Russia for promised purchases of billions of dollars of Ukrainian products and a 30% discount on Russian Natural Gas. Euromaidan have been compared in scale, and sadly in lack of critical debate about issues among the populace, to the 2004 Ukrainian Orange revolution which saw the rising to power of those who would become the status quo today.
This week on the Final Straw, we’ll be speaking with Denys. Denys is an organizer and activist with the Kiev Local of the Autonomous Worker’s Union, a Revolutionary Syndicalist turned Anarchosyndicalist organizing and propaganda group in the capital of the Ukraine. We’ll spend the hour discussing the political system in that country, the spectrum of parties, influence of media and oligarchs and radical groups on the far left and far right. Later on in the hour, Denys will address his philosophy, Anarchosyndicalism via Synthesist Anarchism, and what the AWU in Kiev and elsewhere has been able to achieve. More on the AWU can be found at avtonomia.net .
We’ll also speak briefly about a protest in Kiev in solidarity with struggling workers in Kazakhstan on the anniversary of the Zhanaozen Massacre of December 16, 2011.
A partial transcript is now available for this episode thanks to folks at Rev-News & Nihilist.li
This week’s show features the second half of the conversation with Ukrop. Ukrop is a longtime anarchist, antifascist activist and documentarian from Moscow. This show features conversations about the rise of the new “Cossacks” movement in Russia, a rural militia with anti-Semitic and xenophobic perspectives receiving support from the government. We also talk about who participates in Antifa in Russia, specifically relationships between the Antifa movement and Feminist movements, LGBTQ movements and Immigrant populations.
This week we speak with Ukrop, an anarchist, antifascist activist, and maker of the documentaries “Antifascist Attitude” & “Actions vs. Repressions”. This is part 1 of a two part interview, in which they talk about the history and context of Nazi influence in formerly-Soviet Russia and the rise of radical anti-fascism. Ukrop also discusses how the internet effected punk and anarchist subculture in Russia in the 1990’s and the first decade of the 21st century. In the conversation we cover overlaps between police and prisons and nazi’s as well as how the education system in that country feeds into nationalism and capitalism.
To keep updated about ongoing things in Russia, check out the following websites: