Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

Greg Yudin
June 16, 2015
Facebook

As many of you already know, the management of Gorky Park has banned political scientist Irina Soboleva’s lecture, “Should We Expect Any More Mass Protests in Russia?” which was to be held as part of a series of public lectures in our Master’s in Political Philosophy program at the Shaninka (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences).

We tried to negotiate, but the talks were very strange. First, we have reason to believe the decision was not made by the directors of the park. Second, we immediately said we would not engage in political campaigning; our purpose was to share knowledge with people. But they are so scared there they demand we not use the words “politics” and “democracy.”

This does not suit us, of course. We are engaged in political thought and researching political life, and are going to pursue this work in the future. If Gorky Park is going to decide for its visitors what they should and should not learn, we are not going to help them. We will not permit our ideas to be censored.

As for Irina Soboleva’s lecture, first we thought of holding it at the Shaninka. But as interest in the lecture is quite great, the Shaninka is now concerned about finding a place that would accommodate everyone. So the lecture has been postponed to Friday. Once we find a venue, then we will immediately inform you.

Please forward this message.

640px-RIAN_archive_510373_Pond_in_Gorky_ParkGorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure, 1982

Gorky Park refuses to hold a lecture about the possibility of protests in Russia
June 15, 2015
BBC Russian Service

Gorky Park management has refused to allow a lecture by political scientist Irina Soboleva, “Should We Expect Any More Mass Protests in Russia?” to be held on its premises.

“After further exploring the content of the planned lecture, the decision was made that the park is not the place for holding lectures with a political subtext,” Marina Lee, the park’s PR director told the BBC Russian Service. “It is clear the lecture’s title is fairly blatant and provocative. But a park is not a place for provocations.”

According to Lee, the decision was made by park management.

“And in future, lectures with a political bias, with a political emphasis, will not be held in the park,” she added.

According to the lecturer, Irina Soboleva, her lecture was educational, not political.

“[The notification that the lecture had been banned] was made three days before the lecture was to be held, and we have had to change the time and the venue of the lecture very quickly,” Soboleva told the BBC Russian Service.

“I should stress the lecture is part of the series ‘Open Environment,’ which has been held at Gorky Park. The Shaninka [Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences] has already held several lectures as part of the project, and as far as I understand, no such problems had arisen with any of them. This is my first lecture in which issues of political science, rather than sociology, are addressed. Apparently, that is why this problem arose,” said the political scientist.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Advertisements

947 Foreigners Deported during “Cleanup” of Petersburg for Economic Forum

All those utterly disempowered Tajik and Uzbek maintenance workers, janitors, yard sweepers, construction workers, taxi bus drivers, petrol pumpers, car wash wallahs, tire changers, and subway ventilation shaft dwellers (?) apparently threatened to disrupt the mighty Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.

As a friend of mine commented, “Now we know what ‘strengthening of immigration control’ means. It is telling that the economic forum is used as a pretext to mask the [real] economy itself.”

During “Cleanup” of Petersburg for SPIEF, 947 Foreigners Deported
June 17, 2015
Fontanka.ru

Almost a thousand people have been deported from Russia during a “cleanup” of Petersburg for the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, which starts tomorrow, June 18. Regional units of the Federal Migration Service carried out large-scale raids on apartments and hotels in search of suspicious foreigners.

As Fontanka.ru has learned, the cleanup had been planned several months ago and had been underway since April in eight districts of the city, those that will host SPIEF events. In addition to Vasilyevsky Island, immigration control has been strengthened in the Central, Petrograd, Admiralty, Moscow, Kirov, Krasnoe Selo, and Pushkin districts.

As a result of more than two thousand raids by the regional FMS office, 947 foreigners were expelled and deported for various violations of immigration laws. Simultaneously, more than ninety crimes involving drugs and weapon trafficking, as well as documents forgery, were solved. Nearly six thousand police charge sheets for administrative violations were issued, and the amount of fines imposed on foreigners was in excess of nine million rubles [approx. 147,000 euros].

The FMS’s Petersburg and Leningrad Region office confirmed to Fontanka.ru that the planned actions had been implemented in advance of the SPIEF.

According to the information made available to us, during the cleanup of Vasilyevsky Island, not only were abandoned buildings and buildings under construction checked but so too were taxi bus stands, service stations, tire shops, car washes, and subway ventilation shafts.

Nadya Tolokonnikova: There Is No “People”

narod 1

Nadya Tolokonnikova
June 18, 2015

It is not for nothing they are so fond of the amorphous and faceless word narod, “the people.” There is no “people.” There is you and me, and that guy with the mustache, passing by on the street. “The people” smacks of prison camp standardization. They say “the people” so the individual feels like a tiny grain of sand, faceless and alone.

“We should not have got involved in this Ukrainian business . . . But generally I don’t like talking about politics,” my acquaintance from a small Russian town quietly whispers to me. Political miracles begin to occur when the belief she has a voice is born in my acquaintance, the belief in her own stance, which might differ from the majority’s position and still have the right to exist.

So that this belief does not emerge, she is told she is “the people.” But do something to make her realize she is not alone. Show her people who think like she does. Let her believe there is something besides atoms, separated and frightened by TV and mutual distrust, hidden in the cells of their nuclear families, and venting their anger and resentment within those families.

Source: Facebook

narod 2

Images courtesy, via a Google image search, of the website Pereprava, where, unsurprisingly, the exact opposite sentiments are expressed.