It’s the 12th anniversary of the antifa protest in Khimki
Throughout 2010, progressive Muscovites were extremely agitated about the planned construction of an alternate to the Leningrad Highway through the Khimki Forest in the nearest part of the Moscow Region. A lot of money was riding on the project, but responsibility for fighting the protesters was entrusted to the local Khimki authorities. Judging by their tactics, they were probably quite criminalized.
For antifa, the line was crossed when right-wing football hooligans — neo-Nazis, in other words — were involved in dispersing a tent camp set up in the forest by the protesters.
In late July, a secret concert by the bands Inspection Line and Moscow Death Brigade, popular among the antifa crowd, was advertised on social media. On July 28, Inspection Line vocalist and writer Petya Kosovo famously said to those who had come to the rendezvous point, “I hope there are no rubes here who think they just came to a concert? We’re going to Khimki!”
Several hundred young people exploded: they went to Khimki “to protect the Russian forest from Nazi occupation.”
Upon arriving in Khimki, right at the train station, they asked where city hall was, and the locals happily showed them the way. The protesters immediately produced masks and a banner about the Russian forest, and the crowd of about 400 people headed to the hated city hall, cheerfully chanting as they marched. On a video that circulated at the time, you can clearly see a police jeep fleeing from the determined young people.
It was the weekend, so the protesters were not able to talk with the local administration. The protesters decorated city hall with protest graffiti and shots from trauma pistols. They actually did very little damage to the building.
But this incident was followed by a shellacking. Only not the mythical shellacking of the Khimki City Hall, but the real shellacking of the antifa movement by the so-called law enforcement agencies.
Police raids took place all over central Russia — in Nizhny Novgorod, in Kostroma (where a whole punk-hardcore festival on a riverboat was arrested), not to mention Moscow and the Moscow Region. Hundreds of people were detained and beaten; hundreds fled Russia. Some left forever, while others returned after a year or two. But their spirit wasn’t the same when they came home: they hunkered down. And the movement — that big and formidable movement that had caused a stir in 2010, the movement that had protected workers and refugees from being illegally evicted from dorms and had defended the Khimki Forest — that movement no longer existed. The gloomy era of Bolotnaya Square and the constant stomping of protests, the era of crackdowns, was coming.
Source: Volja (Telegram), 28 July 2022. Translated by the Russian Reader