Moscow Police Abduct Leftist Activists Elena Bezrukova and Alexander Ognev

AST-Moscow Statement on the Detention of Elena Bezrukova and Alexander Ognev
AST-Moscow
November 18, 2015
nihilist.li

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Elena Bezrukova

Police raided the Moscow flat of leftist activist Elena Bezrukova in the early morning of November 18. They searched her home, and our comrade was detained and taken to the Troparevo-Nikulino police station. As of this writing, police officers have refused to provide any information, denying that our comrade is being questioned. Police are denying her basic human rights by not allowing contact with loved ones. Attorney Dmitry Dinze has also not been allowed to see her.

Currently, the whereabouts of our comrade Alexander Ognev, the police’s principal target, are unknown. A native of Lipetsk, Ognev organized protest rallies in his hometown during the nationwide mass protests of 2011–2012. Ognev’s civic stance has come back to haunt him in way that has become common in Putinist Russia. The document exempting him from military service miraculously disappeared from his medical records, and then Ognev received a draft notice. As a conscientious objector, he ignored the call-up, after which he was summoned to the Investigative Committee for questioning. Ognev was then taken to the military recruiting office, where he was illegally detained for three days, choked, and threatened to be sent to “a unit in Dagestan from which [he] would not come back alive.” After his release, the opposition activist’s bruises were documented.

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Alexander Ognev: “Article 11.3 of the Federal Law on Trade Unions: ‘The level of wages will be agreed with the trade union…’ Thanks to the FNPR (Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia) for low wages.”

Today’s search was connected with plans to file desertion charges against Ognev. It is not clear how it is possible to desert the regular army without spending a single day in the service, but Russian investigators, who serve the criminal regime now established in the Russian Federation, have their own way of thinking, which is not accessible to ordinary citizens.

At this moment we are doing everything possible to find out what has happened to Elena and Alexander and facilitate their release. We are hoping for the best, but Russian realities are such that we should be mentally prepared for any eventuality. Now we really need the support of all libertarian activists. Circulate information and make plans for protest rallies against the latest politically motivated criminal charges, which may be filed against our allies. Remember that only the solidarity of working people can break this system, which cynically ignores basic human rights.

The Refugees and the “Death of Europe”

The Refugees and the “Death of Europe”
Raimond Krumgold
September 5, 2015
www.nihilist.li

This summer we went to Latvia on our way to Russia.

During the week we were waiting for visas, a lot of things happened along the lines of “they have completely broken away from the collective and become remote from their people.” But the main shock for me was a one-off attempt at reading the latest Russian-language press. The quotas of refugees for Latvia were being discussed just then, along with the great reluctance to take in these same refugees. I scanned several newspapers. They all wrote about the “nightmare brewing in Europe” in a tone of aggressive and malicious ignorance that I found quite unfamiliar. I really had the feeling I had opened a neo-Nazi website. The only difference was the gloating at the Latvians, who had discriminated against “us,” the good guys, and now were going end up with “them,” those awful people. At first, I decided something had changed over the years, and then I realized it was I who had changed. I tried to remember how things had been before and realized these newspapers had always written in a similar tone. It was just I used to think this was normal. I had even considered the Russian-language press internationalistically minded in comparison with the already quite right-wing Latvian press.

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As long as I can remember, Europe has been dying. This has not been an article of faith, but a fact of reality. The sky is blue. Water is wet. Europe is dying of multiculturalism and political correctness. It would now be interesting to trace the origins of this ironclad certainty. Maybe it was the death of a huge country, which we experienced in the early nineties. Maybe it was ordinary ressentiment. We grew up in the ruins of one empire and maliciously anticipated another empire’s fall. I was not a racist, quite the contrary. But I had almost no doubts that a Munich caliphate would soon be fighting a Bavarian Kurdistan.

My first two trips to England were basically tourist trips. I brought back a huge number of impressions. But the main impression was that the country I saw did not look as if it were dying. Even in Birmingham, densely populated by immigrants, there was no sense of catastrophe. It gave me pause for thought for the first time.

Then there was my own emigration. It was economic emigration, triggered by the 2009 crisis, which took on the proportions of a natural economic disaster in Latgale, where I lived. It was one of the most difficult years of my life, probably the most difficult. And the experience of looking for work in a foreign country with my money quickly running out has forever changed my views. We lived for a month in Sheffield’s “colored” neighborhood and quickly learned to visually distinguish the various African and Asian ethnic groups. However, it is generally difficult to confuse Nigerians with Somalis, not to mention Ethiopians with Kenyans. We socialized with people at the very bottom. We even worked for a week at the very bottom, in a greenhouse growing flowers. It was a terrible experience. After that I could no longer look the same way at people who, just like me, were struggling to make it in a foreign country from scratch, but with no EU passport in their pocket and different skin color to boot. Of course, my experience is not equivalent to the experience of all Eastern European immigrants. For many of us, living in a multicultural country has only heightened our aggression and hatred towards “others.” But this is usually caused by the inability to examine our fears and ourselves calmly.

The 2011 London riots were probably the finishing touch. Reading the English press and Russian bloggers in parallel, I discovered that Russia, both official Russia and completely “oppositional” Russia, exists in an information space of its own, cut off from all unusual information.  The tussle, launched by Jamaican gangs (whose people have been in Britain for at least three generations) and embraced by lower-class white youth, was transformed, in Russian popular consciousness, into an uprising by Muslim immigrants. It was then it first dawned on me that if I had still been within the purely Russian-language information space, I probably would have written such nonsense as well. Until recently, I would have seen this news as confirmation of my view of the world.

An objectively serious refugee crisis is underway in Europe. Something similar happened in the 1930s, during the wonderful Évian Conference, at which only the Dominican Republic acted humanely. All the other countries reported they had no more room. European Jews did not excite the most pleasant feelings among respectable burghers back then, so they had every reason not to increase the quotas for them. The beginning of the Final Solution was only three years away. Now people are fleeing from a place where a wonderful quasi-state quite capable of organizing a small genocide has sprung up. Part of Europe is once again saying there is no room. In the forefront are my dear Latvia and the Eastern European republics generally. Over on the sidelines, licking its chops and brandishing a giant walking stick, is old lady Russia, which was no less dear to me once upon a time. Moreover, it has been closing its borders to former subjects of its beloved Assad. But I don’t want to write about Russia. It is too unpleasant a topic.

I want to write about something else. I will never forget my own immigration experience, which was relatively soft core given that I had a EU passport. I will never forget the people, of various nationalities, who helped us that year. And I will also never forget the right-wing English “journalists” who were generating propaganda against us the whole time. They are Europeans, too, but Fortress Europe is not the Europe of which I am a citizen, a citizenship of which I am even beginning to be proud, despite the fact that initially I strongly opposed the EU.

So as a EU citizen and UK resident I personally signed a petition demanding an increase in the quotas for refugees. If I have to take to the streets to support this idea, I will do it. And I will personally greet the first families brought to our city and hand them flowers. Our island is small and overcrowded, but for their sake we will make room.

As a Latvian citizen I am seriously thinking about launching a similar petition to the Latvian government. This embittered rightwing marsh will not be able to hide from reality for long anyway.

You are burying Europe too soon.

Translated by the Russian Reader. Photo courtesy of The Gampr