Friday, July 30, 2010

On arrests after direct action in Khimki 28th of July

Алексей ГаскаровМаксим СолоповToday (30th of July) names of two activists, arrested in related to criminal case on “hooliganism” after attack against city administration of city of Khimki in Moscow region 28th of July were published in maintream news – Aleksey Gaskarov and Maksim Solopov.

We will not now remind about details of corruption and violations, connected to construction of new Moscow – St. Petersburg highway through Khimki forest, or the protest campaign against it, as you may read about all of this in our website in respective section. Obviously, these arrests were just yet another confirmation of the pathetic unity, which was recently reached between regional and federal authorities, big business, local police and right-wing football hooligans, which all together protected against eco-camp of those protesting the clearing the forest from the highway.

Алексей ГаскаровAleksey Gaskarov is a libertarian socialist, who during many years was one of the most active people in the movement in Moscow region. Maksim Solopov is a leftist, not an anarchists, but besides disagreements he proved him self to be a trusted comrade in anti-fascist struggle. Aleksey and Maksim are one of the few people in Russia, who publicly, with their own faces, supported most determined means against Nazi mayhem and excesses of the authorities in the country, take for example this program from REN-TV:

Максим Солопов

As a result, Nazis were threatening them plenty of times, and now apperently “Center of Counteraction Against Extremism” of the Moscow Region decided to deliver them a blow.

We demand immediate release of Aleksey Gaskarov and Maksim Solopov, no matter if they participated to action in Khimki 28th of July or not – those fighting corruption and excesses of the authorities are not hooligans, but heroes!

Free Aleksey Gaskarov and Maksim Solopov!

Information service of Autonomous Action

For background, read also the battle with the administration heats up

Moscow / Khimki: The Battle with the Adminstration Heats Up


In recent days, the battle to stop the destruction of the forest in the Moscow suburb of Khimki has heated up. Activists have been protesting the building of an $8 million high speed toll highway between Moscow and Petersburg. This highway would destroy beautiful forestland around Moscow. Environmentalists say the highway can bypass the old oak forest.

The flashpoint has been in Khimki, right outside Moscow. There is a history of violence sponsored by the local authorities in this town. In the most famous case of political terrorism, in November 2008, Mikhail Beketov, outspoken editor-in-chief of the regional Khimskaya Prada newspaper, was savagely beaten in front of his home. The attack was clearly related to his criticism of local authorities. As a result of his injuries one of his legs was amputated, and head traumas he suffered during the attack have left him unable to speak. Current reports on his condition indicate that his second leg may have to be amputated.

Khimki authorities thus have a reputation for dealing brutally with anybody who dares oppose them.

Direct actions started the 14th, when the logging was to begin. Activists set up an action camp in Khimki to take direct action against the deforestation. They have used blockades on the train lines leading to the logging site.

On July 23, at about 5AM, the protestors and two journalists were attacked and beaten on a gang of several dozen thugs with white T-shirts masking their faces. From all indications, this was an organized group of neofascists, wearing such symbols on their shirts. The police arrived and started arresting the activists, not the attackers, which indicated that this was an attack carried out in coordination with the police. Security guards fired by the firm carrying out the destruction also took part.

15 people were arrested at that time. Later in the day, the police arrived again, taking away dozens of people.

When some activists tried to protest in front of the White House in Moscow about the Khimki matter, they were also immediately arrested.

On July 28, a large group, (most say 400-500 people), marched on Khimki. A part of them (70-100 people), attacked the local administration building. This is shown on the video below.

According to local

According to local residents, about 20.00 a group of young people, numbering from 400 to 500 people attacked the administration of Khimki. Young people chanted slogans: "Defend Russian forest", "Strelchenko (Chapter Khimki signed a decree on the construction of logging roads), hands off from the forest", etc. Having a column from the commuter train station and in front of him carrying a huge tranparant "Protecting our forest from the Nazi occupiers!", young people, according to eyewitnesses, the building started throwing stones and smoke bombs.

As a result, the building knocked out most of the glasses, there are other injuries.After the "feast kamnemetaniya" lasted a few minutes of the youth managed to disperse. The police did not detain anyone.

Local residents with not only sought to help the police, but expressed support for such radical action to protect forests Khimki. This is not particularly surprising, since the decision on logging (as well, and the mayor himself Strelchenko) is extremely unpopular among the citizens.

Recall, for more than week standoff lasts local residents and environmentalists on one side and developers and the authorities - the other for the commencement of the felling of forests in place the proposed route in the area of Sheremetyevo airport.26 July it came to melee combat, and today the city administration and the developer for some strange reason, cancel the alleged public hearing, which was supposed to explain to residents the legal foundation and desirability of deforestation.

As you can see, the lack of readiness for dialogue with the authorities and the developer triggers a transition of the defenders of the forest to more radical protests.It should be noted that among the slogans chanted that the attackers were charged Strelchenko in ordering an attack on opposition journalist Michael Beketova in November 2008.

Beketov was seriously injured and are still deprived of the opportunity to speak and move. Version of the involvement of the mayor Khimki to attack Beketova who actively criticized the mayor's office, is quite popular among the townspeople, but was not proved the result.

Also today, at 17.00, nearly 200 advocates gathered at the Khimki woods DK "Homeland", where they invited the local administration to the public hearing, organized by "Heat", cut down the forest.

However, already in place an advertisement to inform people that the public hearing will be canceled. Instead, officials tried to organize a rally in support of the construction of highways and logging.This angered people who felt the administration's actions "provocation" and "blatant fraud".

So after a small gathering, rally defenders Himskinskogo timber headed to the site of harvesting, which now goes to the heart of the forest. They intend to expand the eco-camp there.

Upon arrival, the defenders of the forest met dozens of policemen and security guards. They do not allow the territory of deforestation. As of the ICD Elena, an activist with the Moscow Ecological Movement "Garden city".The situation is very tense. We arrived on the scene helpers Zhirinovsky and amounted to an act of the General Prosecutor's Office that they and other people the police do not miss.

Recall how to find defenders of the forest on July 26, the company "Heat" no approvals for logging. Precisely because of this guard woodcutters hired thugs who attacked the activists. In this regard, the State Duma deputy from the Fair Russia Anton Belyakov sent deputatscue request to the Prosecutor General of Russia.

In addition, activists reported that on Friday 30 July at 11.00, held public hearings on the scandal Khimki felling of forests in the Public Chamber.



Defenders Khimki forests held a press conference and strayed from the bandits

The attack on forest defenders Khimki

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