Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Action Alert!: Support Russian activists September 17-20

To all friends of forests and people worldwide!

Support Russian activists September 17-20

In a historically courageous struggle people in Russia have been able to
halt the construction of a high way through the Khimki forest. While the
forests were burning all over Russia the authorities started a wave of
detaining, torturing and harassing people in movements defending the Khimki
forest close to Moscow. They need our solidarity.

We call upon the whole international environmental and social justice
movement and all wanting to stop criminalization of protest to support our
friends in Russia. Take action on 17-20 September! Follow the call enclosed
below issued by The Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages for
making actions at embassies and other places representing Russia.

Immediate actions are necessary. The decision by president Medvedev to halt
the construction of the high way is only temporary. The heavy repression of
the protest movement and especially the antifascist activists makes no halt.
Environmentalists, human rights activists, journalists fighting corruption,
Anarchists and other antifascists, alter globalization movement, Liberal,
Communist and Left wing parties have been able to struggle in solidarity in
the midst of heavy repression achieving this first victory. This in spite of
different ideological positions and views on tactics. Their unity is an
example for the rest of the world and needs support.

The Khimki forest conflict have become historically important and of global
concern. Behind the destruction of the forest in Russia is a neoliberal
development model which do not care for the environment. Three years ago the
federal forest protection service was closed down and 70 000 workers mainly
working in the field fired and replaced by 12 000 bureaucrats supposed to
see to that others should do what the workers had done earlier. The result
is a reduced lack of capacity to halt fires when the weather gets warmer and
warmer. At the same time is dismantling of public services and support of
privatization also at the core of construction of roads and cities were
private profit becomes more important than protection of nature or the
interest of people in common. Through the Khimki forest is the first toll
high way in Russia between Moscow and St Petersburg planned making an odd
detour through the green belt. Road construction is highly lucrative in
Russia with its added possibilities for exploitation of land beside the
road. Close ties between economic and political interests makes it possible
to use any means against those opposing this neoliberal development model, a
reason for why those openly criticizing the corruption in Khimki are
murdered or maltreated followed by no serious investigation by the police.

Those making much profit out of the environmentally destructive development
model are European banks and corporations. The high way is planned to be
financed primarily by European banks and the French construction company
Vinci is a main contractor. When our Russian friends are struggling to
defend the Khimki forest they are also struggling against a neoliberal
development model making Russia into a profitable market for Western

The Russian movement to defend the Khimki forest is a movement defending all
forests. If corporations and politicians working in the interest of a global
neoliberal and environmentally destructive model is able to exploit the
Khimki forest and continue repressing the activists in spite of a
historically broad and strong movement in Russia defending the forest, than
it can be done anywhere. Solidarity with the activists is the only way to
both stop repression and to save the Khimki forest more permanently. Please
join the action called for by our Russian friends!

Patrick Bond, Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project,
Durban, South Africa

Mark Brown, Art Not Oil/Rising Tide, UK

Carmen Buerba de Comite de Defensa Ecologica Michoacana, Mexico

Nicola Bullard, Focus on the Global South, Thailand

Ellie Cijvat, Friends of the Earth Sweden

Joshua Kahn Russell, Ruckus Society, USA

Tom Kucharz, Ecologistas en Acción, Spain

Maduresh Kumar, National Alliance of People's Movements, India

Marea Creciente Mexico

Adriana Matalonga, Miguel Valencia y Mauricio Villegas from Ecomunidades and
Klimaforum10, Mexico

Uddhab Pyakurel, South Asian Dialogue on Ecological Democracy, India

Josie Riffaud, Via Campesina, France

Marko Ulvila and Thomas Wallgren, Democracy Forum Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,

You find information and the call for action September 17-20 issued by
Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages in many languages at
www.khimkibattle.org. Below you find the text in English, Spanish, and
French and more links on the issue.


A Call for International Days of Action in Support of Alexei Gaskarov and
Maxim Solopov

September 17­20, 2010

On July 28, 2010, more than two hundred young antifascists and anarchists
carried out a spontaneous demonstration outside the town administration
building in Khimki, a suburb of Moscow. They demonstrated in defence of the
Khimki Forest, which was at that time in the process of beings cutting down
for the needs of big business. The demonstration, during which several
windows were broken, received a great deal of public attention. The
authorities responded with a wave of repressions. The day after the
demonstration, two well-known social activists, Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim
Solopov, were arrested. They are now threatened with up to seven years in
prison for disorderly conduct, although there is no evidence of their
complicity in illegal activities. Meanwhile, the police continue to hunt
down and harass other activists, especially those involved in the
antifascist movement.

The campaign to save the Khimki Forest has been going on for the past three
years. The authorities had decided to build a segment of a planned
Moscow­Saint Petersburg toll highway, the first of its kind in Russia,
through the forest. This would lead to the deterioration of environmental
conditions in the region, and local residents and Muscovites would be
deprived of yet another recreation zone. Despite the availability of
alternative routes that would not require clear-cutting the forest and
vigorous protests by environmentalists and ordinary citizens against the
planned route, the authorities f0r a long time ignored the voice of society
and on several occasions took measures to suppress their critics.

Khimki authorities and the highway project contractor have used violence and
other tactics against Khimki Forest defenders. They refused to give
permission for protest demonstrations, recruited nationalist thugs to break
up a peaceful protest camp organized by environmentalists and local
residents, and illegally arrested and beat up journalists covering the
story. Nearly two years ago, Mikhail Beketov, editor-in-chief of the
newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda and a critic of the local administration, was
severely beaten by persons unknown; the attack left Beketov permanently
disabled. Sergei Protozanov, the layout designer of another local opposition
paper, was murdered in similar circumstances six months later.

After the July 28 demonstration, the Russian police and secret services
unleashed an unprecedented dragnet against antifascists. People who had even
just once come to the attention of the Center for Extremism Prevention and
FSB for their involvement with the antifascist movement have been forcibly
taken in for questioning. In several cases they have been subjected to
harsh physical coercion in order to compel them to give the testimony
required by investigators. In addition, illegal searches have been carried
out in their apartments. All these actions on the part of law enforcement
authorities are violations of Russian and international law.

Frightened by the numerous and growing protests against the clear-cutting of
the Khimki Forest, the authorities have finally made concessions by agreeing
to review the advisability of the planned route for the toll highway. But
this does not mean victory. Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov are still in
police custody for no reason at all. They are hostages of the authorities.

In late September, the next hearing in their case will take place. The judge
will decide whether to keep them in police custody pending completion of the
investigation and trial. Everyone who cares about the fate of these two
young men must do everything in their power to see that they are set free.
The Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages calls on people around
the world to organize days of action on September 17, 18, 19, and 20 to
pressure the Russian authorities to release Alexei and Maxim.

We ask you to hold protests outside of Russian Federation embassies,
consulates, trade missions, and cultural centers, as well as at public
events and concerts connected to Russia. We also ask you to send faxes,
e-mails, and protest letters to the court, the prosecutor¹s office, and the
country¹s political leadership. In the very nearfuture we will inform you of
addresses where you can send these protests as well as more details about
the ongoing repressions in Russia. Look for this information on our website
http://khimkibattle.org in English, German, Russian, and French.

Join our campaign!

Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages

+7 (915) 053-5912 * info@khimkibattle.org * http://khimkibattle.org


Back ground information:

Chtodelat news, Khimki Territory of Lawlessness

Why we need solidarity with Russian environmentalists and antifascists


Below the call issued by Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages
also in Spanish, French and Russian:

Llamamiento a acciones internacionales en apoyo de Alexei Gaskárov y Maxim
Sólopov del 17 al 20 de septiembre de 2010.

El 28 de julio de 2010 en frente de la administración municipal de Khimki,
una ciudad en las afueras de Moscú, más de 200 jóvenes antifascistas y
anarquistas mantuvieron una manifestación espontánea en apoyo del bosque de
Khimki que en aquel momento estaba siendo talado para las necesidades de
grandes empresas. La acción, durante la cual varias ventanas fueron dañadas,
recibió una amplia publicidad. Por su parte, las autoridades respondieron
con represalias. El día después de la manifestación dos prominentes
activistas de un movimiento social ­ Alexei Gaskárov y Maxim Sólopov ­
fueron detenidos. Los dos jóvenes podrían ser sentenciados a siete años de
prisión por vandalismo mientras que no existen pruebas de su implicación en
las actividades ilegales. Otros activistas, en particular los que están
involucrados en el movimiento antifascista, siguen siendo objetos de una
cacería policial.

Ya hace tres años que la lucha por la salvación del bosque de Khimki
continúa en esa pequeña ciudad rusa. La intención de las autoridades locales
es utilizar el terreno para la construcción de una autopista de pago ­ la
primera en Rusia ­ de Moscú a San Petersburgo, que finalmente conduciría a
un deterioro de la situación ecológica en la región y privaría a la
población local y los moscovitas de una zona recreativa. A pesar de la
disponibilidad de rutas alternativas que no requieran la tala del bosque, y
las protestas rigorosas de ecologistas y ciudadanos de a pie contra el
trazado elegido, las autoridades no quieren escuchar a la población. Por el
contrario, las autoridades muchas veces han tomado medidas para silenciar a
sus críticos.

Las autoridades de Khimki, junto con la empresa constructora más de una vez
han recurrido a la violencia contra los defensores del bosque de Khimki:
varias veces han desestimado la opinión pública, se han negado a ponerse de
acuerdo sobre las protestas, han recurrido a los nacionalistas para disolver
protestas pacíficas de ecologistas y de la población local, han detenido
ilegal mente y golpeado a periodistas. Desconocidos mutilaron al crítico de
la administración municipal, el editor jefe del periódico ³Khimkinskaya
pravda² Mikhail Béketov, y mataron al compaginador del otro periódico de
oposición Serguei Protazánov.

Después de la manifestación del 28 de julio de 2010 la policía rusa y las
fuerzas de seguridad iniciaron una cacería sin precedentes a los
antifascistas. Las personas, una vez hayan sido detectados como
antifascistas por el Centro para la lucha contra el extremismo y el FSB, ­
contra todas las normas jurídicas ­ están siendo detenidas y transportadas a
la fuerza para ser interrogadas mientras que sus apartamentos son
registrados sin ningún orden judicial, y en algunos casos en los
interrogatorios se recurre a la violencia para extraer declaraciones

Asustadas por muchas protestas contra el talado del bosque de Khimki que
cada vez ganaban en fuerza, las autoridades finalmente hicieron concesiones,
dispuestos a comprobar la ruta elegida de la autopista. Pero esto aún no
significa la victoria. Alexei Gaskárov y Maxim Sólopov continúan en custodia
sin ningún fundamento, mantenidos por las autoridades como rehenes.

A finales de septiembre está programada una sesión judicial donde se
decidirá sobre la medida preventiva contra Alexei y Maxim. Todos los que se
preocupan por su destino deben hacer todo lo posible por su liberación. La
campaña por la liberación de rehenes de Khimki llama a organizar acciones
internacionales y realizar presión sobre las autoridades rusas del 17 al 20
de septiembre de 2010 para lograr la liberación de Alexei y Maxim.

Hacemos un llamamiento para celebrar mítins cerca de las embajadas,
consulados, misiones comerciales e culturales de la Federación Rusa en el
mundo, en los actos públicos y conciertos relacionados con Rusia, así mismo
enviar faxes y cartas de protesta al tribunal, la fiscalía y el gobierno
rusos. Las direcciones para enviar las protestas y la información detallada
sobre las represiones en Rusia serán enviadas más adelante. Próximamente
serán disponibles en nuestra página web http://khimkibattle.org en inglés,
alemán, ruso, francés y español.

La campaña por la liberación de rehenes de Khimki

Contactos: +7 (915) 053-59-12



Appel à des Journées d¹action internationales

Liberté pour les ôtages de Khimki!

Appel à des Journées d¹action internationales pour Alekseï Gaskarov et
Maxime Solopov

Les 17-20 septembre 2010

Le 28 juillet 2010 plus de 200 personnes, jeunes antifascistes et
anarchistes ont mené une manifestation spontanée devant la mairie de Khimki
(la banlieue nord de Moscou), à la défense de la forêt de cette ville qui a
été abbattu au profit du grand business. L¹action lors de laquelle plusieurs
vitres ont été brisées, a trouvé un large écho. De leur côté, les autorités
y ont répondu par des répressions. Au lendemain de l¹action deux militants
des mouvements sociaux connus, Alekseï Gaskarov et Maxime Solopov ont été
arrêtés. Ils sont menacés de 7 ans de prison pour vandalisme bien qu¹il n¹y
ait pas de preuves de leur complicité à des actes illégaux. D¹autres
militants, surtout des antifascistes, subissent des poursuites policières.

La lutte pour la conservation de la forêt de KhimkI dure déjà depuis trois
ans. D¹après les projets des autorités, c¹est à travers de cette forêt que
doit être construite l¹autoroute à péage Moscou-St-Petersbourg, la première
de tel type en Russie; ce qui menera à une dégradation de la situation
écologique locale et privera les moscovites et les banlieusards d¹une zone
de recréation en plus. Malgré l¹existence des plans alternatifs pour
l¹autoroute qui permettraient de se passer d¹une déforestation et au dépit
des protestations actives des écologistes et de la population locale, les
autorités ont refusé d¹y prêter l¹oreille. Au contraire, elles ont fait
plusieurs démarches visées à imposer le silence aux contestateurs.

Plus d¹une fois les autorités de Khimki (en concertation avec la compagnie
de bâtiment chargée des travaux) ont recouru à la violence contre les
défenseurs de la forêt de la ville: en négligeant l¹opinion publique, en
refusant de permettre des actions de protestation, en appellant les
nationalistes à disperser les piquets des écologistes et des habitants de la
ville, en arrêtant illégalement et en attaquant les journalistes. Les
³personnes inconnues² ont mutilé le rédacteur en chef du journal local
³Khimkinskaïa Pravda² Mikhaïl Beketov qui avait âprement critiqué les
autorités, et ils ont assassiné le metteur en pages d¹un autre journal
d¹opposition, Sergueï Protazanov.

Après l¹action du 28 juillet 2010 la police russe et les services secrets
ont déclenché une chasse aux antifascistes sans précédents. Les personnes
une fois signalées à l¹attention du Centre anti-extrémiste et du Service
fédéral de sûreté (l¹ex-KGB) en tant qu¹antifascistes, sont amenées de force
aux interrogatoires, les visites à domicile illégales se tiennent chez eux;
il y a des cas des pressions physiques atroces pour arracher des dépositions
dont l¹instruction a besoin.

Ayant peur d¹une vague montante des protestations contre la déforestation,
les autorités ont enfin reculé en exprimant la volonté de reviser le projet
de l¹autoroute. Mais il n¹y a pas lieu de crier victoire. Alekseï Gaskarov
et Maxime Solopov sont toujours en prison sans droit, pris en ôtage par les

A la fin septembre se tiendra la prochaine audience pénale qui devra
prononcer sur une mise en liberté d¹Alekseï et de Maxime dans l¹attente du
jugement. Tous ceux qui s¹inquiètent de leur sort, doivent faire tout leur
possible pour les arracher de la prison. La Campagne pour la mise en liberté
des ôtages de Khimki appelle à des Journées d¹action internationales les
17-20 septembre 2010 pour mettre de la pression sur les autorités russes en
vue d¹obtenir la libération d¹Alekseï et de Maxime.

Nous appelons à organiser des manifestations devant les ambassades, les
consulats, les missions économiques et culturelles de la Fédération de
Russie, aux événements publics et culturels qui ont des rapports à la
Russie, tout comme d¹envoyer des télécopies et des lettres au tribunal, au
Parquet et au gouvernement russes (la journée principale de la campagne fax
sera lundi le 20 septembre). Les adresses nécessaries et les détails
supplémentaires sur les répressions en Russie seront bientôt communiqués.
Vous pouvez les trouver aussi sur notre site web: http://khimkibattle.org en
anglais, allemand, français et russe.

Unissez-vous à l¹action!

Campagne pour la mise en liberté des ôtages de Khimki

Tel.: +7 (915) 053-59-12


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