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General-secretary of Siberian Confederation of Labour (SKT) arrested

category central asia | repression / prisoners | news report author Monday November 27, 2006 19:56author by Will Firth / Yelena Starostina - FAU (Germany) / SKT (Siberia) Report this post to the editors

For the July 2006 anti-G8 meeting in Russia in Saint Petersburg, Vassily Starostin, the general secretary of the anarcho-syndicalist SKT, and his 14 year-old son were stopped on their train by the Ekaterinburg police with the accusation of criminal case.

Here two English messages in english from German FAU and a member of SKT in Tomsk.

Anarcho-syndicalist salutes

Frank, International Secretariat of CNT France

Will Firth (FAU Berlin)
Phone/fax: +49-30-444 8398

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The following information came by phone this morning, 11 July 2006, from Yelena Starostina, a member of the Siberian Labour Confederation (SKT) in Omsk. Yelena's husband Vasily Starostin, their underage son Yegor and several other union and human rights activists from Siberia have been arrested in Yekaterinburg in the Urals.

The activists were travelling by train to St. Petersburg to participate in the Russian Social Forum and demonstrations against the G8 summit (11-15 July 2006). They have been accused of "illegal possession of documents" and it is not known how long the police intend to hold them in custody. It seems that agents of the secret service FSB were also involved in the activists' arrest.

Please react immediately, if you can, by sending protest faxes in Russian or English to the head of police in Yekaterinburg (name not known), demanding the activists' immediate release. The fax number is 007-343-358 8740, it was working this morning.

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Special services of Russia do not give an opportunity to delegates of the Russian Social Forum to arrive in St. Petersburg where should take part in the anti-G-8 summit. Against these delegates various provocations are organized: throw drugs and and explosives, select passports, beat. It is detained already 200 person.

In Ekaterinburg have landed from Vassily Starostin's train - the General Secretary of the Siberian Confederation of Labour. Together with his son, aged 14 years . Against them the state wants to bring a criminal case.

We ask our comrades to organize the company of solidarity in support of our comrades.

Phone thje police station where Starostin and his son are detained:
8-343-3582018 Phone /
fax the head of department of Internal Affairs of Ekaterinburg:

Aleksandr Markin

Date: 07-12-06 10:19

Ventaja toIntertal [de los polizontes]
Durante la noche del 10 de julio varios miembros de las fuerzas especiales de Ekaterinburg hicieron bajar de un tren la delegación de afiliados de la SKT (Confederación del Trabajo de Siberia), que iba al Foro Social paralelo a la reunión del G 8. Entre éstos estaba el secretario confederal de la SKT Vasili Starostín con su hijo menor de edad. Al principio se les comunicó que parece que fue a causa de una denuncia puesta de algunos pasajeros del tren por su conducta mala, pero luego se les explicó que habían tenido charlas en contra del Gobierno y que llevaban «símbolos fascistas» (o sea las banderas rojinegras de la SKT).
Globalmente fueron detenidos en el país unos 200 delegados al Foro Social y a la contra cumbre del G 8. A la gente se le confiscó el pasaporte, se le puso narcótico y explosivos, se le acusó de provocar peleas y atentar al orden público.
Sitio ruso de Avtonom, 12.07.06 (traducción de Frank, CNT 91)

Avantage total [des flics]
de zéro nuit du 10 juillet, clients membres des forces spéciales d'Ekaterinburg ont fait descendre d'un train la délégation des affiliés à la SKT (confédération du travail de Sibérie), qui allait au forum social parallèle à la réunion du G huit. Parmi eux se trouvaient le secrétaire confédéral de la SKT Vassili Starostíne et son fils qui est mineur. Au début on leur a indiqué qu'il semble que c'était à cause d'une plainte déposée par des passagers du train à cause de leur mauvaise conduite, mais on leur expliqua par la suite qu'il les avait tenu des conversations antigouvernementales et qu'il portait des « symboles fascistes » (c'est-à-dire les drapeaux au noir et rouge de la SKT).
Globalement pas moins de 200 délégués au forum social ou contre sommet du G 8 ont été arrêtés dans le pays. Les personnes détenues ont été privées de leur passeport, on leur a balancé des narcotiques et des explosifs, on les a accusés de provoquer des bagarres et de troubler l'ordre public.
Site en russe de Avtonom, 12.07.06 (traduction de Frank, CNT 91)

Advantage to Interpol [the police]
During the night of July 10 various members of the special forces of Ekaterinburg caused to disembark from a train the delegation affiliated to the SKT (Siberian Confederation of Labour), that was going to attend the Picial Forum parallel to the G8 summit in St Petersburg. Among these was the confederal secretary of the SKT Vasili Starostín with his under-aged son. At first they were told they were being forced off the train because some passengers had accused them of bad conduct, but it was then claimed that it was because they were speaking against the government and were carrying "fascist symbols" (that is to say the red-and-black flags of the SKT!). Globally, some 200 delegates to the Social Forum and to the counter-summit of the G 8 have been placed under arrest Their passports have been confiscated, they had narcotics and explosives planted on them, they are accused of causing violence and contempt for law and order. Russian Autonomous place, 12.07.06 (translation by Frank, CNT 91)

Date: 11-17-06 19:09

G8 Summit: Statement by St Petersburg Anarchists

On 15-17 July in Strelna, which is the suburb of St.Petersburg (Piter), the next summit of G8 is to take place. Unfortunately the resource of protest movements of Russia does not enable us to prevent this meeting. Yet, some organizations plan to take their own actions during the summit.
The main campaign of reformist organizations in Piter will be within the framework of the Second Russian Social Forum (RSF), which will be held from July,11 till July, 15.

The RSF organizers – trade union, human rights and left movements – are now negotiating with president’s administration and city authorities. The complex of buildings of the former Kirov Stadium on Krestovsky island has been allotted for the Forum. Also, during the RSE a left reformist demonstration is going to be held in the city center and a meeting near cruiser Aurora.

Last autumn a number of activists of Anarchist and Autonomist movement united into the Network Against G8 (SPB8). One of its principles is refusal from cooperation with reformists in preparation of protest actions during G8. Moscow activists of SPB8 concentrated their efforts on organizing Alternative Libertarian Forum in Moscow. Yet, in February 2006 at the international autonomist-anarchist meeting in Kiev it was considered necessary to hold anarchist actions in Piter as well.

In particular the participants of the Kiev meeting agreed to hold “big open Anarchist action” on July,15. It was decided to discuss its details at Alternative Forum in Athens in the beginning of May. Unfortunately, we could not do this as almost nobody from the foreign comrades who had taken part in Kiev meeting came to Athens.

On May,28 some practical matters concerning actions in Piter were discussed at a meeting of Anarchist, Autonomist and radical protest movement of Piter and Moscow. Now definite decision on the May,15 action was taken; some of the comrades also supported the idea of using the RSF premises for Anarchist activity, which does not fully agree with the SPB8 policy.

The main difficulties of holding actions in Piter during the summit are connected with the police regime, which has been strengthened by the authorities before the summit. The city is stuffed with police, who constantly check the documents. There are video cameras in the central streets. The police received special armored vehicles to disperse street demonstrations (equipped with gas, water-throwers, shooting with unwashable paint).

The forces of Piter Anarchists are limited – there are several dozens of people in permanent groups and up to 200 can be mobilized for demonstrations. The usual police practice in Russia is considering all actions not sanctioned by the authorities as illegal, which, if you take into consideration the experience of “police anti-terrorist campaign” in the North Caucasus, makes them rather risky – but not impossible.

An additional problem is the lack of material resources. Piter Anarchist League (many of its participants also belong to SPB8) has not yet received any money for preparation of anti-summit activity. This does not enable us to rent any rooms to accommodate people who could come from other cities and countries. May be our Moscow comrades will give us support in the nearest future. With our own resources we can put up a few dozens of people.

Anarchists who consider it acceptable to use the resources of RSF can use their premises for accommodation, but this would increase the problem of police control. Anyway, each comrade who comes to Piter should better bring a sleeping bag and a polyplene rag and, if possible, a tent.
The problem of practical actions during G8 will be decided depending on the number and the opinion of the comrades who come.

As a minimal program we can suggest to form an Anarchist block at RSF demonstration – with our outspoken refusal to propose any reformist slogans and demands (as the problem for us is not the particular decisions taken by G8 but the very existence of all government institutions). Radical criticism of reformists does not mean that we encourage violent actions during RSF demonstration. Those comrades who believe that force must be used and understand the risk involved can do it at a different time or in other districts of the city.

We believe that it is worthwhile to establish contacts with participants of different protest movements at the RSF as well; moreover, we are interested in cooperation with non-Anarchist (e.g. left radical and human rights organizations) whose approach to some problems, like fight against facism and colonialist policy, is close to ours. Besides, RSF premises can be used for meeting of activists of Anarchist and Autonomist movements – with this aim we suggest that some of our comrades who can help to solve any problems that may arise are always on duty at the forum.

We hope to discuss with the comrades who will come to Piter a number of problems which Anarchist movement now faces. This will depend on the interests of those who will come and on the possibilities which will not be blocked by police and security.

Every week on Sundays from 2 p.m. till 4 p.m. we hold a picket in the city center against colonial militarist policy of Russian authorities in the North Caucasus. It is not yet clear if this action will be held on the 16th – it will depend on the position of the city authorities as well as on our determination.

One of the problems may be the language barrier – unfortunately not all of us know foreign languages enough. Though this problem can be solved, our foreign comrades should be aware of it.

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