Last night around a hundred antifascists, mostly LAFA crew, came together to demonstrate outside the Russian embassy. We did this as part of the international week of solidarity with the 7 Russian antifascists – Ilya Shakurskiy, Dmitriy Pchelincev, Arman Sagynbaev, Maxim Ivankin, Mikhail Kulkov, Vasiliy Kuksov, and Andrei Chernov – condemned to massive prison sentences (16, 18, 6, 13, 10, 9, and 14 years respectively) for “being in a terrorist Network” despite flimsy amounts of evidence and signs of torture from the FSB.
We remember also our other russian comrades, all other russian antifa political prisoners, many of whom have been behind bars for many years on little evidence, and whose families, like Ilya Romanov’s, have had to appeal to the ECHR to get them medicine. We remembered also the 2 other defendants of the Network case that still await the court verdict – Yuliy Boyarshinov and Viktor Filinkov – and all the russian antifa of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, like Ilya Khutorskoy (Bonecruncher) who were killed by fascists.
We marched to the russian embassy, and occupied a fraction of the road after being thrown out of the courtyard – innocent people rotting in prison is fine, remember, but touching private property is crossing the line! Our banner faced the stream of cars, showing people why we were there.
Despite the numerous fash disclaimers on telegram about the event, we were confronted by only one Tommy fanboy/ fake yellow vest, who was clearly not clued up and kept shouting Oh Tommeh and Russia-Russia-Russia (uh, thanks?). We reminded him that we could offer a revision of what the russians did to his kind in 1945, and he soon left.
After reading out the final court words of the condemned, we played russian antifa songs, opening with Brigadir’s Крепче Всех Тюрем (Stronger than all prisons) written specifically in support of the figurants of the Network case, going on to rock versions of the classic “Eh, Yablochko!” and “Mother Anarchy” of Nestor Makhno’s Black Army, rounding off with “United We Stand” and Stage Bottles’ “Russia”. We received a very positive response from passers-by, most of whom had not heard about the Network case.
At around 20:00, we finished the action, not in the least because we wanted to give space to the candlelit vigil being held across the road for a member of the russian opposition, Boris Nemtsov. As we walked off, chanting “Russia is antifascist”, it was infinitely inspiring to see the vigil’s attendants also pump their fists in the air in support.