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Memorial Marred by Clashes, Arrests

Published: January 22, 2014 (Issue # 1794)



  • Anarchists and anti-fascist activists holding an unauthorized march on Vasilyevsky Ostrov’s Bolshoi Prospekt Sunday.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

At least ten anti-fascist demonstrators were detained in St. Petersburg on Sunday, during the fifth anniversary of the double murder of anti-fascist activists Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova in Moscow. The event was marked across Russia and in a number of European countries.

A group of around 50 anarchists and anti-fascist activists assembled for an unauthorized march on Bolshoi Prospekt on Vasilyevsky Ostrov Sunday, partly obstructing traffic. Some members of the crowd threw smoke bombs, lit flares and chanted anti-fascist and anti-capitalist slogans.

Earlier, the city administration refused to authorize either a march or a full-fledged rally in memory of Markelov and Baburova based on what organizers call a technicality. According to the organizers, the committee on law, order and public security declined to accept the application on Dec. 31 because it was more than 15 days ahead of the event.

When the organizers submitted the application on the first working day of the new year, Jan. 9, they were told that it had been submitted too late. The law stipulates that applications be submitted between ten to 15 working days ahead of any planned rally. The activists were given permission instead to hold an assembly on the Field of Mars on the condition that sound-amplifying equipment was not used. After meeting on the Field of Mars, some activists decided to go ahead with the unauthorized rally.

Moving quickly, the marchers walked about 650 meters amid smoke and stopped cars, carrying flares, red-and-black anarchist flags and banners reading “Anarchism. Anti-Fascism. Autonomous Action” and “Let’s Protect the City from Fascism.” The activists dispersed when a police van stopped next to them six minutes after they started to march. Two police officers detained two young women who appeared to be with the marchers and took them to the 20th precinct station located nearby. Later, the activists and the Help for the Detained group reported three more detentions. All those arrested were charged with jaywalking.

Neo-Nazis Attack Anti-Fascist Group

Five or six people were also detained for an alleged altercation with neo-Nazis in a cafe on Ploshchad Vosstaniya. According to eyewitness reports, neo-Nazis followed the anti-fascist activists to the site where the unsanctioned march was initially scheduled to be held at 4:30 p.m. and reportedly initiated the clash. According to one of the anti-fascist activists who asked not to be named, a criminal misconduct case was opened after several nationalists filed reports with the police. Organizers postponed the start of the march until 6 p.m. and moved the location to Vasilyevsky Ostrov.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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