Alexei Gaskarov’s Sentencing Statement

Russian anti-fascist Alexei Gaskarov’s statement in court

translated into English by the Russian Reader with an afterword by Gabriel Levy.

The verdicts for the second group of defendants in the Bolotnaya Square case – brought against participants in the Russian protest movement of 2011-12 – will be announced on 18 August in Zamoskvoretsky Court in Moscow. The prosecutor has asked the court to sentence Alexander Margolin and Alexei Gaskarov to four years in prison; Ilya Gushchin to three years and three months in prison; and Elena Kokhtareva to three years and three months suspended, with four years of probation. All four defendants have been charged under Article 212 Part 2 (involvement in riots) and Article 318 Part 1 (use of non-threatening violence against a public official) of the Russian Federal Criminal Code. On 4 August, 28-year-old Alexei Gaskarov made his closing statement in court. This is the complete text of his speech.

Alexei Gaskarov in court. Source: gaskarov.info

Alexei Gaskarov in court. Source: gaskarov.info via LeftEast

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A Politics of No Politics

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio‘s 12 July 2014 Episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview:

“I don’t think I need to get out of the kitchen. I think we need to turn down the heat in the kitchen so more people can come into the kitchen. Because the kitchen is supposed to be the place where we make nice nutritious meals.”

Chuck Mertz: On the line with us right now is Jón Gnarr. He is the author of Gnarr: How I Became Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World. Good morning, Jón.

Jón Gnarr: Good morning!

CM: Jón campaigned on the promise to get the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park into downtown parks, free towels at public swimming pools, a drug-free parliament by 2020—and he swore he’d break all his campaign promises upon winning the election. Jon promptly proposed a coalition government, although he ruled out partners who had not seen all five seasons of The Wire.

Jón, how is it that a comedian, running a campaign that’s simply a satire, was suddenly taken seriously?

JG: Well, it’s a combination of luck and good planning—and a miracle. The most amazing thing about the Best Party now, when you look back at it, is that it worked out. We did a good job and we all stayed friends. That’s probably the most amazing thing.

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Fascism Inc: Greece and the Rise of the Extreme Right in Europe

In Greece and other European countries, economic elites have been supporting fascist parties in order to enforce a radical neoliberal agenda in the crisis, says Aris Chatzistefanou, journalist and filmmaker from Athens, director of “Debtocracy”, “Catastroika” and “Fascism Inc”.Continue Reading

The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Chicago

AntiNote: This week marks two years since the NATO summit in Chicago and the large protests against it that filled an entire weekend with creative direct actions and marches (some better reported than others) and filled an entire city with militarized cops.

The NATO protests and the hyperbolic response to them fit all-too-neatly into the well-rehearsed protester/police/publicity choreography we have seen developing slowly and ominously worldwide since the late nineties, which author Kristian Williams summed up last year in an interview on the Ex-Worker podcast:

“[Since the Battle in Seattle] we’ve seen a new period of innovation in crowd control and a new period of experimentation. Sociologists Patrick Gillham and John Noakes describe the new system as Strategic Incapacitation.

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Bosnia: Protests Continue Despite Contradictions

AntiNote: This article first appeared in German on the website of the Antikapitalistische Linke, a constellation of currents within the far-left German political party DIE LINKE which explicitly includes unaffiliated activists and agitators and views itself as a bridge between DIE LINKE and non-partisan anti-capitalist movements within Germany and elsewhere.

A pair of AKL activists recently visited Tuzla and spoke with people involved in the citizens’ assemblies and protests there which generated a good deal of excitement in Left circles in Europe in February and March of this year…but which regrettably seem to have fallen off the radar screen in recent weeks.

As we have seen a number of commentators, even on the Left, reading the movement in Bosnia its last rites and/or pointing out all the places where it “went wrong,” we at the Antidote Writers Collective wish to insist, along with our friends of the AKL, that there is still fog on the mirror. As long as the struggle continues, the struggle continues. The activists in Tuzla are still speaking; is it not the height of rudeness to turn away?

A dispatch from Tuzla by Inge Höger and Carsten Albrecht

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Gespräch mit dem syrischen Anarchisten Nadir Atassi

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Der Anteil der syrischen AnarchistInnen am Aufstand gegen das Regime von Assad mag quantitativ nicht bedeutend sein, sollte aber trotzdem eigentlich ein Bezugspunkt für eine europäische Linke sein bei der Fragestellung, wen man/frau/…. denn eigentlich in diesem scheinbar unübersichtlich gewordenen Konflikt unterstützen könne.

In der aktuellen Graswurzelrevolution ist ein Interview mit dem syrischen Anarchisten Nadir Atassi auf deutsch erschienen, das wir im Folgenden dokumentieren.

Laut einem kürzlich im Magazin Fast Company erschienenen Artikel, gibt es ein breites und vielfältiges Netzwerk unbewaffneten, demokratischen Widerstands gegen Assads Regime, das von lokalen politischen Initiativen, KünstlerIInnenkoalitionen, Menschenrechtsorganisationen, gewaltfreien Gruppen und so weiter getragen wird. (Die Syria Nonviolence Movement erstellte eine interaktive Karte , die das komplexe Verbindungsnetzwerk zeigt.)Continue Reading

Bosnian Basics

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Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 22 March 2014 episode and printed with permission. Listen to the full interview here.

“It’s misleading for the international community to say the citizens of Bosnia need to take ownership of their own issues, but then when they take that phrase literally, say, ‘oh, that’s not what we had in mind.’”

Chuck Mertz: We are speaking with Edin Hajdarpašić. He teaches history at Loyola University in Chicago; he is the author of the forthcoming book entitled Whose is Bosnia? Political Imagination and Nation Formation in the Modern Balkans, and wrote an Al Jazeera article recently on what’s going on in Bosnia right now.

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1989: Not the ‘End of History’ in Venezuela Either

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AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 8 March 2014,  Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to educator and author George Ciccariello-Maher about the current dynamics in Venezuela. 

Protest movements and struggles waged by dissidents against state prerogatives, wherever they happen, are always more complex than we are typically given to understand.  But the ongoing cases of Ukraine and Venezuela seem to have reached, for a great many, new heights of incomprehensibility.  Roles appear to be reversed, with reactionary forces engaging in tactics we are used to associating with revolutionary movements.  Questions of legitimacy, authority, democracy, and violence nag at all participants.  The temptation is strong to zoom out, chalk everything up to global realpolitik, and simply declare everyone a bastard. Continue Reading

Αθήνα Burns

Von AntiDote’s Laurent Moeri

Das Original erschien im Juni 2010 in der Volksstimme (Österreich)

Als erstes möchte ich Dir ganz liebe Grüβe von deinem neuen Freund ausrichten. Sodiris ist 12 Jahre alt und lebt in Exarchia und hat uns gestern beim Bau eines Spielplatzes geholfen.

Navarinou+Park+Athens+2009

Exarchia ist ein baulich herunter gewirtschaftetes Quartier der Innenstadt Athens, dessen Geschichte die Wände am Besten erzählen.  Schwarz-rote Sprayerein dominieren das Landschaftsbild. Forderungen und Drohungen an den Staat,  Aufrufe zu Demonstrationen, internationale Solidaritätsbotschaften und Anarchiezeichen. Eine Art Fingerabdrücke der Bewohner und Besucher. Die Krise steht hier deutlich an den Wänden geschrieben, wohl schon lange bevor sie in unseren Nachrichten erschien.

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