15.7.2006 St. Petersburg

- Anti-G8 activists in Russia need your urgent support!

- Photos from St.Petersburg: Russian Social Forum, street protests, police response

- Update Repression and Arrest

- German cyclists released and deported

- Statement from international activists

- Call for support for political prisoners-vegetarians in Russia

- [en] update St.Petersburg 15.7.

- (DE) update St.Petersburg 15.7.

- Mass arrest at RTS in Hamburg (Germany)

- July 15: activists in St.Petersburg try to protest, police resorts to blockades, arrests and beatings

- TV footage: Communist protesters beaten and arrested in St.Petersburg on July 15

Anti-G8 activists in Russia need your urgent support!

While massive violations of basic freedoms were reported already weeks before the summit of the G8 in St.Petersburg, Russia, today as the summit opened more protesters were arrested in Russia and we urgently need your international support.
As the summit opened today, almost all demonstrations in the city were either outlawed, effectively prevented by the police or broken by force. Almost a dozen of activists were sentenced to short prison terms (7-10 days) ahead of summit, dozens more were detained by the police for several hours, interrogated, photographed and fingerprinted, prevented from coming to St.Petersburg, beaten and otherwise harassed by the cops and security services throughout the whole of Russia from Nakhodka in the far east to Kaliningrad on the Baltic sea.

As of July 13 at least 10 people were sentenced in St.Petersburg to 7-10 days of imprisonment on charges of hooliganism or participation in "illegal" street actions. Several criminal cases were opened or re-opened against people from different towns in an attempt to put pressure on them and prevent them from coming to St.Petersburg. Activists throughout the country were and are openly monitored by the police. At least 86 people were detained by the police while going to St.Petersburg by train and prevented from participating in the Russian Social Forum and other events in St.Petersburg, forced to return their tickets and come back to their home towns. Many more were talked to and "persuaded" not to go to St.Petersburg. Dozens were detained for several hours when arriving to the city, their personal belongings or even passports being illegally confiscated by the police. At least 9 illegal break ins and searches of flats were reported. These are just cases that became known to the legal team, which assists anti-G8 activists, and these include violations against different social activists ? from anarchists to communists to trade union, antimilitarist, environmental and human rights activists.

More arrests and detentions happened in St.Petersburg on July 14 and 15. About 30 people are reported to be arrested in St.Petersburg on July 15 alone.

City authorities and the police effectively prevented any serious street protests in St.Petersburg. Communists were allowed to have a small march and rally in the center of the city, but its less moderate youth part was beaten and taken to police station en masse. Some of the activists may be charged with violent behavior against police officers, which may lead to imprisonment.

Participants of the Russian Social Forum, which was held in St.Petersburg on July 13-15, were not allowed to have a march, although they asked the city hall about it weeks before. Police has blocked them at the Kirov stadium, where the forum was held, and prevented from taking to the streets of the city. About 150 activists held a rally behind closed gates, facing lines of riot police, which outnumbered the activists.

Any attempts to make street action in the city are likely to be met with fierce police repression and violence, but the summit is not over and more actions may follow.

Russian social activists are calling upon the world to protest massive violations of basic freedoms in Russia and ask for support to imprisoned activists. Various solidarity actions were and are being held throughout the world as part of the Global action days against the G8, but state repression in Russia should not go unnoticed. Solidarity is critical for people now held behind bars and probably awaiting serious criminal charges.

We are here for you, you are out there for us!

Protest violation of basic freedoms, state repression and of course the G8 at the nearest Russian embassy, consulate or other state offices in your country!

IMC-Russia international page with update information on protests and the situation of the arrested (English and other languages):

Network against G8 (Russian, English and other languages):

IMC-Russia (Russian language):

Some photos from St.Petersburg: Russian Social Forum, street protests, police repression:


Photos from St.Petersburg: Russian Social Forum, street protests, police response

some photos from St.Petersburg with brief comments:
some more:


Update Repression and Arrest

The Legal Team reports incidents of mistreatment and violence at police stations. Among the many antiglobalist, anarchist and leftist activists that were arrested today, Ilya Ponomarev (Left Front) ? one of the organizers of the Russian Social Forum and Leonid Razvozhayev were beaten after arrest and at the police station. The two and another activist Valeria Agapova have been accused of violence against police which can lead to punishment up to five years. Razvozhayev and Agapova have been released already. Ponomarev is supposed to be held for 48 hours.

A guy named Sander from Belgium was taken by police because he couldn?t show a registration. At this moment there is no information if he was released



German cyclists released and deported

A message from people from the biker caravan against G8
2 German cyclists (Henning and Eike) arrested in Petersburg got released and immediately deported. They are now in Narva, Estonia.


Statement from international activists

Why do people come from all possible countries to demonstrate in the streets of St. Petersburg against the G8-summit?

Here we are. Political activists from western Europe. Together with people from eastern and Western Europe, north and South America, Asia and Africa, we demonstrate in the streets of Sankt Petersburg against the Meeting of the G8.

Why do we travel so far, to disturb Putin?s Spectacle? Why don?t we better stay at home and mind our own businesses? Und who is the G8, about which is talked so much.

The G8 are the economically and so politically most powerful countries in the world: USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and the UK. Since 1998 Russia is allowed to take part in these exclusive meetings, but can?t take part in monetary and financial decisions. The G8 summits make very clear how the rich and powerful countries in the world cooperate to stay in power and divide the world in poor and rich, north and south and east and west. Some of us will call this capitalism; others call it imperialism or neoliberal globalisation. What us unites: is the anger about this division. We are horrified to see how whole parts of the world are oppressed and exploited, how millions of people are declared as losers and being superfluous. It has always been like this, but it should not stay like this forever!

The political project of the G8 is neoliberalism, not only after the breakdown of the Soviet-Union. That means privatisation of all collective goods like water, electricity, healthcare, market-based pension systems, and so on. Only efficiency matters, the quality in healthcare, education, housing and so on, is not so important any more. For western European countries and in another form in the eastern European countries as well, this process means a breakdown of hard fought rights and in these countries the division between rich and poor people gets bigger day by day. The countries of the south don?t have a choice. First they got colonized, now maybe colonization works a bit in a different way: in meetings like this the powerful countries make agreements to force their interests and their policies to the countries in the south. In this way they have excellent access to resources and labour.

The situation in the countries in the south and north is very different. In the north people fight that access to education, health system, social security continues, in the south people often fight for their existence. But the political project we fight against is the same. These international meetings are not only symbolically. The representatives of the rich industrial countries coordinate to push their neoliberal politics, in which only profit counts.

We want to fight against this neoliberal project there where we see it and show a very clear rejection. At home we fight against the breakdown of social rights; at international summits we want to show that the way they plan the world is not our view.

We don?t want to divide ourselves and although the differences are quite huge, we want to stress what unites us. The topics of the G8 this year are: education, healthcare and energy-politics. Also in these fields; it is privatisation and efficiency what the politicians are striving for. Instead of looking for good and cheap medicines for all they push the interests of the big pharmaceutical companies. Education should be accessible only for those who can afford it. And the answer of the energy-crisis is the building of more nuclear power stations instead of looking for and supporting renewable energy.

We have other ideas of a better world. Healthcare and education are rights and not goods. Against the very restrictive migration-politics we demand the right of free movement for all and everywhere. We don?t know exactly how the way will look like; we also don?t build a finished concept of how the world should look like. Our steps are: organization from below, grassroots-democracy and without a leader. We want to cooperate with each other equally and not we don?t want to re-enforce racist and sexist biases.

The way the world looks right now, she can?t stay and the idea and the belief of change is the beginning.

Equal rights for all everywhere at the world

That is where our thinking starts and it contradicts the worldview and interests of Putin?s guests. That?s why we are here together with you at the streets of Sankt Petersburg.


Call for support for political prisoners-vegetarians in Russia

On the eve of holding sammit G8 in Saint-Petersburg a wave of repressions from authorities swept over Russia. Activists were compelled to refuse to go St. Petersburg, they were took off the trains and arrested for trumped-up charges (abusing the police, urinating not in prescribed place, crossing the road not on pedestrian crossing etc.) Some of those who reached St. Petersburg found themselves in jail cells. By now it is known that 10 people from Russia, Germany, Switzerland and Holland are detained for 10 and more days. Some of them are vegetarians. We make them parcels with vegan food everyday. Unfortunately, they didn't allow us to do it today, referring to lack of time. As during the sammit the amount of arrested will probably increase a lot, it is necessary for the authorities to keep the rights of detained and, at least, to enable them to use vegan hygienical facilities and products.

Support activists and demand from authorities to keep the rights of arrested. Below are contacts of institutions of authorities, under whose urisdiction is determination of these issues.

191015, Saint Petersburg, Suvorovskiy boulevard, 50/52
Fax: 274-99-92

194044, Saint Petersburg, Lesnoy Prospect, house 20, building 12
public prosecutor Romanyuk Sergey Vasilyevich
Tel./fax: 542-02-45

Thank you for your support!


[en] update St.Petersburg 15.7.

The summit has begun - the protests started long before.
First of all thanks for the solidarity from all over the world that was shown during the global action day yesterday. In St Petersburg the previous day was used for planning and preperations for the days to come. This is a short report about today and - as always - contains an update about the repression.

This day began with a demonstration that was participated in mostly by communists.
Despite the fact that only a rally was permitted, people gathered in another place and started to walk on the pavement towards the place where the rally should take place to get their demonstration anyhow. At first there was a small skirmish, but at 11:45am the demo started, with a lot of slogans and even some songs, marching a short distance along the main commercial street of St Petersburg. But soon the demo had to turn off. Nevertheless the streets were crowded and some people even joined the demonstration. At the end point there was a stage which was used for the rally. Beside the usual speeches there also was also a chorus and a band. It has do be said that the cops were extremely relaxed as long as they were in control of the situation (like at the rally), but as soon as the situation gets tense and complex, they become extremley nervous and rough.

Today at the social forum, 250 to 300 people were quasi enclosed by the cops. The Kirov Stadium, where the social forum takes place, is very easy to observe, because it is completely fenced in. The cops just closed the doors this morning so nobody could leave. Still people, who wanted to attend, were able to get in. Around 1pm an escape attempt was made, but it failed due to the bad circumstances and awkward balance of power. In front of the gates around 70 cops from the 'OHMO' special forces and inside around 100 protesters held their posts. The whole area around the stadium was full of cops. One hour later there was some kind of gathering in the stadium which dissolved when people returned to their workshops. Around 1:30pm the vice governor showed up to state that the circumstances and conditions at the forum were quite all right and why people are complaining.

That is all, about the two actions that happened today.

Now a short update on repressions: all in all the legal team knows of 30 arrests (more or less). The detainees come from all factions of the resistance. Three were arrested at the demonstration of the KPRF this morning. They are accused of resisting the militia. One of them is the head of the communist youth front. There is not much information about the other arrests now, but of course, we will keep you informed.

St Petersburg is completely dominated by the summit. All over the city there is a large police presence. The hotels of delegates and journalists are well guarded, as well as the location of the summit; which is cordoned off comprehensively. All heads of states and their ministers are accommodated at the summit area in twenty-two luxurious mansions. But not only the streets are well protected, the airspace is also monitored well, for example by a radar-zeppelin. Shipping traffic is very important for the summit, therefore the international terminal for ferries is shut down for the public for the time of the summit and used for the transport of journalists. They are transported to the summit area on hydrofoils, but not without being checked very strictly by security. The port basin is full of frogmen who are checking the ships as well. Every approaching ship is stopped by one of the military ships that seal off the harbour. The presence increases in proportion with your proximity of the summit area. The sea around the area is secured with metal nets that are usually used as anti-submarine measures. Even the journalists are split in three classes: the first, who only may attend the official media centre, the next, who are allowed to attend the dinners and events of the summit's chiefs. And last, but not least, there are the journalists who accompany the heads of state. This should help to give a small impression of how the situation is over here in St Petersburg.


(DE) update St.Petersburg 15.7.

Der Gipfel hat begonnen - die Proteste schon lange.
Erstmal danke an die Solidaritaet aus aller Welt, die gesestern waehrend des Global Action Days gezeigt wurde. In St.Petersburg stand der gestrige Tag voellig im Zeichen der Planung fuer die naexten Tage. Ein kurzer Bericht des heutigen Tages und wie immer mit einem Update ueber die Repressioen.
Der Tag began heute mir einer Demo die eher aus dem kommunistischem Lager kam, nebenbei war das auch die einzigste Aktion die generell erlaubt war. Erlaubt, war aber nur eine Kundgebung. Um trotzdem eine Demo durchfuehren zu keonnen wurdesich aber woanders getroffen und dann auf dem Buergersteig dahin gegangen. Am anfang gab es ein wenig gerangel, dann wurde aber gegen 11:45 losgezogen, mit vielen Parolenund einigen Liedern ging ein kurzes stueck auf der St.Petersburger Haupteinkaufstr..Schon bald musste aber abgebogen warden. Die Strassen waren trozdem belebt und es schlossen sich sogar Leute der Demo an. Am Abschlussort, gab es eine Buehne auf der die Abschlusskundgebung gehalten wurde. Neben einigen Politischen Kampfreden gab es auch einen Chor und ne Band die gespielt hat. Zur Polizei ist zu sagen, das sie solange sie die Lage unter kontrolle hat, extreme entspannt ist, also z.B. bei der Abschlusskundgebung. Sobald es aber ein bischen angespannter und unuebrsichtlicher wird, warden sie extreme nervoes und rauh.

Aehnliches lies sich auch heute beim Sozialforum beobachten. Hier waren ca. 250-300 Leute von der Polizei quasi eingesperrt worden. Das kirov Stadion, wo das Sozialforum stattfindet ist ein extreme gut zu uberwachender Ort, weil es komplett umzaeunt ist.
Die Polizie machte einfach heute mogen das Tor zu, so dass niemand mehr rauskam. Es wurden aber nach wie vor Leute die zum Forum wollten reingelassen. Gegen 13:00 sollte dann ein Ausbruchsversuch gestartet warden, was alerdings auf Grund der chlechten Lage und des unguenstigen Kraefteverhaeltnis nicht gelang. Vor dem Tor waren ca.70 Polizisten der Sondereinheit OHMO versammelt, und hinter dem Tor, waren ca. 100 AktivistInnen versammelt. Das ganze Gebiet rund ums Stadion, war zugestellt mit Polizei. Eine knappe Stunde gab es dann eine Art Kundgebung im Stadion, die sich dann aber irgendwann aufloeste, weil die Leute wieder in ihre Workshops gingen.
Gegen 13:30 tauchte einmal kurz der Petersburger Vizegoverneur auf, um zu aeusern, das ansich doch alle Bedingungen auf dem Forum gut sind, und as die Leute den haben.

Das waren eigentlich auch die beiden Aktione die heute so gelaufen sind.
Jetzt noch ein kurzes Update zu Repressionen. Insgesamt sind dem LegalTeam von heute ca.30 Festnahmen bekannt. Dies Festgenommen kommen aus allen verschiedene Richtungen des Widerstandes. Drei der Festgenommen wurden heute morgen bei der KPRF Demo festgenommen, udnd ihnen wird vorgworfen ?Widerstand gegen die Milz? Einer von ihnen ist der Chef der kommunistischen Jugendfront.
Zu den anderen festnahmen ist bis jetzt leider noch nicht soviel bekannt, aber wir halten euch natuerlich auf dem Laufenden.

Ansonsten steht St.Petersburg auch ganz im Zeichen des Gipfels. Ueberall in der Innenstadt findet sich eine ziemlich hohe Polizeipresenz. Einige Hotels, wo Deligierte und Journalisten schlafen, sind nochmal extra gut geschuetzt.
Auch daer Kongressort selber ist weitraeumig abgesperrt. Alle Staatschefs und ihre Minister sind auch direct auf dem Gelaende in 22 luxurioesen Villen untergebracht.
Aber nicht nur die Strssen auf dem Weg zum Gipfel sind gut, kontrolliert. Auch der Luftraum wird ueberwcht, so schwebt zum Beispiel rund um die Uhr ueber dem Gipfel-Gelaende ein Radar-Zeppelin.
Viele Infrastruktur Sachen fuer diesen Gipfel warden auch ueber das Wasser erledigt, deswegen wurde auch das Interntionale Faehrterminal fuer den Zeitraum des G8 geschlossen und wird nun fuer den Transport von Journalisten genutzt.
Die Journalistem warden mit Tragflaechenbooten zum Gipfel-Gelaende gebrcht, nicht aber ohne vorher einem ausfuehrlichem Sicherheitscheck unterzogen worden zu sein.
Im Hafenbecken am Faehrtermianl schwimmen Taucher und untersuchen ab und zu auch die Tragflaechenboote. Jedes sich naehrende Schiff wird angehalten von einem der vielen Militaerboote die quasi einen Guertel um da Hafenbecken gebildet haben.
Die Anwesenheit von Militaer und Geheimdienst wird immer staerker je neher die Boote dem Gipfel-Gelaende kommen. Das Seestuck vorher ist durch in riesiges Metallnetz, gsichert, welches ein Tonne haengt, die auf der Wasseroberflaeche schwimmen. Diese Konstruktion wird eigentlich als U-Bootsperre verwendet.
Der Zugang fuer Journalisten ist selber nochmal in drei Zonen eingeteilt. Es gibt die die nur ins pressezenrum duerfen, dann gibts noch die, die auch zum Teil zu den Empfangen und anderen Veranstaltungn der Gipfel-Chefs duerfen, und dann gibt es noch die Mediendeligationen, die die einzelnen Staatschefs selber begleiten.

So das mal nur als kurzen Einblick, wie es hier uberhaupt grade so aussieht.


Mass arrest at RTS in Hamburg (Germany)

Apperantly the police in Hamburg (Germany) is trying to compete the number of arrests in Russia. The police ended a Reclaim the Streets by arresting at least 70 people.
Reclaim the Street in Hamburg started with about 300 people in bright sunshine and with music. After a while the group split up in smaller groups, playing a bit of cat-and-mouse with the police who got rather confused. All kind of police cars drove around the neighbourhood Schanzenviertel ,ranging from the normal traffic cops to riot cops and special arrest teams. At times they even managed with to drive along the same street in both directions, or blocking each other when they needed 5 cars to arrest 2 cyclists.
Later a group of about 100 people were penned in a small side street. Quite a few manage to escape through open house doors and backgardens, but over a period of 2 hours all the rest were detained. They were transported of in 3 normal traffic busses ? apparently with normal bus drivers and with signs saying ?Police ? Special Tour? as destination. Lucky where only the last 10 or so, who were allowed to leave once the last bus was full.
According to the legal team, about 70 people were detained, but the first were getting released a few hours laters.

The police seemed to react first chaotic and then totally over the top. And one stage we counted about 30 police cars in all size for a group of then maybe 80 people. An intelligent guess is that this might have been an good opportunity for the police to stock up their database of people who might be involved with the G8 in Germany next year.

In order to transport off the people in the pen, the police had cordoned of the neighbouring street corner where people where allowed to leave, but not to enter. Weirdly enough this area included also a bar at the street corner where people were sitting drinking their coffee and kept on being served while next to them the arrest busses drew up and the street was black with riot cops in full gear. Is a mass arrest something that doesn't even bother some people enough to set down their beer?




July 15: activists in St.Petersburg try to protest, police resorts to blockades, arrests and beatings

As of 3pm July 15 several protest actions were held in St.Petersburg against the G8 summit that opened today ? a Communist demonstration was held, which ended with a permitted rally on Pionerskaya square, a march of the Vanguard of Red Youth (AKM) was brutally dispersed by the riot police and all participants arrested, a rally held by the participants of the Russian Social Forum at the Kirov stadium, which was blocked by the police and prevented from holding a march outside of the stadium.
On the morning of July 15 the summit of the G8 (temporary occupation government of planet Earth) opened in St.Petersburg. Various activists are trying to organize protests against the summit.

A Communist march 250 people strong, consisting of members of Communist party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and Stalinist youth organizations, was held on Ligovsky avenue this morning and ended with a rally of 200 people on Pionerskaya square. Activists of Vanguard of Red Youth (AKM) were beaten by riot police while crossing the Nevsky avenue, city's central street, and about 20 people were detained (they were part of the Communist march). According to some reports on of the arrested activists was beaten unconscious, but this is not yet confirmed.

At about the same time it was announced that the Russian Social Forum, which was held on Kirov stadium, was officially closed and its participants tried to hold a rally outside of the stadium. But they were blocked by riot police and told to stay at the stadium, because supposedly the city authorities permitted the rally only at the stadium, not outside. Russian Social Forum planned a march from Kirov stadium through Petrograd district of the city weeks before the date, but the city authorities refused to grant permission for that.

As a result of that about 150 shouted slogans against G8, capitalism and police repression, while being de facto locked at the stadium. Several activists made a chain of solidarity outside of the stadium and shouted slogans against police repression, but none of them was arrested. Formal complaint about violation of constitutional right for freedom of assembly will also be sent to the procurators office. No arrests are reported at the Social Forum as of now, but the area is still heavily controlled by the police.

There are unconfirmed reports that a 20 people strong anarchist demo was held at St.Petersburg, and all its participants were arrested. Legal team is currently trying to find out information about them.

Legal team reports that on July 15 30 people were arrested throughout the city.

Local press reports that some activists burned car tires in Kronstadt and the sea embankment of Vasilievsky Island, greeting the "sea cruise" of the G8 leaders. Some buildings in St.Petersburg are also reported to be spray-painted over the last couple of days.


TV footage: Communist protesters beaten and arrested in St.Petersburg on July 15

TV report of police arresting Communist protesters and one of the members of organizing committee of the Russian Social Forum Ilya Ponomaryov
See here: