On January 19 2017 a group of activists and supporters of the Russian section of the International Workers’ Association took part in the now traditional march in Moscow in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, human rights lawyer and anarchist journalist respectively, who were murdered by neo-fascists in 2009. About 500 people took part in the demonstration, representing various anti-fascist groups, trade unions, and left-wing and human rights organizations.
In their appeal for support for the demonstration, the organizers noted that fascist street violence and terror is only the tip of the anti-social, national-conservative iceberg in contemporary Russia. “Our society today is facing three major problems which will soon become more acute, in fact traumatic. Firstly, the neo-fascists on our streets and public spaces come from those conservative elements which the government depends on for suppressing social protests and oppositionists. Secondly, national conservatism has become the official ideology, legitimizing the application of authoritarianism in internal politics, and militarism in external politics. Yesterday’s street fascists are able to find jobs in the state’s projects. Thirdly, national conservatism provides a cover for the government’s repudiation of social security and social justice, and for its failure to develop education and public health.”
We, the anarcho-syndicalists, take a negative view of the insipid, non-class-based “antifascism” which denies the link between fascism and capitalism and counters fascism with capitalist democracy. But many of the demonstrators were close to our anti-capitalist stance, understanding that fascism is an extreme form of capitalist reaction, and that it doesn’t make sense to fight fascism without at the same time fighting against the state, capitalism, nationalism, national borders, clericalism, the neo-liberal dismantling of social security, and the oppression of women.
The demonstrators marched from Novopushkinsky Square to the house near the Kropotkin metro station where Stas and Nastya were murdered. It was decided to conduct the march without flags, but the participants carried banners and placards, and also chanted slogans against fascism, capitalism, the state, and nationalism. It was encouraging to note the virtual absence of the slogans of “opposition” politicians, who are unhappy only with the fact that they are not feeding at the trough of power and so are unable to enjoy the fruits of plundering working people which are currently enjoyed by their ruling competitors.
Unfortunately, the demonstration was marred by two episodes, The first was the arrest, under various pretexts, of six participants. The second was a shameful announcement made through a megaphone by one of the speakers during the march, thanking the police for protecting the marchers from fascist attacks and provocation. Of course such grovelling was in marked contrast to the chant: “Fascists kill, the state conceals.”
Thanks to the KRAS-AIT website (www.aitrus.info) for this information.