14. 9. 2013 // // Kategorie Randnotizen 2013


Reactionary attempts at repressing the ever-growing opposition to the Russian state are under a spotlight around the world. Most people I know have been talking about the injustices perpetrated on Pussy Riot since they were first arrested. But many other artists and activists are also a focus of discussion. Yesterday I posted information about the detention of Alexei Gaskarov on one of my Facebook pages and it attracted more immediate response than anything else I’d placed online for months.

Alexei Gaskarov isn’t a rock and roller with art world credentials to boot. He’s an anti-fascist activist and one of the faces (always unmasked) of the Russian opposition. Putin wrongly thinks he appears to be strong if he makes his opponents look weak. But when Putin’s regime detains opposition activists on trumped up charges Putin just reveals himself to be a tin-pot despot desperately clinging on to power. The anti-capitalist movement is stronger than Putin and no matter how many activists end up in jail, Putin can’t stop working class opposition growing daily more visible on the streets of Moscow and elsewhere.

State repression comes as no surprise but that doesn’t make it any easier for victims of injustice like Alexei Gaskarov. The charges against Alexei are clearly ludicrous. A prominent opposition activist is not going to lead a ‘riot’ or beat cops – apart from anything else they are too easy to identify and already a target for state repression. The real reason for Alexei’s detainment is the success of the movement he belongs to in politically opposing the capitalist class in Russia. This is not a crime in any country that claims to be democratic, which is why the judicial arm of the Russian state resorts to false charges and false allegations against Gaskarov and many others. Free Alexei Gaskarov and the 6 May prisoners now!

Stewart Home, London 14 September 2013.

More information here.