On Gogol Boulevard section


Fifth Estate # 343, Fall-Winter, 1993

Punks in Cuba

Radical anarchist and anti-militarist groups linked to the semi-taboo punk youth culture exist in Cuba. Members of one such group, Movimiento Pacifista Solidaridad y Paz (Solidarity & Peace Pacifist Movement), were sentenced to prison after a protest at the Department of State Security in 1991. The absence of a locale where young people can meet in a free atmosphere has prevented such small and marginal groupings from developing into a real movement.

Cuba’s deep economic crisis—the result of both the US embargo and the collapse of the Soviet bloc—has caused bars, clubs and restaurants to be shut down. Virtually the only ones which continue to function are those catering to the tourist trade, and take only foreign currency so are effectively off-limits to Cubans. Meetings in people’s homes are promptly reported to the authorities by the state-controlled neighborhood watch groups, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs).

Sub-Arctic Indigenous People of Russia

About one-fifth of the population of the Russian Federation are non-Russian national minorities. Among the minority nationalities of the Russian Federation, the Finno-Ugrians represent a particular problem. This category includes many peoples who have lived surrounded by Russians for centuries.

The largest of these ethnic groups numbers about a half a million. Their situation, especially in the subarctic areas, is similar to that of the native peoples in North America. The best known are the Lapps, who live partly in the Russian Federation as well as in the far north of the Scandinavian countries.

With the weakening of the Stalinist dictatorship that followed the launching of perestroika, the native peoples began to protest against threats to their existence represented by operations of the oil enterprises and the police they control.

The Estonian-Lapp Society sent a letter from Agraphena Sopachina, a member of the Coordinating Council of the West Siberian Finno-Ugrian group, Saving Ugria, regarding the murder of her brother-in-law by local police:

Sopchina described an extensive campaign of terror against the native peoples, including many beatings. Materials from the Estonian-Lapps Society also include a petition signed by representatives of the native peoples living in the territory of the Lyantor Regional Council, addressed to the United Nations.

It describes the situation in the region as follows: “The forests have been cut or burnt down, the rivers have been choked by temporary causeways and bridges built by the oilers, and almost all the rivers and lakes have been polluted by oil wastes. The number of fish has decreased by up to 80 percent.

“On the uprooted and destroyed land, it is now impossible for the Khantis to lead their traditional way of life. All the things mentioned above are leading to the extinction of the Khantis as a nation.”

Further information can be obtained from: Eesti-Sami Uhendus, Roosikrantsi 6, EE-0100, Tallinn, Estonia, FAX (372-2) 4418-00; and from Saving Ugria (Spasenie Ugry), Ulitsa Mira 5, 626-200 Khanty Manisysk, Tyumenskaya Oblast, Russian Federation, FAX (345-71) 41-580. A contact person in Moscow is Rita Mayer, phone (095) 230-06-54; FAX (095) 230-01-65.

F. Perlman in Russian

The fourth issue of Mother Anarchy, a Moscow-based multi-lingual magazine (it has sections in English, Russian and Esperanto) is devoted to the problems of nationalism. Contents include “The Fantastic World of Russian Nationalists” and “The Fear of Poverty: Immigration Policies and Nationalism” by Laure Akai in English, and Fredy Perlman’s “The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism.” Mother Anarchy can be reached at: PO Box 500, 107061 Moscow, Russia/CIS.

Translators needed

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