Tales from the Planet


Fifth Estate # 341, Spring 1993

On Gogol Boulevard In Exile

“On Gogol Boulevard” is the bulletin of the New York City Neither East Nor West Group which gives support and aids in communication between Eastern European anarchists and dissidents and similar movements in the West. It has functioned since the early 1980s and until recently was published as an autonomous section of Love and Rage newspaper. At an L&R conference held in Atlanta during Thanksgiving 1992 a decision was made to drop the OGB section in favor of an expanded “International Section.”

Several anarchist publications, including ours, recognizing the importance of the work OGB/NENW does in the face of continuing totalitarianism in the East, have agreed to publish some or many of its articles and documents. Anarchy, beginning with its Spring edition will print a four-page OGB section (POB 1446, Columbia MO 65205; $12/year); and Profane Existence will feature a similar two-page spread (POB 8722, Minneapolis MN 55408; $4/year).

OGB/NENW is asking those sympathetic to its work to write letters of protest c/o of their address demanding Love & Rage return the section to its pages. For further discussion on why OGB was dropped, send $1 to OGB/NENW, 528 5th St., Brooklyn NY 11215. Also, contributions to support mailing the OGB sections to the Eastern countries are desperately needed.

By the way, Gogol Boulevard is a hang-out for Moscow’s counter-culture.

The following are a few of the stories sent to us by OGB/NENW; please contact the other publications for more extensive coverage:

Moldavian Anarchists Attacked

Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalist members Tamara Burdenko and her husband, Igor Hergenreorder, are suffering under the dictatorial regime of the Moldavian government in the former-USSR. They have published articles denouncing the nationalism and growing fascism of the regime and as a result Tamara was fired from her job. Igor was threatened by the still-existing KGB. A severed dog’s head was delivered to their home.

Official Moldavian television has warned those “creating anarcho syndicalist groups,” and soon after, the couple’s lawyer refused to represent them any further. Additional harassment continues including cut phone lines and warnings to their neighbors about them.

Please help by mailing protests to: President, Moldavia, Kishniev-1, pl. Velikogo Nationalnogo Sobraniya, d.1, Mircha Ion Snegur, Moldavia.

Nigerian Anarchists Released

Anarchist political prisoners from Nigeria’s Awareness League (AL)—Udemba Chuks, Garba Adu, Kingsley Etioni, and James Ndubuisi—won some reprieve Jan. 29th, when they were conditionally released on bail following an international campaign on their behalf. They were arrested seven months ago during a wave of worker/student unrest protesting IMF/World Bank imposed austerity plans and detained under the notorious Decree #2, a catchall preventative detention law.

On Jan. 29, according to an AL communique, “We won our greatest legal battle yet…[when for] the first time in seven months we set our eyes on them.” They looked “badly emaciated, weak and sick” and, as they left for the hospital, there was an attempt to re-arrest them which was “stoutly resisted by the crowd.”

The U.S. Workers Solidarity Alliance and NENW spearheaded the world-wide campaign for the AL with a week of protests at Nigerian embassies, Feb. 22 through 26. Anarchists held actions in Moscow, Dublin, New York City, San Francisco, Loridon, and Hamburg. Support also came from Love and Rage newspaper which mailed an international appeal and Spain’s CNT for a $500 donation to cover AL’s legal fees. All of the support quite literally saved the lives of the Nigerian comrades.

Funds are still desperately needed as the men are still facing re-arrest. Send International Money Orders or UK Bank Checks to Awareness League, c/o Samuel Mbab, POB 28, Agbani, Enugu State, Nigeria. Also, to raise money, NENW is making available AL documents for a minimum donation of $1. It costs a third of a month’s wage in Nigeria to even mail out a letter, so any sum is appreciated.

Fight Poland’s Draft

One of the big campaigns in Poland during the 1980s was the fight for “alternative service”—civilian service work for those who refused to be forced into mandatory military duty. The fight was waged mainly by the Freedom and Peace group, Polish anarchists, and supporters abroad. Poles eventually won the fight, but it’s been a battle ever since to have it implemented. Now the post-communist government has imprisoned draft resisters again. Roman Galuszko has received a one-and-a-half year prison term, and Piotr Krzyzanowski and Piotr Dawidziak one year.

The Polish Anarchist Federation among others have had rallies, letter writing campaigns demos, and concerts for jailed resisters. A major international anarchist effort has been called for demanding freedom for the men.

Write letters of protest to: Lech Walesa, Wiejska 10, Warszawa, Poland. For more info, contact: Polish Anarchist Federation, c/o An Arche, Uniwersytet Slaski, Bankowa 12, 40-007 Katowice, Poland.

East-West Anarchists Meet

Anarcho-Syndicalists (anarchist unionists) from several countries gathered in Berlin Nov. 25 through 29, 1992 to discuss “The Prospects for Anarcho-Syndicalism in Eastern Europe.” Delegates from anarchist unions and groups attended from Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia and Ukraine as the guests of the Free Workers Union (FAU) Berlin local.

It was decided to publish an information and coordination bulletin for the East with the Initiative of Revolutionary Anarchists-Moscow (IREAN) as the first editorial group. They will produce four issues; each in Russian and English.

To submit texts write: Dmitri Kostenko, 105215 Moscow, Ul. Parkovaya 9-aya, Dom. 55 Kv. 60, Russia.

To continue the work started in Berlin, a further meeting will be held in Zaporozie, East Berlin during Summer 1993. This meeting will examine the progress of anarchist unionism in the East, and the development of coordinated activities and the bulletin.

The eastern region of the FAU (in the former Communist GDR) announced they have formed an East European Working Group to help with East-West coordination. They will exchange information between East and West groups, publicize Eastern anarchist union activities in the West, and support groups in the East.

Contact them at: A Laden, Rathenowerstr. 22, D-1000 Berlin 21, Germany. FAX: 030/3948447.

The christian fanatic who was seen frequently on televised sporting events wearing a tutti-frutti wig and displaying a banner reading, “John 3:16,” a biblical verse which announces the Apocalypse, turns out to be a real nut. He was arrested last September in Los Angeles after holding a maid and two guests hostages in a hotel room near the international airport. Rollin Stewart had been a fugitive since May 1991, when he was named in an arrest warrant for four stink bomb attacks in suburban LA.

In his latest violence for the lord, he threatened to blow up the hotel and shoot incoming planes from his room, where he had hung religious signs on the windows. Four hundred guests were evacuated from the hotel after Stewart detonated a homemade chemical device which injured ten cops. Stewart staged the event to lure national media to a news conference where he planned to reveal that Armageddon was at hand.

—Info’ from Freethought Today, PO Box 750, Madison WI 53701

Another “radical” slogan bites the dust

The Associated Press wire of 12 February 1993 reported: “The World Bank says it has a new motto: ‘No More Business As Usual.”‘

The PTA (the Philadelphia Troublemakers and Anarchists, that is) are sponsoring a Summer 1993 Mid-Atlantic Regional Anarchist Gathering. Dates haven’t been set yet, but it will be sometime in mid-July or early August. Things are still in the planning stages, so preferences are requested. The organizing meetings are on the first Sunday of each month, 12:30 pm, at 4722 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia; for information call Wooden Shoe Books at (215) 569-2477

A Great Lakes Regional Gathering is also tentatively scheduled for August 1993 in Madison. Planning meetings are at the Rainbow Bookstore Co-op, 426 Gilman St., Madison, or write to the above box number for more information.

Info from Practical Anarchy, c/o Chuck Munson, POB 173, Madison WI 53701-0173.

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