About On Gogol Boulevard
This section is produced for the Fifth Estate by Neither East Nor West; a New York City group linking alternative oppositions in the East and West, and printing news and documents unavailable in the corporate and “left” media. Our title refers to Moscow’s Gogol Boulevard, a favorite hangout of Soviet-era counterculture youth dissidents, artists, and peace and human rights activists.
We encourage all those involved in “Neither East Nor West”-type activity to regularly contribute to this section. Please address letters, reports, documents, debates, graphics, photos, etc. directly to OGB.
This is not a section for anarchists only. We are interested in promoting freedom, workers rights, women’s, minority and gay rights, environmental, self-determination and anti-militarist issues—any struggle pursuing paths outside the capitalist and state bureaucratic models.
Address correspondence to:
On Gogol Boulevard: OGB/NENW
528 Fifth St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA
email: BobNenwOgb – at – aol – dot – com
“Polish anarchists free in Chechnya”
A few days before Christmas, five Poles were kidnapped in Chechnya, where they were with a convoy of humanitarian aid (food, medicines, clothes). Two of the five are members of the Polish Anarchist Federation (FA). These are Marek Kurzyniec—a veteran FA activist, and Krzysztof Galinski—one of the founders of the anarchist magazine Mac Pariadka (Mother of Order”). The other hostages are Pawel Chojnacki and Pavel Thiel, former members of the peace organization WiP (Freedom and Peace—one of the predecessors to FA), and the journalist Doniinik Piaskowski.
The van of the hostages was found 40 kilometers west of Grozny with its two front tires shot out. They were attacked by 15 people. Two Chechen bodyguards (friends of one of the hostages) were with them who shot two of the attackers.
One of the theories (for informational purposes only-we take no position) is that the Russian secret services hired Chechen criminals to do the kidnapping. They can then blame the Chechens that they can’t be trusted, are unstable and dangerous—therefore giving a pretext for a Russian crackdown. Poles and Chechens have good relations—they have a shared interest in forming a bloc against their colonizers. Russians might have hoped this crime would strain relations between the two countries.
Marek Kurzyniec and Krzysztof Galinski became well known in Chechnya when they were organizing convoys of humanitarian aid to the country during the war with Russia. Three convoys organized with the help of the Anarchist Federation were the only ones which reached the areas of fighting. All other convoys organized by the UN were stopped by the Russians and their cargo was sold on the black market. The Polish Anarchist Federation also organized demonstrations at Russian consulates in Poland, and gathered signatures for a petition to protest the imperialist policies of the Russian government.
Update: News reached us that our Polish comrades have been freed! A big thanks to everyone who contacted Chechen representatives around the world and helped spread the news about the HOSTAGES.
Demonstrations against the Pope in Poland and the Czech Republic
Without Church Dogma to the 21 Century!
This was the motto of the event which took place during the Pope’s visit in Wroclaw in Poland and was organized by the Liberty Forum. On the first day there was a seminar on the threat to human freedom caused by the doctrine and activity of the Catholic Church. A lot of people showed up for this conference, not only punks but mostly normal people, and it got some coverage in the press. There was also a small happening made by Anarcho-Feminists. The conference was slightly disturbed by a couple of boneheads, but nothing happened.
However, the demonstration planned for the following day was not possible for several reasons. First of all it turned out that nazis had organized a counter-demo at the same spot as the anarchists were planning theirs. There were about 200 to 250 of them, and not just kids, but really grown dickheads. They were shouting “All true Poles love the Holy Father.” Because there were only 30 anarchists, and they didn’t feel suicidal at the moment, the demo didn’t take place. Anyway the image of fascist salutations to the pope riding by sent the right message even without anarchists present.
Statement by the organizers:
The Liberty Forum organizes and is open to cooperation with all groups, social circles and individuals, which act for freedom, tolerance and cultural variety. The Liberty Forum declares for open society and peaceful coexistence of all outlooks on life. We are against every kind of domination of one cultural, political or religious option. With anxiety we are observing authoritarian (nationalist and clerical) tendencies in Polish society.
The action “Without Church Dogma to the 21 Century!” is our protest against clerical repression in social life and religious dictatorship which is going to be imposed by the Church and political circles connected with it.
We are expecting support and help from everybody who prefers critical intellect and human freedom to the Church dogma.
Let our united resistance against authoritarianism destroy state borders and national divisions!
Actions against the Pope in Prague
The Czech Republic also had local anarchist actions against the Pope. A group of 30 to 40 members of the Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation demonstrated on one of the main squares in Prague against the Pope’s visit. They distributed several hundreds of leaflets, based upon a famous Andre Breton surrealist manifesto describing burning churches during the anarchist uprisings in Spain. A planned rally through the City had been banned by the local authorities—and some 100 heavily armed riot police pigs were present. A group of anarchists with a red-and-black flag gave interviews to numerous journalists, and after some 30 minutes the meeting was ended to avoid a skirmish with the riot police.
The project FREE WROCLAW
After the decline of Communism in Poland, people got confused. Some of them, especially the young, believed in capitalism, free markets and western culture, some started believing that the improvement of the situation-is possible only by realizing conservative and nationalistic values. But most people in Poland are still passive and do not believe in the possibility of improving their lives. They live day in and day out and do not want to think about their future. Only a very few young people want to do something—most of them are passive and indifferent like the rest of society.
In order to create a place for active people, we want to set up a center so people can talk, organize themselves to solve their own problems and discuss questions. We would like to establish an alternative book shop for exchanging ideas and information, a place where people can meet, drink coffee, tea or have a beer. The project FREE WROCLAW would give jobs to the young unemployed. It would be a non-profit organization.
If we manage to establish our goals, FREE WROCLAW would be the first and the only type of organization of its kind in Poland.
Unfortunately it is very difficult to realize our goal when money is extremely difficult to come by for us average people. Therefore we would like to ask for your help. Every kind of help (money-even a small sum, computer equipment and so on) is useful to us.
If you are interested in our activity and want to help us or receive additional information about us please write to:
P.O. BOX 2319
50-958 WROCLAW 47,
Powszechna Kasa Oszczednosci
Bank Panstwowy, IV Oddzial we Wroclsawiu
RUCH-Stowarzysznie na Rzecz
Riots in Poland
The 10th of January, riots broke out in Slupsk, a Polish city near the seaside. Thousands of young people fought the police with stones and molotovs, and made barricades on the streets. Over 30 cops were reportedly injured, while two dozen police cars were wrecked (four of them totally burned), and two police stations were attacked. About 100 persons were arrested (15 to 18 years old).
The reason was the murder of a 13-year-old basketball fan by a policeman. The kid received a blow to his head with a massive club while he was running from the police forces attacking a group of fans. The cops then prevented passersby from helping the kid, and he died.
The riots started with a demonstration in front of the police station where people shouted “Death for killers!,” “Police: Gestapo!,” “We want justice!” The police used teargas to disperse the crowd, and beat people indiscriminately, including innocent bystanders.
Anarchism in Estonia
M.A.L. (Estonian Anarchist Movement) is the movement of Estonian anarchists. It does not have a list of members and a membership fee. M.A.L. can not be responsible for the acts of anarchists who would say they are members of M.A.L. The purpose of M.A.L. is to be an info-agency and facilitate contacts with foreign anarchists or other revolutionary persons or organizations.
WHAT DOES ANARCHY MEAN to M.A.L.? The word “anarchy” comes of Greek “an arche” (without power). Accordingly mankind is able to exist without laws and a state machine, without everything which would restrict the personal independence. Anarchy does not mean disorder or chaos. It is the conscience which would replace the laws of state.
IS ANARCHY POSSIBLE? M.A.L. does not think it is possible. It will always be the ideal. The perfect world in the name of which we are fighting. The more important thing is the struggle which lifts up the life. To be an anarchist is the style of life.
HOW TO STRUGGLE? Must we organize many acts of terrorism to kill as much as possible non-anarchists? Or must we convince people? Or must we go to live into a forest to be away from the pernicious influence of society? It is the business of the anarchist because there is not one variety.
MAL (Estonian Anarchist Movement)
Vilja 8a-55, EE-2710 VORU,
EDL (Estonian Democratic League)
Sutiste 34-6, EE-0034
RED EMMA (anarcho feminists)
Tartu sjk, EE-2400,
ANL (Anarcho Nudist League)
Tartu sjk, EE-2400,
AKF (Anarcho Communist Federation)
Tartu sjk, EE-2400,
Do the Kurdish People need a State?
Statement by Kurdish Anarchists
It is our purpose to briefly shed some light on the situation in Kurdistan and to confront the crocodile tears which the capitalists and their media have been crying over Kurdistan.
Kurdistan is a land in which the Kurdish people live in a feudal, capitalist system, where the workers, especially women and children suffer from poverty, abuse and oppression at the hands of those in power such as the Kurdish parties (the Kurdish Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) and from the PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party) who are doing for Kurdish freedom what Yasser Arafat (that national liberation hero for the last 20 years) has done for the poor Palestinian population.
After the Iranians were forced by the soldiers’ uprising and by the poor population to leave southern Kurdistan and Iranian Kurdistan in March 1991, for a brief period these people, united against the government, felt their own power and demonstrated to the world what kind of tempest can be brought forth when the lower strata of society ignite in revolt.
In order to crush and strangle the insurrection as soon as possible, the Iranian government assassins, with the help of allied troops present in the area, formed a holy alliance against the revolt to instill law and order in southern Iraq, massacring unarmed people just like at the Paris Commune.
Meanwhile in Kurdistan, the Kurdish parties, in the name of independent Kurdistan, supported by local landowners, merchants and shopkeepers who all control the movement of the market, installed themselves as the new heads of Kurdistan, crushing all those who question their authority with an iron fist, just like any other authority in the world.
Of course, as anarchists, none of this surprises us; we clearly see a class conflict, we see that all governments mean violence, the murder of and theft from the poor working population.
The Left (among which are idiots and those who are simply confused in the head) have their heads filled up with Leninist ideology; they spend their time criticizing some sector of the government which doesn’t serve the working class well.
Just like it’s true that you can’t expect a dog to talk or sing for it can only bark, we can only expect the state to act oppressively as it has done throughout history.
Therefore we’re saying that it’s a big lie, an inexcusable lie, to say to the world through the mass media that the majority of the Kurdish population is suffering because of a lack of authority, because of the lack of a Kurdish state. The truth is that the poor population of Kurdistan is suffering just like the working class in the rest of the world; in many ways this is caused by the brutal force of the capitalist system and its authority.
It is our task as anarchists to tell workers, teachers and students about the position of labor in Kurdistan, not to be so stupid as to just change leaders from Turks to Kurds, from Persians to Kurds, from Arabs to Kurds. We have to learn the lessons of our history and the history of the working class and that the solution is anarcho-communist revolution. This is an enormous, bloody event which needs to be prepared illegally, and must be international, otherwise it is a waste of energy.
The flame of revolt is igniting in the hearts and consciousness of the Turkish, Persian and Arab workers, with students and soldiers who want an end to the power of the war machine, the power of poverty and the power of money.
Our mission is to destroy authority, not to reincarnate it in the name of Kurdistan. Kurdistan and the rest of the world should cultivate life without the state.
Long live the Kurdish language and music!
Long live the spirit of revolutionary anarcho-communism in the Middle East and the rest of the world!
Our objective is to abolish religion, the State, racism and money.
(from Germinal #71/72 translation by Laure A.)
No more Chernobyls!
Veselka is the name of an international anti-nuclear initiative to stop the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus.
We are all opposed to the development of nuclear power and find it particularly disturbing and idiotic that authorities would consider building a plant so close to the site of the Chernobyl disaster. The development of this project is being kept quite secret by the Lukashenko government, and attempts to oppose it have even resulted in attempted murder. We see this as yet more proof of the government’s total disinterest in the opinions or the interests of the people of Belarus and all the areas immediately surrounding it. We want to build up opposition not only to the plant, but to the people who would build it. (And of course, those of us who are anarchists—and that’s not all of us, but some—also want this to be an example of the abuses of representative government.)
The plant will be built in the Vitebsk region but the starting date for construction has yet to be decided. There has been talk that workers displaced from the Chernobyl zone (who have a high rate of unemployment) will be used for this labor. There were ideas about having a camp but first of all, this would be impossible given the size of the Belarus police state and second, many activists are critical of this as a tactic. We are going to be conducting various informational campaigns and trying to build up local activism. Later there will be various actions starting in April throughout Belarus and different points in Europe.
Activists from 12 countries have already signed up for this project, so it already has international scope.
Anybody who is interested in this initiative should help out. We need international journalists who are willing to investigate the building of the plant and the condition of people resettled after Chernobyl in Belarus. Further, we need to cover expenses for posters, literature etc. Anybody that has good anti-nuclear material, especially graphics, please send them to me via snail mail @ PO Box 500, Moscow 107051.
Atshy is the name of the coolest commune in the Caucuses—a love shack in Maikop, home of anarchs and radicals trying to transform life. OK, maybe it’s not a love shack, but it’s communal living, harmony with nature, democratic decision making… a model for other friends to follow. “Atshitsy” are actively involved in lots of projects, including running an activist/info center in Maikop. Unlike many people in communes, they haven’t “dropped out” of society but work hard to change it.
Atshitsy have been particularly active in the ecological movement and have started publishing a digest. If you want to get in touch with them, you can reach them by e-mail at atshy – at – glasnet – dot – ru.
Eco-Anarchists penetrated Czech Nuclear Power Plant
The night of June 9 a group of four activists from eco-anarchist faction of CSAF (Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation) penetrated the high security area of Temelin nuclear power plant in Southern Bohemia through an area with barbed wire obstacles, etc. They weren’t spotted by special infra-red scanners and numerous security agents in guard towers. The anarchists then climbed the 150 m high special cooling tower and showed a red anarchist flag with a black star.
The security guards discovered them after five hours only because the fifth activist, who stayed outside, announced this successful direct action to the media. One of the activists in the area of Temelin even reached the building where U 238/235 nuclear fuel is kept. No guard would have prevented the activists for instance setting bombs or damaging the building, etc.
The police came several minutes after media were alerted. All four activists were arrested and face charges of “destroying private property,” because they damaged the fences around the power plant by cutting the wire.
The headquarters of CEZ, Czech energy company, claimed that they have nothing to say regarding this incident. The direct action again proved the disastrous state of security measures in Temelin.
Czech Squat Evicted
At 22.30 September 3rd, Police units stormed the new squat in Prague—Zenklova streel The house, which had stood empty for nine years, had been squatted for one month. The 15 squatters had begun repairs on all 30 rooms in the three story building, cleaning, replacing broken windows and installing a toilet. They also had plans to repair the plumbing which had been destroyed over the years and reconnect the electricity. The squatters planned to open an info/ cafe and tea room.
The whole event was widely covered by the media, with no comments. The short life of the squat was already successful—local citizens criticized the police for the eviction and praised the squatters for repairing the house, whose owner left it to deteriorate for long years. The families in the closest neighborhood, belonging to the Gypsy community, also showed some solidarity with the squatters.
Eight people arrested during the eviction may be charged after paragraph 249-a) of penal law “illegal use of housing estate”—for which they can be fined up to 50.000 CZK (1500 USD) or imprisoned for 2 years. In addition they can be liable for all expenses involved in the eviction.
Two weeks after the eviction, some of the activists resquatted the building and reached some kind of agreement with the building’s owner. Around the same time, the squatters at 28 Soccora street struck an agreement with the city authorities. In return for leaving the squat voluntarily, the squatters were given another house free of charge. The new building will house a “Center of Free Education,” run by the former squatters.