ADC Memorial press-conference: January 19 in St Petersburg

January 19 – Day of Remembrance of the murdered antifascists: in 2009, on this day, lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova were killed by the Nazis. Nikolai Girenko, Timur Kacharava, Ivan Hutorskoi, Aleksandr Ryukhin and others that died at the hands of the neo-Nazis – we remember them on this day. The employees of ADC “Memorial” will talk about how the St. Petersburg authorities, more than once, have refused to coordinate any antifascist actions, referring to the formal reasons (last year, they did not allow to have a procession and demonstration, this year – processions; in both cases, only pickets were allowed).

In 2011, the long trial, dealing with the case of the gang Borovikov-Voevodin, ended at last: the killers of Nikolai Girenko and other victims were sentenced to long terms, some – to life imprisonment. However, the convicted are still trying to appeal the verdict: their cassation appeal is scheduled to be reviewed by the Supreme Court on January 19th, 2012. The lawyer of the family Girenko, Olga Tseitlina, will talk about this process.

The State Duma elections at the end of 2011 gave rise to a powerful wave of protests by the most different political and social forces, including nationalistic. The cause for concern comes from the activation of nationalists during the elections, as well as the readiness of some representatives of the democratic movements to cooperate with those, who openly propagate xenophobic slogans.

Among the protest participants were not only representatives of radical right wing, fascist movements, but also anti-fascists, but the repressions were brought down primarily on the latter. Lawyer Igor Ryabchikov and his defendant – human rights activist and anti-fascist, Philipp Kostenko, who recently served his 30 day administrative arrest – will talk about the political repressions, which face many activists. Sociologist Vladimir Kostyushev will share his understanding of extremism and radicalism, repertoire of mass social protests; reflections about responsibility and radical coercive practices by the authorities. He will also talk about his experience in public defence of activists.

There is a risk that the civil activity of anti-fascists will continue to be suppressed, and nationalists – “moderate” or “ultra” – will persist on penetrating the sphere of public affairs, leading to xenophobia, the habit of blaming others for their problems, hatred and violence. Society must be consolidated in order to resist the fascist threat: nationalism and racism are unlawful – by authorities and by opposition, on the streets and in the minds of ordinary citizens.

The following will participate in the press conference:

Olga Tseitlina, lawyer of the family Girenko

Igor Ryabchikov, lawyer of civil activists

Philipp Kostenko, activist, employee of ADC “Memorial”

Vladimir Kostyushev, professor at the department of Applied Political Science at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg

Andrei Yakimov, employee of ADC “Memorial”

Press conference will take place in the information agency “Rosbalt” on January 19th, 2012 at 12:00.

Address: Ligovsky prospect, house 92/G, St. Petersburg