04 November 2008

Now that we're in a post-racial world... Neo-Nazis March in Moscow

Neo-nazis march in Moscow, from the AP:

Ultranationalists and anti-immigrant activists tossed smoke grenades and scuffled with riot police in Moscow on Tuesday as authorities broke up an unauthorized demonstration on a new holiday to mark Russian national unity.

Riot police detained 500 people, but released them after only a few hours. There were no reports of injuries.

The demonstrators -- many of whom espouse racist or fascist ideology against non-Russians -- defied a government ban on unsanctioned marches to celebrate National Unity Day, a holiday created in 2005 to replace the traditional celebration of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

The Kremlin has tried to give the holiday historical significance by tying it to the 1612 expulsion of Polish and Cossack troops who had briefly seized Moscow.
Yeah, reading about it isn't so striking. Try looking at it, though. Livejournal photo-blogger Vladimir Astapkovich shares some snapshots:

Check out the rest of his brief documentary post here, which also portrays a non-sanctioned Orthodox march.

Fellow livejournalist Drugoi also got some typically amazing shots of the marchers as they proceeded down Arbat. My favorite of his series is this one:

Yes. Because I'm a sucker for the obvious. And for food.

Now, I've voted. I've blogged. I'm going to chill the champagne and try to get in a few hours of writing before I watch the returns come in.


kg said...

Let me preface my comments with a big smiley face :).
In the interests of geographic accuracy, that "obvious" photo, which is nice, could not have possibly been taken on Arbat. I am guessing it's on Novyi Arbat, the end of it close to Arbatskaya ploschad'.
What's particularly ironic about the marchers choosing Arbat (aside from the fact that it's a street where it's extremely easy to block people off at either end) is that it highlights yet again how much these nationalists don't actually bother with national history. The name of the street comes either from Arabic or a Turkic language, and, as the wiki article (http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%90%D1%80%D0%B1%D0%B0%D1%82) notes, the place is most famously associated with such Russian cultural icons as Pushkin (whose great grandfather was African), Bulat Okudzhava (half-Georgian, half-Armenian) and Viktor Tsoi (half-Korean).
Alas, Fascists are known for many things, but a well-developed sense of irony is not one of them.

rootlesscosmo said...

The guy with the stick-on 'stache and the familiar hair style has to be some kind of provocateur, no?

Buster said...

KG, Your trove of Russiana continues to edify us all.

Rootless, No. He does not have to be some kind of provocateur. Just another unwitting Russian contra-fashionista. The streets swarm with them.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to say over 200 of the marchers were beaten and arrested by the police. As it ought to be in Russia, the multi-national country.

Now note. When you speak against Russia's authorities, _who_ are you with? And do not say you do not care. Partially, you are with these brave guys.


daut said...

I love the idea of straightedge neo-nazis. Someone must have ordered a Skrewdriver album and accidentally gotten Minor Threat instead.

daut said...

Evgeny, so you're saying that one can't criticize both the Russian authorities and extremist racists who would, if given the power, make Russia even more authoritarian, and who, without that power, take their anger out on immigrants and foreign students?

Anonymous said...

daut: No. You understood me incorrectly.

Anonymous said...

daut: "extremist racists who would, if given the power, make Russia even more authoritarian"

Why are you interested in this topic? :-)


Buster said...

Daut, Seriously, can you shed more light on the sXe racist skins in Moscow? At first, I thought it was something else--the X's some version of DPNI's cross, sans circle. But nope, further photographic evidence shows that they are some weird sXe racist cult. Maybe if Ian MacKaye dropped them a little correction notice, we could straighten all this out?

daut said...

Buster, oh, nazis have taken over a lot of subcultures, starting with skinheads and ending up, most recently, believe it or not, with WP rap(!)


Compared to that, nazi sXe makes a lot of sense!

Not sure how many of them actually know who Ian MacKaye is, though.

Evgeny, I guess I just read your post as saying if you are critical of the Russian government you are automatically somehow 'with these brave guys'

Anonymous said...

daut: you are authomatically with someone no matter what's your action. Any action improves position of some groups, and worsens those of others. This must be taken into account if you are trying to mess with domestic affairs of any country. A historic example is German post WWI government which has sent Lenin&team in Russia in a special train. The result, hardly ever predicted, was the XX century Communism. So, the best way ever possible is NOT to influence domestic policies of other countries. A positive example is the Russian government which did not support any of the U.S. presidential candidates by any way -- even Russian television was greately neutral -- we 1) do not need this responsibility 2) are not interested in U.S. domestic issues. A negative example is the 2004 Ukraine Orange Revolution sponsored by U.S. NGO: now the U.S. should take its share of responsibility for the current economy crisys in the Ukraine. Otherwise I predict worsening of the U.S.-Ukraine relationships.

National politics of the current Russia's elected regime is more or less reasonable. "Russian marches" are a local problem, only in major cities as Moscow and St. Petersburb, and they are the result of bad migration policies, both national and local (those of the cities). Perhaps further immigration must be banned (greately controlled) to restore peace between national groups in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Hope the government will make such decision.


kg said...

Did you see these two related stories: