Police evicts a squat in Moscow using brutal violence

  Police evicts a squat in Moscow using brutal violence

Evgeni Schetov is an artist, to whom Moscow Union of Artists provided a space some two and half years ago. Since then, small space in Armyanskiy Pereulok 1 has become important hub for libertarian revolutionaries in Moscow, in particular for radical ecological movement Rainbow Keepers and Radical League of Artists. This made both city officials and bureaucratic art prats from Moscow Union of Artists unhappy, and during more than a year the space has been under a threat of an eviction. In reply to threats, Schetov has quit paying rents and municipal services – making space the first political squat in Moscow since 1997. Neither the Moscow Union of Artists nor the person who owns the place bothered to go to court to nullify the contract which is in force until October 2004. Instead they decided to use illegal direct action and violence to reach their goals.

Pressure against the place has been growing during last months, with regular attempts of police to break into the place and violent beatings of activists by people from Moscow Union of Artists. Breaking in has not been an easy task since the place is located below ground level and has a heavy door protecting it. However in the morning of Saturday 12th of October police managed to destroy door with axes, and police and members of Union of Artists rushed in smashing all the people on their way. One of the attacked got a brain crash, some others bleeding wounds. 3 persons had to visit hospital. Everyone got arrested. In time of the arrest, Moscow Union of Artists threw all property to street and changed the locks.

Squatters are now launching a campaign against eviction, to get back what is rightfully theirs. Please help us in our campaign, and distribute this message! We are organising a fax campaign for MONDAY 21ST OF OCTOBER to pressure institutions which are responsable for the eviction. Please send faxes Monday 21st of october to following adresses:

Moscow Union of Artists: +7-095-921-86-08
Head Department of Internal Affairs in Moscow (GUVD) +7-095-973-20-41
General prosecutor’s office +7-095-921-41-86
Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow (MVD) +7-095-237-49-25

Best time is the working time in Moscow, which is 6 AM – 14 AM Greenwich Median Time. If you have problems with the schedule, send faxes any other time later in the day or the same week.

Below a a sample letter you may use. Any further edition of the letter on your own is very much recommended!

Please report how much you have send faxes, by whom and to which adresses to dikobrazi [at] lists [dot] tao [dot] ca. Reporting is very important! Write also if you have problems in getting the faxes through.

A Sample letter:

To <Select appropriate among the following:> Moscow Union of Artists/Head Department of Internal Affairs in Moscow/ General prosecutor’s office/Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow

Saturday 12th of October police and Moscow Union of Artists attacked the space in Armyanskiy Pereulok 1.

The place is hosted by Evgeni Schetov and Radical League of Artists, who have worked closely with Rainbow Keepers movement and other left organisations in Moscow. Now the Moscow authorities and Moscow Union of Artists have decided to smash this important centre of Moscow left youth. 3 of the squatters were beaten up and then moved to hospital, others were evicted from space and arrested.

We strongly condemn this attack of bureucrats against autonomous culture. You are not following even your own laws here!

We demand returning the place back to artists, as their contract remains in force until October 2004 and you have not bothered to go to court to finish the contract.

Date, signature

from the caravan99 [at] lists [dot] riseup [dot] net listserv