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10.04.2005

Swastikas away from our streets!

Swastikas away from our streets!

March, 10, the activists of Youth Human Rights Group (YHRG) and Youth Anti-fascist center A. Andronova, D. Makovetskaya, E. Chernyavskaya, O. Gusev, M. Efimov and the author of this article gathered in the ulitsa Shotmana – skinhead center – for an action of painting out fascist graffiti which abounded there. the action was highlighted by TV company TNT – PETRONET. The action lasted for two hours and each participant had the opportunity to drive a brush over swastikas, some on a garage, some on an apartment building, some on a cafe, owned by a non-Russian, some on the children verandah serving as a skinhead den. It is there school 14 is situated with teachers and kids walking along the sports ground, no one bothering about the amount of the nazi graffiti all around them: “SKINHEAD”, “WHITE POWER”, “RNE” (Russian National Unity – an outlawed fascist party), “Russia for the Russians”, some of them absolutely unquotable. See the site http://right.karelia.ru Kids ran after us, asking: “What are you doing?” It's good they asked us, not the drunken teenage skinhead on the dope – no one knows what could have come out of it.
It is not just that people take no care about all this, thinking the graffiti simply teenage frolic, but they express protest on seeing us making our city free of this neo-nazi writing! Fortunately, national hatred is not so flagrant in Petrozavodsk, but it doesn't mean it doesn't exist here. Moscow, Petersburg, Voronezh and some other cities show what scale hatred can take. We never know whether the same could not happen in our quiet province.
Prevention is, therefore, is better than cure. But no one wants to prevent anything! Again we meet the old Russian tradition of trusting everything to somebody else. But we must be the somebody else, we, the citizens!
The sense of humor recompensed for the lack of paint. The racist graffito became a motto of an anti-tobacco campaign: “Stubs, away from Russia!”
The paining-outs are only the first step in eradicating such sentiment in the society, first of all, among teenagers, for it is them, not yet firmly set in life, seeking for self-realization, racist propaganda strives to stupefy. If it succeeds, they have to do nothing but go and “paint”, first, unconsciously, and then, perhaps, kill people with differently colored skin or of different culture, sometimes, also without much thinking.
Today on the back wall of the “Nobility Assembly”, in the heart of Karelia's capital, a graffito was found with utter menace to the chairman of Petrozavodsk Jewish religious community Dmitry Tsvibel, “ornamented” with swastikas. Swastika is no novelty in our city, but a threat of violence, so to speak, from the walls, appears first time here. “There's no other Tsvibel in the city. I don't know, what I can do. I addressed the Federal Security Service, for it is an explicit menace. I don't make business or politics. What did I do?.. The society is ill. Everybody understands that. Blaming everything on Jews is so convenient,” – says D. Tsvibel.
“We shall address Petrozavodsk prosecutor's service on behalf of Youth Human Rights Group (YHRG) and Youth Anti-fascist center under the Museum in memoriam of the victims of fascism in honor of M. Kolbe with a request to launch a criminal case of menace in address of D. Tsvibel. We call for the law enforcement and publicity to take such threats seriously. Last year Nikolai Girenko, a world famous scholar, a well-known anti-fascist was shot in his quarters. The case has not been solved yet, which may give the nazis grounds for thinking themselves unpunished whatever they do! ” – says Maxim Efimov, head of YHRG and AFC.
Alexandra Koshkarova
YHRG, AFC activist

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