Archive for the ‘Anti Fascism’ Category

Anarchist/Antifascist Prisoner Thomas Blak Writes From Wormwood Scrubs:

To comrades worldwide,

I send out this communiqué from inside the prison HMP Wormwood Scrubs in London, UK. I have been sentenced to imprisonment for 18 months.
This sentence has been intensely pursued since 2009 by the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, and the greedy barristers of the ancient and outdated English judicial system, which in my case was presided over by the dinosaur H.O. Blacksell QC and his posh puppy Mark Trafford.
During a profitable 17 days, in which various worms in wigs paraded their knowledge of the rich man’s law, while filling their pockets at public expense, as well as strutting their vivid imaginations, to keep each other awake. Then they sent out their twelve handpicked blind sheep for deliberation. Thirteen hours later and six comrades were en route to HMP Wormwood Scrubs, courtesy of the privatised justice courier Serco.
The outcome was a given from the very start and the Victorian master-race puppeteer H.O. Blacksell made no secret of which way these cowardly people, who so viciously decided to stand up against the bigoted racists from “Blood And Honour”, were to end up. It was obviously paramount for “Blacksellaurus Rex” to ensure that the public of Welling wouldn’t have to be exposed to such an act of free-will in terms of an antifascist opposition to fascism. It is much preferred to simply allow fascists free reign to exercise their hatred and occasionally to murder, as long as it’s done out of sight of his beloved public. After all, the fascists pay his wages and are ideologically alike.

Under the context of conspiracy, the court invented a guilty verdict, whereby no evidence was required. One for all and all for one, unless of course you hadn’t previously had the nerve to challenge the way in which a system, made by the rich and to protect the rich, wants us to live. Despite serving a sentence, it is forever held against you, which is quite handy, should one be a tad short of the annoying thing called evidence.

In a straight contradiction to what the justice system tries to preach, they have exposed themselves as nothing more than a posh gang of thugs, with huge prisons to keep us locked-up, out of sight, out of rights!

This is not unique to England and it is evident in most countries. With the breakdown of their economic system, their thuggish behaviour is becoming more and more exposed. From Athens, our inspiration, to London, it’s time to stand up and stand united, with passion and determination.

Democratic capitalist society and dictatorships alike, their failure is shining brighter by the minute, as with any system which is unfair and only serves to benefit a tiny minority of the population.

I send my support and solidarity to the comrades, in prisons and on the streets, who have courageously decided to say enough is enough. No more of the “Rule of the Rich”. No more shall they be able to hide behind their legal arguments and pseudo-democratic excuses. No more shall they be able to hide behind their polluted cloud of justice when it’s so apparent that it’s nothing more than a tool of repression, by which a big, fat, wigged-up bastard can, without remorse or humanity, destroy the lives of people on a daily basis, without any consequences or questions being asked of him. Only a few dictators have had such powers at their disposal.

It’s time to judge our judges. I know about 85,678 people in England alone, who’d like a word or two with these infallible keepers of the rich man’s democracy.
To the rich man’s justice – Fuck you hard and rot in pieces!

Anarchist Prisoner:
Thomas Blak

At Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday August 19th Jonathan Wood – one of the anti-fascists found guilty of “conspiracy to commit violent disorder” in June – was given a suspended sentence.

The convictions of Jonathan and the six other anti-fascists were complete travesties, but we are over the moon that our friend and comrade avoided being sent to prison, as this was a real possibility for him. In the end, Jonathan was given a non-custodial sentence for reasons relating to his personal circumstances.

Prisoners had been moved to different nicks now, their current addresses and prison guildelines are in this link:

Group of comrades of recently imprisoned UK Anti-fascists set up temporary support group for them whilst they are in prison. If you wish to donate money for them, you can do it now by PayPal. Go to:

Antifascist Prisoners In Need Of Support Six antifascists were recently fitted-up and sent to prison. Because of ongoing legal issues, for the moment we are unable to say more about their case, but a full report will eventually be issued. Suffice to say, they have been well and truly fucked over and deserve our fullest support and solidarity. Please write to them. As always, assume your letters are being read by our enemies and ensure you do not compromise your own security or that of others. Also please note that Thomas Blak and Austin Jackson are as yet unsentenced. For advice on writing to prisoners see the Leeds ABC website. La lucha continua!

Andy Baker (21 months)


Wormwood Scrubs

PO Box 757

Du Cane Rd



Thomas Blak (Unsentenced)


Wormwood Scrubs

PO Box 757

Du Cane Rd



Sean Cregan (21 months)


HMP Wormwood Scrubs

PO Box 757

Du Cane Rd



Phil De Sousa (21 months)
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd

Ravinder Gill (21 months)


HMP Wormwood Scrubs

PO Box 757

Du Cane Rd



Austen Jackson (Unsentenced)


HMP Wormwood Scrubs

PO Box 757

Du Cane Rd



(from Leeds ABC)

The story of Jock Plafreeman

by Anarchist Solidarity

It’s been three and a half years now since Jock Palfreeman has been imprisoned after saving the lives of two young Roma boys in Bulgaria!

In short Jock ran to the aid of the two boys when he was witness to a vicious and racist attack inflicted on them by around sixteen drunken football hooligans. Jock held them at bay for long enough for the two Roma boys to run away but the group turned on him. Jock was set upon and literally had to fight to save his own life. During the fight one of the group, Andrei Monov, was accidentally killed. Jock was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment and the equivelent of a £250,000 fine! (for the full story please go to

Support for Jock has now reached an international level.

Anarchists and Antifascists have started campaigns aound the globe including Australia, UK, Russia, Poland, France, Austria, Greece, and more… Strangely, Bulgaria is not in that list.

Suprised? So were we!

We went to the website of FAB (Bulgarian Anarchist Federation) to see if there was any mention of Jock. To our astonishment we found that not only had the FAB decided not to support Jock, they had decided to go out of thier way to publically condemn him! They claimed that Andrei Monov was thier friend and that Jock was a killer who deserved the maximum prison sentence!

(see the google translation below)

”Federation of Anarchists in Bulgaria condemns any kind of street violence and joined grieving relatives and friends of the slain boy.
Prompt the authorities to fulfill their obligations to conduct a full investigation of the case and the guilty receive fair and appropriate punishment to his grave crime.
Andrei was also a friend and we share the grief of relatives and friends.
Rest in peace, Andrei!”

Not only did this make us rage to the core, it also made us question the FABs idea of Anarchy. Why on earth would people who call themselves Anarchists be in favour of a prison sentence for a man who had taken Antifascist action? And why did they so openly associate themselves with Monov when he had clearly been involved in a savage and outnumbered racist attack on two young Roma boys?

We got in touch with AF (Anarchist Federation UK), FABs sister organisation. We wanted to know if they knew what was going on in regards to the statement on FABs website and also where they stood in regards to supporting Jock.

They emailed us back to say that they would investigate. Infact that was all they said.

Months passed along with more emails from us and all they would say was that they were investigating. Eventually they just stopped replying and we realised that we were wasting our time.

However, a spokesperson for AF did contact a mutual friend and comrade who has also been campaigning for Jock. Firstly they wanted confirmation that AS were a trustworthy and genuine Anarchist group. They were given the confirmation they asked for, but then decided that the word of our comrade was not good enough (an insult to say the least) and rejected the verification.

AF then wrote again to our comrade stating that Jock was a soldier that had been involved in a drunken fight and had killed a friend of the FAB. They claimed that Monov was ”not a Nazi”. They also stated that the only people who claim that Monov was a nazi are the fascists themselves!…

So let us get this straight, (we’ll get to the soldier bit in a minute), Monov, who was out with at least fifteen other (known locally to be fascist) football fans, drunk, and invoved in such a savage racist attack on the two Roma boys, does not qualify as fascist in the opinion of AF or FAB?

The grieving friends of Monov who were at the funeral (alongside members of the Bulgarian government, cheif of police, judges and other ‘important and influental’ people) who are reffered to by the AF and FAB as Bulgarian fascists and the far right are falsely claiming that Monov was their friend?

We don’t get it!!

It beggs the question: What would FAB and AF have to say if it were one of the Roma boys who had been killed that night? Because as far as we can see that is exactly what would have happened if Jock had not run to thier aid.

Would FAB still claim that thier beloved Andrei Monov was thier friend if he had been involved in a savage racist attack resulting in the death of the victim?

We’d like to know! So if any FAB or AF would like to answer our questions feel free. (you’ve got our email address)

Now, the controversial claims about Jock ‘being a soldier’…

Firstly, lets get one thing clear, Jock has never claimed to be an Anarchist, Activist or Antifascist. He was a young lad travelling and making friends.

He decided to join the British Army towards the end of 2007, his visa was coming to an end and he saw it as an opportunity to stay in the UK. He completed four weeks training and then went on leave for christmas. He was on holiday in Bulgaria.

So did we know Jock is a soldier?

Well he’s not! He never completed his training.

Did we know that Jock had joined the British Army in 2007?

Yes we did! And quite frankly we don’t care!! The decisions Jock made before the incident in question do not interest us one bit. As far as we are concerned those decisions are completeley irrelevant to what happened on the night of the 28th December 2007. Jock unfortunately found himself in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and he did the right thing!!

Thats enough for us.

It is abundantly clear that the whole case has been completely manipulated by Monovs father and his high ranking friends, all of the court proceedings to date have been a complete farce, there has been absolutely no sense whatsoever of a fair trial and it is so blindingly obvious that Jock has been completely stitched up!

Jock Palfreeman is an incredibly brave and courageous man who took outstanding Antifascist action and he needs our support.

Which side are you on?

For more info about Jocks case and how you can support him please go to:

Also you can join the facebook page Freedom For Jock.





FOR 11th-17th of  April 2011

Continuing the campaign for Jock;

Jock Palfreeman is a 23 year old Australian who, on the 27th of December 2007,
had the courage to stand up against 16 fascist hooligans on a night out in Sofia, Bulgaria.
He witnessed the fascists chasing and attacking two young Roma boys. Jock ran to
the boys’ aid, he did his best to keep the fascists at bay by waving a knife at
them but they attacked him. Jock was left with nowhere to run and had no choice
but to defend himself. Andrey Monov, one of the racist gang, was stabbed and killed
and another, Anton Zahariev was injured. The Roma boys ran away.
Jock has since been tried and sentenced for murder and attempted murder. He has
been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and has been fined 375,000 Australian
dollars. Jock has spent much of the time he has already served in isolation due
to a legal loop hole used by the prison authorities.
Andrey Monovs father is well known in Bulgaria and at the funeral there were a
mixture of judges, police and politicians. Jocks trial was (not surprisingly) a
complete sham – yet another example of corruption and secret handshakes in the
judicial system. The prosecutions case was built on the witness statements made
by the other Nazis that were there that night, all claiming that Jock randomly
attacked the group and chased them with the intent of killing somebody. Key
people and possible witnesses for Jocks defence were never interviewed by police
and the CCTV footage from the scene miraculously went missing. Many of the
statements made at the time were not the same as the statements submitted to the
court by the prosecution.
Jocks statement has remained consistent from the night in question.

You can read Jocks official statement at You can also watch a
documentary about his case that contains interviews with Jock at the following
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

Jock appealed against his sentence and few court hearings took place between October 2010 and January 2011. Despite police officers confirming his version of events, one of the fascists making totally incoherent statements in court trying to explain why he changed his original testimony , mounting evidence of judicial errors during the initial trial and all other factors pointing to his innocence his sentence of 20 years was upheld. (For Jocks statement about this please go to: ) He has one last chance of appealing against that decision.
It is now more important than ever that we collectively put as much pressure on
the Bulgarian authorities as possible to accept Jocks final appeal.
From the 11th to the 17th  of April there will be another International week of
action for Jock. The more creative the actions the better. Don’t let Bulgarian state bury this courageous man alive in prison!  Don’t let them think that they can get away with it!

If you are short of ideas why not try one of the following;

Organize solidarity actions outside Bulgarian Embassies and Consulates etc.
(for a list of the Bulgarian Embassies and Consulates please see,
Phone the Bulgarian Embassies and Consulates with your protests.

Help us to bombard the Bulgarian Authorities with letters of protest and
requests  for Jocks appeal to be accepted.
(please see below for a list of addresses).

If you want us to help promote your events send us the details at
Ideally protest letters are best written in your own words BUT we have provided
a sample letter (attached) that can be sent if you do not want to write your
own. Just print it out, sign it and post it, it’s as simple as that. Feel free to
reprint it and distribute it to anyone you think may send a copy.

We need to get the pressure up and
keep it up.

Addresses to post, fax and email your letters of protest to:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria
Address: 2 Aleksander Zhendov Str
Sofia 1040
Tel: +359 2 948 2999     (ready form for sending messages from their website, very helpful)

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria LONDON
186-188 Queen’s Gate
London SW7 5HL
Tel.: (0044) (0) 207 584 9400, (0) 207 584 9433
Fax: (0044) (0) 207 584 4948

Information, Public Relations and European Communication Directorate
Director: Sofia Vladimirova
Tel: +359 2 971 1408. OR +359 2 971 3778. OR +359 2 948 2218.
Fax: +359 2 870 3041

Ministry’s Reception Desk
Tel: +359 2 948 2018 OR +359 2 971 1054
(opening hrs 09.30 – 12.00 and 14.00 – 16.00)

Ministry of Justice

Finally, please write to Jock, even if it’s only a ‘good luck’ postcard. Any
letters and postcards help to keep Jock feeling positive and high spirited and
all are gratefully received. You can write to Jock at the following address:
Jock Palfreeman,
Sofia Central Prison,
21 General Stoletov Boulevard,
Sofia 1309,

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to you in regards to Australian National Jock Palfreeman.

Mr. Palfreeman is currently imprisoned in Sofia Central Prison in Bulgaria.
After defending two young innocent boys from a viscous attack by a group of
drunken football hooligans, and later being forced to defend himself against the
same assailants, he was sentenced to twenty years incarceration under charges of
murder and attempted murder.

He is clearly only guilty of causing accidental death while using self defence.

Mr. Palfreeman witnessed the gang (of around 16 men) attacking the two boys and
ran to their aid. While trying to keep the gang at bay he suffered a viscous
attack and was left with no choice but to defend himself. His version of events
has remained consistent since the night in question and is supported by numerous
witnesses. All of whom are prepared to testify in his defence.

It has since transpired that at his trial, to my astonishment, key people and
possible witnesses were never interviewed by police, the CCTV footage from the
scene went missing and many of the statements that were submitted to the court
by the prosecution were not the same as the statements made (by the same people)
on the night in question.
Anything working in favour of Mr. Palfreemans’ defence was completely
disregarded by the judge and the prosecutions case was built on the witness
statements made by the football hooligans that initially attacked the two boys,
all claiming that Mr. Palfreeman randomly attacked them and chased them with the
intent of killing somebody.
The trial was a farce!

I ask that the Bulgarian Authorities grant him his appeal and release him from those absurd charges!

Mr. Palfreeman selflessly saved the lives of two young boys, risking his own
safety and costing him his own freedom. He should be deemed a hero, not a cold
blooded killer!


Jock finally received court verdict on his appeal. In blatant disregard for all the facts presented to them during the process Bulgarian authorities upheld Jock’s ridiculous sentence, complete ingoring all evidence in his defence. There are no words to describe our contempt and disgust we feel towards all those people responsible for his imprisonment. Jock can appeal the decision within 14 days and last appeal will take place within next few months. We have to put more pressure on Bulgarian authorities if we don’t want them to get away with what they are doing at the moment.

Below is Jock’s comment on the sentencing:

To say I’m dissapointed would be an understatement. But I am not dissapointed in the “Manaf” family’s demands for unjustified punishment. I am dissapointed in the judges and legal structure that seems to have the moral backbones of jellyfish. When I saw the 15 men attack the two homeless men, I was presented with a choice. Stand back and let the injustice continue or intervene in an attempt to save human life. The Sofia city court and the Sofia court of appeal were all presented with a much easier choice than that. Their choice was not one that could result in their own deaths as mine was. Yet still they chose to take the easy way. They chose to bow to the political pressure from the Bulgarian Socialist Party and it’s beaurocrats which float around the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice like bad smell. Although this latest decision keeps me with a 20 year prison sentence, it is useful as evidence to show the depth and width of corruption in the Bulgarian courts and justice system. As disheartening as this blatantly corrupt decision is, we all must take encouragement from the 10 neautral witnesses who did have the moral backbone to come forward and tell the truth. Also from the 5 police who too eventually told the truth despite overwhelming pressures from their superiours. To all those who fight against racism, nationalism, corruption and injustice- I tell you not to loose focus or direction. Do not loose hope. Those who wish to hide  the shame that the 15 skinheads brought on Bulgaria have only been successful in increasing it and legalizing it. Ironically Andrei “Manaf” was not ashamed of his nationalism and I doubt he would have lied about actions he and his family are clearly proud of. “Bulgaria for Bulgarians” was what Dr Monov said he and his son believed in. “Defending the underdog” is what I believe in, be it Bulgaria or Bangladesh. The supreme court of appeal will not remedy the injustice. The head judge of the supreme court of appeal was even present at Andrei “Manafs” funeral. My prison sentence although outrageous, will be served easier now that the evidence is overwhelmingly in concurance with my statements and that I know I was correct in opposing racism in it’s most disgusting form, violence. My gratitude to my family, friends and comrades who have not supported me as an individual but supported me based on the evidence in my case and the reason for my involvement with the 15 skinheads.

Jock Palfreeman

message from Dutch comrades:

Our solidarity, against their repression!

This Tuesday the Anarcho-Syndicalistische Bond (ASB) in coorperation with the local AFA group organised a picketline in support of Jock Palfreeman. At 12.30 we gathered at the Bulgarian ambassy in The Hague. Leaflets we’re handed out to people passing by, solidarity chants could be heard and a banner was unrolled. Free Jock!


For 3 years my statement of self defence has not changed. And it doesn’t change now. The 3 years have been difficult, but the fact that the judges, prosecutors, private plaintifs and myself know that I’m innocent brings some comfort.

The false accusers  are scared of my case being publicized. Within Bulgaria they have done a very good job of censoring the facts of my case from the Bulgarian language public. In the past year nothing has been mentioned about my case in Bulgarian print nor in tv. In contrast to other languages.

The propaganda has been very good, with rumours that I stabbed people in the back, that contradict eye witnesses and the forensic report. Ironically the forensic report not only states that andrei was stabbed face to face, but it also states that he was not stabbed with the knife I held. He was stabbed with a dagger, a type of knife I did not have.

Dr Monov is good friends with the ex minister of police who was minister at the time of my arrest and first trial. Which clearly explains the police changing their statements in 09, witnesses not being found and video evidence being deliberatly “misplaced”.

All objective and neutral evidence in my case has supported my statement from the begining. With only the statements of the gang conflicting, with not only my statement, but all if the evidence. It is more then evident that the Monov family have used their connections within the then governing Bulgarian Socialist Party to corrupt the judicial process.

If the appeal court is not corrupt, there is more then enough evidence to find that I acted in defence of a racial minority being assaulted due to the colour of their skin, then acting in defence of myself.

Any deviation from this ruling, is a display of corruption and disrespect for law, morals, society and justice.

I have been convicted of “attacking 15 men, without reason or provocation, because I don’t like society” this was based on ONLY the statements of the football hooligans, NOT forensic or objective evidence, and I am not only innocent of this conviction, it is ridiculous on it’s own, to surgest that a sane man can attack 15 trying to kill them all without reason, is absurd.

Defence is not a crime!

Thank you for all the acts of friendship, support and solidarity, shown by friends, family and those concerned with social justice. Your constant support has not only brought the injustice to public light, but reminded me why I went to the defence of the 2 boys in the first place. It is human nature to care for each other even in the face of overwhelming odds. To all those who show their disgust of racism and corruption, thank you. We must not loose hope, not only for my case, but in the broader struggle against racism.

Most of all, I wish to publically thank my dad Simon Palfreeman, who for over 3 years now has traveled to Bulgaria about 30 times to defend me in court. When they sentenced me to 20 years, he held me by the shoulder, I told him I was fine and didn’t need condolences, he told me, “it’s not for you, it’s for me”. Thank you dad for your continued support, I love you very much

Jock Palfreeman, January 2011

We just received this inspiring and instructive report from anonymous comrades in Russia, describing two years of struggle against logging operations in one of the major forests near Moscow. The struggle culminated this summer in the “Khimki battle,” in which several hundred armed antifascists and anarchists attacked a government building in suburban Moscow; the authorities responded in kind, and subsequent solidarity efforts in Belarus provoked further repression.

Most of the links in this text lead to Russian-language pages; those too busy to teach themselves Russian can at least plug the website addresses into Google translate and struggle through computer-generated translations.

Prelude: A Spiking We Will Go

We learned of Moscow city authorities’ plans to destroy the Khimki forest in summer of 2008, when local environmentalists started an outreach campaign to drum up support for their cause. Even then it was already late, since the forest—one of the three major forests surrounding Moscow—had already been extensively logged and was pockmarked with tumors: cottages for the nouveau-riche, warehouses, parking lots, and malls.

So without a minute to lose, we grabbed some spikes and rushed in. The logging site was patrolled by guards, but their attention was distracted by the official “eco-camp” in front of their cabin so it was easy to sneak in and spike every tree we could get our nails into. This was our first experience of eco-action and it was exciting and inspiring: we didn’t get caught and we accomplished what we had come to do. We were sure that between our action, the constant pressure liberal ecologists were putting on the authorities, and the popular movement gaining momentum in the local suburbs, the tree-killers would retreat and leave the forest for good. Soon we learned better.

The trees were being felled to prepare the way for a massive new road plan authorized by the federal government. High-ranking officials—as high-ranking as Putin himself, we later learned—had a stake in lobbying for the new toll highway to be built right through the forest. The construction was financed by the international syndicate Vinci, headquartered in France, and several European banks working in partnership with the Russian national bank, Sberbank. With such powerful enemies arrayed against the forest and its defenders, the situation turned ugly.

Foreword: The Russian Context

“Those numbers are murdered antifascists only. We don’t know exactly how many immigrants are killed by Nazis every year.”
-Anarchist spokesperson at an international Antifa conference

In fall 2008, Khimki journalist Mikhail Beketov, who played a major role in news coverage of the corrupt road plans of local and government officials, was brutally attacked by thugs. The attack left him in a coma and he later had to have his legs amputated. That same month, elsewhere in Moscow, several well-known activists were attacked or threatened with violence. That’s not to say that cops haven’t beaten ecologists before. But it was the first time such blatant attempts were made on the lives of our comrades.

We were sucked into “the wormhole of violence” in the dead of winter 2009, when Stanislav Markelov, who provided legal support for Beketov, and Anastasya Baburova, an eco-anarchist and journalist, were shot dead in the center of Moscow. By the time some of us returned to the surface—fortunately, almost unscathed—the whole activist landscape had changed.

Since winter 2009 the streets of Russian cities have been rife with Nazi/Antifa violence, as the conflict has steadily shifted from the social-political context towards a scenario of gang warfare. This context is crucial for understanding how the struggle for Khimki forest developed.

For almost six years now, the anti-authoritarian movement in Russia has consisted primarily of two wings, one ecological and the other antifascist; the former is primarily anarchist, but the antifascist movement also includes significant participation from patriots and Stalinist parties. These groups meet infrequently at convergences, eco-camps, and other events such as the numerous in memoriam actions dedicated to murdered comrades. But with machismo increasing in the antifascist scene because of the perceived necessity to maim and kill more Nazis in retaliation for Nazi attacks, and paranoia spreading in the eco-defense movement because of the need to constantly attack construction sites and engines in the absence of popular opposition to deforestation, the rift widened. By the time of the Khimki defense, the movement was already straining to maintain coherence. Some people suspect that if it weren’t for the selective murders of the few anarchists and antifascists wise and widely respected enough to hold the various schisms in check, the movement would have been more prepared for this crisis.

Interlude: We Don’t Need No Water

Two years after our first adventure, we experienced a touching reunion with our dear forest. It was the first night of the resumed logging operation when we disembarked from our special eco-defense vehicle and ran for the cover of the nearby tree line. In several minutes we changed clothes and double-checked our comms, camouflage, and the presents we had brought along for the construction vehicles. Soon several shadows glided silently over the nocturnal plain under the pale moonlight towards the faraway forest, which was still alive and foreboding.

When we arrived at the logging encampment, we split up. Some of us lay in the romantic cover of some bushes, enjoying the stars and the sound of each other’s breath; our friends who were more eager to do reconnaissance bounded off toward the black shapes of tractors and excavators. Then all hell broke loose. Suddenly we could hear the all-too-familiar sound of a vehicle going up in flames, which sometimes reminds one of a jet plane flying overhead. The entire forest was bathed in dancing red and orange light, and the comms scouts were yelling in surprise. We tried to figure out what had happened. Luckily we evaded the guards’ attention and made it back to our transport on the remote and empty road. Red lights, comm talk—and we were sound and safe, spirited away to another town.

As it turned out, ours was not the only group sneaking around the site that busy night. Needless to say, the inhabitants of the eco-camp were blamed for the arson. In fact, the presence of the camp actually prevented eco-defenders from damaging everything they wanted to—that is why only one vehicle was torched at the site. But this didn’t occur to the logging manager, who immediately requested a police investigation of the arson and the ecologists’ suspected part in it; soon enough, he got his revenge on them in a perverse but typically Russian manner.

Over the following days our scouts reported increased guard and cop nighttime activity around the logging site, including roadblocks and patrols in the vicinity, so eco-defenders had to cancel their initial plans and shift focus a bit. Khimki is a big forest, and the logging and despoiling of wildlife in the name of profit took place almost everywhere. The incident did raise serious questions regarding overall security though: because ELF groups do not share their plans with each other, such accidental encounters are bound to happen again and again as these methods are propagated.

A logging truck sheds some light on the ecological policy of the Russian government.Enter the Nazis

As we found out later, one early morning we barely missed a mob of hired Nazi thugs who were marching towards the eco-camp at about the same time we were escaping yet again into the mist after another scouting mission. Upon arriving, they started verbally and physically abusing every eco-protestor present, but settled for guarding the logging equipment once the police made their appearance. A top manager of the logging company later admitted that he had hired the Nazis “for security reasons.”

This episode showed every doubting critic how easily capitalists fall back upon fascist support—a truism not yet obvious even to most activists in Russia—and sparked a fire in the hearts of the previously dormant antifascist wing of our movement. The confrontation that morning did more to popularize and escalate the conflict than any eco-camp, internet PR campaign, or eco-defense action ever could have. Some of our comrades reflected that what we had witnessed was a fine example of how an unforeseen, unplanned, chaotic event—even one deemed negative—can push the movement and its supporters in the right direction.

That is to say, in a revolutionary direction.

The corpulent guy with the number 19 painted on his t-shirt has been identified as the leader of the right-wing football support mob “Gladiators.”The Khimki Battle

The loggers had made a major mistake. Employing Nazis in what was perceived by almost every citizen as an anti-human project broke the ranks of the extreme right; most fascist groups tried to capitalize on the situation by posing as opponents of the destruction of the forest. More importantly, now every antifascist in the vicinity had enemies in sight and rushed to the battle.

The next day the announcement went out that a huge unpermitted show would take place in the center of Moscow. Hundreds of anti-authoritarian activists, antifascists, and party-goers gathered in anticipation of a street-party with a long-disbanded famous antifascist band as the headliner. Instead, as everybody arrived at the meeting place a guy in sunglasses announced that there would be no show, no street-party, and that the plan all along had been to go to the suburbs and attack the logging camp and the Nazis gathered there. Some people left, but the majority set out for Khimki.

While most of protesters were traveling via railway, scouts reported multiple riot police squads at the logging site. It was then decided to head for the Khimki municipal building—Khimki formally being a town in its own right—which was defenseless while every available police unit was on guard in the forest. Dressed for a party, people gathered in a bright and colorful bloc at the railway station and started marching towards the target. The bloc was accompanied by two scooters that acted as lookouts and rear guard during the action. At first local residents reacted with fear or suspicion, but after hearing the slogans and reading the banner or talking to protestors many expressed approval and support. Cars continued honking throughout the march and assault on the building.

At the doorstep of the ecological riots.So it came to pass that on July 28 in broad daylight, with the approval of hundreds of onlookers, several hundred anarchists and antifascists gathered in the center of Moscow, traveled to the railway station, hopped on the train, rode to the suburban district Khimki, disembarked, blocked up, and marched up to the municipal office chanting and lighting flares. Participants immediately commenced breaking windows, painting anti-logging and pro-forest graffiti, opening fire on the building with handguns, and even chopping the front door with an axe. Throughout this action no police officer showed up to protect state property.

Satisfied with the damage done and having received word from lookouts that riot police were loading up into busses at the logging camp, anarchists and antifascists started back towards the railway station. At this moment, two encounters with police took place. The first to face the angry mob were several cops on foot, who were strolling down the street when it suddenly flooded with anarchists. The cops retreated to the sound of breaking bottles and crashing stones. Then a police patrol made the mistake of trying to intervene in the protest; they quickly realized their mistake and retreated. Unfortunately, antifascists on foot couldn’t catch up with the swiftly retreating police car. It should be pointed out that, although the local populace supported the action verbally and symbolically via honking horns, the action failed to entice onlookers into any sort of participation.

Cops fleeing anarchists.Nevertheless, protestors managed to reach the railway station and crowd into the train, where they waited patiently for the doors to close. The doors, however, did not close. As it turned out, the locomotive driver was at that moment involved in a tense conversation with the police commander. A group of antifascists with handguns was quickly dispatched to explain to him the negative consequences of siding with our class enemies, and finally the engine started moving, pulling the train towards the safety of the big city with no trees.

Criticism has been raised in the aftermath of this event about the distribution of information, the lack of advance organizing, and on-site video recording. Most of the people who took part had initially expected to attend a street party and arrived unprepared for direct action, without matching clothes, masks, or gloves and with working cell phones. Many young participants used social transport cards with ID tags in them to gain entrance to subway. The few organizers who did know the whole plan from the beginning hadn’t prepared accordingly and failed to provide even the most minor riot gear such as face masks. This led to a huge number of protestors being videotaped with their facial features clearly distinguishable.

The Russian anti-authoritarian movement has yet to learn from its own mistakes when it comes to video recording during street protests. Protesters and “media-activists,” most of whom turned out to be journalists invited from the liberal press, failed to recognize what a fatal mistake it was to videotape the unmasked faces of activists. Some of these reporters continued shooting even after people had gotten into the train and started pulling their masks off, so even participants who had provided for their own security failed to remain anonymous in the end because of this media-activism fetish. Later, people interrogated by the police reported that they were presented with a frame-by-frame breakdown of the video that circulated on the internet. Some comrades have been forced to leave the country because of this evidence.

Video footage of the action.The Fallout: Repression and Solidarity

Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov, public spokespersons for the Russian antifascist movement, were arrested on July 30. This was followed by attempts to capture several other suspected organizers; because of their frustrating failure to turn themselves in, they were placed on a wanted list.

Facing intense pressure from government officials, unable to catch the elusive anarchists and receiving little cooperation from anyone, the police opted for massive sweeps of “prophylactic arrests.” Throughout August and September more than 500 antifascists, activists, and anarchists were detained, put in custody, tortured, and bullied into providing information on the movement—not only in Moscow, but in Nizhni Novgorod, Vladimir, and other cities as well. Police harassed people at public Antifa and animal rights events, football matches, and gatherings. Following this sweep, the sheer volume of data on the movement has swelled tenfold. As of this writing it seems that our enemies have moved on to the next phase, probing further into the network in what appears to be a third wave of interrogations of a select few activists who have been apprehended and deemed “interesting.”

It is still too early to draw conclusions, but some ideas about this repression can be explored, if only as a basis for future discussions. It is now obvious that the FSB, the Russian secret service, didn’t have any aces up their sleeves; their investigators have been joining in and ganging up on detainees from the start without a particular plan. Only two people are in jail awaiting trial, the main reason for their apprehension being their public profiles. The choice to rely on sweeping arrests and the total failure of the authorities to round up any direct action group despite all their attempts to convert detained activists into informants indicate that the Russian police approached 2010 unprepared in terms of provocateurs and informants within the Russian anti-authoritarian movement. This situation, of course, may yet change.

With all this said, it seems that the repression succeeded soundly in several ways. First, the movement seems to be isolated in a cocoon of fear. Support from outside is meager at best; social activists are second-guessing their cooperation with known antifascists. Second, almost every known “leader” or “organizer” has either been jailed or driven into hiding. Third, the authorities have managed to gather an ever-increasing amount of information since, as often happens, those who read about security practices and try to implement them in their daily lives are frequently not the ones who end up being arrested and answering questions.

Finally, and most importantly, almost everyone has forgotten about the original problem. Just as the capitalist leviathan has overextended itself, our movement has thinned its resources by betting everything on an ill-conceived riot and now all we can do is try to stem the rising tide of repression. This has happened before: in 2008 an anti-police campaign turned into a prisoner support campaign after police started hitting back with arrests and trials. Now we are watching the original environmental campaign fade into the background while prisoner support actions demand more and more attention.

There may be ways for anarchists to use the situation to our advantage, both in anti-Nazi outreach efforts and narratives and as an opportunity to reach out to the ecological movement and grassroots collectives. But the way the movement perceives itself has changed dramatically and we may need some reflection and self-assessment if we are to outmaneuver our enemies at this stage.

This is not to say that prisoner support is unimportant. Solidarity campaigns are crucial not only for the people in jail facing trial, but for the sake of those who may end up there yet. However, we should not forget the reason our comrades were arrested in the first place.

Most importantly, almost everybody has forgotten about the original problem. Our movement has thinned resources by betting everything on an ill-conceived riot, and now all we can do is try to stem the rising tide of repression.

Two Cocktail Parties

On September 2, the Russian embassy in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, was firebombed by anarchists. One of the Molotov cocktails hit a car parked in the yard. The car burned up. Evidently, this was the only damage inflicted by the attackers. Soon a communiqué was published on Belarusian anarchist websites, stating that the attack had taken place in solidarity with the Russian anarchists fighting for the Khimki forest and that Belarusian anarchists held the Russian government responsible both for the continuing deforestation and the repression of the movement.

The next morning repression hit the Belarusian scene. It took the Belarusian KGB several days to round up and arrest almost every known or suspected anarchist in Minsk, Gomel, Soligorsk, and other Belarusian cities. Our comrades were pressed for confessions of having cooperated with the Russian secret services in an attempt to discredit the Belarusian government and bring down Lukashenko’s regime. Most were formally questioned, then locked away and “forgotten” in cells for several days.

Some of our friends were not so lucky. One girl was hospitalized after she cut her veins during interrogation; another person, with previously existing serious health issues, developed major health problems as a result of the prison conditions and the severe beatings he received. Some lucky few fled the country; others stayed, taking it upon themselves to organize prisoner support campaigns. Among those who stayed were the comrades brave enough to carry out a follow-up attack on the Minsk detention center three days after the KGB started mass-arresting anarchists. A group calling itself “Friends of Liberty” firebombed a guard post in the detention center perimeter and claimed responsibility for both firebombing attacks—the Russian embassy and the police guard post—on the internet. In their second communiqué, “Friends of Liberty” stated that the KGB reacted by arresting innocent people simply because the latter had already been on the KGB’s radar. The aim of their second attack was evidently noble and brave: to demonstrate that the KGB got the wrong suspects. But the KGB was acting on Lukashenko’s direct order to “pacify the opposition,” a common practice in both Russia and Belarus shortly before presidential elections; so arrests, disappearances, and tortures continued unabated.

The Wings of a Butterfly

“Anarchy is all about order, not chaos.”
-popular Russian anarchist saying

Two notable events marked the fall of 2010: a deepening crisis in Belarusian-Russian relations, and the removal of Luzhkov from his position as the mayor of Moscow. Anarchists did their best to bring about both events.

Luzhkov, a petty Moscow tyrant who’d been abusing his position as mayor for more than 10 years, was relieved of his duties by presidential decree “for incompetence and failure to stand up to expectations.” This occurred immediately after he returned from vacation, a month after the Khimki riots. Among the reasons cited by experts and analysts was Luzhkov’s failure to cope with the Khimki crisis, as well as the part he played in the corrupt city development program.

Lukashenko, the Belarusian national-socialist dictator, gave in to fits of rage and anti-Russian rhetoric after the anarchist attacks on the Russian embassy and the police detention center where most of the anarchists arrested in Minsk were being held. An exchange of notes at the highest levels of diplomacy failed to avert the crisis, which had already been brewing before the Molotovs hit their targets. A series of bad political and economic decisions, the conspiracy-theory worldview every dictator seems inclined to, and a minor anarchist action led to the deepest political crisis Russia and Belarus have yet experienced.

This is not to imply that the departure of the mayor of Moscow and the collapse of relations with Lukashenko happened as a result of an anarchist plot or anything else along those lines. But it is important not to lose sight of the political perspective. We should consider the ways our actions can sometimes contribute to significant social changes and political upheavals—or at least scare the shit out of rich bastards!—however minor (like the Minsk firebombing) or major (like the Khimki battle) these actions may seem to participants and experts. It may be impossible to plan such things ahead of time, but we—boisterous chaos-loving anarchists—should take heart from these developments nevertheless. Hope for change and be the change.

A butterfly in the Khimki forest.Calls for solidarity

Freedom for the working class can be won only by the working class itself.
-Nestor Makhno

Repression hit both the Belarusian and Russian anarchist scenes hard, and we are in dire need of support from around the world. A call circulated for solidarity actions in support of the Belarusian anarchists (in jail for suspected firebombing attempt) on October 14-20; solidarity actions are called for the Khimki arrestees this coming November 12-15.

Also, as much as we need solidarity and support for our friends in prison and in hiding, let us not forget about the forest that’s still being threatened with destruction. We ask for international support for the eco-defense campaign against the deforestation planned by the Russian government backed by Vinci Group and other international financial institutions.

You can read more about the repression in Belarus and planned solidarity actions on Belarus indymedia.

Information about the solidarity campaign in support of arrestees after “the Khimki battle” is available at

You can contact the Moscow Anarchist Black Cross via this site to learn more about supporting anarchist prisoners in Russia.

You can send letters to the prisoners in Moscow care of this address:

P/B 13 109028 Moscow, Russia.

Letters should be sent in an envelope without any name on it. Letters can also be sent to the prisoners digitally via the email address

Finally, support stencil PDFs are available here.

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