International protests bring pressure on Moscow police authorities
Moscow police released CWI members, Dmitrii Yerokhin and Kostya Zamurenko, hours after they arrested the two at a protest camp last Friday in the centre of the city.
The police clearly targeted the CWI comrades who were at the time running the camp’s ‘InfoCentre’, which played a key role in organizing the camp. The two were arrested and all the literature and equipment at the info-centre was seized. They were detained for a couple of hours and then released, although this was not immediately disclosed to CWI supporters in Russia or internationally, who continued to make effective protests at the arrests.
Dmitrii and Kostya appeared in court last Monday. It remains to be seen what charges, if any, they will face.
In the meantime, the police went ahead with their plans to break-up the camp, which they effectively managed over Friday night (see separate report on socialistworld.net).
The CWI in Russia sends warm thanks to all CWI members and readers of socialistworld.net, whose quick responses to our call for protests messages had an immediate effect on the authorities that arrested Dmitrii and Kostya.
Swedish protests at Russian consulate
Stefan Berg & Kristofer Lundberg, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden)
After two days of protests outside the Russian General Consulate in Gothenburg, the consulate was finally pressured into receiving the protest letter from Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna and CWI (Committee for a Workers’ International), though they first called the police on the demonstrators.
The news that two members of the Russian section of the CWI were arrested came out on Friday 18 May, and yesterday (May 21) members of the Rättvisepartet Socialisterna organized to hand over a protest letter to the consulate, calling for the political prisoners’ release. The staff refused, keeping the gate closed for the duration of the protest, which was held during the two hours that the office is open to receive Visa applications.
The consular staff’s attempt to get police to stop the protest on Monday failed. Their argument was that “this would not be allowed in Moscow”, but the police could do nothing but observe to make sure that RS did not commit any criminal offences during the protest. RS contacted the consulate and announced that the protests would continue until they agreed to receive the letter. At 10 o’clock on Tuesday morning, members of the CWI gathered to make another attempt. With placards and slogans, the protest lasted for about 45 minutes before the consulate realized that the demonstration would not stop until they opened the gates and received the letter. Visitors were caught inside the gates and not released, while those who were not admitted formed a queue. Slogans such as “Justice for the Russian workers – Justice now” and “Free political prisoners – Free Them Now” echoed off the walls of the wealthy suburb Örgryte.
When the consulate failed to get help from the police, they tried to intimidate participants by photographing car license plates and filming the protest.
The two Russian members of the CWI, Dmitrii Yerokhin and Kostya Zamurenko, were detained last Friday, potentially facing jail terms of up to 15 days simply because they are accused of organizing a peaceful tent protest against Putin’s corrupt regime. The riot police seizing all political material suggests that the authorities are concerned about a growing criticisms of the regime among young people and workers. Members of the CWI have already been beaten and arrested by police in connection with the gay pride events in Moscow.
RS will monitor developments and be prepared for major protests outside the General Consulate.
Members of Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna speak out:
“The police not only arrested the CWI members but also seized their political material. We demand that Dmitrii Yerokhin and Kostya Zamurenko are immediately released” said Stefan Berg.
“The consulate had the possibility to receive our letters of protest in an orderly manner, but since they refused, we will have to come back with more protests,” commented Amer Mohammed Ali.