17 Sep 2010

Russian Embassy Green Defenders protest

Dear Comrades

We are organising a protest this Monday in conjunction with the Russian
collective Chto Delat and would be very
grateful if you could publicise it as widely as possible. The protest is
part of a series of international actions in defence of the Khimki hostages
idarity/> .

These are two grassroots antifascist activists (Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim
Solopov) who are currently in custody in Moscow on fabricated charges facing
the prospect of very heavy prison sentences. Their campaign put a temporary
halt to construction of a planned Moscow-Petersburg toll highway through the
Khimki Forest. In essence, they have been taken hostage by local authorities
and police officials. If they are tried and convicted they could face seven
years in prison. Meanwhile, police and other law enforcement agencies
continue their hunt against other activists, especially those with
connections to the antifascist movement.

Over the past three years, forest defenders have suffered numerous arrests
and other forms of harassment by local police, as well as physical attacks
carried out by "anonymous" hired thugs, including neo-Nazis. These actions
by the Khimki administration and its partners are explained by the
significant commercial interest they have in seeing that the highway
construction project is completed.

The next pre-trial detention hearing for the two young men is scheduled for
late September. International Days of Action are taking place to demand
their release. Our main slogans are Freedom for Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim
Solopov! and End the Persecution of Forest Defenders and Antifascists! For
more details, go to the
Khimki Battle website.

Picket the Russian Embassy, 13 Kensington Palace Gardens, from 5.45pm,
Monday 20th September. High St Ken tube. Banners and placards welcome.
Called by Green Left and Socialist Resistance.

In solidarity

Andrew Kennedy

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