Wednesday, July 19, 2006

G8 2006 , What it was, was...

Whilst we were away them what didn't cross Offa's Dyke were busy wioth stuff at home, here's a run down. we'll post photos later (they were taken but not by techie people so we'll scan 'em at some point!):

"G8 solidarity action in Cardiff

For a few hours the centre of cardiff had access to free vegi burgers and information about the G8 and its role in creating and sustaining poverty.

"SOME PEOPLE EAT NOTHING BECAUSE G8 EVERYTHING" was the slogan spread to shoppers in cardiff today. Local activists gave this wake up call a year after Bob "the baby killer" geldoff (or whatever his name is) and his white-shirted live 8 protesters took to the streets of edinburgh.
Our message however, was the same as it was then, that the distribution of food in the world is unfair and that those responsible (the leaders of the G8) should NOT be bargained with, but should be STOPPED.
We have good friends protesting in Russia right now, some we know but most we will never meet.
I was suprised and heartened by the positive reactions we had from people, many of whom were persuaded not to go to macdonalds for their lunch, but to try one of our vegan burgers. At first many were cautious even suspiscious, but these capitalist induced preconceptions were soon dissolved and replaced by nods of understanding and words of encouragement. The police on the other hand went to burger king, shortly after giving up their attempt to intimidate us..... check out the pictures of their silly comical behaviour.... hahaha.
This was not a publicity stunt or a direct action but it was a very effective and practical way of getting through to a lot of people, and having the chance to show them an example of an alternative to the way of life we are all supppressed into.


"Anti-G8 graffiti discovered all over cardiff!

Someone's been busy, and they left their mark.... all over the bare walls of cardiff's city centre.

Great to see so much anti-g8 graffiti in Cardiff, Tony, George Bono and their 'mates' did f*@k all at last year's summit for the poor of the world, and they'll do even less this time. I took a picture of some slogans on a board outside the masonic temple of all places!
I'm inspired to go on a trip to Germany next year where i think we will have a real chance of shutting them down.
Solidarity and big respect for all those in Russia and to all those around the world involved in day to day struggles against oppression.
I'm off to buy a balaclava and some paint. I might not be able to fight the oppressors with force but i can fight them with words, until enough people are angry.... "


Apparantly there will be there will be a demonstration in solidarity with everyone arested in St
Petersburg on Friday 21st July at 1pm outside the Russian Embassy in London
Address: 6/7 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, W 8 4QP, UK. We are thinking of trying to make it down if

Here is a link to the memoirs of a polish friend who was nicked with us, this person was a great person to be arrested with, and talks more about the experiance of the arrest than we can be bothered to, they were good company!:48 hours of arrest in Petersburg. Memories of Warsaw anarchist

This is the blog of the only other activists from the UK who made it to the protests
medicstastebetter they were a great help for the last three left in nick on the last night! the Jammy Gwent boy who got released the night before was able to meet up with some of the russian and bealrussian punks the medics trainned before the summit, and though they did not have need of their new skills for these actions they were clearly going to come in handy for all the actions they have planned in the future!! they also fed us well and took us to a shower! Cheers! Cheers also to all the fellow anarcho-punks who helped me get the last train to moscow monday night with only minutes to spare! It was great to have some beer!!

Total respect to enthusastic, angry hopeful russian activst anarchists who stand as a shining example of the nature of the anarchist movement. We may not be in a postion to fight the state in a way thet might destroy it we ARE ABLE to be "a seed behinth the snow" a reminder that another way of living is not only a possibilty but also a better way for the world to live, and that it is always worth fighting for it, that some will.

The best resource for anyone looking to get in contact with any activst from eastern europe is via the very excellent ABOLISHING THE BORDERS FROM BELOW we will be selling copies of these on a regular basis from next issue onwards. Its very the best english language magazine most of us have read for a while.

Here a run down of what happened elsewhere in the world: Chronicle of Global Resistance against the 2006 G8 Summit! on Reclaim the commons

There was a bbc report about us too which you can see here
We want our mams! Two of us home and dry, three welsh anarchos left in the Russian federation

The last three of us were released from jail in St. Pete at 9am yesterday after a 48 hour sentence, with three other activists from Poland, Germany and Belarus (thank you for the company and entertainment) . We were all ok and our 2nd and last night in prison was made more comfortable by a visit from the medics who brought some bedding and food (thank yous!!!). While the coppers behaved themselves when the medic was there, after she left, our requests to use the toilet during the night were ignored despite our banging on the cell door and shouting for over an hour. In the end a plastic bottle sufficed...

At 4am we were woken by some uniformed toss from immigration in order to sign a statement (in Russian) that meant we agreed to leave the country by 19th July as our Visas had been revoked via a nice big red stamp on the Russian visa in our passport .

On our release we were greeted by the UK medics and other international and Russian activists which was much appreciated. Our problem then was how to get out of the country in time. Two of us had flights last night which we just managed to get after travelling across the country to Moscow, but the other two welsh anarchos don't have flights til 26th July. We tried to find out from the British consluate what the consequences would be if we didn't leave by the time our visas expired but they all they could do was advise us that we should leave. The last three welsh anarchos remain in Russia. They are still trying to work out how best to get home and we are trying to keep in touch.
One of them is considering staying to continue solidarity work as we are worried what the consequences could be for Russian activists when Western activists have left and the pressure on the police to behave is gone.

I think we all agreed that being arrested and detained in Russia was not bed- shitting experience we thought it would be. Thank yooooos all who worked hard to pester the fuck out of the Britsh consulate. Without the food, water, fags and pressure on the police they provided, things would have been a lot more unpleasant. Our mates in Cardiff, Newport and south wales did alot of solidarity work and media stuff so thank you and we love yous isn't it! The work must continue though to support those still imprisoned and repressed in Russia.


One of the five Welsh anarchos avoided arrest at the action on Nevsky Prospect on Sunday but went and got himself nicked at the Pink and Silver action. Thankfully he was released without charge or beating after 6 hours and is still at large.

Updates here when we get them...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"Up and down Nevsky prospect, off and on the road, A policeman, a policeman, whoops we've been arrested"
(to the tune of round and round the mulkberry bush)

Seems like years since the last post and don't really know where to begin... Saterday was a washout to be quite frank. lack of organisation was a real problem, but rather than point any fingers, we'll just draw a veil over it and move onto Sunday... (cop out!!)

At half eight in the morning a disperate group decided to block the road outside the
Radisson hotel where many G8 delegates were staying for the summit. This is situated in the heart of St. Petersburg and had shitloads of pretty non-cops in police uniform for the cameras (common in russia apparantly), traffic cops, 'regular' cops, riot-cops, robocops, miltia & human steriod machines in uniform. Armed with an impressive array of bludgions, trunchions, pistols, machine guns, bad teeth, stupid faces & no sense of humour.

Needless to say everyone was arrested after a few short minutes of unfurling banners and getting the FUCK G8 chant into full swing.

Will post more about the arrest later as I need to get transport out of russia sorted now as visas have been revoked. we were all held for between 2-3 days, though as I've only been out a short time it's hartd to get a full picture.

I would quickly say, russian lock up ain't so bad really (as prisons go, y'know, its obviously shit) but in the scheme of things, given how the vast majority of the people in the world eck out of harsh brutal short existance (thanks to scum like the G8) it's nothing to complain about. As hard, uncomfortable, dirty and unplesant it undoubtably was, it is NOTHING to the daily horror and violence the wealthy elite force to the poor peoples of this planet!

You can see many reports of actions (some of which we were involved in) in the links section to the right ->

Friday, July 14, 2006

Feeling the heat in Saint Pete...

So we all made it to St. Petersburg alright, the night train we took was well cool, 3rd class sleeper was much more comfortable than it sounds! After we got away from the station and to a local flat ( I guess we could call it a 'safe house' if we were melodramtic!!!) we heard 6 russian people off our train who took a different exit out of the station got arrested. Most activists were using the tactic of dressing 'normal' (whatever that is) and pretending to be alone, which had its limitations. Perhaps if the six had been with us wouldn't have been arrested.. then again... Apparantly the police on the train had a list of 30 russian activsts they wanted to pick up.

We went to the stadium which is the venue for the Russian Social Forum; its shit. There's police everywhere and journalists outnumber activists. As we left through the park that surrounds the stadium we saw a fight! Lots of rollerbladers were sliding up and down the path and one clipped this huge guy dressed in leather, the rollerbladered appeared to apologise but the guy was having none of it and had grabbed his neck. After a bit of shouting in russian, they were taking their tops off and the rollerblader took his skates off and they had a duel! It was totally one sided,;the rollerblader was clearly a trained kickboxer, which took the guy in leathers quite by surprise, as he got a swift kick to the side of the jugular and hit the floor like a sack of shit! it was like somthing out of a Jackie Chan movie!!

Thankfully we met a really cool guy via some of the Front Aids activists who let us stay with him. We don't really want to go back to the stadium!

Anyways we were able to have an anarchist meet up elsewhere which went the way of all meetings out here (long and confusing!). As it overran the time we had booked the room, we had an ill advised meeting in the park outside, soon enough small groups of young men in sports clothes were taking an interest and it was time for us to split...sharpish!

It's really light here, midnight feels like late afternoon, it's only dusky for a few hours before sunrise again, apparantly in June there's no darkness at all!

Will hopefully post again later today, gotta go now. Lots to get done!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Moscow = Not a big Maerdy...

Sorry for the lack of recent posts, its quite difficult to get to computer terminals at the moment. Here a report one of us put out the other day but didn't get chance to put on here.

There is not a great deal to say at the moment. Dealing with Russia's cumbersome bureaucracy takes up a lot of the time and energy of activists arriving here. Visas must be registered and tickets bought. Internationals arriving with no knowedge of the system, or like us from Wales, with very little knowledge of the language, have been dependent on getting a lot of support from the Moscow based activists. Some are working ridiculously hard to make sure that everyone manages to negotiate the often inexplicably complex procedures.As people are collecting there is growing anxiety about how the police will respond to those intending to protest against the G8 summit. So far things have not been too bad, and there have been few problems with authorities, but there is a long way to go yet. On Thursday at least one person was arrested after a group collected in a city park, but this was a minor matter and the person concerned was detained for only a few hours. Such detentions are a relatively routine occurence here, something activists have to deal with on a day to day basis. There have also been reports of people being detained as they have attempted to travel to St Petersburg. Personal details have to be given, verified by passport, before a ticket is issued, so the police are able to know when anyone connected with possible protests against the G8 is travelling to the host City.The authorities have banned any protest taking place in St Petersburg - including a planned demonstration by the social forum which had been given permission to take place on the 15th July. This means that any protest will be illegal, and police will be able to arrest anyone taking part in such protest. This alone can result in up to fifteen days imprisonment. Perhaps of more concern is the tactics that the police could use to break up and disperse any such protest. In the face of a powerful state machine it is easy for fears to be magnified out of all proportion. But despite this, there is a determination here to mount some sort of opposition to the G8 summit. Although what form that will take it is not yet possible to say.


While things in Moscow are relatively calm, reports of repression experienced by those in or travelling to St Petersburg continue to flood in. We will be making this journey shortly, so it is all a bit daunting.

Latest reports say 100 arrested or detained. Ten day prison sentences are being routinely handed out for 'extremism', ie possessing leaflets etc. Also for disobeying police instruction. Not all those detained so far are Russian, but I would say that Russians are definitely bearing the brunt of this repression.

A couple of non Russians went out last night to put up posters and were stopped by police for an ID check, but were not arrested. Having said that, the worst of the repression is definitely in St Petersburg, rather than Moscow. So we will see.

We will be travelling shortly to St Petersburg not knowing at all what to expect to find when (if?) we get there. I'm feeling waves of apprehension, but still think there is a good chance that all will be well and we will get into St Petersburg successfully.

The Russian media group asked yesterday for volunteer 'foreigners' to help them with a press conference. Although usually wary of such things, I felt that the decision of whether or not to communicate with the media was theirs to make, and if they had decided to do so it would be right to help out. So I became the 'foreigner'.

To the alarm of the security guards we walked in with masks 'Zapatista' style. We sat down at the desk in front of mainstream and independent journalists, and a TV camera, and presented a large brick like object made of cardboard and painted black, the 'black bloc'.

Apparently (although I didnt understand a word as it was all in Russian) they used this to point out that black bloc was a tactic used on occasions, not an organisation, and we removed the masks. We then made individual statements about what we are doing and why we opposed the G8 summit. Much of the rest of the conference apparently focused on the state repression and inevitable questions about what will happen in St Petersburg (I wish I knew!)

Tomorrow (hopefully) we will have a better idea of what is going on outside of Moscow, and if possible will get news to you all.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Living it up in Moscow!

Our second day in the Russian Federation and the place is all Rs backwards.... BOOM BOOM!

Ahem... anyway, storys of danger and death are well exagerated. After a suprisingly short plane journey we got in late last night(bad yes, could have driven around the world 13 times and emitted the same amount of Carbon, don't have a defense for this... - promise never to drive a car!). Had to arrange a train to St Petersburg and register our visas, all very straightforward to be honest and not the stress we'd been led to belive. However have been unable to attend the Libertarian Forum today due to sorting these things out.

It's bastard hot here, painfully so to be honest. Have spent alot of time in metro stations, which are well plush, apparantly Stalin wanted them to be 'People's Palaces' and ol' Joe managed that (even if he was a mass murdering cunt!!). Most Russians are a bit conservative and frown on playfighting, burping, shouting, or snogging in public, which has been a bit difficult for us unreconstructed Welsh... no real problems though, if a few stern looks at our inpromtue waterfight on the metro....

Vegan food isn't that forthcoming generally but bread and pickled mushrooms are always good!!! As we were in the centre we did a little sightseeing, unfortunatley dead Lenin was shut... but the Kremlin was open, got whistled at by cops alot for leaving the paths, which made for fun and games...

We are staying in a flat with alot of international activists which is sweet, it seems the Russian legal system isn't that much different to the UK in terms of activism (even if the punishment is a fair bit harsher) , certainly nothing near the bullshit scare stories *some people* have been spewing out in the UK for the last few months.

Promise to have more politics and real shit tomorrow, been finding our feet today to be honest

Friday, July 07, 2006

South Wales Anarchists Off To St. Petersburg!

"We're all going on a SUMMER HOLIDAY..."

Despite the uninformed warnings off all and sundry several Anarchists from South Wales are heading over to Russia to oppose the G8, we'll be doing this blog thingy whilst we're there for all you who can't make it. It would be great to hear of solidarity actions whilst we're in Russia happening back home, so get organising people! oh you already are? v. good.