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St. Petersburg: Manifestation against fascism

An antifascist action and manifestation will take place in St. Petersburg on October 31st.

The action is organized by Memorial and the political movements and parties Democratic Russia, SPS and Yabloko.

The action will start on the Petrograd side near the house of Nikolai Girenko, the expert on ethnic matters, who was shot in his apartment by unknown criminals. It will be concluded by the manifestation on Sakharov Square (Vasilievsky Island)

The organizers informed the local administration about the action.

One of the organizers, the Petersburg president of the organization Democratic Russia Ruslan Linkov published the following appeal:

The threat through Nazism, which Human Rights activists and democratic public figures have talked about for a long time, has now turned into political reality. Groups of fascist thugs kill foreigners on the streets of our Russian cities.

St. Petersburg, as well as Russia at whole, needs immediately a program to resist xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of the widespread extremism. Toward this it is important to unite the efforts of civil society and authorities.

Along with the well known but not always efficient measures, which are taken by our law-enforcement agencies post factum, it is necessary to start an extensive prophylactic work. This will make it possible to prevent new ethnically motivated crimes.

The first task is to organize a mass campaign in the mass media, in schools, universities and law-enforcement agencies. Famous actors, musicians, scholars and sportsmen (for St. Petersburg it is especially important that the stars and coaches of the football club Zenit will say some words).

The authorities must give them the possibility to speak directly to all people of St. Petersburg. This might be special TV and radio appearances, newspaper publications as well as speeches to an auditory.

The second task for the authorities is to support scholars and scientific work concerning interethnic relations.

After Nikolai Girenko was murdered by fascists, this work came to a standstill for some time in St. Petersburg, and fascist editors lived up noticeably.

Scientific work has to be supported through special grants by the citys government. The post of a counselor on Human Rights issues and interethnic relations has to be formed (as a committee president inside the government of St. Petersburg). This is especially important, since the city does not have a commissioner for Human Rights.

The third task: the authorities have to react severely to each case of arousing ethnical and social hostility in the mass media.

The press committee and the regional inspection of the Federal Press Ministry have to take juristic, prophylactic measures to prevent extremist editions and close them down by court.

The fourth task: The departments inside the law-enforcement agencies dealing with the fight against extremism have to be strengthened (at present only three persons work in the corresponding department at the Office of Public Prosecutor in St. Petersburg, there is no permanent Internet access, no resources to monitor the whole press, no technical facilities to monitor the TV and radio programs).

On the other hand it is necessary to increase the responsibility of the staff members of law-enforcement agencies, to the extent that they are made responsible for tolerating extremism, for neglecting their duties and misusing their privileges, including culpable failure.

One last word! October 31st in St. Petersburg a manifestation for the whole city against fascism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination and political extremism will take place. I am convinced that the demonstration should be personally leaded by the representative of the Russian President in the North Western Region, Ilya Klebakov, the Governors of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, Valentina Matvienko and Valery Serdyukov as well as the presidents of both regions parliaments, Vadim Tyuplanov and Kirill Polyakov.

And it is necessary that the leaders of the law-enforcement agencies give an account to the assembling Russian citizens.

If we dont start fighting fascism today, tomorrow it will wait for each one of us next to our own homes.

Source: Hro.org


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