Moscow Nationalists Come Out for May Day 2013
The first was a mass procession beginning at the Oktyabrskoe Polye Metro stop and ending at the Schukinskaya Metro stop along Marshal Biruzov Street and the Marshal Vasilievsky Street. Based on Sova’s observation, roughly 500 people attended.
Nationalist leaders Dmitri Demushkin, Aleksandr Belov, Vladimir Tor and Roman Zheleznov were all present. Before the procession began, members of the “ethnopolitical” group ‘Russians’ held banners advertising the group and handed out group materials as well as those from the ROD human rights center.
The march was led, as is tradition, by the Union of Orthodox Banner Bearers (which on this occasion consisted of only a few people). This group was followed by a car playing music, and behind that, about twenty people carried a giant flag of the Russian Imperial tricolor, a mainstay at far-right rallies. Then came a column made up of Nationalists party members, and members of ‘Russians,’ who carried a banner reading “Moscow is a Russian city!” After these were two men with drums, a column of the ‘Restructure!’ movement and its ‘Phoenix’ project and the ‘Russian runners’ carrying banners reading “Sport, Nation, Socialism” and “Sport, Family, Socialism;” while members of ‘Russian Murom’ carried a banner reading “Our wisdom is sobriety.” Members of ‘Russian Khimki’ were accompanied by bagpipes and drums. The procession was concluded by a column of ‘Russians’ members carrying a banner reading “Tomorrow belongs to us.”
Other banners on view read “National socialism is order,” “Russian time: 14/88,” “Russians against the northwestern chord,” “Shame on Deputy Katz, the friend of illegals” and others featuring the portraits of various ultra-right ‘prisoners of conscience.’
Participants shouted “Our honor is called belief,” “Our opinion is not a crime,” “Peace, labor, May! Guest worker, leave!” (which, in Russian, rhymes while also making use of the German term Gastarbeiter), “Our help is called sobriety,” “Higher, higher Russian flag, the government is the main enemy!” (also rhyming), “To Russians a Russian Moscow – cancel 282!” (also rhyming, meaning art. 282 of Criminal Code on hate speech). Autonomous ultraright activists chanted “No red scum, no black mud,” referring to the colors used by antifascists. The neo-Nazi ‘Restructure!’ movement chanted “If you don’t’ want us to carry knives, introduce visa regulalation.”
At the end of the procession participants held a brief rally welcoming a speech by Belov, after which they directed their attention to Zheleznov (AKA Zuhel) and Demushkin.
A concert featuring well-known ultraright bands (Julia Andreeva, Shepot Run (Whispers of the Runes) and Kolovrat) followed.
The action at Lublino under the name Russian Spring, which was organized by the Russian Action Coalition (a project of the Great Russia party and the Minin-Pozharsky militia) was, predictably, much smaller – about 150 people attended.
The crowd was dominated by members of Andrey Saveliev’s Great Russia party, with about 30 people making up the group. Observers also noted members of the group For Responsible Government (formerly the Army of the People’s Will), with about 15-20 people; as well as a column of members of the Russian Right Party (RPP) who held an image of the kolovrat; activists from the Minin-Pozharsky militia (NOMP); members of Mikhail Nazarov’s Union of the Russian People (SRN); the Will party; the Russian Rescue Committee; a few Cossacks and two men carrying portraits of Tsar Nicholas II.
Black Hundreds activists handed out campaign literature before the march began.
Expanding the banner with a ‘Russian March,’ activists gathered around a drum beat near the rear. First came standard-bearers of participant groups. Demonstrators shouted “Freedom to Kvachkov,” “Freedom to Khabarov,” “Freedom to Borovikov” (though this one was not particularly active, as many probably did not know who he is) and “Freedom to Strigin.”
After the procession, representatives of the majority of the participating groups held a meeting.
Andrey Saveliev (of Great Russia party) criticized government policies, as well as former comrades who had participated in the general opposition movement typified by the white ribbon. Nikita Borisenko, an associate of the recently-arrested Pamyat leader Georgy Borovikov, urged the audience to join the Russian Action Coalition. Nadezhda Kvachkova called for a fight to pursue the case against Colonel Kvachkov (her husband) and for his release and that of his comrades. ROD human rights center leader Natalia Kholmogorova caused laughter in the crowd when she claimed, among other things, that the rally had gathered a thousand of people. Kirill Barabash (of For Responsible Government) called for violence against sitting officials.
Other speakers included Andrey Pakhomov (Great Russia), V. Istarkhov (speaking on behalf of the Russian Human Rights League), Valery Erchak (SRN), Alexander Amelin (Russian Renaissance), Nikolai Mishustin (the director of the Moscow City Duma working group for the protection of families and children from ‘juvenile technologies’), and others. Yuri Yekishev (of NOMP) gave the final speech.
In addition to these demonstrations, some nationalists took part in the traditional Communist Party May Day rally, spreading anti-Semitic newspapers, primarily last year’s: Our Fatherland, Sanctuary and others. Representatives of the group For Responsible Government were at this demonstration as well.