A Moscow Procession in Memory of Markelov and Baburova
On January 19, 2015, a yearly procession in memory of the deceased lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasiya Baburova was held in Moscow six years after the murder.
Representatives of the left and youth informal anti-fascist unions, members of the LGBT-movement, human right activists, and social activists participated in the march. At the march, film director Pavel Bardin, the head editor of Novaya Gazeta Dmitry Muratov, and the leader of the “For Human Rights” movement Lev Ponomarev were present.
The participants met up and marched along three boulevards—Tverskoy, Nikitsky, and Gogolevsky—to the place of murder on Prechistenka where they laid flowers and lit candles.
The marchers gathered in Novopushkinsky Square, formed themselves into columns and marched along the boulevard chanting, “No to fascism, from the bottom to the top!”, “We don’t care about skin color, we say no to fascism!”, “Forever in Remembrance of Stas and Nastya!”, “The world is colorful, not brown!”, “Away with fascism, homophobia, and sexism!”, “No borders, no nations, no visas, no deportation!”, “Oligarch, burn in hell, Polizei, burn in hell”, “Je suis Charlie, Volnovakha and Gyumri.” Calls for political prisoners to be released were heard.
The demonstrators carried placards with the portraits of deceased anti-fascists, a banner with “Anti-fascism is ours” written on it, placards with “I am Stas Markelov, I am Nastya Baburova”, “I am Vanya Khutorskoy”, “I am Ilya Dzhaparidze” on them. At first, the police officers did not allow people with banners at all. They took away the placard “Fascism shall not pass” from one of the demonstrators, asserting that you could only march with portraits of the deceased. The police also would not let people participate who were carrying signs for LGBT rights. After long negotiations, the police agreed to let the placards with slogans pass.
The organizers of the march—“Committee of January 19th”—announced that this year “we remember not only the killed anti-fascists, our fellow countrymen, but also all the killed and all the casualties in our country at the hands of fascists…those who have come from southern or eastern parts of Russia, those who do not look like Slavs, those who have come from the southern republics of the former Soviet Union, locals who are not Slavic, or Slavs who, according to neo-nationalists half-wits, look like they are from the south or east…The putrid situation of intolerance to others who are too swarthy, too foreign, too homosexual and all others who are “too much” of something…creates favorable conditions for the hatred of mankind, favorable conditions for attack and murder” as was spoken in the press-release of the march.
A brochure entitled “The Liquidation of the Militant Organization of Russian Nationalists” was passed out at the demonstration with compiled essays about the trial of the Militant Organization of Russian Nationalists’ (BORN) doings.
The amount of participants grew as the crowd moved along. According to the estimates of the SOVA center observers, there was a maximum of 500-540 people present.
Before the beginning of the march at Novopushkinsky Square, people were seen wearing the ribbon of St. George. These were members of the National Liberation Movement (NOD).
Police detained Orthodox activist Dmitry (Enteo) Tsorionov and a few of his “comrades in arms” from the “Will of God” movement.
Some of the Orthodox activists joined the procession after the first crosswalk, jumping over the barriers installed by the police.
As the column moved along Gogolevsky Boulevard, an unidentified individual threw a firecracker at the marchers from the arch of one of the buildings. The firecracker exploded before reaching the crowd. The individual disappeared into the arch, where riot police pursued him.
During the procession, an unidentified young man in dark clothes began shouting out, “Moscow is not Sodom!” near a girl carrying a LGBT poster. Someone tore up one of the demonstrators’ posters. The marchers began calling the police, shouting, ”Provocateur!” after which the young man disappeared behind the barrier.
At the end of the Gogolevsky Boulevard in the trade pavilions, the marchers were met by about 20 people. They shouted “Maidan shall not pass,” “Russia, Homeland, Putin!” and slogans about “decaying Europe.” The procession stopped. As a result, police officers cleared the road for marchers headed to Prechistenka.
At the end of the march, near the Engels monument, after laying flowers at the place of the murder, Nikolai Kavkazsky recognized a man among the NOD activists who had attacked him in the fall, and called the police. NOD members got into a verbal argument with the demonstrators and passers-by. As a result, an anarchist struck one of the NOD activists. The anarchist was detained, and the victim left a statement. Later a case was filed under Article 213 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism), the anarchist had to sign a restricted residence order.
In all, according to the Moscow City Police, ten people were detained.