Nazi Action Banned in Moscow November 3, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in banned, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Nazi, Racism, Racist, Swastikas.
Moscow’s powerful Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said on Tuesday he had banned a march in the Russian capital planned by far-right groups on November 4 to prevent another show by neo-Nazi groups and racists, Reuters said.
National Unity Day, which last year officially replaced the traditional November 7 anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, marks the 1612 defeat of invading Polish troops by poorly clad and barely armed Russian irregulars.
But the holiday, meant to demonstrate the unity of Russia’s multiethnic nation, last year degenerated into a show of ultra-nationalist groups who marched through Moscow and other cities with swastikas and greeted each other with Nazi Germany’s salute “Heil Hitler!”
“I have taken a decision to ban the so-called ’Russian march’,” a stern-looking Luzhkov said in a weekly question-and-answer session with Muscovites shown on several television channels.
“I ask Muscovites to be vigilant,” he said. “If we allow our state to be split on ethnic or interconfessional grounds, if we allow religious wars, then I am afraid this will be the end of Russia.”
Russia, which lost around 30 million people fighting Nazi Germany and its allies in World War Two, has seen a surge in racism in recent years.
Dozens of foreign workers and students with non-Slav features and dark complexion have been killed or wounded in racist attacks, with many of the assailants escaping justice.
Far-right groups said earlier this month they wanted to hold rallies in Moscow and across Russia on November 4 under the slogan “It’s our country”, while human rights bodies warned of a mounting racist campaign to drive foreign workers out.
A group called Action Against Illegal Immigrants (DPNI), the main organiser of rallies planned in 10 Russian cities on November 4, told Reuters earlier this month it would go ahead with their gatherings regardless of whether they were authorised or not.
But in a somewhat bashful way, Moscow municipal officials said the ultra-nationalist “Russian march” could not be held only because of construction works on its route in central Moscow.
Brushing off his staff’s diplomatic niceties, Luzhkov vowed to prevent a repeat of last year’s “shocking behaviour of young men marching with swastikas and saluting each other Nazi-style”.
“This is an alarming sign for all of us, for all those who do not want to allow this rampage of chauvinism, extreme racism and nationalism,” he said. “We have enough forces and we have the support of the overwhelming majority of our society.”
However, Luzhkov’s native city has already witnessed a wave of attacks on casinos, restaurants and markets, with masked police rounding up “criminal Georgians”.
Hundreds of other Georgians have been deported in what human rights groups say is an official campaign reflecting Moscow’s unprecedented chilly ties with the tiny Caucasus nation.