Defend the Khimki hostages – join the Russian embassy picket Monday 20th

A picket of the Russian Embassy in London  is to be held on Monday September 20th. The protest is part of a series of international actions in defence of the Khimki hostages.

These are two grassroots antifascist activists (Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov) who are currently in custody in Moscow on fabricated charges facing the prospect of very heavy prison sentences. The campaign they are part of put a temporary halt to construction of a planned Moscow-Petersburg toll highway through the Khimki Forest. In essence, they have been taken hostage by local authorities and police officials. If they are tried and convicted they could face seven years in prison. Meanwhile, police and other law enforcement agencies continue their hunt against other activists, especially those with connections to the antifascist movement.

Over the past three years, forest defenders have suffered numerous arrests and other forms of harassment by local police, as well as physical attacks carried out by “anonymous” hired thugs, including neo-Nazis. These actions by the Khimki administration and its partners are explained by the significant commercial interest they have in seeing that the highway construction project is completed.

The next pre-trial detention hearing for the two young men is scheduled for late September. International Days of Action are taking place to demand their release. Our main slogans are Freedom for Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov! and End the Persecution of Forest Defenders and Antifascists! For more details, go to the Khimki Battle website.

Picket the Russian Embassy, 13 Kensington Palace Gardens, from 5.45pm, Monday 20th September.  High St Ken tube.  Banners and placards welcome.  Called by Green Left, Socialist Resistance and the Russian collective Chto Delat.

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