[Paleopsych] CHE: Russian Youth Group Protests Attacks on Foreign Students, as Violence Continues Unabated
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Sat Oct 29 01:25:54 UTC 2005
Russian Youth Group Protests Attacks on Foreign Students, as Violence
News bulletin from the Chronicle of Higher Education, 5.10.25
[Is AntiRacism a meme?]
By BRYON MACWILLIAMS
An estimated 1,000 young people marched through a provincial city in
Russia on Sunday in an uncommon display of interethnic unity against
racist violence that recently claimed the life of a college student
The protest, which was organized by a Kremlin-backed youth
organization, was carried out without the approval of the city
government in Voronezh, located about 300 miles south of Moscow.
Foreign and local college students joined the ranks of student
activists from a group called Nashi, or Ours, who represented more
than a dozen cities.
Organizers had selected Voronezh as the site for what the group called
an anti-fascist protest against racial discrimination and violence
toward foreigners -- a problem that long has been shrugged off as
hooliganism by local governments and police officials nationwide --
after the murder there of the Peruvian student, Enrique Arturo Ángeles
Mr. Ángeles Hurtado, who was enrolled at the Voronezh State University
of Architecture and Civil Engineering, died on October 9 after he and
three other students were attacked by a group of up to 20 young men
armed with metal rods (The Chronicle, October 14). By last week
charges had been filed against 13 of the 14 suspects arrested in
connection with the attack.
Sunday's protesters assembled around noon on the downtown Petrovsky
Square. From there they marched along a major street, chanting slogans
such as "Thumbs Down to Fascism" and carrying placards with messages
like "Stop the Killing of Foreigners in Russia." The march culminated
at University Square, where the protesters unfurled a 50-by-60-foot
banner that constituted a pledge. It read: "Today we appeal to those
who regard the murder of Ángeles to be the right thing, and the
murderers as heroes. ... Guys, if you think that gathering into a pack
of jackals and killing a defenseless person is a heroic act, you are
Hundreds then signed their names to the banner, which will stand in
the center of the city for 10 days, according to organizers.
"Foreign students travel to Russia to study, spend money in Russia ...
and over the course of four, five, or six years study Russian and,
having obtained their education, go back home. Consequently,
throughout the world, people speak Russian and know about Russian
culture," said Maksim Abrakhimov, one of the so-called commissars of
Nashi. "To fail to understand that and attack foreigners is not only a
blow for the image of Russia, but a blow against Russia itself."
One state news agency reported that some 2,000 people had participated
in the march, while another said the number was more than 1,000. One
participant reported on a Web log that the total number of marchers
was closer to 500.
A small group of skinheads photographed and goaded the marchers, who
were escorted by local riot-police officers, according to a
Voronezh-based Web site.
Unlike their response to protests staged this month by foreign
students, representatives of the city's government and law-enforcement
agencies did not address the protesters.
Despite the city's status as one of the most dangerous for foreign
students, universities in Voronezh apparently will remain on a list of
172 institutions recommended to foreign students by the Ministry of
Education and Science.
Earlier this month, in light of recent killings of foreign students in
Voronezh and in St. Petersburg, the ministry said it would reassess
the recommended universities (The Chronicle, September 16).
Although the final list is scheduled to be released in November, a
state newspaper, Rossiskaya Gazeta, is reporting that only three
institutions have been stricken: Krasnoyarsk State University and the
state pedagogical universities in Nizhny Novgorod and Orenburg.
Organizers of Sunday's march said banners similar to the one unfurled
in University Square in Voronezh would be placed in cities throughout
The message is timely. On Monday the information and analytical center
Sova reported a spate of attacks against foreign students over the
past several days: In Moscow, three young men were arrested in the
beating of a philosophy student from the Congo Republic; in St.
Petersburg, three young men beat and stabbed a Chinese student, who
was later hospitalized; in Kursk, several teenage boys beat a medical
student from Malaysia outside a dormitory; and in Rostov-on-Don, a
group of unidentified men stabbed a student from Cameroon, while a
similar group attacked a female medical student, also from Cameroon.
Background articles from The Chronicle:
* Fatal Assaults Prompt Russia to Rethink Which Universities Are
Suited to Foreign Students (10/14/2005)
* Russian Official Admits That Government Cannot Guard Foreign
Students From Deadly Racist Attacks (9/16/2005)
* Foreign Students in Russian City Protest Another Apparently
Race-Based Killing (10/20/2004)
* Foreign Students in Russian City Protest Racist Attacks
* Many Foreign Students in Russia Fear for Their Lives
* Stabbing Death of Tunisian Student Angers Other Foreign
Students in Russia (3/27/2001)
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