Fw: Russia Elections - Urgent Appeal!

Jay Moore research at SPAMneravt.com
Thu Dec 9 20:41:58 MST 1999




----- Original Message -----
From: <SMye5 at aol.com>
To: <SMye5 at aol.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 1999 9:58 PM
Subject: Russia Elections - Urgent Appeal!



Dear comrades  -  ACT NOW!

Of the few good worker (and revolutionary) candidates, the only one likely
to
win in the Russian Duma elections (19-12-99) is Oleg Shein of Astrakhan
where
he is leading in the polls. He is supported in the elections by a wide range
of militant trade union, left Marxist and anarcho-syndicalist groups - and I
know him well enough to give him a firm recommendation that he will be an
extraordinary parliamentarian if elected, one who works constantly and
certainly will not keep his head down. Further, the election of just one
candidate opens up many resources for the militant workers movement of
Russia.

Please read the following urgent appeal for financial help for Oleg Shein’s
election campaign this month. As co--Chair of the militant trade union
Zaschita (Defense), leader of the courageous struggle of workers in his
native Astrakhan and one of the spearheads of the fight against the
draconian
new Labour Code, he won immense popularity among local workers and is now
leading his opponents in the polls. But in Russia workers struggle is never
easy. Earlier this year his close associate Oleg Maksakov was shot in the
back and killed with a sawn-off rifle. Now Oleg Shein’s election campaign
manager has been stabbed, and Shein himself is receiving constant death
threats.

It is time we stood up for our Russian brothers and sisters! Shein gives no
illusions that the mere election of workers candidates will solve anything.
He stresses extra-parliamentary activity, class struggle on the streets, is
primary - and that he will take only the average workers wage to live on, as
should all representatives of the working class. He is clearly progressive,
internationalist and against the patriotism and on the left.

Steve Myers - supporter of International Solidarity with Workers in Russia -
ISWoR
in personal capacity  -  contact me on SMye5 at aol.com

See web site for more info:
http://members.aol.com/ISWoR/english/index.html

and the website of the trade union Defense (Zaschita)
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/4580/zashchita.html



MILITANT LABOR IN RUSSIA IS CLOSE TO HAVING ONE OF ITS LEADERS ELECTED
TO THE STATE DUMA. BUT IT NEEDS YOUR HELP TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Oleg Shein, is one of the leaders of the Russian militant labor union
"Defense."  He organized a number of strikes, occupations of enterprises in
the
city of Astrakhan, street blockades, court actions in the defense of
workers'
rights, financial inspections of enterprises run by corrupted bosses.

On Shein's initiative, the workers of Astrakhan began organizing the locals
of
the independent union "Defense" on their enterprises.  There are now fifty
of
them actively involved in day-to-day struggles: for the timely payment of
wages
and wage raises, against mass layoffs and management corruption. In 1996,
Oleg
Shein was elected a Co-Chairman of the All-Russian Alliance of the Workers'
Labor Union "Defense." He is an organizer of the national campaign against
the
new anti-labor Labor Code, which introduces a 12-hour work day.

In February 1999, the Regional Conference of "Defense" in Astrakhan
nominated
Shein for elections to the State Duma.  His success would allow us to reach
a
higher level of organization and struggle.

The Russian working class now has a unique chance to win a beachhead in the
State Duma.  Shein is the only candidate from workers' collectives who has a
real chance of winning in these elections because, as a member of the
regional
parliament, he helped a great number of Astrakhan residents and because of
the
high reputation of "Defense" in this city.

The situation in Astrakhan is very tense.  The authorities and Shein's
opponents
tried everything to prevent his registration by  the electoral commission.
The
police harassed him and his campaign workers.  His campaign headquarters has
been flooded with threats from anonymous callers. Last week his campaign
manager
was attacked by two men and stabbed, but was able to escape.

Shein runs against the candidates from the local bourgeoisie and
bureaucracy: the former chief of the regional police and the boss of the
city's architecture department, thanks to whom Astrakhan now holds the
first place in Russia in the construction of villas for "new masters."
They have thousands of dollars in their campaign coffers and are united
against Shein.

"Defense" has an extensive grassroots network of activists who are now
engaged in
the door-to-door campaign.  Shein has many supporters among the region's
poor.
Presently, he leads in the city polls.  But his success in the countryside
depends on him going from village to village.  It takes a lot of gasoline,
which
is very expensive  in Russia.

Our biggest problem now is money.  Much of the meager resources of the
Russian
militant labor movement went to build his election campaign.  That little
that
we were able to collect ourselves and what workers' organizations from other
cities sent to us paid only for print materials (leaflets and newspapers).
What
we need now is the air.  One minute of radio time costs 200 rubles (about
US$
8), a minute of TV  600 ($24).  We have made radio and TV ads, but there is
no
money left to put them on  the air. Our last hope too raise this money are
international labor activists and organizations.

The elections will be held on December 19. We estimate that we need
about $2,000 to seriously improve Shein's position.   The next two weeks
are going to be decisive. We ask our comrades abroad for help.

Svetlana Baiborodova, Co-Chairman of the Labor Union Alliance "Defense"
(Samara Region)
Igor Kuznetsov, Executive Secretary of Siberian Confederation of Labor

Please send your donation by wire toVadim FillipovPassport IX-EP 673319
Address: Russia, Samara, ul. Bubnova 11-96Email: vts1 at transit.samara.ru
or by a bank transfer:Beneficiary bank: Bank of New York, New York
                          One Wall Street, New York, N.Y.10286, USA
                          acc.    890-0060211-537
 Beneficiary name: Alfa-Bank, Moscow, Russia, S.W.I.F.T.ALFARUMM
                          in favor of Samara Branch
                          acc.    30301 840 90000 0001035
                          for credit of D - 2128 (Filippov Vadim)
                          passport IX-EP   673319
                          address Bubnoba st., 11-96,
                          Samara, Russia
In the transfer application under "Details of Payment," please enter"HELP"
or
                         "Current Expenses"










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