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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another Original LR Translation: Annals of Politkovskaya

La Russophobe's professional translator offers some snippets from the Russian press concerning the Politkovskaya anniversary:

More Than Two Shall Not Gather

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal

October 5, 2007

What is happening in Nizhniy Novgorod might be called “idiocy”, “madness” and some other nice things. Such characterizations would certainly be appropriate: On October 5-6 an international forum was supposed to be held in Nizhniy in honor of Anna Politkovskaya. Human rights workers, journalists and regular people simply wanted to gather and talk - no sort of demonstration, no “March of Those Who Disagree”. And then it began. First the Nizhniy branch of External Trade Bank 24 (VTB-24) refused to work with organizers of the activity from the “Nizhniy Fund for Support of Tolerance” (NFPT). One day before the start of the forum the security service of the bank informed the rights workers that it “did not intend to provide services for their accounts and was ceasing its work with NFPT”. Then in the Oktoberskaya Hotel, where guests of the forum were supposed to stay, suddenly the “rooms were flooded”. At the same time, rumors began to circulate that a criminal case would be opened against one of the organizers of the forum, Stanislav Dmitrievskiy, for use of unlicensed software. The latest news is that a car used to transport the forum’s organizers was confiscated on the basis that it was supposedly stolen. It is unclear why the Nizhniy Novgorod authorities are so nervous: this was just a forum, not a rally or picket, and we are all mourning Anna Politkovskaya in ways that are absolutely officially approved (even TEFI is doing this). [TN: The TEFI awards, given by the Russian Academy of Television, are roughly the equivalent of the Primetime Emmy awards in America. The film “Anna Politkovskaya - Last Intervew” was awarded a TEFI on 21 Sep 2007, to a standing ovation of the academy.]

Zakhar Prilepin, writer and organizer of the forum, 05 Oct 2007, 4:17 p.m.:

“As a result of the active opposition of the authorities, the conference which was supposed to take place will not take place. We were refused a lease on the location we intended to use, and though we tried to find a different location, none was forthcoming. In the end, only a mini press-conference was held, consisting of literally five journalists. And I was unable to attend myself, because on our way to the forum Ilya Shamazov and I were detained, on the pretext of a document check. We were given no explanation for this, of course. Officially, the authorities in fact had nothing to do with it: the bank froze our accounts on its own; the hotel said our rooms were “flooded” and no others were available; and our cars were suspicious-looking and stolen. Everything in itself had nothing to do with any sort of suppression of the opposition. Even the event itself was not an opposition event, just a forum in honor of Anna Politkovskaya. This is the sort of monstrous fear the authorities have toward any sort of event. It seems to me that in this sense we have no “safe” regions any more: not in Nizniy, nor in Saint Petersburg or Samara - they are not any freer, but only nominally called so. Everything we are witnessing is absolutely Soviet-style repression of any alternative way of thinking - even where it does not actually exist, but only seems like it might. The actions of the authorities, of course, are completely disproportionate to the events against which they are directed.”

Oksana Chelysheva of “Drugaya Rossiya” (Other Russia), 05 Oct 2007, 3:51 p.m.:

“It is hard to say whether we now have a new turn in tensions. The car in which we had been riding all this time was stolen by gentlemen from traffic police on the pretext that it was stolen. We are now going to the conference on public transportation, because we are afraid the authorities might make another attempt on us, and there is no point in risking that. I can say only this: that what is happening now is complete madness, and the authorities in Nizhniy Novgorod have completely disgraced themselves.”

1 comment:

Artfldgr said...

reading all these things makes me hear a tune in the back.

[i made a few adjustments to a word or two below]

Get out your white suit, your tap shoes and tails
Let's go backwards when forward fails
And new despots you thought were gone then
Now are framed beside your bed

Don't throw the pa-ast away
You might need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When everything old is new again

Get out your white suit, your tap shoes and tails
Put it on backwards when forward fails
Better leave Stalin alone
Be a movie star on your own

And do-on't throw the past away
You might need it some other rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When everything old is new again
When everything old i-is new-ew a-again

-original lyrics by paul allen-