Report on anarchism in Estonia
What’s up in Estonia? Some months ago we opened a website called PunaMust (in English: Red’n’Black). The aim of the webpage was to unite anarchists and create an anarchist movement in Estonia. It’s all in the beginning stages, but we are slowly making some progress. There are about 20 people around Estonia (mostly in Tartu and Tallinn) who are actively participating in the movement right now and there are about 100 people who are taking part in the discussions on our web-forum. About a week ago we had to move our webpage to another server because the forum and data traffic had got too big (we had some documentary movies and mp3 lectures about anarchism and the “anti-globalization” movement there) and we had to find a bigger server. We lost all our Forum data and now we are slowly recovering from that (users of the old forum have to register again in the new forum and it takes a bit time).
About some actions:
On 8th April we took part in the demonstration against police violence in Tallinn. There were about 150 people — mostly young punks.
On 1st May we handed out anti-consumerist leaflets in front of big shopping malls in Tallinn and Tartu.
On 4th May we were guests on the TV3 talk-show “Kahvel” (one of the most popular TV talk-shows in Estonia), where we talked about anarchism and our organization.
On 15th May we had a joint action with the “Green” bicycle club Prussakov to protest against the abuse of the public space by the private security company Fack which is using one of the most important squares in Tallinn as a parking lot. We occupied the parking lot — legally — we bought parking tickets and “parked” our bikes and flowerpots in the parking spaces for one day. It got quite a lot of positive media attention. Afterwards we left without paying for the parking tickets but as far as I know no charges were made.
This Monday (29th May) we organized in Tartu a free movie night about the “anti-globalization movement”. We had a chance to use one of the big auditoriums at the University of Tartu.
Also there was an “Anarchist philosophy” class at the University of Tartu during the spring semester (by guest lecturer Dr Paul McLaughlin) and some people from our movement participated in that. I personally made an oral report about post-structuralist anarchism for that course.
In the beginning of July there will be a bike caravan against the G8, crossing Estonia and we are trying to organize campsites for them and organize an Infoday about the G8 and the “anti-globalization movement” in Tartu at that time.
Most Estonians don’t want to hear anything about “socialism”, but this is changing slowly. We also want to do our best to change that. There has been no real anarchist or (anti-authoritarian) socialist tradition in Estonia so we have to start from scratch. It’s a lot of work, due to the negative stereotypes about “socialism” and anything “leftist”. But we are still positive and believe that we can change things — we know it all takes time and a lot of energy, but I believe that we will have a real and functioning anarchist network in about 2–3 years or so in Estonia.
In our movement in PunaMust, the “collectivist” or “socialist” wing is in the majority. We still recognize the importance of individual freedom and are not willing to sacrifice it in the name of “the collective” or of “socialism”. Real socialism must respect individual freedom.
greetings from Estonia