“In June the Russian government declared him a ‘foreign agent’. This is absurd. Dr Kagarlitsky has been a forthright critic of the West’s imperialist adventures in Afghanistan & Iraq, & a prominent figure in the movement against neoliberal globalization.”
By Matt Willgress, Labour Outlook
Following the recent arrest of renowned Russian socialist Boris Kagarlitsky, a growing range of different organisations and individuals around the world have been showing solidarity with Boris and urging others to do the same.
As part of this global effort, we are supporting a statement initiated in Britain that has already attracted widespread support in protesting his detention and demanding his release.
On July 26, a court in the North-Western city of Syktyvkar decided to detain Dr Kagarlitsky, for two months ahead of a trial in September. Boris faces up to seven years in prison if he is declared guilty.
Initial signatories from Britain include cultural figures such as Michael Rosen and Brian Eno; trade unionists including the NEU’s Kevin Courtney (pc) and Liz Wheatley, UNISON NEC (Chair International Committee, pc) plus Labour NEC member Jess Barnard; academics and writers including Tariq Ali and Gilbert Achcar; representative of campaigns and left organisations including CND’s Kate Hudson, Stop the War Coalition’s Lindsey German and myself on behalf of Labour Outlook plus Arise Festival; and parliamentarians including Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Richard Burgon MP, Claudia Webbe MP and Lord John Hendy KC.
The statement reads in full as follows:
“We are writing in protest at the detention of the distinguished Russian anti-capitalist intellectual and anti-war activist Boris Kagarlitsky on charges of ‘justifying terrorism’. His trial will be held in the remote northern town of Syktyvkar in order to prevent effective political protest. Dr Kagarlitsky was a left-wing dissident during the late Soviet era and was arrested for ‘anti-Soviet activities’ in 1982. After the fall of the Soviet Union his prolific writings established him as Russia’s best known critical Marxist. He has taught at numerous Russian academic institutions, directed the Institute of Globalization Studies and Social Movements, and is an associate of the Transnational Institute. Dr Kagarlitsky’s arrest is no doubt a response to his opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as part of a more general move against the anti-war left. In June the Russian government declared him a ‘foreign agent’. This is absurd. Dr Kagarlitsky has been a forthright critic of the West’s imperialist adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq and a prominent figure in the movement against neoliberal globalization. We call on the authorities of the Russian Federation to respect their citizens’ freedom of speech and right to protest and to release Boris Kagarlitsky and all other anti-war prisoners immediately and unconditionally.”
The campaign for Boris’ release in Russia, here and around the world will need to be built urgently in the days and weeks ahead. As socialists it is our internationalist duty to do all we can to raise awareness, together endorsing the call to release Boris Kagarlitsky immediately and unconditionally.
- You can see a fuller list of initial signatories and join us in signing this statement here
- Contact email@example.com for more information.
- STOP PRESS: Our attention has just been drawn to another statement, produced by Russians associated with those close politically and personally to Boris. Please sign it here as well.