Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Emo/Goth in Russia - protests against proposed law

We covered the Russian governments plan to ban goth and emo previously. Now emos have taken to the streets in protest in Siberia.

FP – 20 July 2008:
'Siberian emo fans protest planned ban: report'

Interesting article in Moscow Times
The Moscow Times – 17 July 2008:

'Black Bangs, Piercings Raise Eyebrows in Duma'

Igor Ponkin, one of the bill's authors and a member of the Interior Ministry's public oversight council, described emo culture as a "social danger" that demands measures such as dress codes in schools, Internet regulation and state-sponsored after-school activities.

Ponkin said emo kids exchange photographs showing off their slashed wrists. "This type of behavior is a crucial part of emo ideology," he said.

"Of course there are emo teens who just listen to their music. But our actions are not directed at them but rather at those who also hurt themselves, commit suicide and promote those acts," Ponkin added.

Not all psychologists agree with Ponkin's analysis, however.

"Suicide is not a symptom of emo culture. I work with other teens too, and every group has emotionally troubled kids," said psychologist Inna Cherkova, who has worked with local teenagers, including emo kids, for 15 years.

Many subcultures can, in fact, help children mature into adults, psychologist Alyona Filippova said.

"Many kids seek those with the same perspective and problems and, through this, they can enter general society," Filippova said.

This led to a Guardian report:

The Guardian – 22 July 2008:

'Russia wages war on emo kids'

First came the Chechens, then ethnic Georgians, and then maverick journalists. But now Russia's cracking down on a different social group, a demographic they see threatening the very future of their country. These rebels have pierced lips, ridiculous haircuts and too much eyeshadow. They're barbarians in bowler hats, leather jackets and torn-up tights. Yes, emo has come to Russia – and its leaders want no part of it.

Last month the State Duma held a hearing on "Government Strategy in the Sphere of Spiritual and Ethical Education", a piece of legislation aimed at curbing "dangerous teen trends". There, without a clue in the world, social conservatives lumped "emos" together with skinheads, pushing for heavy regulation of emo websites and the banning of emo and goth fashion from schools and government buildings.

Of cours th Daily Mail would institute similar measures in the UK.

Good coverage of this at freemuse:

Government plan to ban emo and goth music

March in Shefield in honour of Sophie Lancaster/ Others planned across country

Alicia Thompson the organiser posted this appeal online explaining the reasons behind the march:

Many alternative people across the globe have reported being attacked by thugs simply for the way they dress. This is more common than we all think. Adults are glassed in the streets, punched, kicked or generally have verbal abuse thrown at them when theyve done nothing to provoke it. Not just that, many young people, still in their school years are being viciously beaten by their fellow pupils for looking 'different'.

You dont have to look very far to find thousands of people who say theyve been assaulted or worse, purely for their sub-culture affiliation. Just because you like Heavy Metal music, wear a Gothic dress, have a mohawk haircut or wear colours that others would deem not 'normal,' does not mean that society can take its pathetic mentality out on you!
What happened to our dearest Sophie Lancaster, for me, is the straw that broke the camels' back. When people are dying, its time to stand up and take action!
Brian Deneke was a punk who was run down by a jock in a car, he died instantly and the jock laughed about it! Tempest Smith was a young 12 year old girl who could no longer live with the threats and abuse she suffered daily at the hands of bullies. She commited suicide and I DAMN those newspapers who say it was because the music she listened to told her to do it! Get the real story you mind numbingly pathetic journalists!
This cannot be allowed to continue and we cannot allow any more people to die because of societies moronic views of alternative people. We're the good guys for crying out loud!
We need to put an end to Alterophobia now!

With all this in mind, i've organised a march through Sheffield city Centre on 31st August 2008. We will stand side by side, in support of our fellow brethren and we will be seen AND heard as we proudly show the public who we truely are!
It's not a demonstration, nor a picket of any sort, just a march... a march to show and celebrate our diversity and colours, a march to say 'We remember those who were treated unfairly and those who suffered tragic consequences'. We remember Sophie, Brian, Tempest, Megan, Sam, Lee, Josh and many others who are no longer with us today because they chose to be shepherds and not sheep.


Dress how you feel comfortable, i ask only that you represent yourself as true as possible.

EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT ALTERNATIVE, come and support our cause and show the world that all people are unique and beautiful just the way they are!

It should prove to be an awesome experience - and i shall be filming throughout.


DON'T WORRY if you can't make it to the Sheffield march - there are more marches being set up in other parts of the UK.

NEWCASTLE - organised by my good friend Laura Hopcroft. You can find her group here:

PLYMOUTH/DEVON/CORNWALL - organised by another good friend Scott Laycock. You can find his group here:

EAST ANGLIA - The Gothic Liberation Front (East Anglia Division) is setting up a march in Ipswich. You can contact them via their Myspace page here:

SOUTH AFRICA - organised by good friend and talented journalist-in-the-making, Rhann. You can find his group here:

CAMDEN, LONDON - Still as yet to be confirmed and organised. Will update ASAP


Get yourselves ready to be heard!!

All support is welcome... thanks!


This is excellent work and we can only hope others get involved.

The local paper covered it here:

Goths to march through Sheffield in bid to stop abuse
The Star, UK - 17 Jul 2008

HUNDREDS of goths are set to march through Sheffield to protest against the abuse they say they receive for dressing differently.
Clad mainly in black, with piercings and bright colours in their hair, members of the scene say they are fed up of being singled out for abuse - and claim they receive little support from the authorities.

Organiser Alicia Thompson, aged 32, of Wincobank, who likes to wear black dresses, boots and has her hair black and red, said: "We live in a world that doesn't accept this kind of difference and young people are continuously mocked, attacked and sometimes even killed for the way they look."

In April, national headlines were made when two teenagers were jailed for life for the murder of Sophie Lancaster, who suffered fatal injuries when she intervened to stop her boyfriend being beaten.

The court heard the sole motive for the attack was because Sophie and her boyfriend dressed as goths.

Lots of other events held or being planned recently.

Sophie's legacy of love
Manchester Online, UK - 17 Jul 2008
A Sophie Lancaster Foundation has now been set up. It aims to raise funds and provide a forum for discussion, work with youths to raise awareness.

The SOPHIE logo was designed by family friend Ben Conboy-Greenwood, 23. Hoodies, along with vest tops, bags and wristbands, are available through the MySpace page with all proceeds going to the campaign. So far £22,000 has been raised.

Tribute to Tragic Goth
RedOrbit, TX - 16 Jul 2008
YOUNGSTERS in Sandwell are to stage a memorial concert to pay tribute to murdered goth girl Sophie Lancaster. The borough's young people are holding a ...
Suckers to stamp out violence
The Visitor, UK - 15 Jul 2008
The charity was founded by the family and friends of Sophie Lancaster, the Goth girl from Bacup, who was senselessly murdered for being different in her ...
Move to revive Bacup's carnival
Lancashire Telegraph, UK - 15 Jul 2008
Money raised by the event would be given to the families of Sophie Lancaster, who was murdered in Stubbylee Park, Matthew Entwistle, who died in a motorbike ...