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Unfiled June 17, 2005
Party Style
By Edward Limonov Browse author

In 1994 I have founded National-Bolsheviks party. I was so sick of conventional politics that I have decided to create some entirely new idiology based on style. Much later I have declared that National-Bolsheviks were in existence before National-Bolsheviks Party was created. Yes, when in 1994 somebody asked Egor Letov, Russian punk idol, why he is so poorly dressed, I was present in that moment. Letov answered that he is wearing clothes which his admirers normally wear. "And they are poor people, you know," explained Letov. "That why I wear cheap baskets, he pointed at his sneakers."

Taking example from Letov we have recommended to our followers in few first issues of "Limonka" to wear black jeans, black footwear, to cut their hair short. That was precisely those clothes that poor moscovits youngsters were sporting in those days, and now. So our party style was an imitation of street style. In that very sense it is true that National-Bolsheviks were valking streets of Russian cities before National-Bolsheviks Party was created. Black is very practical colour, stains and dirt are less visible on black clothes. Later some vise journalists wanted to tie our black clothes to fascist black shorts. I always pointed out that poor moscovites youngsters are dressing up in black. And short hear is practical, it doesn't require much care.

In the first days of June 1994 first National Bolsheviks we were busy with impossible task: to find a suitable flag for our new born Party. Because of coming conference of Radical opposition Parties appointed for June 10, we were in the hurry. We were in need of aggressive, vivid, rich in colors symbolic flag. Finally we have choosen as a flag a blurb jacket of my book "Disappearance of Barbarians" published in 1992. Back cover (of blurb jacket) was red with a white circle in the middle of the red and with a hammer and sickle inside of white circle. Designer of the book was Dmitri Kedrin. So he is a father of our flag. On June 10 we presented new handmade flag: size of 2 on 4 metres. From that time on our flag is irritating, getting on the nerves, provoking Russian society as red cloth is provoking for the bull.

We also have invented a special style of our manifestations. Normally Russian manifestations were rather dull, grimy Soviet style silent processions, resembling a funeral processions. The very best would be held with soviet songs played by old tape-recorder. National-Bolsheviks refused dull tradition. We started to shout out some outrages slogans, rhythmically articulated. "Capitalism is shit!", "We hate the government!", "Eat the rich!"-those were our slogans, so called "Krichalki" (from the verb "to shout"-krichat in Russian). Step by step our style was so aggressive and so scandalous, so attractive that was borrowed by other political organizations. But of course no one learned to use "krichalki" as we use them. Because energy and vivacity of our young party were reflected by them. Very often "krichalki" were born in the middle of manifestation, directly on the Street. On February 2000 we were walking streets of Moscow with two huge banners: "Putin, we didn't called for you, go out!", and "OFF with absolutism and crown heir!" Other oppositional parties were looking at us with dismay and even some hate, they were looking at Putin with hopes in 2000.

When 1998 we started to stage direct actions, we also made them with a certain new style. In 1999 fifteen activists of Naitonal-Bolsheviks Party have occupied the tower of Marins Club in Sebastopol that was done under the slogan, "Kuchma you will choke on Sebastopol!" National-Bolsheviks flag vaving above the city of Sebastopol on the height of 36 metres looked astonishingly beautiful, fresh, exciting. Later actions of National-Bolsheviks were more sofisticated, but they were always scandalous, unexpected, vitty and full of energy.

On May 7, 2004, the day of second inauguration of Putin as President, National-Bolsheviks have sized Bolshoi Theater it was terribly spectacular. One group of Party activists have sized the stage in protest against of elections of Putin, but another group have sized president's box seat. Firecrackers, smoke, flags, leaflets, absolutely perplexed spectators:that was quite a show! As a matter of fact, I believe that seizure of Bolshoi Theatre was the best direct action of National-Bolsheviks Party up to date. Also important to know that in that very evening President Putin was expected in Bolshoi. He didn't attended that theater only by chance. Action at Bolshoi Theater on the evening on Inauguration of Putin is less known to the general public only because Kremlin have played it down. They didn't wanted to look like idiots, because the seizure of President's Box in Bolshoi would reveal absolute incompetence of security services of the State.

I am myself good looking bearded middle-age looking man. In the Altai mountains aborigines have called me "Professor", or "Academicians." I wear black for the same practical reason as do Russian youngsters on the streets of Russian cities. In Russian prisons my cell-mates also called me "Professor" or "Academitians". Probably because I remind them a classical Russian intellectual: you know, beard, mustaches, glasses. However, wearing black jeans, black shorts and everything black: footwear, socks, boots, tie. Only my hair is gray.

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