Anarchist art collective Voina is re-gifting 50,000 rubles ($1,800) of Banksy’s problematically anonymous, donated bail money towards legal fees of Sergey, Daniil and Vitaliy, members of an autonomous anarcho-comunism movement. They are facing a possible seven year imprisonment for vandalizing an STD awareness ad on February 1, by modifying it to warn against Russia’s “political elite.”
We don’t know much about this particular branch of anarchists that Banksy is now accidentally funding, because Russia has too many damn fringe groups, but the situation is similar to Voina’s. After the modifying the street ad “Do you need mates like these?” and wheatpasting portraits of Medvedev and Putin next to herpes and syphilis, the vandal culprits were arrested by Russia’s special anti-extremist police, allegedly searched without procedure, physically intimidated and deprived of sleep and water for 24 hours. Their computers and random property (markers, a teacup) were confiscated.
Now, Instead of being charged for $36 worth of damages to the ad, they’re facing a charge of “group hooliganism, committed for political reasons” which could mean seven years of imprisonment (like Voina’s charge) and these students can’t afford lawyers.
Banksy to the rescue?