Jump to content
The Education Forum
  • Announcements

    • Evan Burton

      OPEN REGISTRATION BY EMAIL ONLY !!! PLEASE CLICK ON THIS TITLE FOR INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION!:   06/03/2017

      We have 5 requirements for registration: 1.Sign up with your real name. (This will be your Username) 2.A valid email address 3.Your agreement to the Terms of Use, seen here: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=21403. 4. Your photo for use as an avatar  5.. A brief biography. We will post these for you, and send you your password. We cannot approve membership until we receive these. If you are interested, please send an email to: edforumbusiness@outlook.com We look forward to having you as a part of the Forum! Sincerely, The Education Forum Team
Sign in to follow this  
John Dolva

How to stop fascism?

Recommended Posts

Ukraine is not the only country that seeks a way to stop fascism. This article in Aftonbladet ( http://www.aftonbladet.se/kultur/article18579661.ab posted under 'culture' ) has some answers. (rough summary of this particular contribution)

It's a matter that must be taken seriously. Effective, active policy must be developed.

Far-sighted resources to police and prosecution must be in place. The competence of persons need to be increased. Hate-crime laws must be applied as intended. Matters must be allowed to go to high courts to establish guidelines for police and relevant authorities.

The police need more direction in handling demonstrations by hate groups.

Fascism is anti democratic. Authorities must recognise that and act on it as such.

Fascist organisations must be recognised as criminal networks and dealt with as such by all authorities.

All authorities need to be resourced to deal with these groupings according to the law that forms as a result of the above. Education, wise leadership and an understanding that it is a complex problem that is paramount. The applied steps must be far-sighted and continuous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I continue to ponder this: One thought that I have is that the essential problem might be seen as "contradictions in need of resolution" so of course I look for previous writings on this and while there don't seem to many readily available there are some. Interestingly a number discuss perception in the sense of acquiring a perspective from selected media outlets. This does not resolve contradictions, on the contrary they perpetuate them. This is not in itself a bad thing from a long term perspective as all contradictions resolve at some points. The point made by some is that contradictions can be resolved relatively peacefully if they are dealt with before the possibility of a severely destabilising force is deployed. Basically what is needed is an inclusive system of information dissemination. In such an environment it is possible to develop dialogue methods of contradiction resolution that can be a basis of a peaceful permanent revolution of a society and any aberrations in resolution are then dealt with in an ordered manner within society.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As contradictions cause conflict, (information, financial, physical and war) the point is not conflict resolution but contradiction resolution.

As a basic necessity of contradiction resolution is access to information, if one lives in a regime where information access is streamed according to a basic dogma then the first chain is broken and everything can be expected to be resolved according to conflict resolution modus.

If calm is to be achieved an equanimous approach to inclusive information is fundamental.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

aftonbladet : "Det är nog med att Sverige normaliserar rasism och nazism, men inte fan ska ett parti med kända våldsmän i ledningen rekrytera barn till nazismen på skoltid. Den gränsen kan vi inte kompromissa med."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fascism is a place where dreams go to die

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The need to combat modern fascism
dsc_4681.bn.jpg

Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011).

Published time: May 12, 2014 18:19

Every year on 8 and 9 May Europe celebrates the liberation from fascism.

It is a day to commemorate those who died during the Second World War, but also, it is a day to recall that our generations must do what we can to prevent a new resurgence of the Nazi ideology (let alone practice!) that poisoned our continent and led to unheard-of atrocities.

Unfortunately, neo-Nazism and neo-fascism are again finding their way into public life. Russia has been raising this issue for many years, in particular with respect to the Baltic states, notably Latvia and Estonia. That their countrymen who fought against the Soviet Union and anti-Hitlerite coalition on the Nazi side are “heroes” of a “national liberation movement”, has become the mainstream idea in those countries. Monuments are erected and public rallies are held dedicated to those fighters, including members of the SS, an organisation proclaimed criminal in its entirety by the Nuremberg Tribunal.

Crimes committed by the Nazis, including those from Latvia and Estonia, against the Jewish and Slavic populations, are hushed up. And, in parallel, monuments to the Red Army soldiers are being demolished or removed. The European Union continues to turn a blind eye to these manifestations that are qualified as a matter of “freedom of expression”. Does the same go for anti-Semitism?

Ironically, other parts of the world seem to remember European history better and do understand the problem. This realisation has led the UN General Assembly to adopt, on annual basis, a resolution on Combating glorification of Nazism. It is worth mentioning that EU countries abstained from voting, while the United States and Canada were among those who voted against the draft, something that is extremely perplexing.

Unfortunately, the calls by the General Assembly have not yet led to this worrying trend subsiding. Most recently, we have been seeing an unprecedented rise of the neo-fascist movement in Ukraine. The anti-corruption and pro-democracy movement uprising in that country was swiftly hijacked by armed national-radical extremists who do not hide their anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi credentials. Suffice it to mention that almost a third of seats in the current government in Kiev are occupied by representatives of the Svoboda (“Freedom”) party, an organisation that the European Parliament has declared racist and xenophobic. And the armed groups behind the Ukrainian “revolution” are fighters of the so-called “Right Sector” that has brought together all kinds of ideological followers of the Third Reich and its nationalist collaborators.

Instead of suppressing these activists, the interim authorities seem to be relying on them in their divisive politics, including with respect to the south-eastern regions, whose concerns they wouldn’t address. Most worryingly, it is these extremists who are used as the main source of recruits for the newly formed “National Guard”, which means replacing traditional national security forces by armed formations based on partisan and political allegiances. The fear of the Russian-speaking population in the East in the face of their punitive operations is easy to understand. People don’t want to live in a country where the head of the government, apparently controlled by far-right elements, uses the Victory Day to praise the “heroism” of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators on an equal footing with Red Army veterans, as Mr Yatsenyuk did on 9 May, where nationalists sing the national anthem while people are burnt alive, as took place in Odessa.

Russia reiterates its call upon all European partners, governments and peoples alike: don’t let yourselves be drawn into an illusion that neo-fascism can be used safely for reaching immediate political objectives. There are plenty of problems to be addressed across the continent related to ethnic and national identities, the role of religious communities, minority rights etc., and connivance of the rise of far-right extremism in some countries can only complicate the search for solutions in other ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

”Rudolf Höss hade nog gått med i SD”

I går kväll kom det förflutna till Alme­dalen. Rainer Höss, sonson till Rudolf Höss, SS-kommendanten för dödlägret Auschwitz-Birkenau, är här på inbjudan av Aftonbladets ledarsida.

– Jag är rädd att vi inte har gjort upp med vår europeiska historia, unga människor vet inte hur farligt detta är, säger Rainer Höss.

”Högerextrema inte dumma”

I Sverige tillåter polisen att nazister marscherar längs gatorna i raka led och med gamla SS-symboler. Trots att hets mot folkgrupp är ett brott med fängelse i straffskalan ingriper man inte längre. Hur blev det så här?

– Det ni måste förstå är att de ­högerextrema inte är dumma. Dessa partier är egentligen de enda som ­verkligen lärt sig av historien, de gör ­inte om samma misstag. Hade min ­farfar levt i dag i Sverige skulle han nog gått med i SD, säger Rainer Höss.

Sverigedemokraterna har sina rötter i efterkrigstidens svenska nazism. I dag utgör de extremhögerns putsade yta.

Ibland spricker fasaden, som när SD:s hatsajter hotat och förföljt människor eller när ledande sverigedemokrater sprang runt med metallrör i Stockholms innerstad.

Men i allt väsentligt har medierna slutat kalla en spade för en spade. SD håller på att normaliseras i samtalet. Detta är Jimmie Åkessons verkliga framgång.

I ljuset av nazistiska Svenskarnas ­parti eller Svenska motståndsrörelsen kan SD framstå som ett mindre allvarligt hot. Men partierna är speglingar av varandra och personer rör sig mellan. Expo, som bevakar högerextrema grupper, brukar beskriva det som en trappa av extremism snarare än något väsensskilt.

– Om det är något vi borde lärt av 1900-talet är det att alla demokratiska krafter, som liberaler, socialister och konservativa, behöver hålla ihop mot fascismen. Vi behöver skapa en bred ­internationell rörelse som motkraft, ­säger Rainer Höss.

Ungefär samtidigt som Jimmie ­Åkesson äntrar Almedalens scen i kväll sätter sig Rainer Höss på ett flyg på väg mot Krakow. I morgon ska han närvara vid en minnesceremoni i Auschwitz tillsammans med Eva Mozes Kor som överlevde nazistdoktorn Josef Mengeles medicinska experiment på tvillingar.

Historien kastar långa skuggor längs Visbys gator i dag.

Edited by John Dolva

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi Robert, no, I haven't. wiki:

Not to be confused with Rudolf Hess. ‹See Tfd›

23px-Flag_of_German_Reich_%281935%E2%80%Nazi Germany Other names
  • Rudolf Höß
  • Rudolf Hoess
  • Rudolf Hoeß
Occupation 40px-SS-Obersturmbannf%C3%BChrer_Collar_ SS-Obersturmbannführer Employer 20px-3rd_SS_Division_Logo.svg.png SS-Totenkopfverbände Organization 23px-Flag_Schutzstaffel.svg.png Schutzstaffel Known for Commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, 4 May 1940 – 1 December 1943, 8 May 1944 – 18 January 1945
Political party
National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP; Nazi Party)

Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höss (represented in German as Höß, also sometimes spelled Hoeß, or Hoess)

Mass murderer. responsible for about: "On 25 May 1946, he was handed over to Polish authorities and the Supreme National Tribunal in Poland tried him for murder. His trial lasted from 11 March to 29 March 1947. During his trial, when accused of murdering three and a half million people, Höss replied, "No. Only two and one half million—the rest died from disease and starvation " at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

The article in swedish (aftonbladet) is one of a number that seeks to formulate an answer to the topic title.

"– Om det är något vi borde lärt av 1900-talet är det att alla demokratiska krafter, som liberaler, socialister och konservativa, behöver hålla ihop mot fascismen. Vi behöver skapa en bred ­internationell rörelse som motkraft, ­säger Rainer Höss*."

*grandson (sonson : son of son)

In this case expressing the need for a broad united international organisation of all democratic forces, liberal, socialist and conservative as a counter (mot) force (kraft) against fascism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
h05sdInPkgLvyTQSnkWIJzxZi0FV3keh5THmuugO

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=19233

Marek Edelman: the ghetto fighter

Jewish resistance fighter Marek Edelman died last week, aged 90. John Rose looks at the story and legacy of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto anti-Nazi uprising he led

ghetto.jpg

People emerge from the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto after the Nazis burned it to the ground

“Now the SS men were ready to attack. In closed formations, stepping haughtily and loudly, they marched into the seemingly dead streets of the Central Ghetto. Their triumph appeared to be complete.

“It looked as if this superbly equipped modern army had scared off the handful of bravado-drunk men, as if those few immature boys had at last realised that there was no point in attempting the unfeasible.

“But no, they did not scare us and we were not taken by surprise. We were only waiting an opportune moment.

“Battle groups barricaded at the four corners of the street opened concentric fire on them.

“Strange projectiles began exploding everywhere, the hand grenades of our own make, the lone machine pistol sent shots through the air now and then – ammunition had to be conserved carefully.

“They attempted a retreat but their path was cut. Their dead soon littered the street.”

Thus Marek Edelman describes the first major battle for the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto in his stunning memoir The Ghetto Fights.

Edelman, who died last week aged 90 in his native Poland, was the last survivor of the five-person command group which led the Ghetto uprising.

He is describing the beginning of the 1943 uprising against the Nazi Holocaust in Poland.

Two thirds of the 400,000 Jewish men, women and children sealed in the ghetto had already been deported to the death camps.

The uprising was triggered by the Jewish Fighting Organisation (in Polish, Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa, or “Zob”). It was formed from three political parties – the Anti-Zionist Jewish Socialist Bund, the Socialist Zionists and the Communists.

Two days fighting resulted in “something unprecedented”, he continues. “Three officers with lowered machine pistols appeared. They wore white rosettes in their buttonholes: emissaries.

“They desired to negotiate with the Area Command. They proposed a fifteen minute truce to remove the dead and wounded.

“Firing was our answer. Every house remained a hostile fortress. From every storey, from every window, bullets sought hated German helmets, hated German hearts.”

The end came only when the Nazis set the Ghetto ablaze. Edelman was one of the lucky few to escape by crawling through underground sewers.

The fire was the only way the Nazis could “save their military honour”. Heinrich Himmler, Nazi chief military thug, had panicked. He ordered the total destruction of the Ghetto.

“Otherwise,” he said, “we shall never pacify Warsaw, which continues to be a dangerous centre of disintegration and diversion.”

Himmler was right about that. A year later the Polish Underground, inspired by the Jewish ghetto fighters despite their defeat, led the city-wide uprising against the Nazi occupation.

Remarkably, Edelman took part in that uprising too.

Edelman’s remarks about “hand grenades of our own make” and the “lone machine pistol” firing only occasionally to conserve ammunition – comments echoed in other memoirs – have been seized upon by some historians.

Don’t they prove the deep rooted, endemic antisemitism, the anti-Jewish hatred, of wider Polish society? Why, even the anti-Nazi Polish Underground was unable or unwilling to arm the Ghetto properly.

Marek Edelman always dismissed these accusations. In 1989 I visited him at his home in Lodz, Poland, to seek his agreement to produce a first British edition of The Ghetto Fights.

He told me then that nearly 50 years of reflection had not changed his mind about the basic decency of the Polish people.

Trenchant

His humanist Judaism and trenchant political beliefs forged in the struggles of his teenage years as a cadre of the Bund had instilled in him an unshakeable belief that racism could be overcome, and in the potential enormous power of solidarity.

Yes, there was a weakness of solidarity from the Polish Underground in 1943 but it reflected their own weakness, lack of arms and terrible sense of their own political isolation.

The Red Army might have helped deliver the knock-out blow against Hitler in the end, but the 1944 Polish uprising was defeated because Stalin ordered them to halt outside Warsaw.

Israeli ideologues and politicians have always bitterly resented Edelman’s decision to live in Poland, and ignore and even dare criticise Israel.

They sneer at his positive attitude to Polish solidarity. But “Antek” Zukerman agreed with Edelman. Antek was Zob’s liaison with the Polish Underground, Edelman’s comrade in the Zob leadership – and a staunch Zionist who ended his days on the Ghetto Fighters Kibbutz in Israel.

Antek watched the Ghetto burn from the outside.

In his own astonishing memoir, A Surplus of Memory, he writes, “With my own eyes I saw Poles crying, just standing and crying.

“One day the ghetto was shrouded in smoke and I saw masses of Poles, without a trace of spiteful malice.”

Antek even called it a “sin” to condemn the Polish people. He also knew all about Polish solidarity.

Here he is describing rank and file Polish Communists: “Until they were corrupted by authority and even more so by Stalin, those people demonstrated exceptional personal and movement integrity.”

The basic conviction of the Ghetto Fighters was that the struggle of fellow Poles suffering at the hands of the Nazis was the same struggle as their own.

This led to the publication, as the Ghetto was on the brink of collapse, of a “Manifesto to the Poles”, which must rank as one of the last century’s greatest appeals to liberty, equality and fraternity.

“Poles, citizens, soldiers of Freedom!” it begins.

“Through the din of German cannon, destroying the homes of our mothers, wives and children; through the noise of their machine guns, seized by us in the fight against the cowardly German police and SS men...

“Through the smoke of the Ghetto that was set on fire, and the blood of its mercilessly killed defenders, we, the slaves of the Ghetto, convey heartfelt greetings to you.

“We are well aware that you have been witnessing breathlessly, with broken hearts, with tears of compassion, with horror and enthusiasm, the war that we have been waging against every brutal occupier these past few days.

“Every doorstep in the Ghetto has become a stronghold and shall remain a fortress until the end! All of us will probably perish in the fight, but we shall never surrender!

“We, as well as you, are burning with the desire to punish the enemy for his crimes.

“It is a fight for our freedom as well as yours! We shall avenge the gory deeds at Oswiecim, Treblinka, Belzec and Majdanek!

“Long live freedom! Death to the hangmen and the killer! We must continue our mutual struggle against the occupier until the very end!

“Signed, the Jewish Armed Resistance Organisation.”

Marek’s fight for freedom did not end

After the war ended, Marek Edelman became a heart surgeon in his native Poland – continuing the task of “saving lives”, as he saw it.

And he remained politically active all his life, supporting the independent Solidarity trade union movement that would remove the Stalinist regime in Poland in the 1980s.

At Solidarity’s congress in 1981, in the shipbuilding city of Gdansk, where the union was founded, a veteran of the Polish Underground that led the 1944 uprising against the Nazis, one year after the Ghetto uprising, halted the applause for himself.

He pointed to a hero “of considerably greater stature” in the hall – Dr Marek Edelman.

The Communist authorities, fearful that Edelman would emerge as an iconic figure for Solidarity, offered him belated Polish military honours, which he refused.

In the summer of 2002, Edelman, still going strong, intervened in Israel’s show trial of the now jailed Palestinian resistance leader, Marwan Barghouti.

He wrote a letter of solidarity to the Palestinian movement, and, though he criticised the suicide bombers, its tone infuriated the Israeli government and its press.

Edelman had always resented Israel’s claim on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising as a symbol of Jewish liberation. Now he said this belonged to the Palestinians.

He addressed his letter to the Palestinian “Zob”: the “commanders of the Palestinian military, paramilitary and partisan operations” and “all the soldiers of the Palestinian fighting organisations”.

The old Jewish anti-Nazi Ghetto fighter had placed his immense moral authority at the disposal of the only side he deemed worthy of it.

What was the Bund?

The Bund was a mass-based Marxist Jewish workers organisation, very active among poor Jews in the Russian Revolution and pre-war Poland. Alongside the Polish Socialists, it led the Jewish resistance to pre-war Polish fascism.

Before the 1905 Russian Revolution, even the Zionists conceded the dominant position of the Bund.

It provided leadership for thousands of Jewish youth who had no desire to emigrate to Palestine.

For more on the Bund, see John Rose’s book The Myths of Zionism, published by Pluto Press

The Ghetto Fights by Marek Edelman is available from Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop, on special offer for £4. Phone 020 7637 1848 or go to » www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk

Edited by John Dolva

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BRUSSELS, September 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Rallies in support of Ukraine’s cities of Donetsk and Lugansk in front of the European Parliament building in Brussels will be continued until the Right Sector is listed as a terrorist organization, Tatjana Zdanoka, a Latvian member of the European Parliament, told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.

A “Stop Fascism” picket was held in front of the European Parliament’s building on Tuesday. About 20 activists, both Russian and Ukrainian nationals and French and Belgian citizens, took part in the action. They were holding slogans “Stop Fascism,” “Save Donetsk” and a Russian flag. They demonstrated dozens of photos made on May 2 in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, where at least 48 protesters against the Kiev authorities had been burnt alive by radicals.

“We will stage such rallies on the second day of each month to commemorate the Odessa tragedy. We will be here until the Right Sector is listed as a terrorist organization,” she said. “Today, similar actions were held in Riga, Warsaw, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Madrid, Milan. People learnt about these actions from anti-fascist organizations, from the European Russian Alliance.”

“There is a solid anti-fascist and anti-war movement in Europe involving tens of thousands of people. The main thing is that we know people who think the same way in all countries of the European Union. Despite the West’s massive pro-Kiev propaganda, there are a lot of people who do not believe it,” Elena Politova, an activist and administrator of the Facebook anti-war group, said.

Earlier on Tuesday, about a hundred people formed a human chain between the Russian and Ukrainian embassies in Riga in a Remembrance and Solidarity action dedicated to the May 2 massacre in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. The action was organized by activists of the party Latvian Russian Union. “We gathered here not only to pay tribute to those killed on May 2 in Odessa, but also to demand that the Ukrainian government do two things. First, it must conduct a really objective investigation and punish those responsible for this tragedy. Second, it must do away with radical right organizations that are now flocking round power in Ukraine,” Miroslav Mitrofanov, a co-chairman of the Latvian Russian Party, told ITAT-TASS. “It is inadmissible to flirt with fascists, they must be controlled and kept away from the state. Otherwise, Ukraine will never be a democratic country.”

What happened to Odessa

Unrest in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa started on May 2, when football fans from the east Ukrainian city of Kharkov marched along city streets with Right Sector radicals and supporters from Kiev's Maidan Self-Defence Force. Clashes broke out between them and activists seeking a referendum on the issue of Ukrainian federalisation and Russian's official status as a state language.

At least 48 people died and more than 200 were injured in clashes in Odessa after radicals set ablaze the regional House of Trade Unions, where pro-federalisation activists had taken refuge, and a tent camp near it where they had been collecting signatures in support of the referendum.

Some Ukrainian politicians said the clashes had taken the lives of at least 116 people and that Kiev's incumbent authorities sought to conceal exact figures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Putin congratulates Ukrainian WWII veterans, urges common fight against neo-Nazism
Published time: October 28, 2014 10:37
putin.si.jpg

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Sergey Guneev)

The Russian President has sent greetings to veterans to mark the 70th anniversary of Ukraine’s liberation from Nazi occupation.

In his letter Vladimir Putin said the most important task is countering any attempts to revive fascist ideology and to rewrite the common history of Russia and Ukraine.

He wished Ukrainian war veterans good health, prosperity and good spirits and also wished peace and prosperity to all the Ukrainian people.

“In the years of the Great Patriotic War in the hard and bloody battle for Ukraine people could witness the spiritual power and unity of our multi-ethnic people in all their glory. They witnessed the courage and steadfastness of our warriors-liberators, of partisans and workers of the home front,” the Russian leader wrote in his message.“

ukraine-1.jpg

Soviet soldiers marching in liberated Odessa. (RIA Novosti / Zelma)

Our fathers and grandfathers together in one line they fought for freedom and independence of their motherland with courage and selflessness destroyed the enemy and brought nearer the long-awaited victory.We must carefully preserve the wonderful traditions of brotherly friendship and mutual help,” Putin wrote.

It is extremely important to raise the younger generation on high patriotic values and actively resist any attempts to revive the Nazi ideology, to instigate ethnic hatred and falsify our common history,” the message reads.

...

In April this year the Russian State Duma approved a bill that provides up to five years in prison for denying the facts set out in the Nuremberg Trial, the rehabilitation of Nazism, and distributing false information about the actions of Russia and its allies during WWII. When the bill was still in the discussion phase its sponsors told the press that the push for such a law is especially evident today in times of the violent political crisis in Ukraine, launched and supported by radicals and neo-Nazis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UNITED NATIONS, November 22. /TASS/. The third committee of the UN General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution urging countries to adopt more efficient measures to struggle against the heroization of Nazism and other forms of racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.

A total of 115 out of 193 UN member-states voted in favor of the document, initiated by Russia.

Three countries opposed the document - Canada, the United States and Ukraine.*

Another 55 delegations, including from the European Union countries, abstained.

The resolution expresses concerns over the spread across the world of various extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis as well as racist extremist movements and ideologies.

The text also warns against glorification of the Nazi movement and former members of the Waffen-SS organization and erecting monuments and memorials to them.

Therefore the document calls on states to take more efficient measures in line with international standards in the human rights sphere to fight these developments and extremist movements posing a real threat to democratic values.

The resolution unequivocally condemns any denial of the Holocaust and calls for ensuring the ratification and implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).


*surprised?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As resistance grows, Ukraine puts anti-fascists on trial

By Greg Butterfield on December 28, 2014
ukraine_0108.jpg?resize=300%2C148

Anti-fascists held in cages at Odessa court.

Photo: timer.od.ua

A frame-up trial of 20 anti-fascist activists began on Nov. 27 in the Primorsky court in Odessa, Ukraine. The defendants are among 70 people jailed or held under house arrest since the May 2 massacre at the House of Trade Unions.

Armed fascist goons from western Ukraine were bused into the southeastern city in April and May to suppress the protest movement against the U.S.-backed government in Kiev, which took power in an illegal coup last February.

Unleashed on the multinational port city, the ultra-right attacked and burned an Occupy Wall Street-style encampment on Kulikovo Field. Anti-fascists fled to the nearby House of Trade Unions. The neo-Nazis shot at, gassed and finally burned those inside. Survivors who jumped from the blazing building were beaten, some to death.

Officially, 48 people were killed in the massacre, though activists believe the true number is far higher.

None of the neo-Nazis who carried out the massacre have been jailed, much less put on trial — despite the existence of extensive video footage and photographs of the massacre, some of it proudly posted online by the fascists themselves. An official parliamentary inquiry into the tragedy led to stonewalling by police and the Interior Ministry.

The preliminary hearing of the anti-fascists in the Primorsky court was a farce, as reported by independent news site Timer. The 20 defendants were caged. Many of their attorneys were absent. Just 10 minutes before the hearing was scheduled to started, the prosecutor requested a 60-day extension of the prisoners’ detention. The request was granted.

The hearing started late. After a brief appearance, the judge hid in his chambers. Eventually the hearing was declared over, to be resumed Dec. 3, but the defendants refused to come out of the cage and leave the courtroom. They chanted, “Freedom to political prisoners!” and “No to the bloody regime!” (Timer.od.ua, Nov. 27)

Family members and supporters in the courtroom shouted, “Shame on the Primorsky court!” as police forced them out. Outside, right-wingers attacked two defendants.

After that debacle, the Primorsky court refused to hear the case further, referring it to the Odessa Regional Court of Appeals, which promptly sent the case back. As of Dec. 12, Primorsky was still refusing the case.

Albu: ‘Prisoners must feel our support’

Workers World spoke about the trial and the situation in Odessa with Odessa Regional Council Deputy Alexei Albu, a leader of the anti-fascist movement and survivor of the May 2 massacre. A coordinator of the Marxist organization Union Borotba (Struggle), he was forced to leave the city in May under threat of arrest. Albu currently lives in exile in Crimea, where he co-founded the Committee for the Liberation of Odessa and the investigative website 2May.org.

“Among the 70 opposition members arrested by the government are people of different political views, and even some bystanders, who are accused of various crimes,” Albu explained.

“The charges include terrorism, attempting to change the borders of Ukraine and support for the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Some are accused of plotting a coup — even though those in power now got there through a coup!

“All the political prisoners are united in hatred of the neo-fascist regime,” he said. “They include anti-capitalists like Vladislav Wojciechowski and Nikolai Popov.”

“The authorities can’t prove the guilt of the defendants,” stated Albu, noting that some gave confessions under torture. “The judges themselves realize these people aren’t guilty, but they are under intense pressure from the executive branch to condemn the anti-fascists in Odessa. The judges understand that they have to live in Odessa and look people in the eye, which is why they are refusing to deal with the criminal cases.”

Albu said the Committee for the Liberation of Odessa is urging people to come out and support the political prisoners at future court dates: “We have to be in the court because the political prisoners must feel our support. They must feel that they are not alone. They need to understand that everything they did was not in vain.”

Protests grow bolder

After seven months of occupation by neo-Nazi gangs and intense repression, Odessa workers and anti-fascist activists are growing bolder in their resistance.

Kiev and the local rulers are doing everything they can to suppress protests, Albu told WW, explaining that “coming to the courthouse, relatives and supporters are arrested or attacked by organized ultra-nationalists.”

Yet activists and victims’ family members continue to gather every Sunday on the Kulikovo Field to mourn those who died on May 2, despite facing frequent harassment from police and violence from junta supporters.

A man was arrested at the Dec. 7 commemoration, after putting on a St. George’s ribbon, the orange-and-black striped symbol of the anti-fascist movement and the Soviet victory over Nazism in World War II. Police dragged him off in front of his crying 8-year-old son and detained him for several hours. (Borotba.su)

On Dec. 10, an explosion ripped through a so-called volunteer center — actually a fascist organizing headquarters that gathers supplies for the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO), the regime’s brutal war against the independent People’s Republics of the Donbass mining region. (Molbuk.ua)

More than 600 workers walked off the job Dec.14 in a bold anti-war action at the Odessa Portside Plant, one of Ukraine’s largest chemical facilities. The workers demanded an end to the economic blockade against the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

Because of the war in Donbass, the plant has lost business, and is now operating at 30 percent of capacity. Workers held signs and banners reading, “No economic blockade” and “Make peace so we can work.” They also demanded the rehiring of laid-off workers. (Tribuna.ru, Dec. 15)

The combination of the civil war unleashed by Kiev, austerity measures demanded by the U.S. and European Union, and the global crisis of capitalism has pushed Ukraine to the brink of bankruptcy.

Like many areas of the country, Odessa suffers from rolling power outages, utility and rent hikes, and cuts in social services. On Dec. 13, the government predicted consumer gas prices would jump three to five times higher this winter.

In response, Kulikovo activists are planning to protest at the Odessa Regional State Administration building on Dec.19. Under the slogan “We want to live, not just exist,” they are calling on local residents to join them. (Timer.od.ua, Dec. 15)

“Today everyone understands that the regime in Ukraine will not last long,” said Albu. “The junta will fall, and everyone who helped the ATO, who attacked our loved ones, who threw our friends into prison, who made them starve, will have to answer for it.

“It’s this awareness of imminent retribution that hardens the fascist attack dogs. But the pendulum of history has already started moving back and there’s no getting around it,” Albu concluded.

Also see:

  1. Anti-fascists massacred in Odessa to be remembered, honored
  2. Anti-fascists organize resistance as crisis grips Ukraine coup regime
  3. Pro-West gangs attack Ukraine anti-fascists
  4. Moscow rally supports Ukraine anti-fascists

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MOSCOW, March 17 /TASS/. Russia expects adequate international reaction to glorification of Nazis in Latvia, Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry ombudsman for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, said on Tuesday.

"We resolutely condemn the Latvian authorities for supporting commemorations of Waffen SS veterans," the Russian diplomat stressed.

The veterans of Latvian Waffen SS legion and their young radically-minded supporters marched to the Monument of Freedom in the center of Riga on Monday, March 16, to pay tribute to the SS legion members. They were joined by some deputies of Latvian parliament who are members of the Fatherland and Freedom/ Movement for Latvia’s National Independence association as well as by their followers from the neighboring Lithuania and Estonia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×