Daily Archives: April 26, 2016

USA | United National Antiwar Coalition expressed their solidarity with the people of Odessa

Ana Edwards, representing the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), and Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and now prominent peace activist, delivered a Statement of Solidarity with Odessa to the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C.
It’s been nearly two years since the world was shocked by reports of the deaths of scores of pro-federalism activists at the hands of a large mob of right-wing extremists in the city of Odessa, Ukraine.
In February 2014, the elected Ukrainian government was overthrown in a right-wing coup. Anti-coup activists in Odessa set up a tent city in historic Kulikovo Square to publicize their demand for a national referendum on Ukraine’s political development.
On May 2, 2014, a large mob led by organized right-wing groups set fire to the protest camp, forcing the activists to retreat into the nearby House of Trade Unions. The building was then set on fire. Many died of smoke inhalation or were burned alive. Some jumped to their deaths. Some attempting to flee the burning building were shot or fatally beaten. At least 46 activists were killed and many more were injured.
There are many cell phone Internet videos of the attack, including this one:

Οbama defends TTIP, Europeans revolt against it!

Speaking in Germany on April 24, President Obama has strongly defended the TTIP, the new important tool of multinationals’ power over societies, asking for the treaty to be ratified already this year.

Poland | Activists of the Communist Party of Poland condemned for propagating communism

Four activists of the CPP were condemned on 31st of March 2016 by the Regional Court in Dąbrowa Górnicza for propagating communist ideology in the „Brzask” newspaper and on the party’s website. They have been sentenced to 9 months of limited freedom and with compulsory gratuitous social work and fines.
The verdict was taken during the summary procedure without presence of all the sides, that is usually used in offences, when guilt of the accused is certain. The court did not undertake standard judgement procedure and based its verdict only on a charge. The accused had no possibility to defend themselves. The condemned had already made objections to a judgement demanding normal court proceedings.
Activists of the CPP were accused of breaching article 256§1 of the penal code: „Whoever publicly promotes a fascist or other totalitarian system of state or incites hatred based on national, ethnic, race or religious differences or for reason of lack of any religious denomination shall be subject to a fine, the penalty of restriction of liberty or the penalty of deprivation of liberty for up to 2 years”.
An earlier attempt to amend this article by adding a ban on communist symbols was met with protests both in Poland and abroad. On 19th of July 2011 it was lifted by the Constitutional Court that proclaimed it contradictory with the principle of freedom of speech.
Accusations against activists of the CPP for promoting a totalitarian system are the next example of equating communism with fascism and banning communist activity.
The case was started by a denunciation made by Bartosz Kownacki – MP of the Law and Justice (PiS) party in 2013. The persecution refused to proceed. However in 2015 proceedings were resumed and gathered pace after the elections won by PiS. On 31st of December 2015 Regional Persecution in Katowice issued the case to the Regional Court in Dąbrowa Górnicza. The act of accusation stated that activists were publicly promoting a totalitarian system, by publishing in “Brzask” newspaper articles “directly related with the communist system and Marxism-Leninism, which in the context of historical experience is contradictory with democratic values” – that means for the activities of a legal political party.
The case is also important in the context of the politicisation of the persecution by subordinating it to the Minister of Justice – Zbigniew Ziobro from PiS, who was nominated as the Persecutor General. The justice system is openly treating right wing extremism differently. At the same time when members of the “Brzask” editorial staff are being sentenced, neofascists from ONR (National Radical Camp) freely demonstrated on the streets of Białystok commemorating the 82nd anniversary of their organisation. During the demonstration under the phalanx symbol they carried torches and promised to “do away” with political enemies, so directly referring to fascism. Despite this, the Ministry of Defence plans to arm neofascists as part of the territorial defence. Earlier, the court in Częstochowa acquitted charges against a man selling racist t-shirts, not seeing any violation of the art. 256 of the penal code. Recently the Minister of Justice and Persecutor General has suspended a sentence of a nationalist sentenced for assaulting a policeman.
The verdict condemning Polish communists was taken at the same time when on the 1st of April the Parliament voted through a law “on banning the promotion of communism” that forces local authorities to change the names of streets and other objects that are associated with communism, which is an attack against the tradition of the workers’ movement. The Institute of the National Remembrance creates a registry and demands from the local authorities liquidation of the monuments of Soviet soldiers and others related to communism. The Devastation and liquidation of monuments and falsifying of history are common features of fascist practices.