International Solidarity with the People of Odessa

M A Y 2 0 1 8

A Report by the Odessa Solidarity Campaign

On May 2, 2014, the people of Odessa, Ukraine, experienced the worst civil atrocity in Europe since World War II. Scores of people died when a fascist-led mob chased a group of progressive activists into the five-story House of Trade Unions in Kulikovo Pole (Square) – and then set it on fire. Some died from the flames, some from smoke inhalation, some from gunshot wounds. Some leapt from the building, only to be beaten to death when they hit the ground. Dozens of cellphone videos posted on the Internet clearly show that this was a mass lynching. Just google “May 2, 2014, Odessa.”

But even though many of the attackers’ faces are clearly visible on the videos, to date not one of the perpetrators has been brought to justice – while victims who survived the fire still languish in prison, many without ever being charged with a crime. Relatives and supporters of those who died on May 2 have steadfastly demanded justice in the form of an international investigation to identify and punish those responsible for the massacre. To date, the Ukrainian government has refused to cooperate with any international body trying to pursue such an investigation.

BACKGROUND TO THE MASSACRE

The winter of 2013-14 in Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev saw escalating protests against President Viktor Yanukovych, who was accused of corruption and anti-democratic practices. He also favored strengthening trade relations with Russia, while the parliament, or Rada, wanted a trade deal with the European Union. The initially peaceful protests on a large city square, or “maidan,” were soon taken over by extreme right-wing paramilitary organizations, leading to violence and the overthrow of the president. Today Ukraine is run by a right-wing government that openly works with neo-Nazi organizations to suppress dissent. Those who supported the coup are called Maidan. Those who opposed it are known as anti-Maidan. In Odessa, the anti-Maidan activists started a petitioning campaign to allow local provinces to elect their own governors, hoping this would provide some protection from the increasingly reactionary central government. It was this simple demand that infuriated the fascists, leading to the massacre of May 2.

ROLE OF THE US, EU, NATO & IMF

After the coup, then-U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland openly bragged that the U.S. had spent $5 billion cultivating “civic” organizations in Ukraine. During the Maidan protests she was even seen supporting the protesters by distributing bread to them. She also was caught on tape deciding with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who should be the country’s next president!

Today Ukraine is a country in crisis – economically, politically and socially. Its leadership is desperate to join the European Union, but first it has to submit to “structural reforms” demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF): privatization of state-owned industries, deregulation of businesses and deep cutbacks in social services – including raising the age at which workers can collect their meager pensions. Ukraine also wants to join NATO, which would give that military alliance a new member with a 1,200-mile land border with Russia. Meanwhile, Ukraine receives massive military aid and training from the U.S. and other NATO countries and conducts regular joint air, sea and land exercises with the U.S. military.

TODAY IN ODESSA

Despite the hostility of a right-wing government and the openly fascist forces that support it, the people of Odessa continue to regularly gather at the site of the May 2 massacre and demand justice. This May 2 they held another mass gathering – even though the fascists had called for a march on their memorial. This is why solidarity events were and are being carried out in so many countries today. Together we can raise our voices and say to the world:

Solidarity with the People of Odessa!

Justice for the Victims of the Massacre of May 2!

US, EU, NATO & IMF out of Ukraine!

No to Fascism – from Charlottesville to Odessa!

This statement was issued by the Odessa Solidarity Campaign, which works in support of the Council of Mothers of May 2

in Odessa. The OSC is a project of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC). For more information, visit us at:

https://odessasolidaritycampaign.org

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In May 2018, cities across Europe & the U.S. showed solidarity with Odessa

Compiled from information from UNAC affiliates, SOLIDARITY WITH ODESSA in Europe and other sources.

NOTE: The ODESSA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN endorses the call by European organizations for actions in solidarity with Odessa to continue throughout the month of May.

Please send reports & photos of your actions to the OSC at: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com & to SOLIDARITY WITH ODESSA on their website: https://solidaritywithodessa.wordpress.com

More photos are posted at: https://www.facebook.com/Solidarity-action-May-2-with-the-victims-of-the-Odessa-massacre-613792958972533/

 (The list is not exhaustive – editor)

UKRAINE

Odessa – Despite threats of violence from fascist organizations, several thousand people gathered in front of the House of Trade Unions at Kulikovo Pole (“field,” or square). People came and went all through the day, but at any one time there were around 500 present. They laid down three rows of flowers and released black balloons, as they do at each memorial.

At 15:00 several fascist organizations staged a march of about 500 members. There was a large police presence – 2,500 by some accounts. According to the online publication Strana.ua, the majority of right-wing activists belonged to the National Corps, a far-right political party founded in 2016, with many coming to Odessa for the march from the Kiev and Kharkiv regions. At a rally following the march, speakers praised the murderers of May 2 and called for the date to be honored with a national holiday. One speaker declared that “Ukraine will belong to Ukrainians and not to kikes (a racist word for Jewish people)!”

News coverage of the memorial and the fascist march:

http://timer-odessa.net/news/4_goda_tragedii_na_kulikovom_pole_zapustili_v_nebo_chernie_shari_110.html

http://fact.international/2018/05/ukrainian-fascists-in-odessa-four-years-later/

https://strana.ua/news/139018-novosti-odessy-kak-chtjat-pamjat-pohibshikh-2-maja-na-kulikovom-pole-video-i-foto.html

http://timer-odessa.net/news/itogi_2_maya_na_kulikovom_pole_lejat_gori_tsvetov_i_goryat_svechi_700.html

http://dumskaya.net/news/v-odesse-proshli-marshem-ukrainskogo-poryadka-085209/

http://timer-odessa.net/news/4_goda_tragedii_na_kulikovom_pole_zapustili_v_nebo_chernie_shari_110.html

DONBASS

Donetsk – A memorial was put up in memory of the victims. https://www.donetsk.kp.ru/daily/26825/3863871/

Lugansk – An action in commemoration took place with participation of a survivor of the massacre at the House of Trade unions.

http://newalternative.ru/v-lnr-proshla-akciya-v-chest-zhertv-traged/?_utl_t=vk

http://podumaj.com/post/1769

AUSTRIA

Graz – An action Hosted by Activists for Palestine Gaza/Austria.

Vienna – A meeting was held in front of the city’s Cathedral. SpeechSpeeches were made while photos of those who died on May 2 were

on display. Hosted by the Committee for Peace in Ukraine.

http://www.ukraine-frieden.org/events/event/4j-massaker-von-odessa-gedenken/

CZECHIA

Prague – “Meeting in memory of the tragedy in Odessa on May 2, 2014” at Vaclavske naměsti (Wenceslas Square). About 150 people participated in the event.

DENMARK

Copenhagen – “Mindedenstration for ofenne af mordbrand I Odessa.” (“Memorial for the victims of fires in Odessa.”) Kultorvet, 1127. Organized by the Cph Info Debat Center.

UNITED KINGDOM

London – Protest outside the Ukraine Embassy. Promoted by the New Communist Party, Socialist Fight and members of Solidarity with Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine, in solidarity with the Odessa Council of Mothers.

GERMANY

Berlin – “Massaker Odessa. 4Jahre spatter.” (“Massacre Odessa. 4 years later.”) at Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate), Pariser Platz. The events of May 2, 2014 were to be judged by Oleg Muzyka, who was present at the massacre at the House of Trade Unions. Organized by Friedensbewegung. http://friedensbewegung.info/

Hamburg – “A meeting in memory of the tragedy in Odessa on May 2, 2014” at the Consulate General of Ukraine.

Leipzig – Gedenkveranstaltung: 4 Jahre Massaker in Odessa (Commemoration: 4 years massacre in Odessa) in front of the Hugendubel Bookstore. Hosted by Der Stachel Leipzig.

GREECE

Athens – A commemoration organized by Russian Athens.

https://www.facebook.com/Russian.Athens/videos/1721851641226082/?hc_ref=ARR8GN67cfN4eUXDuoGbsBvGhN_az5ITLWf5Zb2mbRJke5r-S-OQ3uYJE6k_QG0VnJQ

HUNGARY

Budapest – “A remembrance speech on the victims of the massacre of 2 May 2014” in Municipality Park. Organized by ATTAC Hungary, SZAB (Organizers for the Left) and European Left Workers Party 2006.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pXjjB2MGiCMHw-HVQEZA07vBSMUDPiuJ/view

IRELAND

Dublin – “Four Years Since the Tragedy” event at the General Post Office, O’Connell Street Lower, and a “Meeting in memory of the tragedy in Odessa on May 2, 2014” at Conneple Street 1. Organized by Humanitarian Battalion of Ireland and England, Cultural and Historical Center Mobius, International Organization for the Global Rights of Peaceful People, “as well as simply people of different nationalities not indifferent to the fates of the victims of May 2 in Odessa.”

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=603199806699225&set=pcb.603199213365951&type=3&theater

ITALY

Rome – ”Commemorazione delle vittime della strage di Odessa” (“Commemoration of the victims of the Odessa massacre”) – April 29 – Piazza del Popolo.

Rome – “4° anniversario della strage di Odessa: Niente sara dimenticato, nessuno sara dimenticato” (“4th anniversary of the Odessa massacre: Nothing will be forgotten, no one will be forgotten.”) at Casa della Memoria e della Storia. Organized by Comitato Provinciale di Roma.

NETHERLANDS

The Hague – “Herdenking Odessa moordpartij 2014” (“Commemoration of Odessa massacre 2014”) April 29 at Het Plein, Den Haag. “Like every year, we come together to draw international attention to the in the media silent, gruesome killing of 2014 in the Ukrainian city of Odessa and to investigate soon and impartially the cause and the (apparently protected by the Kiev regime) perpetrators of the demand tragedy.”

http://timer-odessa.net/news/jiteli_gaagi_pomyanuli_jertv_tragedii_2_maya_290.html

RUSSIA

Ekaterinburg – Ekaterinburg residents put up flags of Odessa and commemorated all of the victims.

http://timerodessa.net/news/odesskie_flagi_v_ekaterinburge_gorojane_pominayut_jertv_2_maya_242.html

Moscow -A march in commemoration of the victims of May 2 in Odessa at the walls of the Kremlin. Participants carried Odessa’s flag and black balloons (see the video). The monument to the city-hero Odessa in Moscow, in the Alexander Garden was strewn with flowers.

http://timer-odessa.net/news/v_moskve_proshel_marsh_pamyati_pogibshih_2_maya_264.html

Moscow

“Oдесский реквием 2 мая 2018” (“Requiem for Odessa 2 May 2018”) – A Concert in memory of the tragedy in Odessa on May 2, 2014. All revenues from the concert to go to the families of those killed in the Odessa massacre.

Novosibirsk

Sevastopol – Sevastopolians carried flowers to the Alley of Hero Cities to commemorate those who died on May 2, 2014, at Odessa’s House of Trade Unions. A banner was left there all day. One participant was quoted as saying, “Today even the news said that the whole world remembers it, not only Ukraine, Russia, even Europe, even in America people come paying tribute to ordinary people.”

http://nts-tv.com/rubriki/obshhestvo/88184/88193/

http://ruinformer.com/page/na-alleju-gorodov-geroev-sevastopolcy-nesut-cvety

St, Petersburg

SWEDEN

Gotebortg – A solidarity action organized by members of Nej till Nato – Goteborg (No to NATO – Gothenburg).

Malme – Film showing: “The Masks of the Revolution” by Paul Moreira, followed by discussion at Kvarnby Folk High School. In order to refute the false narratives used to justify the May 2 massacre, a scale model of the House of Trade Unions was used to show where the fire started. Organized by Activists for Peace and Donbass Association in Malmo in collaboration with Kvarnby Folk High School.

SWITZERLAND

Bern

Zurich – Activists of the organization Tierrechtsgruppe commemorated the victims of May 2 in Odessa during the march on May 1 and published a statement in solidarity. One poster read “No more Fascism, no more war: Solidarity with anti-fascists in Ukraine.”

USA

Albany, NY – Solidarity with Odessa signs raised April 30 during the city’s weekly peace vigil.

Blacksburg, VA – Solidarity with Odessa signs raised May 6 as part of a monthly anti-war vigil in front of the Post Office. Organizer: Coalition for Justice.

Minneapolis, MN – Vigil at 4200 Cedar Ave S. Organized by Women Against Military Madness (WAMM).

New York, NY – “Remember Odessa, Demand Justice: 4 Years Since the Massacre of Anti-Fascists in Ukraine,” a protest at the Times Square U.S. Army Recruiting Station and then a march to the offices of The New York Times. Organized by the International Action Center.

Video: https://iacenter.org/2018/05/07/remember-odessa-demand-justice/

Richmond, VA – “May 2 Vigil in Solidarity with Odessa” outside the Richmond Federal Courthouse. Organized by the Odessa Solidarity Campaign of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC).

San Francisco, CA – Protest outside the Embassy of Ukraine. Organized by Friends of Odessa Solidarity Campaign (UNAC).

Washington, D.C. – Reading of the Odessa Solidarity Campaign’s Open Letter outside the Embassy of Ukraine. Organized by D.C. members of the Virginia Defenders of Freedom, Justice & Equality.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/luqmannation/videos/1767920226588657/

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MORE MEDIA COVERAGE OF MAY 2 ACTIONS

https://solidaritywithodessa.wordpress.com/solidarity-photos/

https://sputniknews.com/us/201805021064088244-odessa-massacre-solidarity-events/#comments

https://en.news-front.info/2018/05/02/rallies-in-commemoration-of-odessa-tragedy-victims-to-be-held-in-eu-usa/

https://chelorg.com/2018/05/02/in-the-united-states-and-europe-will-be-in-memory-of-the-victims-of-the-odessa-tragedy/

http://fact.international/2018/05/emergency-appeal-for-odessa/

http://fact.international/2018/05/an-open-letter-to-the-governments-of-the-united-states-ukraine-odessa-regarding-the-upcomingevents-in-odessa-on-may-2-2018/

https://rusreality.com/2018/05/02/human-rights-activists-in-the-united-states-asking-to-ensure-the-safety-of-mourning-in-odessa/

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201805021064087418-ukraine-odessa-trade-unions-flowers/

https://sputniknews.com/us/201805021064088244-odessa-massacre-solidarity-events/

https://m.facebook.com/vyacheslav.azarov/albums/1498923606881089/?refid=28&_ft_=qid.6551071811386473087:mf_story_key.8036863615404081867:top_level_post_id.1810977375635640:src.22&__tn__=*sHR&fbt_id=1498923606881089&lul&ref_component=mbasic_photo_permalink_actionbar&_rdr#s_17fe973ddc3cd8ded9a40d3aeab0ba40

Odessa Solidarity Campaign

PO Box 23202, Richmond, VA 23223 USA

Ph: 1-804-644-5834 – Email: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com

Facebook: Odessa Solidarity Campaign – Web: https://odessasolidaritycampaign.org

 

 

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