Solidarity statements on Odessa massacre
Workers World is publishing excerpts from solidarity statements received by the International Action Center on the six-month anniversary of the massacre in Odessa, Ukraine, on May 2, 2014. The complete statements are available at No2Nato.org.
From Alexei Albu, massacre survivor, Odessa Regional Council deputy and member of Union Borotba (Struggle), now living in exile
I greet you with thanks from all honest people of Odessa, especially those with relatives and friends who were killed by the neo-Nazis on May 2.
Up to now, the government has not punished a single killer. Parliamentary deputies who wanted to understand the situation did not get any response from the Security Service of Ukraine and the Interior Ministry. This is a violation of the laws of Ukraine. The powers-that-be are sabotaging the investigation process.
In the House of Trade Unions, people were not just burned by fire. People were shot, cut and finished off with sticks. I still do not know what kind of gas was used inside the House of Trade Unions, who used it or how.
Odessa citizens have not accepted the new regime of the oligarchs and the nationalists. All spring we wanted to peacefully resolve this issue and demanded a referendum on the empowerment of local communities, for federalization. But the authorities responded to us with bullets, arrests and fire.
I was lucky — I survived. But many of my friends were killed.
We will never forgive the murder of our brothers and sisters. Odessa will never be fascist.
We see that the new government has the support of less than 30 percent of Odessa residents. The rest boycotted the elections or voted against the regime, showing that they do not support the policies of the ruling elite.
From Team Solidarity-The Voice of United School Bus Union Workers, Boston
Team Solidarity sends greetings and solidarity to the workers and anti-fascist activists of Odessa, all of Ukraine, and the People’s Republics of Novorossiya on the six-month anniversary of the May 2 massacre at the Odessa House of Trade Unions. That day union-hating, neo-Nazi gangs, bused into the city by the U.S.-backed government in Kiev, attacked anti-fascist activists in the streets of Odessa.
We condemn Washington’s bipartisan support for the Kiev dictatorship. The U.S. has given billions of dollars in economic and military aid to Ukraine, while cutting food assistance and other vital social programs here. We demand to know what role U.S. advisers played in the Odessa tragedy, as they have done in previous brutal anti-labor attacks from Indonesia in 1965 to Chile in 1973 to Grenada in 1983.
We also demand that the leadership of the AFL-CIO end their funding for supporters of the coup regime and join the correct side of the international “picket line.” “Which side are you on?” — the refrain of one of the most famous and time-tested union songs — says it all! Our solidarity, our voices, our bodies and our resources must be given to our sisters and brothers engaged in the struggle to defend the principles our labor movement has fought and died to secure. We, the rank and file, demand true solidarity in action with the workers and oppressed!
It is a historical fact that fascists always target labor unions and workers’ political organizations. They try to crush the right to organize. That’s because what they fear, more than anything, is the power of united labor action. Together, workers have the power to push back fascism — the naked dictatorship of big business and society’s most reactionary elements. The struggle against fascism and the struggle of labor are one. We have a glorious history of fightback. The survival of the international union movement demands that we live this legacy today — in Odessa, in West Bengal, and right here in the U.S. in Ferguson, Mo.
Recently our union has come under attack from the infamous Veolia Corporation. Veolia bosses have grown wealthy through privatization and union busting around the world, and even collaborate with the apartheid regime in Israel. Last year, five militant leaders were targeted by Veolia, Boston city officials and the corporate media, and four of them were fired. One of them — union founder and Grievance Committee Chair Steve Kirschbaum — is still fighting frame-up criminal charges in court.
Big businesses like Veolia, Walmart and McDonald’s have a big stake in repressing workers’ rights, not only in places like Boston, but also in Odessa. They want the power to do to the workers’ movement here what was done to our sisters and brothers in Odessa on May 2.
From Ferguson, Mo., where the African-American population has risen up against police terror, to the strikes of fast food workers worldwide, to Odessa, our struggle is one.
“An injury to one is an injury to all!”