[Marxism] (no subject)

Sergii Kutnii mnkutster at gmail.com
Mon May 5 06:56:01 MDT 2014

More than 40 people were killed and nearly 200 were wounded in the
tragic clash of right-wing combatants in Odessa on May 2: football
hooligans and Euromaidan self-defence on the one side; Stalinists,
pro-Russian paramilitaries and local police force on the other.
It started as a belligerent mob, comprised of men with “St. George’s
ribbons” and red armbands (such armbands were also spotted on some
police officers), wielding clubs and firearms, approached the march
“for united Ukraine” which was made up of right-wing football
hooligans joined by a large crowd of civilian people. As fighting
began between the sides, the riot police provided cover to the
attackers and cooperated with them. 4 people were killed. It is
noteworthy that in the previous days the Antimaidan protesters had
repeatedly marched along the centre of Odessa and never met any
physical counteraction either from their political opponents or the

Civilian “pro-Ukrainian” crowd didn’t disperse after the shootings;
enraged, they started the counterattack. As the fighting became
sufficiently intense, some of pro-Russian combatants withdrew to the
Afina trading center, which was then blocked by the police. The crowd,
incited by hooligans, followed the other part of the attackers and
proceeded to rout the Antimaidan camp, located near the Trade Union
house. The Antimaidan protesters fled to that building and then the
entrances were barricaded. It should also be noted that Alexey Albu,
leader of Stalinist Borotba organization, personally urged protesters
to come inside the blocked building, although never joined them
himself. We see this as a proof enough to any left or anarchist
organization in the world to sever any ties, either financial or
informational, with this organization. By sending them money you would
fund the civil war; by spreading their statements and supporting them
morally you would contribute to their war propaganda.

Violence continued, as Euromaidan crowd surrounded the Trade Union
house and combatants from both sides fired shots and hurled Molotov
cocktails both to and fro the roof of the building. At this moment is
still unclear which factor contributed the most to the fire, which
burned some and suffocated others to death.

We are sure that the violence of right-wing hooligans was the integral
part of this tragedy. However, it is clear that this violence was
planned for and counted on. The people who should also be held
responsible are the pro-Russian instigators and the local police, who
supported them.

Members of AWU wish to express their deepest mourning for the victims.
They fell prey to the interests of the forces that consistently try to
instigate a civil war in Ukraine. Sadly, large parts of the working
class are disoriented and serve as merely blind puppets in the hands
of such forces, giving their lives for utterly stupid and meaningless
things and ideas. The immediate effect of the escalation of this
tragically pointless conflict is the split of the working class in
Ukraine. While some workers are threatening with a political strike in
support of the Antimaidan, several members of the (pro-Maidan)
Confederation of Free Trade Unions are being kidnapped by Antimaidan
forces. Instead of taking a united stance against the neoliberal
policies of the government, proletarians are busy fighting each other
for the interests of various bourgeois cliques.

The final result of such policies will be a civil war in Ukraine,
which will mean an ultimate catastrophe for the working class. We are
not pacifists and will be at the side of the working class whenever it
fights against the bourgeoisie, no matter what forms this fight takes
— but this is not the case in Ukraine nowadays. The disoriented and
weak proletariat will be busy engaging in self-destruction; the
outcomes will be drastic fall of life standards, rise of unemployment
and criminal activities, and loss of huge number of lives. All
prospects of working-class self-organization and mobilization will be
buried for some time.
We can see that this scenario is being pushed forward by the alliance
of various right-wing groups, nazis, conservatives and Stalinists. It
is important to understand that Antimaidan cannot be considered a
“working-class social protest”: the typical demands of this movement
in various towns are dictated by the most reactionary clerical
conservatives (abolition of electronic IDs because they include “the
Number of the Beast”; banning of vaccination; etc.) and have little to
do with the interests of workers.

On the other hand, we are disgusted by the reaction of the
right-liberal and patriotic general public which takes delight in the
Odessa deaths. However wrong the killed people might have been, they
shouldn’t have died in this brutish accident. As Ukrainian workers
side with various warring right-wing movements, they are sliding
further from socialism to barbarism. The cure is well-known: we should
realize our own class interests, organize at workplaces and direct our
rage against the real enemy, not at each other. In days like these
global workers’ solidarity means very much. The global working class
is doomed to eliminate itself: either in the process of social
revolution and construction of a classless society or in the process
of a barbaric all-out war.

No gods, no masters, no nations, no borders!

Autonomous Workers’ Union – Kiev
5 May 2014


More information about the Marxism mailing list