The North East launch meeting of the Solidarity with the Anti Fascist Resistance in Ukraine took place in Newcastle last night.
More than 20 workers and young people attended the meeting alongside trade unionists from UNISON, Unite, PCS and UCU. The meeting which was organised by the Newcastle Marxist Society and Socialist Appeal was called after the launch of the Campaign in London recently. Amongst those attending were also members of the CPB and FRFI as well as Russian, Latvian and Chinese workers and students.
The first speaker, Dr Tomasz Pierscionek, editor of the London Progressive Journal as well as a member of the North East Regional Executive of the BMA outlined the history of the crisis in Ukraine explaining the growth of the Maidan and Anti Maidan movements and the role of the fascist and neo nazi elements in the massacre in Odessa and the recent offensive against the South and East regions of Ukraine. Tom called for a socialist solution to the crisis.
Terry McPartlan a UNISON member speaking on behalf of Socialist Appeal explained the crisis as a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the development of mafia capitalism in Ukraine. He explained also the role of US imperialism and the change in world power politics since the collapse of the old certainties in world relations.
Terry explained the contradictions between the US, Europe and Russia and the class nature of Maidan and that of the movement in the East of the Country. The Ukrainian working class has a fine tradition of fighting fascism and millions participated in the Red Army fighting the Nazis in the Second World War. He called for solidarity from Trade Unions and youth for the anti fascist struggle and for a socialist solution to the crisis based on the class interests of the workers.
It was standing room only last night, which means we probably ought to have booked a bigger room. But the mood of the meeting was excellent with a range of ideas for practical concrete solidarity. Almost everyone signed up to participate in the campaign.
Next step: get organised – No Pasaran!