On Tuesday, November 11, a packed meeting at the Marx Memorial Library, heard a number of speakers discuss the current situation in Ukraine after the recent elections and the ceasefire. Amongst the speakers was Alexey Albu, from Borotba, who gave a moving account of the Odessa massacre, of which he is a survivor.
The meeting was opened by Alex Gordon of the RMT union and the Marx Memorial Library which explained the history of the Library and its significance, as it is the place where Lenin edited Iskra in London as well as housing the archives of the International Brigades.
He was followed by Andrew Murray from the Communist Party of Britain who explained the dangerous situation we are facing at an international level, mentioning recent bellicose statements by David Cameron about a return to the “cold war”.
The meeting also heard from Anatolii Sokoliuk, international secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine over a Skype linked, who talked about the character of the government and the current situation in Ukraine.
Also speaking over a Skype link was Alexey Albu, a member of the Odessa City Council and the Marxist organisation Borotba, who has been forced into exile in Crimea. Albu explained briefly the origins of Borotba and of the anti-Maidan movement in Odessa. He then went on to describe the events leading to the Odessa massacre on May 2nd, when football hooligans and far right elements were unleashed against the anti-Maidan protest at the Kulikov field. He explained how then they took refuge in the Trade Union building which was set on fire by the far right thugs and how he and other comrades of his were able to escape jumping through the windows, only to be beaten up by the fascists.
After this moving account, it was the turn of Steve Skelley, from the RMT executive to highlight the role of the labour movement in the struggle against fascism. He said he was proud of the fact that it was his union, the RMT, the first to have backed the Solidarity Against Fascism in Ukraine campaign and moved a successful motion at the TUC congress.
The rapper and journalist Marcel Cartier, also addressed the meeting on issues of media bias regarding the situation in Ukraine and the allegations by British regulator Ofcom against RT. He also described his own experience as an RT journalist covering the Maidan protests in Kiev.
The last speaker was Jorge Martin, from In Defence of Marxism who dealt with the situation in Ukraine after the recent elections and the penetration of far right elements into the state apparatus. He concluded by saying that the struggle against fascism is the struggle against capitalism and has to be waged on a class basis.
This was followed by a lively session of questions and contributions from audience on a wide ranging number of issues, from media manipulation, to the question of language, the history of nazi collaboration in Ukraine.
The meeting was closed by Richard Brenner from SARU and Workers Power who outlined the tasks of the campaigning in the following weeks and months and announced our readiness to mobilise against any attempt to resume the war against the Donbass, as well as the IMF imposed austerity measures in Ukraine.
The meeting was recorded in full and broadcast live by Ruptly and you can watch the video here: