The Ukraine is in the throes of a popular uprising, against its regime, which is becoming ever more repressive. Much of the mainstream media presents the image of a confrontation taking place between the two statist political factions in Ukraine: The governing coalition, led by President Yanukovich, which has recently backed away from a trade agreement with the EU, and is developing a close subservient relationship with Russia; and the smaller nationalist opposition, headed by the parties called the Blow, Homeland and Freedom, opposing this development and seeking to attach Ukraine more strongly to the EU.
This image is far from representing reality. The nationalist opposition is attempting to ride the wave of popular protest, which has broken out due to measures taken by the Ukrainian state. On January 16th, the state of Ukraine enacted a body of legislation narrowing the already limited space of organization and expression in a democratic regime: The criminalizing of unauthorized public protest; the weakening of procedural restrictions on initiation of legal action against subjects; the facilitation of holding in-abstentia legal proceedings; criminalization ‘responsibility’ for ‘extreme’ acts and the disruption of public orders by others, including administrative fines; et cetera. The combination of these laws, and the expected nature of their application, will make the Ukraine into a semi-Totalitarian state.
The masses have thus taken to the streets. Hundreds of thousands rising in revolt and protest in Kiev, and large numbers all over the Ukraine. The Ukrainian state is applying increasing repressive force against the population, by means of the Berkut security police. The ministry of internal affairs has issued an edict allowing security forces to shoot to kill; and the use of live ammunition – rubber-coated and otherwise –has begun, including the use of snipers against demonstrators.
We also note with much concern, that among those siding with the government and the security police, as well as among the nationalists, one observes widespread expressions of racism, particularly anti-Semitism. There have even been reports of violent anti-Semitic attacks. It should be mentioned, that the Freedom party is known for its crass anti-Semitic statements, originally being named the Social-Nationalist Party of Ukraine. Cases have also been reported of Berkut forces seizing injured protesters from their hospital beds; and of corpses discovered after having been tortured before death.
Most protesters are not supporters of the nationalist right-wing; most of them are motivated by their resistance to the oppressive measures of the state – the parliament, the security forces and the Yanukovich government, all together. We also share the widely-held view, that the forces of the extreme right are effectively ‘Trojan horses’ of the Yanukovich government, and their aspirations are essentially to replace the existing government, to take hold of positions in the security apparatuses – not to weaken the state’s oppressive powers.
We express our support for the protests and revolt, calling:
• For wide-spread participation in the popular uprising – while steering clear of the right-wing forces.
• For initiating processes of collective reflection and development of consciousness, in popular assemblies and other fora, which will allow a transcendence beyond the hollow choice between different statist forces.
• For organization of collective defense, both from the marauding state security forces and from racist and anti-Semitic gangs which pose a threat to minority groups.
• For organization of mass defection by the rank-and-file soldiers in the Ukrainian military, lest the government attempt to mobilize it to ensure the successful repression of the uprising.
• For a general society-wide reorganization in the Ukraine, a recovery from the destruction and terrible deterioration of material conditions in the past decades, towards an Anarchist revolution in all aspects of social life.
• For the raising of awareness in other countries to the situation in the Ukraine, and for activities in support of the uprising outside the Ukraine.
The Ukrainian masses are joining other popular protests in recent years, attempts to break the yoke of oppressive regimes. People in the Arab east have also thus risen against their oppressors: The people of Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere. Some of these uprisings have not attained their desired results; some were derailed from their due course; and some deteriorated into bloody civil wars. As we stand in support of the Ukrainian masses, so do we wish the Arab peoples to succeed in crossing these dire straights – towards a future free of local oppressive states and indirect control by Capitalist Imperialism.
Unity – Anarcho-Communist Organization
Palestine/Israel, January 25th 2014