Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Left Wing Solidarity Delegation from Wales and England in Ukraine

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A solidarity delegation from the left in Wales and England is underway in Ukraine. A copy of a press release is below. Two members of the Welsh Senedd (Assembly) – Plaid Cymru (The Party of Wales) leader Adam Price MS and his colleague Michael Antoniw MS – are part of the fact-finding team. Initiatives like this belong to the best traditions of international anti-war movements connected to the left and the Labour movement. Wales, like Ireland, is a small nation with a history shaped by Great Power Domination made in London. The parallels between Ukraine and Russia were highlighted by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the first leader of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1917-22) RSFSR after the successful October 1917 Socialist Revolution. Source : http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article61199

The history – VI Lenin compares relationships : Ireland and England – Ukraine and Russia. 100 years later – much the same starting point?

The delegation has already met with activists of the Sotsialny Rukh, Human Rights Activists from East Ukraine, and the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine.

Stop The War!

End Russian aggression!

Solidarity with the workers and minorities of Ukraine!

Labour, Plaid Cymru and trade union delegation arrives in Kyiv on a fact-finding visit to hear the voices of Ukrainian workers, LGBTQ+ people, ethnic minorities and human rights defenders.

A delegation arrives in Kyiv today, led by two members of the Welsh Senedd: Michael Antoniw MS and Adam Price MS, leader of Plaid Cymru.

The aim of the delegation, which includes prominent UK trade union leaders, academics and journalists, is to do what no politicians visiting the country have so far done: to express direct, cross-border solidarity from the UK working class to the Ukrainian working class.

With the threat of war rising, there is a concerted campaign of disinformation against Ukraine in the West, some of it aimed at influencing the progressive movements who have traditionally, and correctly, opposed Western military adventures in the Middle East.

To separate truth from propaganda, the delegation will hear evidence from workers from the Donbas in the East of Ukraine, independent trade unions and progressive civil society groups in Kyiv, as well as MPs, academics and territorial defence units training to resist aggression.

The delegation also includes ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan, NUM general secretary Chris Kitchen, former Labour MEP Julie Ward, left-wing journalist Paul Mason, and Greenwich University economist Yuliya Yurchenko.

Mr Antoniw said:

‘In too many of the discussions about the situation in Ukraine it is the people themselves who are being bypassed. We want to listen to what the Ukrainian people say and to show our solidarity with them. We stand by them and their right to determine their own future and to defend their country from Russian aggression and imperialism.’

Mr Price said:

The more the Ukrainian people are threatened by Russian aggression and imperialism the more urgent it becomes for socialists, democrats and internationalists to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with them – in defence of their right to national self determination and in defiance of Putin’s warmongering. They shall not pass! вони не пройдуть

The visit is significant because all the participants are activists in the anti-war left in Britain, and in the case of Mr Antoniw and Mr Mason have participated actively in the Labour left under Jeremy Corbyn.

The group intends to report back to grassroots organisations in Britain, countering the disinformation campaign being waged by the Kremlin. The initiative has been organised in a personal capacity by all concerned.

The presence of two leading Welsh lawmakers reflects the historic ties between Wales and Ukraine, going back to the foundation of Donetsk by Welsh migrants in the 19th century, and the presence of a Ukrainian diaspora in today’s former mining communities.

The delegation will be available for interview while in Ukraine and on return.

With 14,000 dead in Ukraine’s conflict let’s defuse, de-escalate and negotiate – a@message from Kyiv pic.twitter.com/PSvVJM1UHP

— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) February 20, 2022

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