Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘LeftEast’ Category

Brendan Ogle’s Challenge – Vladimir Putin’s War Crimes in Ukraine

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Brendan Ogle, an activist who works for the UNITE trade union in Ireland, offers a challenge.

A CHALLENGE….

Here’s a challenge to all those on the left seeking to justify, obfuscate, excuse, confuse or (my favourite) ‘EXPLAIN’ Putin’s war crimes. It comes in 2 steps. Give it a go:

‘Step 1: Look at the picture. Now imagine when you opened your curtains or blinds this morning that this is what you seen. Your neighbourhood was devastated and your neighbours are incinerated.

Step 2: Now imagine that 3,799km away there are people who consider themselves leftists saying that you and your neighbours are NAZI’s and that this happened because Michael Martin was sucking up too closely to Joe Biden/US/EU/NATO.

What would you think of such people?’

Challenge over.

Well, how did you get on?

Brendan Ogle March 25 2020

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UNITE Trade Union (Britain) Call : “Immediate Ceasefire and a Withdrawal of all Russian Forces From Ukraine”

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The British trade union UNITE – which also has a substantial membership in Ireland, has issued a positive statement about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Unite executive council – statement on Ukraine crisis.

Sharon Graham is the General Secretary of the British Trade Union UNITE

Sharon Graham was elected to lead UNITE in a recent election which produced a surprise result https://www.rs21.org.uk/2021/08/25/sharon-graham-wins-stunning-unite-victory/

The Unite executive council unreservedly condemns Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and stands in full solidarity with the millions of victims of the attack. Unite calls for an immediate cease-fire and a withdrawal of all Russian forces from Ukraine.

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Learn to Think About Aiding the Ukrainian Resistance in 2022 – Russian Troops Out Now

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Revolutionary Socialists in Ukraine (Sotsialnyi Rukh (Social Movement) Ukraine) are thinking for themselves – making proposals which comrades in Ireland and elsewhere should examine very sympathetically.

Confiscate the property of Russian AND Ukrainian oligarchs, for the benefit of the people of Ukraine!

Since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine, many European parties and organizations, including many people on the left, have demanded the confiscation of Russian oligarchs’ property abroad. Indeed, the yachts and real estate of Russian rich people have already been confiscated in Great Britain and France.

Nevertheless, this and all the other sanctions are half-measures against the economy of the Russian Federation, its dictatorship and the parasites that constantly enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary Russians.

In the context of this all-out war against the aggressor, we, Social Movement (Ukraine) insist that Ukraine needs the funds obtained rom the confiscation and sale of Russian capitalists’ property abroad. Only this would be genuine aid, since, at the moment, the proceeds from confiscation of assets of Putin’s henchmen does not benefit the common people of Ukraine.

In this context, it should be noted that our comrades from the Razem party (Poland) made a correct proposal: “Confiscate the property of Russian oligarchs: yachts, apartments in London, cottages in the Alps and villas on the Cote d’Azur. Profit from this will be given to Ukraine so that it can defend itself from the aggressor”

As Social Movement (Ukraine), we also believes that the realisation of Ukraine’s strategic interests and increasing economic stability is impossible without the nationalization of the Ukrainian oligarchs and the prohibition of any offshore operations by Ukrainian businesspeople. The implementation of such measures becomes more likely after the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament passed Bill 7122, which created a legal basis for the forcible seizure of Russian property in Ukraine on grounds of public necessity.

Turn the capital of Russian oligarchs against their state! Let’s restore justice!

Source : http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article61445

Let’s learn a little history, and learn to think a bit more :

April 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland

Arms are supplied to the rebels by German Imperialism. James Connolly’s Irish Citizens’ Army Slogan “We Serve Neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland”

February 1917 Russian Revolution begins in St. Petersburg

Women march demanding Bread and Peace – Cossacks mutiny. Russians start to desert the Czar’s World War 1 army. Exiled Bolsheviks in Zürich including VI Lenin strike a deal with German Imperialists, who provide a “sealed train” that travels through German occupied Eastern Europe to St. Petersburg’s Finland Station. October 1917 – Soviets, Workers’ Councils, establish a new revolutionary state in Russia.

Reviewing these events later – with the benefit of a historians’s 20-20 vision – British imperialist Winston Churchill observed that the Bolsheviks’s sealed train injected a “bacillus plague” into the heart ❤️ of the global capitalist system. A leader of the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky, addressed similar problems in 1938 :

“Let us assume that rebellion breaks out tomorrow in the French colony of Algeria under the banner of national independence and that the Italian government, motivated by its own imperialist interests, prepares to send weapons to the rebels. What should the attitude of the Italian workers be in this case? I have purposely taken an example of rebellion against a democraticimperialism with intervention on the side of the rebels from a fascistimperialism. Should the Italian workers prevent the shipping of arms to the Algerians? Let any ultra-leftists dare answer this question in the affirmative. Every revolutionist, together with the Italian workers and the rebellious Algerians, would spurn such an answer with indignation. Even if a general maritime strike broke out in fascist Italy at the same time, even in this case the strikers should make an exception in favor of those ships carrying aid to the colonial slaves in revolt; otherwise they would be no more than wretched trade unionists – not proletarian revolutionists.”

https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/05/think.htm

Leon Trotsky, ‘Learn To Think’ (1938). 

“No to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine! Support to the Ukrainian resistance! Solidarity with the Russian opposition to the war!”

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Statement of the Executive Bureau of the Fourth International

Source : https://fourth.international/en/566/europe/426.

1. Before dawn on 24 February 2022 the Russian army began its invasion of Ukraine, bombing the interior of the country and crossing the northern, eastern and southern borders of the country, heading for the capital Kiev. This aggression has already resulted in many deaths, both civilian and military. The Ukrainian army and population are defending themselves, several cities are holding out against the aggressor. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have gone into exile, but the resistance continues. The Ukrainan people are resisting, with and without arms.

The Kremlin’s recognition three days earlier of the “independence” of the so-called “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Lugansk and the official entry of the Russian army into their territory was only the prelude to the invasion aimed at the total submission of the neighbouring country.

It is a military invasion of the territory of a former oppressed nation by a capitalist oligarchic, autocratic and imperialist regime whose aim is the reconstruction of the Russian empire.

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Home Truths About Ukrainian Resistance to the Russian Imperialist Invasion

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“Marine Le Pen’s party is binning its 8-page electoral tract, which features a picture of her shaking hands with Vladimir Putin. Apparently that’s not a vote-winner any more! 1.2 million copies had been printed.”

Hint to Left-Wingers in Anti-War War Movements everywhere :

Russian Troops Out of Ukraine Now!
Solidarity with the Ukrainian Resistance!

Adopt a policy proposed by Noam Chomsky :

Noam Chomsky is the author of more than 150 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky?wprov=sfti1

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a major war crime, ranking alongside the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the Hitler-Stalin invasion of Poland in September 1939, to take only two salient examples.

Meanwhile, we should do anything we can to provide meaningful support for those valiantly defending their homeland against cruel aggressors, for those escaping the horrors, and for the thousands of courageous Russians publicly opposing the crime of their state at great personal risk, a lesson to all of us.”

https://truthout.org/articles/noam-chomsky-us-military-escalation-against-russia-would-have-no-victors/.
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Confused About Ukraine and Russia? A Fable Sparks Debate “Ukraine used to be in an Abusive Relationship with Russia”

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We wish to thank Sandra Kavanagh for circulating a brilliant fable :

“For anyone that’s confused about what’s happening in Russia and Ukraine, here it is in layman’s terms:

Sandra Kavanagh

-Ukraine used to be in an abusive relationship with Russia, feeding him, letting him use her car, and giving him whatever he asked for until she built up the confidence to call it quits back in 1991.
-Since then, Ukraine has been working on herself, becoming a strong independent woman with help from friends like France, America, Poland, and others. They give her support, loan her money, and are helping her find her way.
-Ukraine has been enjoying being single for 30 years and looking forward to continuing to grow and create new friendships.
-Now Russia, being the toxic ex that he is, wants her back, and doesn’t want her meeting new people or creating any new relationships.
-A couple of weeks ago Russia started sitting in the front of Ukraine’s house & when her friends ask him what was he doing there, he said “Oh nothing, just getting a little bit of exercise in, that’s all.”
-After her friends told her that Russia was potentially getting ready to do something bad to her, he said “They’re lying, they just want you to be scared of me and that’s not what it is.”
-Yesterday Russia broke into Ukraine’s house, beat her up & “took advantage” of her while live-streaming and double dog dared any of her friends to do something about it. She’s still waiting for help.”

Solutions :

The Russian man should be shackled with an effective barring order, backed up with aggressive legal sanctions. The house of the Ukrainian woman must be fortified. Concretely during this war : the anti-war movement must declare: Russian Troops Out of Ukraine Now!

John Meehan March 1 2020

Paul Murphy TD Denounces Putin’s War Against Ukraine, Dáil Éireann, March 1 2022

Protest Outside Russian Embassy in Dublin – Monday February 28, 5pm, Orwell Road, Rathmines – Solidarity With Russian Anti-War Protesters

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Statement Issued by Paul Murphy TD :

Thousands of anti-war protesters have taken to the streets of Russia opposing the invasion of Ukraine. They have faced repression and arrest, and they need our solidarity.

The real hope for stopping the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and future conflicts between NATO and Russia, lies in an anti-war movement that crosses the border of East and West and opposes both Putin and NATO.

Join PBP for this solidarity protest outside the Russian Embassy on Orwell road in Rathmines on Monday 28 February at 5pm in solidarity with the Russian anti-war movement.

The best way to stop war is by an international movement of ordinary people to force their own governments to end the warmongering.

https://buff.ly/3pg1mJE

Sinn Féin President Mary-Lou McDonald calls for expulsion of Russian Ambassador Yuri Filatov from Ireland https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2022/02/25/another-response-to-the-russian-attack/

Russian Troops Out of Ukraine Now

Against Russian Imperialism, Hands Off Ukraine – Statement from the RSD (Russian Socialist Movement)

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Statement from the RSD – Russian Socialist Movement. (Thanks to Peter Saxtrup Nielsen). The Russian Socialist movement was founded in March 2011 by two organizations, the Socialist Movement Vperiod (“Forward”), Russian section of the Fourth International, and Socialist Resistance. It is part of the Left Front, an alliance formed during the protests against the falsification of the elections in 2011 and 2012.


Against Russian imperialism, hands off Ukraine!

Putin’s address to the Russians has just ended. The man who calls himself president began his speech with an anti-communist panegyric and said that the creator of Ukraine is Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, and its existence in its current form is the result of the national policy of the Bolsheviks. By accusing the Bolsheviks of “cultivating nationalists,” Putin is covering up the most terrible and disgusting kind of nationalism – Great Russian chauvinism. Against this background, Putin threatened the Ukrainians to show what “decommunization” is. Given the context of his speech, one can perceive these words only as a threat of direct intervention on the territory of Ukraine. Not surprisingly, in criticizing the Leninist nationality policy, Putin threw stones at the planned economy, nationalization and complimented Stalinism.

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine : Richard Boyd-Barrett TD (People Before Profit) 1. Mick Wallace MEP 0. Dissolve NATO – Russian Troops out of Ukraine

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Left wing anti-war activists and public representatives need to actively oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the eastern military expansion of NATO. Credible news reports indicate that Richard Boyd-Barrett TD (Dún Laoghaire) passes this test. Two Irish members of the European Parliament fail the same test : Mick Wallace (Ireland South) and Clare Daly (Dublin), who is associated with Independents for Change. The Irish Times (February 23) reports :


In a social media post after Russian president Vladimir Putin formally recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine on Monday, Mr Wallace claimed that “only a full scale war between Russia and Ukraine would satisfy Nato”.

“The people of Europe must campaign for the abolition of Nato – it has nothing good to offer anyone that prefers peace to war,” wrote Mr Wallace, who voted against a European Parliament motion to offer €1.2 billion in loans to Ukraine.

Irish Tines, Wednesday February 23 2022

The same report quotes Richard Boyd-Barrett

Inflame
Condemning Russian “incursions”, he said they should not “be used as an excuse for Ireland to line itself up with Nato or to give succour to the idea that military action by the West” can help.
Russia needs “to be condemned and condemned roundly”, Mr Boyd Barrett said, but “we need not to be one-sided in this and recognise that the expansion of Nato into eastern Europe has also helped inflame this extremely dangerous situation.
Ireland has said nothing about Nato’s “game-playing of expanding into eastern Europe and potentially inflaming this extremely dangerous conflict”, he added.

Hopefully the Irish Independents for Change network will clarify it’s position, and clearly distance itself from the statements issued by Mick Wallace and Clare Daly.

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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.

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