Happy birthday comrade Alexey Albu!

Today is the 30th birthday of my friend and comrade, Alexey Albu.

July 6: To say that I respect and admire him is an understatement. Alexey is a kind, gentle and unassuming person, a devoted parent and a staunch communist, who is also a forceful leader and passionate spokesman for the anti-fascist struggle in his homeland and especially his beloved Odessa.

Alexey Albu in Simferopol, September 2014.
Photo: Greg Butterfield
As a coordinator of Union Borotba (Struggle) of Ukraine, an Odessa Regional Council deputy, whose experience and leadership saved many lives during the Odessa Massacre on May 2, 2014, and as a founder-in-exile of the Committee for the Liberation of Odessa, he has accomplished so much already, especially in these last 18 months of life-altering crisis.

Since we are entering the always difficult and demoralizing U.S. presidential election cycle, I want to highlight Alexey’s role as an elected member of the Odessa Regional Council. Prior to his exile last year, he and his associate Vyacheslav Markin alone had the courage to stand up in the Council and introduce measures representing the will of Odessa’s population, to resist the fascist coup in Kiev backed by U.S. imperialism.

But not only that. When the majority of the council refused to give them a fair hearing, Alexey went to the people in the streets and invited them into the council building to make their voices heard. Unfortunately, the people were blocked from entering this supposedly “democratic” institution by a police riot. But it was a transformative moment for the Anti-Maidan struggle in Odessa.

Alexey Albu (upper left) trapped during police attack
on protesters at Odessa Regional Council, March 3, 2014.
This is exactly what the role of a true communist, a true revolutionary, who is working in a bourgeois parliamentary setting should be. Alexey acted as a tribune of the people within the council, but also used his position to facilitate direct action by the working-class and anti-fascists, in the process exposing the limits of bourgeois democracy and the need for independent fight-back.

(Read more about these events in Alexey’s own words here.)

Alexey, I wish you all the best and I know you will continue to accomplish great things as a representative of the revolutionary workers of Ukraine and Novorossiya. 

Odessa will be free and socialist!

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