5th anniversary of Odessa massacre: Donbass Antifascists’ call to action

Five years have passed since the time of the tragedy in the Odessa House of Trade Unions. It was not just an act of inhuman cruelty, but one of the most cynical crimes of the Ukrainian ultra-rightists. The perpetrators have still not been punished, and the victims have been forgotten and dehumanized.

This crime was followed by dozens of other cases. Some were loudly discussed by the public; even progressive activists speak little about others.

For five years there has been a war of the Ukrainian state against the Donbass. There are thousands of dead, wounded and homeless. There are hundreds of thousands forced to leave their homes. There are an endless number of people suffering from discrimination. For five years they have not stopped terrorizing the population in the supposedly liberated territories. For five years they have forgiven any crimes by “the heroes of the anti-terrorist operation”. For five years, neo-fascists have felt comfortable in the Ukrainian state that they have adapted to their goals. One of the first victories they won was during the 2014 massacre in Odessa. Then, against the “wrong” people who support the “wrong side”, they finished off the remnants of humanism.

In Donetsk, antifascists honor the martyrs of Odessa.
Photos: Red Carnation

All this terror goes hand in hand with neoliberal reforms. And the wider they unfold, the more often we become witnesses of the cruelty of the neo-fascists, who are not afraid of anything. The initiators of neoliberal transformations fear that the masses will seek an answer in social movements and protest, so they are push the disoriented people towards chauvinism and militarism. We want to note that the ultra-right is a tool in the hands of the criminal Ukrainian state.

Neo-fascists have ceased to be a marginal movement. The political and subcultural right are united. No one is surprised that neo-fascists have become the spokesmen for so-called public opinion. No one is surprised at how quickly the liberals who speak of European values ​​adopt the rhetoric of once marginal groups. At the same time, society began to treat the manifestations of neo-Nazism with surprising tolerance: the ultra-right, imperceptibly to the average person, became the very civil society that the lovers of European democracy so dreamed of.

Street and state terror become one. As long as the security agencies condemn the “traitors of the motherland,” the militants of the militarized groups do not allow those who disagree to quietly go about their business. You do not need to be a supporter of the people’s republics to be called a “separatist”, it’s enough to somehow not fit into their disfigured system of values ​​– to be left-wing, humanist, feminist, protector of people from the LGBT community, even to belong to the “wrong” nationality or speak the “wrong” language.

All this is happening against the backdrop of ranting about moving toward Europe, about democracy and tolerance. Hypocrisy has become part of Ukrainian everyday life.

Now the war itself is part of the neoliberal reforms. Even the first theorists of anti-fascism noticed that fascism is associated with imperialism. Under fascism, the state apparatus merges together with monopoly financial capital. However, now many people deliberately do not want to notice that it is precisely such phenomena that occur in Ukraine. The escalation of nationalist hysteria and the search for an external and internal enemy serve as a cover for even greater exploitation of the workers. A prerequisite for this is the complete deprivation of any property and social guarantees for the workers.

It may seem that only the cultural sphere is de-communized, but economic and social relations are being dismantled — the last remnants of the Soviet social state are being liquidated.

Is there a way out of this situation? Will the modern anti-fascist movement be able to answer the questions facing us here and now? In the ten years that have passed since the murders of Baburova and Markelov, the situation has radically worsened. We must draw conclusions and develop new methods of anti-fascist struggle. After all, the model, developed in Ukraine, will be applied to other countries.

Now the liberal and conservative form of anti-fascism prevails. And any person who opposes the rebirth of the ultra-right is our comrade. But it is not enough just to be against everything bad. To defeat fascism, it is necessary to understand the roots of this evil. A scientific and consistent response to the challenges of modernity can be given only by Marxist internationalism, not liberalism or conservatism. The very phenomenon of fascism grows out of the essence of capitalism, which dehumanizes us, mercilessly turning everything around into a commodity. The far-right are advantageous to such a system: they stir up hatred in society, turning some workers against others.

It is important to create an anti-fascist consciousness in society. Despite our limited resources, we have the power. We will study the phenomenon of modern fascism step by step in order to understand how to fight it effectively. For agitation, we must use modern tools. We need to strengthen ties with our comrades around the world. Now the anti-fascist struggle has become the business of every person.

We call on caring people all over the world to demand an international investigation of the crime committed in Odessa on May 2, 2014, as well as punishment of all those responsible.

We will create a committee on May 2 in Donetsk and invite you to join this initiative in other countries and cities.

The victims should not be forgotten! The criminals must be punished!

Antifascists of Donbass

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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