Protests in Ukraine

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RebelRising
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May 6 2014 17:24
subprole wrote:
AWU consciously refused to sign this internationalist declaration because it denounced the "new" oligarchy and the Euromaidan as well and was directed against all nationalisms involved in the conflict. Screw them!

Well, that's definitely a mark against their record.

So are their allegations of Borotba's collaboration with rightist actors ungrounded, or is it more complicated than that?

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May 6 2014 17:46
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So are their allegations of Borotba's collaboration with rightist actors ungrounded, or is it more complicated than that?

Borotba seems to support the idea of a class collaborationist "anti-fascist people's front" which would include all types of nationalists. But I don't rely on any information by AWU since they have lost any credibilty in my perspective..

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May 7 2014 12:11

Translation from a German language interview with an AWU member (published on a website from an "anti-German" group) that further illustrates their delusional or at least extremely naive analysis of the situation:

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The occupation of Crimea demonstrated the almost pacifist position of the Ukrainian government that does not want war even if it looses a part of its territory.

Could be a comment from the US foreign ministry..

baboon
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May 6 2014 20:29

I take your point subprole about describing the AWU as "anarcho-nationalists" it's a sloppy description. I don't know about cryptonationalist syndicalists though. From futher information that you've provided on this group I think that one might just as easily describe them as bourgeois.

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May 7 2014 03:16

Baboon, I would generalize that syndicalism and anarchism are an expression of petty bourgeois idealism. An analysis based on formal categories (tyranny, liberty, federalism, centralism, various identity groups) is consistent with bourgeois ideology. In this light, I don't understand the ICC's opening up to anarcho-syndicalists. I grant that many anarchists are not illiterate when it comes to dialectical materialism (especially the class struggle anarchists) but the ones that I have spoken with are eclectic in their approach to politics. Another word for that is opportunism. But at least they're not as bat-shit and dogmatic as other leftists (Stalinists, Maoists, Trotskyists) so there's always the hope that militants will come to the positions of left communism. After all, many (most?) people who arrive at left communism went through anarchism at some point.

Spikymike
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May 7 2014 10:45

Yes the reference to the AWU's non-appearance on the other widely distributed 'internationalist declaration' is telling (for those of us less familiar with them) in terms of an otherwise less obvious sympathy for Ukrainian nationalism alongside other 'on-the-face of it' internationalist statements in various other of their texts and perhaps means my earlier request for caution in relying on Barotba for political analysis of events should apply to this group as well! Though a good deal of the discussion here also reveals more about the previously unstated 'ideological' formalism and allegiances of the contributors than it does perhaps about those in the Ukraine.

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May 7 2014 11:41

http://internationalist-perspective.org/blog/2014/05/05/baiting-the-russian-bear/

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Anyone who had any doubt that the mass media (from CNBC to Fox, from CNN to public television) constitutes the organ of mass manipulation of capital, needs to seriously consider the coverage of events in Ukraine. They are “All In” from Fox to the Nation. The government in Kiev (or Kyiv) — even how you pronounce or spell the name of the capital city is politicized today — is presented as a democratic redoubt vainly struggling against the Stalino-fascist and thuggish Putin regime in Moscow, determined to crush a weak democracy in a valiant Ukraine. Meanwhile, not a word about the power of the oligarchs in Kiev, who prefer Exxon to Gazprom, and NATO to the Kremlin, in a geopolitical struggle between capitalist states and blocs. Not a word about Svoboda or the Right Sector, who control the Maidan in Kiev, and who are the lineal descendants of Stefan Bandera, and the fascists who sought an alliance with Nazi Germany in June 1941, and assisted in the mass murder of Jews, and who today wrap themselves in the mantle of “democracy” and Western values (weren’t they the same values that Hitler defended as his armies swept through Ukraine in 1941, killing Jews and “communists”?), even as they demand a racially pure Ukraine? But this is not just about the deceitful role of journalists and the mass media in the West. It’s really about the fact, which “progressives” cannot accept, that nationalism in all its ideological forms today is reactionary; that in the present epoch nationalism – like democracy – is the watch-word, the clarion call, of capitalism as it seeks to generate mass support for its underlying social and production relations. And beyond Ukraine, that clarion call evokes a response on the “left” as anyone who has watched Al Sharpton or Ariana Huffington over the past several weeks can attest: a call that seconds the efforts of the Obama administration to build popular support for a tough sanctions regime, and arms for Kiev. We may not be on the brink of war, nuclear or otherwise, in Ukraine, but we are certainly seeing a significant heightening of inter-imperialist tensions, even as the left seems to be only choosing sides over who is the real aggressor.
ajjohnstone
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May 7 2014 13:14

Remember the National Bolshevik grouping in Germany?

Or the German Communist Party sympathising with the death of Nazi (and later having joint picket lines with the Brownshirts.)

Doesn't Russia have any fascists? All those attacks on immigrants and non-Russians over the years, was part of my imagination.

Neither Kiev Nor Moscow, seems the most rational position, to take.

Tragedies, accidental or deliberate atrocities, are part and parcel of wars and civil wars are the most vicious of all, according to the most seasoned of war correspondents.

While the American hypocritical attitude rightly deserves our disgust, we have not forgotten about Chechnya and the total destruction of its capital Grozny as Putin's response to breakaway states (and when it comes to conspiracy theories, those Moscow bombs blamed on Chechens to spark off another offensive has always been suspect.) Obama or Putin, their hypocrisy stinks and both are up to their arm-pits in the blood of innocents.

But how can i shed any more tears for yet another heart-breaking catastrophe, just one more on the list of countless others, that sadly the working class/socialists/anarchists are incapable of doing anything about other than what we do now...agitating at home, educating ourselves and others. Our role is not taking sides but linking its causes to capitalist rivals vying for economic spheres of influence.

How frustrating it is to be waving our fist at the TV and tearing up the newspapers we read . Propaganda lies make us angry, especially when they are so obvious and blatant, and assume we are all cretins with memories of a goldfish. But whether in London New York Moscow or Kiev...it is all lies and that means we have to try and unravel as much of the truth as we can, knowing we won't be 100% successful, even if we had our own reporters and camera teams on the scene. So we will continue to generalise as accurately as we can. Sometimes we will get certain details wrong and maybe we will be mistaken when we apportion blame particular in that cliche fog of war, in the battle of propaganda.

Rant over and out

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May 7 2014 13:49

Skim read this which looks pretty good..

Ukraine slides towards civil war: don’t choose a side in battle of reaction

Picture circulated by Russian 'anti-fascists' before May 2nd..
http://www.dreamdeferred.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/odessa-2-may-calling-600x412.jpg

dreamdeferred.org.uk wrote:
We know that the pro-Ukrainian activists involved in the horrendous clashes in Odessa on 2 May, many of them from football “ultra” firms who used a football match as a pretext for a planned battle, included Right Sector fighters – the fascist organisation is mourning the death of one of them.

But an image distributed by the Odessa Antimaidan “Southern Front” group, urging “concerned residents” to mobilise on 2 May and “defend Odessa together”, portrays masked fighters with the black, gold and white flag used by Russian fascists.

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May 7 2014 14:25
Spikymike wrote:
Yes the reference to the AWU's non-appearance on the other widely distributed 'internationalist declaration' is telling (for those of us less familiar with them) in terms of an otherwise less obvious sympathy for Ukrainian nationalism alongside other 'on-the-face of it' internationalist statements in various other of their texts and perhaps means my earlier request for caution in relying on Barotba for political analysis of events should apply to this group as well!

Mike, such caution is obviously necessary, given how little we know from this distance. However, in relation to that "internationalist statement", it would mean signing up to the judgement that:

Quote:
the ["old" ologarchs] used including ultra-rightist and ultra-nationalist formations for making a state coup in Kiev.

Which, rightly or wrongly, has not been the AWU assessment of what happened in Maidan from Nov to Feb. So to sign up to that would be inconsistent.

It is, however, pretty much the official Russian line on what happened, it should be said.

edit: also, for the record, no Anarkismo affiliated groups were approached to add their names to the statement prior to its publication. Given the relations between AIT and Anarkismo affliated groups, this is not particularly remarkable in itself (neither do Anarkismo groups routinely ask AIT groups to sign their international statements), but the categorisation of the statement as "widely circulated" should not be taken as meaning that all class struggle anarchist or left communist groups were asked to sign, by any means.

Battlescarred
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May 7 2014 16:13

"edit: also, for the record, no Anarkismo affiliated groups were approached to add their names to the statement prior to its publication. Given the relations between AIT and Anarkismo affliated groups, this is not particularly remarkable in itself (neither do Anarkismo groups routinely ask AIT groups to sign their international statements), but the categorisation of the statement as "widely circulated" should not be taken as meaning that all class struggle anarchist or left communist groups were asked to sign, by any means."
Perhaps one should ask, why not?

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May 7 2014 18:49
Esty wrote:
I grant that many anarchists are not illiterate when it comes to dialectical materialism

Always deeply reassuring.

teh
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May 7 2014 19:29
ajjohnstone wrote:

Doesn't Russia have any fascists? All those attacks on immigrants and non-Russians over the years, was part of my imagination.

Russian fascists are not occupying Red Square and government buildings in the capitol and are not holding ministerial positions in an unelected government nor are used by it as paramilitary forces. In that sense Russian fascism fits the world norm.

Quote:
While the American hypocritical attitude rightly deserves our disgust, we have not forgotten about Chechnya and the total destruction of its capital Grozny as Putin's response to breakaway states (and when it comes to conspiracy theories, those Moscow bombs blamed on Chechens to spark off another offensive has always been suspect.) Obama or Putin, their hypocrisy stinks and both are up to their arm-pits in the blood of innocents.

Yeltsin was the perpetrator in Chechnya as well as the main instigator of the conflict. Putin played the secondary and clean up role. I know you're speaking in jest but this gets repeated a lot by right and left liberals who view Yelstins oligarch rule and Western clientelism as a model not only for their own societies but for countries around the world. They shouldn't be allowed to attempt to rehabilitate him.

ajjohnstone
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May 7 2014 20:24

I make no reference or defence of Yelstin but no way should anybody try to diminish Putin's contribution and role to the suppression of Chechnya.

Might as well say Obama's and Cameron's complicity in war are merely secondary and clean up as they did not instigate either Afghan, Iraq or the so-called War on Terror. I stand by my statement that Putin's position is hypocritical and his history blood-stained.

I was perhaps a bit rash to employ the words fascist. After all there is a more or agreed definition to the term...extremist nationalist may be a better choice and THEY do occupy the Kremlin and the positions of government power in Russia.

Kiev or Moscow - A plague on both

This mounting civil war in the Ukraine has its roots within capitalism like every other conflict in recent times. Should slaves take sides in the disputes of their masters? This conflict/war is not unique. Yugoslavia? We don't need to defend Serbian nationalism and their breakaway republic of Srpska or recall the Nazi Croatian Chekniks to condemn the bombardment of Sarajevo or the bombing of Belgrade and see what the war was about...economic/military expansion.

As i said we seen too much of the same and until the world changes we will see more of the same. Stop picking sides to support.

S2W
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May 7 2014 22:13

I put my text up separately:

http://libcom.org/news/anarchism-context-civil-war-08052014

S2W
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May 7 2014 22:15

BTW after I had my text translated, it was revealed that in Donetsk RKAS is involved in Anti-Maidan:

http://avtonom.org/news/anarhist-iz-donecka-zayavlyat-o-sebe-v-antimaydanovskom-dvizhenii-kak-politicheskaya-sila-my-ne

Oh dear.

teh
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May 8 2014 00:30
ajjohnstone wrote:
I make no reference or defence of Yelstin but no way should anybody try to diminish Putin's contribution and role to the suppression of Chechnya.

Might as well say Obama's and Cameron's complicity in war are merely secondary and clean up as they did not instigate either Afghan, Iraq or the so-called War on Terror. I stand by my statement that Putin's position is hypocritical and his history blood-stained.

Well I wouldn't put the destruction of Iraq as the "response" of Obama to opposition to imperial rule- that I'd say was Clinton & his machine and Bush father and son- though Obama certainly did and is doing his best to subjugate Iraq. Putin's position is hypocritical and his history blood-stained but I believe there is a concerted effort to whitewash Yeltsin's legacy, including on Chechnya.

Quote:
I was perhaps a bit rash to employ the words fascist. After all there is a more or agreed definition to the term...extremist nationalist may be a better choice and THEY do occupy the Kremlin and the positions of government power in Russia.

Name me the persons or groups. I think Svoboda and its offshoots fit the classic Neo-Nazi platform.

Quote:
This mounting civil war in the Ukraine has its roots within capitalism like every other conflict in recent times. Should slaves take sides in the disputes of their masters? This conflict/war is not unique. Yugoslavia? We don't need to defend Serbian nationalism and their breakaway republic of Srpska or recall the Nazi Croatian Chekniks to condemn the bombardment of Sarajevo or the bombing of Belgrade and see what the war was about...economic/military expansion.

As i said we seen too much of the same and until the world changes we will see more of the same. Stop picking sides to support.

No no I completely agree.

teh
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May 8 2014 01:17
S2W wrote:
BTW after I had my text translated, it was revealed that in Donetsk RKAS is involved in Anti-Maidan:

http://avtonom.org/news/anarhist-iz-donecka-zayavlyat-o-sebe-v-antimaydanovskom-dvizhenii-kak-politicheskaya-sila-my-ne

Oh dear.

I don't think I've ever read anything on Avtonom which didn't have an activistoid solution to a given problem.

RKAS's website seems to have been hijacked by the Mens Internet Magazine http://rkas.org.ua/
which talks about what is the attractiveness of the EU.

ajjohnstone
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May 8 2014 02:28

I read this article by well-published James Petras due to its title "The Kiev Putsch: Rebel Workers Take Power in the East". I was hoping against hope.

What do i find? The vast part of the essay is devoted to the NATO/EU expansionism, much of which i cannot disagree with. What was missing in the article was any substantial description of those rebel workers or their organisations.

Quote:
"The industrial workers of Ukraine who succeed in throwing off the yoke of the western vassals in Kiev have no intention of submitting themselves to the yoke of the Russian oligarchs. Their struggle is for a democratic state, capable of developing an independent economic policy, free of imperial military alliances."

That was all to justify the title.

But details of new organisations with these demands or evidence for such a belief from trade unions seem to be lacking. True, the media and lack of translations could be the reason. Yet the same article reaffirms their chains to Russia and not any such economic independence. Do we read about worker occupations, the rise of the council movement...

Quote:
"The loss of Russian trade is already leading to mass unemployment, especially among skilled industrial workers in the East who may be forced to immigrate to Russia."

There is no demand in his article for the demilitarisation of the Black Sea reports to substantiate "free of imperial military alliances." The status quo is accepted.

Throughout Russian history, statists have tended to hold a view of nationalism as an instrument to strengthen state institutions and bolster the authority of the ruling class. As such, statists have traditionally favoured territorial expansion, followed by efforts to assimilate minority groups. Putin may not endorse "Russia for the Russians" slogans of the extreme nationalists but his patriotism means Moscow rules.

oops forgot the Petras link
http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/05/the-kiev-putsch-rebel-workers-take-power-in-the-east/

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May 8 2014 02:55

moderator, please remove post 188. I admit it was an underhanded attempt to score political points and I apologize. Also delete this post, please

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May 8 2014 09:48

@Esty - you can edit your own posts retrospectively. If, on reflection, you want to retract one of your posts, the generally accepted etiquette is to edit it and delete the original text, replacing it with a note to the effect that you have decided to remove it (and, optionally, one or two words why).

baboon
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May 8 2014 11:22

Esty, I was mystified by the post you want disappeared and your attack mentioning myself. In the interests of clarity, while not taking up too much time in an important discussion, could you elaborate on why you want this post retracted?

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May 8 2014 11:31

I've been seeing this spread on social media, I haven't had a chance to read it and I'm not sure what the exact political position of the website is but ...

http://www.dreamdeferred.org.uk/2014/05/ukraine-slides-towards-civil-war-there-is-no-good-side-to-choose/

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May 8 2014 11:35

Repost from here

AWU addressed the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left faction in the European Parliament with this open letter in which they are basically begging for political support from inside the European Parliament: http://avtonomia.net/2014/01/18/open-letter-european-left/

What else?
http://avtonomia.net/2014/01/30/the-politicians-obey-crowd-interview-protests-kiev/

Quote:
I guess in such conditions the best form of support from abroad would be efforts to make the Ukrainian government back off, but without showing solidarity with the far-right. My guess is that such messages – “we support your struggle but not your fascists” – would be optimal form of pressure from abroad.

Not just here they are demonstrating their collaborative position towards the (liberal) elements of the - in its general tendency - populist and nationalist Euromaidan movement. This passage shows they were hoping for a new government constructing a (supposedly) more "democratic" mechanism managing Ukrainian oligarchic capitalism. Explain: why should proletarians in Ukraine or elsewhere force a government to resign in exchange for some parasitic scum like Yatsenyuk or Tymoshenko?

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May 8 2014 12:06

Further proof of the "pacifist position of the Ukrainian government that does not want war" (AWU)

Quote:
Ukraine deploys 15,000-strong military force near Russia’s borders

http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/730878

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May 8 2014 13:59
subprole wrote:
Repost from here

AWU addressed the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left faction in the European Parliament with this open letter in which they are basically begging for political support from inside the European Parliament: http://avtonomia.net/2014/01/18/open-letter-european-left/

What else?
http://avtonomia.net/2014/01/30/the-politicians-obey-crowd-interview-protests-kiev/

Quote:
I guess in such conditions the best form of support from abroad would be efforts to make the Ukrainian government back off, but without showing solidarity with the far-right. My guess is that such messages – “we support your struggle but not your fascists” – would be optimal form of pressure from abroad.

Not just here they are demonstrating their collaborative position towards the (liberal) elements of the - in its general tendency - populist and nationalist Euromaidan movement. This passage shows they were hoping for a new government constructing a (supposedly) more "democratic" mechanism managing Ukrainian oligarchic capitalism. Explain: why should proletarians in Ukraine or elsewhere force a government to resign in exchange for some parasitic scum like Yatsenyuk or Tymoshenko?

Any reading of the two articles you link will reveal that they totally do not say what you allege they say.

Irrespective of your motives, you are being completely dishonest here, and people should take heed of that.

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May 8 2014 14:27

The passages I quote imply what I say. There are definitely serious contradictions in their pamphlets and you should take heed of that. Besides there is absolutely no argument in your comment, it is just your irrelevant opinion.

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May 8 2014 14:55

I don't waste my time arguing with people who are being transparently dishonest. I trust the readers of this site well enough to read the articles you link and judge for themselves.

An instrumental approach to the truth is fundamentally incompatible with basic anarchist principles.

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May 8 2014 15:02

This "debate" is getting surreal! But I also have absolutely no interest in any further communication with you.

Spikymike
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May 8 2014 15:18

Shorty,
You should really read texts you link beforehand but as it happens the specific 'dreamdeferred' article you refer to is pretty good and well worth people here reading.