A statement from the Ukrainian Autonomous Workers Union on the situation in the country as the government reacts to a wave of protest by bringing in repressive new laws.
The laws which were passed on January 16th showed that the faction of the ruling class which now controls the government is ready to install a reactionary bourgeois dictatorship on the model of the Latin American regimes of the 1970s. The “dictatorship laws” criminalize any protest and limit the freedom of speech; also, they establish responsibility for “extremism”. Parliamentary mouthpieces of the class dictatorship of corrupted bureaucracy and monopolist bourgeoisie are the Party of Regions and the so called “Communist” Party of Ukraine which has long ago become a political force serving interests of capital.
The Ukrainian repressive system leans on the police apparatus and street gangs of pro-government stormtroopers. Sometimes such paramilitary structures are commanded by retired police officers. Death squads are also in action. According to confirmed information, two people were kidnapped from a hospital and tortured. One of them died in a forest. Special forces use pinpoint firing against protesters, and not only from traumatic guns. One of the killed, according to a photo of his body, was shot in his heart. According to all indications he was a victim of a sniper. In the morning of January 23 the number of the killed constituted from 5 to 7 persons. And we don’t know the real scale of violence.
The ideology of the ruling regime is a mixture of Putin-style nationalism, conspiracy theories and conviction in their right, as elite, to rule over stupid populace. Groups of support to Berkut (the main riot police force) in social networks are full of anti-Semitic articles which claim that the opposition leaders are Jews and want to vitiate the people by legalizing same-sex marriages. This hardly differs from the rhetoric of Ukrainian right radicals.
Over the last days not only the far right confront the government, but also people of more moderate views. And they constitute the majority of the protesters. Many of them are indifferent to nationalism or negatively predisposed to it. Many of them don’t support integration into the EU. People go into the streets to protest against police violence. And a significant part of them is unenthusiastic or even skeptical about the clashes in the Grushevskogo street. Often one can hear that right radicals are a “Trojan horse” of Yanukovych and special services, designed to discredit the protest. Certainly there would be many more Kievites participating in the protests if there was a way to take those idiots useful to the government out of the streets. Top of their demands is to give them jobs in the Security Service of Ukraine after the “victorious revolution”.
Anarchists ought to participate in demonstrations and pickets which are dedicated to defense of the rights and freedoms usurped by the laws of January 16th. It makes sense to take action at one’s workplace or neighborhood and to help sabotage the dictatorship’s decisions. There’s not much sense in participating in the activities in Grushevskogo street, which were meaningless from the very beginning. These activities only give the government pretty picture for television and enable it to identify radical elements by locating mobile phones and videotaping.
In the case of the opposition’s victory, as well as in the case of the government’s victory we’ll have to wage long and hard war against any of those regimes. This should be understood. We need to gather forces in order to start propagating our own libertarian and proletarian agenda in Ukrainian politics.
No gods, no masters! No nations, no borders!
Autonomous Workers’ Union, Kiev local
January 23, 2014