The Odessa Solidarity Campaign was founded in the spring of 2016 to support the work of the Council of Mothers of May 2, an organization of relatives, friends and supporters of the 46 progressives murdered by a fascist-led mob on May 2, 2014, at the House of Trade Unions in Kulikovo Square in Odessa, Ukraine.
At the council’s request, we sent a three-person U.S. delegation to Odessa to attend and monitor the May 2, 2016, memorial, which various fascist organizations were threatening to attack. We also organized a broad international campaign to support the memorial. (See “Solidarity” section.)
Our initial goals were (1) to support the Council of Mothers’ call for an international investigation into the Odessa Massacre; (2) to act as a support committee for the Council of Mothers, which was coming under increasing pressure from the right-wing federal government as well as from fascist organizations; and (3) to educate the public about the developing political and economic crisis in Ukraine and the underlying reasons for it, especially the role of the U.S. government.
Since then, political repression in Ukraine has made it impossible for the Council of Mothers to continue functioning, and we have lost contact with the organization. However, we continue to call for an international investigation into the massacre, while attempting to educate the public about the political, social and economic realities in today’s Ukraine, especially the role of the U.S. and other Western governments.
The Odessa Solidarity Campaign began as a project of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), a U.S. network of justice and peace organizations. As of April 2019, the OSC is an independent body. UNAC leaders Margaret Kimberley and Joe Lombardo remain on the OSC Advisory Board.
OSC FOUNDER & COORDINATOR
Phil Wilayto – Editor, The Virginia Defender
Kat McNeal – Organizer, Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
OSC ADVISORY BOARD
Ana Edwards – Chair, Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project of the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
Bruce Gagnon – Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Margaret Kimberley – Editor & Senior Columnist, Black Agenda Report
Joe Lombardo – Co-Coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
Ray McGovern – Former CIA Analyst & now antiwar activist; Co-Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Maria Zakharenko – An anti-fascist organizer from Odessa