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Odessa Solidarity Campaign Report:

MAY 2 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF ODESSA

In a major breakthrough for the people of Odessa, Ukraine, a United Nations human rights monitoring mission has criticized the Ukrainian government for its failure to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the fascist-led massacre of scores of people on May 2, 2014, at the city’s House of Trade Unions.

The U.N. “Briefing Note” was issued on the fifth anniversary of the massacre, when vigils were held across Europe and North America as part of an International Day of Solidarity with the People of Odessa.

And in a major departure from the near-total media whiteout of the issue in the U.S. media, an Associated Press story on the U.N. report was carried by media outlets across the United States and beyond, including The Washington Post, ABC News, Yahoo! News, (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Seattle TImes and the (UK) Telegraph and Daily Mail.

This doesn’t mean there will be an impartial investigation, but it does help to shine a light on the massacre and the government’s failure to act.

The International Day of Solidarity, coordinated by the Odessa Solidarity Campaign (USA) and Prague Spring II (Sweden), included solidarity vigils in Berlin, Budapest, London, Moscow, New York City, Prague, Stockholm, Vancouver, Vienna and Wroclaw, among other cities.

In Washington, D.C., a delegation from the Odessa Solidarity Campaign, along with members of Struggle/La Lucha, held a vigil outside the Ukrainian Embassy and then hand-delivered a letter to embassy staff addressed to Ukrainian President-Elect Volodymyr Zelenksy. The letter urged the incoming president, who overwhelmingly defeated the ultra-nationalist incumbent, Petro Poroshenko, to break with the reactionary policies of his predecessor and agree to allow an international investigation into the massacre, as well as end the ongoing repression of relatives of those who died in the trade union building fire and journalists attempting to investigate the tragedy.

Meanwhile, police in Odessa reported that 4,500 people came out for that city’s fifth annual memorial. Among those attending was Joe Lombardo, co-coordinator of the United National Antiwar Coalition and a member of the Advisory Board of the Odessa Solidarity Campaign. (See Joe’s report HERE.)

For ongoing news and analysis about developments in Ukraine, see https://odessasolidaritycampaign.org and the Odessa Solidarity Campaign Facebook page.

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Photos from some of the May 2 solidarity vigils.

More photos will be posted as received. 

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AP story on the U.N. report:

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/mission-ukraine-actions-odessa-fire-inadequate-62774892

Full U.N. “Briefing Note”:

http://www.un.org.ua/images/documents/4671/Accountability%20for%20Killings%20and%20Violent%20Deaths%20in%20Odesa%20on%202%20May%202014.%20UN%20briefing%20note.pdf

Letter to President-Elect Volodymyr Zelensky:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nyCnGb90ARTm3kAvyR5UAjPE_zAH7Hog/view

Video of the delivery of letter to President-Elect Volodymyr Zelensky:

https://ruptly.tv/en/videos/20190503-001

Joe Lombardo’s report from Odessa:

http://nepajac.org/rpt.htm?fbclid=IwAR02g0qGZkLfNgxsMoPUl1ZK5iOVoEnXV_pxKd4QPEVHxyPZ-Rq84Gtz93Q

MAY 2 UPDATE (4.28.19):

 
This May 2 will mark five years since a fascist-led mob attacked and set fire to the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, Ukraine, causing the deaths of at least 42 people with more than 100 injured.
As part of an International Day of Solidarity with the People of Odessa, a vigil will be held from noon to 1 p.m. May 2 outside the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C., supporting the demand of relatives of those killed for an international investigation into the massacre, something that has never happened.
 
Members of the U.S.-based Odessa Solidarity Campaign will deliver a letter to Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, urging him to abandon the ultra-nationalist policies of his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, and agree to finally allow the truth to emerge about the tragic events of May 2, 2014. The letter also will call for an end to the political repression of the relatives and of journalists investigating the tragedy.
 
Among those planning to attend the vigil are members of the Embassy Protective Collective, the group of activists now protecting the Embassy of Venezuela from the threat of an illegal occupation by opponents of the legitimate administration of Nicolas Maduro. Following the Odessa vigil, activists will gather at the Venezuelan Embassy for a presentation by OSC coordinator Phil Wilayto on the similarities between the U.S. interventions in Venezuela and Ukraine.
 
The massacre on May 2, 2014, came just months after the democratically elected president was forced out of office in a violent U.S.-backed coup under circumstances similar to what we are now seeing unfold in Venezuela.
 
Many cellphone videos of the attack have been posted on the Internet, clearly showing people setting the five-story union building on fire with Molotov cocktails. People can be seen jumping from the burning windows and being beaten to death when they hit the ground. But, to date, not one of the perpetrators of these murderous actions has been brought to justice. At the same time, survivors from the arson as well as several of their sympathizers were arrested. Many of them are still in prison, never having been charged with a crime.
 
Family members, friends and supporters of the victims and survivors have repeatedly held memorials at the site of the killings, demanding an international investigation leading to prosecution of those responsible. Each year on May 2, thousands of Odessans gather there, despite repeated threats by neo-Nazi organizations to attack the mourners. And each year solidarity actions are held in cities around the world to support the people of Odessa in their demand for an international investigation and an end to the harassment and legal repression of survivors of the May 2 tragedy, of their relatives and supporters, and of journalists attempting to investigate the tragedy.
 
The Washington vigil is sponsored by the Odessa Solidarity Campaign in solidarity with many other actions planned for that day in other cities, including Vienna, London, Budapest and Moscow.
 
The Sweden-based organization Prague Spring II has posted the call for international May 2 actions in English, German, Russian and Swedish: https://solidaritywithodessa.wordpress.com
 
NOTE: Odessa activists are asking that supporters post one of their poster images on their Facebook page (change your profile photo for the day or longer), and on Instagram, Twitter, etc. The images are available here: https://odessasolidaritycampaign.org/
 
For more information, visit http://www.OdessaSolidarityCampaign.org, Odessa Solidarity Campaign on Facebook, email DefendersFJE@hotmail.com or call 1-804-644-5834.

A CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL ACTIONS ON THE 5th MEMORIAL DAY OF THE ATTACK ON THE HOUSE OF TRADE UNIONS IN ODESSA, UKRAINE

       May 2, 2019, will mark five years since a right-wing mob attack on the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, Ukraine, a tragedy that resulted in the deaths of at least 42 people and more than 100 injured. Today there still is no justice in sight for the mourners of the victims.
       Those deaths on May 2, 2014, came just months after the democratically elected president was forced out of office by politicians, mass protests and violent right-wing organizations. This resulted in growing tensions in Odessa over several weeks, which culminated with street clashes and the mob attack on the House of Trade Unions.
       Many cellphone videos of the attack have been posted on the Internet, clearly showing people setting the union building on fire with Molotov cocktails. People can be seen jumping from the burning windows and dying when falling to the ground. People laying on the asphalt and those trying to escape were severely beaten with bats and other weapons.
       To date, not one of the perpetrators of these murderous actions has been brought to justice. At the same time, survivors from the arson as well as several of their sympathizers were arrested and many of them are still in prison, many never having been charged with a crime.
       Family members, friends and supporters of the victims and survivors have repeatedly held memorials at the site of the killings, demanding an international investigation leading to prosecution of those responsible. Each year on May 2, thousands of Odessans gather there, despite repeated threats by extreme right-wing organizations to attack the mourners.
       We call on all those who value justice to hold local events on May 2 in solidarity with the people of Odessa and in support of their demand for an international investigation.
       We further call for an end to the harassment and legal repression of survivors of the May 2 tragedy, of their relatives and supporters, and of journalists attempting to investigate the situation.
       This Call has been initiated by the Odessa Solidarity Campaign (USA) and Prague Spring II (Europe).
TO ENDORSE THIS CALL, PLEASE WRITE:

DefendersFJE@hotmail.com

HOW TO ORGANIZE A MAY 2 ACTION:

We want to emphasize that any kind of action would be welcome: a rally, march, public meeting, vigil – or even just a few people standing on a busy street corner with signs. The idea is to have something, no matter how modest, happening in as many cities as possible.

Here are 9 POSTERS you can download and print out on 11″ x 17″ paper or card stock.  The square “REMEMBER ODESSA” icon is good for Instagram posts and profile images. Two of the poster images can be adapted as well: one plain so you add your own message, one with a solid black background. Click here to view and download.

Also, at the memorials in Odessa, people carry flowers and release black balloons into the air. Carrying flowers and releasing black balloons would be seen as acts of solidarity.

It would also be helpful to carry a sign about Odessa in a May Day march or rally on May 1 – anything to bring attention to the massacre and the current situation in Odessa.

Finally, please take a photo of your action and send it (as a jpeg or pdf file) to: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com. We will post the photos on the Odessa Solidarity Campaign website.

Don’t forget to include:

  • the place where the action took place;
  • the name of the organization or organizations sponsoring the action (optional);
  • the name of the photographer, for credit for taking the photo (optional).

THANK YOU!

After killing, criminal proceedings initiated against Odessa fascist

On the night of May 24, 2018, in Odessa, the radical nationalist Sergey Sternenko, former head of the Odessa branch of Right Sector, killed one person and wounded another. Sternenko stated he was assaulted for “political” reasons, but this narrative has not been confirmed by either the witnesses or the preliminary conclusions of field investigators. [MORE AT: http://www.stalkerzone.org/this-is-pure-murder-not-self-defense-criminal-proceedings-were-initiated-against-the-ukrainian-nationalist-sergey-sternenko/]

May 2018 Actions in Solidarity with the People of Odessa – An OSC Report

In May 2018, cities across Europe & the U.S. showed solidarity with Odessa.

This report has been compiled from information from UNAC affiliates, SOLIDARITY WITH ODESSA in Europe and other sources.

The ODESSA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN endorses the call by European organizations for actions in solidarity with Odessa to continue throughout the month of May.

Please send reports & photos of your actions to the OSC at: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com & to SOLIDARITY WITH ODESSA on their website: https://solidaritywithodessa.wordpress.com

More photos are posted at: https://www.facebook.com/Solidarity-action-May-2-with-the-victims-of-the-Odessa-massacre-613792958972533/

CLICK HERE FOR THE OSC REPORT: May 2018 Actions in Solidarity with the People of Odessa

From “Ukraine after Maidan: Right Wing Violence & State Repression

Selective Justice – 09/19/2017

Why did the court acquit all the accused in the case of May 2, Odessa? [and then re-arrested some of them]  (excerpts from an opinion piece)

On September 18, the city court of Chernomorsk put a semicolon in the case of activists of the Odessa “Anti-Maidan” detained on charges concerning the riots on May 2, 2014. All without exception, the defendants were found not guilty and released from custody – however, some of them were immediately arrested again on a different charge. (Read more.)

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‘UKRAINE AFTER MAIDAN’

New OSC website shines much-needed light on state & right-wing repression

Odessa Solidarity Campaign staff members and friends have launched an important new project to keep the world informed about critical developments in Odessa and Ukraine.

The website Ukraine after Maidan: Right Wing Violence & State Repression tracks acts of violence and intimidation carried out by right-wing radical groups in Ukraine as well as of acts of repression against basic civil liberties and the persecution of the opposition by the Kiev government. Much of the world has no idea about how bad things are today in Ukraine. To counter this lack of information, the new site features translations of articles, full or partial, from local Ukrainian media outlets, including the following topics:

Ukraine after Maidan can be accessed at https://ukraineaftermaidan.wordpress.com or from the Odessa Solidarity Campaign website under Ukraine News.”

 

APPEAL TO SUPPORT THE PEOPLE OF ODESSA on the 3rd anniversary of the massacre at the House of Trade Unions

Earlier this spring, the Odessa Solidarity Campaign received this appeal:

“On the eve of the third anniversary of the events of May 2, 2014, the situation in Odessa is getting worse every day,” wrote a supporter of the Council of Mothers of May 2, which represents the relatives of those who died at the House of Trade Unions. …

“Apartments of anti-Maidan activists are being searched. To counter the peaceful mourning rally, a mobilization of ‘patriots’ has been declared. An atmosphere of fear, hysteria and expectation of a new tragedy is created in Odessa. Everything is aimed at intimidating, misleading and confusing people and eventually making them stay at home.

“In these conditions, we urge the world to closely monitor the situation in Odessa to prevent provocations from those forces that proved to the whole world three years ago their bloodlust and their desire to choose the most cruel and bloody ways.”

In response, the Odessa Solidarity Campaign produced a LEAFLET promoting the Council of Mothers appeal, with suggestions on how to help, that a. The leaflet was distributed at several May Day events in the U.S. and Europe. 

Report on the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Odessa

On April 10, 2017, more than two dozen organizations in 19 cities in 12 countries across Europe and North America together called on the government of Ukraine to immediately release all political prisoners and end the current wave of repression against relatives of the victims of the fascist-led massacre at Odessa’s House of Trade Unions on May 2, 2014. April 10 is a date of great significance to all Odessans, as it marks the day in 1944 when Odessa was liberated from years of fascist occupation. The Odessa Solidarity Campaign thanks everyone who participated in this effort and we look forward to working more closely with you in the future. The full report (updated April 17, 2017) is HERE.

Odessa’s Council of Mothers of May 2 responds to the International Day of Solidarity

The Council of Mothers of May represents the relatives and supporters of the victims of May 2, 2014. Their letter to the Odessa Solidarity Campaign concerning the April 10 International Day of Solidarity is HERE.

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Welcome to the website of the Odessa Solidarity Campaign, operated by an all-volunteer team of human rights activists dedicated to supporting the people of Odessa, Ukraine, in their heroic resistance to fascism.

Here you will find background information on the economic and political crises in Ukraine; the story of the massacre of 46 anti-fascist activists in Odessa on May 2, 2014; and the ongoing campaign by the Council of Mothers of May 2 for an international investigation into that terrible tragedy, for which no one has yet been brought to justice.

We invite you to learn more about this whole situation and how it sheds light on similar developments throughout Eastern and Southern Europe. We hope you then will be inspired to support the Council of Mothers’ demand for an international investigation – and to work for justice, peace and progress in your own communities.

For the latest news from Odessa, please see “ALERTS” on the above menu.

“I Saw the Death – The book of evidence of the participants of the events on May 2, 2014, in Odessa”

This riveting collection of first-person accounts of the massacre of at least 46 people in the House of Trade Unions in Kulikovo Square is must reading for anyone trying to understand the terrible events of May 2, 2014, in Odessa, Ukraine.