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. For the full report (updated April 17, 2017), CLICK HERE.
An Open Letter to President Barack Obama concerning your upcoming meeting with President Poroshenko of Ukraine
July 6, 2016
Dear President Obama,
It has been reported that you will be attending the NATO Summit to be held July 8 and 9 in Warsaw, Poland. It also has been reported that, during the Summit, you will be meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
I am writing to ask you to raise a particular issue during your meeting with the Ukrainian president: the request by the Council of Mothers of May 2 for an international investigation into the massacre of 46 people on May 2, 2014, at the House of Trade Unions in Odessa’s Kulikovo Field. The Council is made up of relatives of those who were killed in that terrible event. …
Message to UNAC from the Council of Mothers of May 2
June 5, 2016
Council of Mothers of May 2 expresses deep appreciation to UNAC and personally Phil Wilayto, Bruce Gagnon, Regis Tremblay, Ana Edwards, Joe Lombardo, Anna Rebeil, Sara Flounders, Malachy Kilbride and the Rev. Rodney Hunter for their invaluable help and support in our work for peace, justice and fairness in Odessa (Ukraine).
We attach great importance to solidarity, which show progressive people all over the world in support of our hard struggle with the wave of radical nationalism that has swept our country in recent years. Especially worth mentioning is the courage it showed our American friends from UNAC arrived to Odessa on the second anniversary of the sad events of May 2nd.
We are confident that our joint efforts will be able to return the Ukrainian society on the path of peaceful development and to achieve the triumph of justice.
Once again – thank you for everything, dear friends of UNAC! We wish your conference fruitful work and further achievements.
Chairman of the Council of May 2 mothers
Counterpunch – May 13, 2016
On May 2, 2016, Odessans once again showed their great capacity for courage. Defying threats by local and national fascist organizations, thousands of city residents, accompanied by international monitors from across Europe and the United States, gathered to pay their respects to the victims of a fascist massacre and press their demand for an international investigation. …
April 25, 2016 – Report by the United National Antiwar Coalition(UNAC)
‘Statement of Solidarity’ with 2nd anniversary May 2 memorial in Odessa delivered to Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C., followed by press conference
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 25 — Today Ana Edwards, representing the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), and Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and now prominent peace activist, delivered a Statement of Solidarity with Odessa to the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C.
The statement calls on the governments of Ukraine, the United States and the city of Odessa to ensure the civic rights of the people of Odessa to hold a memorial program this coming May 2 to mark the second anniversary of the massacre of 46 profederation activists in that city at the hands of rightwing extremists. The memorial is being organized by the Mothers’ Committee for May 2, comprised of family members, friends and supporters of the murdered activists.
The Solidarity Statement, signed by 139 human rights organizations and activists from 20 countries in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, also supports the Mothers’ Committee public call for the United Nations Human Rights Committee to arrange an impartial investigation into the events of May 2, 2014. Although the attack was videoed by numerous participants and passersby, to date not one of the perpetrators has been brought to justice.
The Solidarity Statement also announced that UNAC is sending a delegation of U.S. human rights activists to monitor the May 2 memorial program in Odessa. Other delegations will be present from France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Israel and Sweden.
The Solidarity Statement was received by an embassy staff member on behalf of the Ukrainian ambassador. Immediately after, Edwards and McGovern held a press conference outside the embassy at which they read the solidarity statement and answered questions from reporters. Media present included Tass News Agency of Russia, RT (Russia Today) America, Channel One Russian TV and RTRTV, a Russianlanguage television station whose audience includes 50,000 subscribers in the New York City area. The Russian language is spoken by an estimated 171 million people in 17 countries.
While no major Western media were present, it is expected that the broad news coverage by major Russian media will put pressure on other media outlets to cover the story of the May 2 memorial, the international solidarity campaign and the international delegations that will be in Odessa on May 2 to monitor the memorial program.
Ana Edwards is a founding member of UNAC and chairs the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality in Richmond, Va.
Ray McGovern is a former analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a prominent member of Veterans for Peace and Cofounder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) is a broad alliance of U.S. justice and peace organizations founded in 2010. (www.UNACpeace.org)
April 24, 2016
Statement in support of the May 2 memorial to be held in Odessa, Ukraine, and for a United Nations investigation into the tragic events of May 2, 2014
On May 2, 2016, a memorial will be held in Odessa, Ukraine, to honor the memory of scores of pro-democracy activists who were brutally murdered on that date in Odessa two years ago.
There is no reason for the City authorities to forbid a peaceful memorial, but right-wing radicals – some of whom are believed to have been involved in the events of 2014 – have declared that they will not allow it to proceed.
The tragedy of Odessa and the continuing danger of right-wing violence in that beautiful city is of growing concern to decent-minded people around the world.
Therefore, we the undersigned representatives of human rights organizations in the United States and other countries hereby call on the governments of Odessa, Ukraine and the United States to ensure that the civic rights of those attending the May 2 memorial in Odessa will be respected, including the delegations of international monitors who will be present on that day.
We further respectfully appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to initiate an international investigation into the events of May 2, 2014, as requested by family members, friends and supporters of those who died on that day.
According to widely published reports, protesters opposed to the February 2014 coup that overthrew Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had set up a symbolic tent city in Odessa’s Kulikovo Square, in front of the five-story House of Trade Unions. On May 2, right-wing soccer fans, whipped up by pro-coup activists, attacked and burned the tent city, driving the much smaller group of protesters into the union building. The mob then set the building on fire. At least 46 people died from burns, smoke inhalation, gunfire and beatings. Many more were wounded. It was the worst case of violence in Odessa in many decades.
Ever since the massacre, representatives of the families of those who died have held weekly vigils to honor the memory of their loved ones. Many of these memorials have been harassed by pro-coup groups. As recently as April 10, a large gathering of people celebrating the liberation of Odessa from Nazi occupation was attacked by right-wing thugs. These same forces are now are threatening to physically prevent the second May 2 anniversary memorial from taking place.
At a formal meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Committee held on March 21 in Geneva, family members and their supporters asked the committee to initiate a long-overdue impartial investigation into the events of May 2, 2014. For their part, the pro-coup forces are expressing their opposition to such an investigation. This contradiction alone should make clear which side wants the truth to be revealed and which side wants it to remain hidden.
Again, we call on the United Nations to initiate the requested investigation. And we call on the governments of Odessa, Ukraine and the United States to ensure that the civic rights of those attending the May 2 memorial in Odessa are respected.
Endorsers (as of 4/24/16)
Ramsey Clark – Former U.S. Attorney General; Human Rights Activist; Cynthia McKinney, Ph.D – Former Member, U.S. Congress; 2008 Green Party U.S. Presidential Candidate; Ray McGovern – Former CIA Analyst; Co-Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity; Bernadette Ellorin – Chairperson, Bayan USA; Lynne Stewart – People’s Lawyer and former political prisoner; Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos – Maine House of Representatives; Bruce Gagnon – International Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; Margaret Kimberley – Editor and Senior Columnist, Black Agenda Report; Joel Kovel – author; ; Joe Lombardo & Marilyn Levin – UNAC Co-coordinators; International Action Center; U.S. Peace Council; United National Antiwar Coalition
Beth Adams – Hancock Drone Resisters, San Francisco, California; Elliott Adams – Veterans For Peace, Sharon Springs, New York; Abayomi Azikiwe – Editor, Pan-African News Wire; Organizer, MECAWI, Detroit, Michigan; Roger Batchelder – OPENER, San Diego, California *; Ajamu Baraka – North-South Project for People-Centered Human Rights; Mike Beilstein – City Councilor, Corvallis, Oregon; Judith Bello – Founding Member, Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones & End the Wars, New York; Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace – New York; Citizens Convention – Roanoke, VA; Richard Clement – Veterans For Peace Chapter 001; Judy Collins & Jim Allen – Vine & Fig Tree, Lanett, Alabama; Paul Cunningham – South Portland, Maine; William Crain – Peace and Justice *, Billings, Montana; Monica Dahiby – Women for Peace, Uppsala; Bob Dale – Veterans for Peace, Brunswick, Maine; George Dardess – Rochester Peace Action & Education *; Nicolas J.S. Davies – Author, “Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq”; Jacqui Deveneau – Maine Green Independent Party, Portland, Maine; Catherine Donaghy – Western Mass TroopsOutNow! Coalition, Massachusetts; Chantal Dothey, MD – Cleveland, Ohio; Tim Duda – American Federation of Teachers, San Antonio, Texas; Nancy Eberg – Greater New Haven Peace Council *; Ana Edwards – Chair, Virginia Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project, Richmond, Virginia; Anthony Ehrlich – West Volusians for Peace & Justice, Barberville, Florida; Kristna Evans – Vintage Quaker Books, Friends Community of New England, Bath, Maine; Sara Flounders – Co-Director, International Action Center, New York, New York; Christopher and Mary Fogarty – Friends of Irish Freedom; Freedom Road Socialist Organization; Roberta Frye – Faith in Action, Unitarian Universalists of Santa Monica *, Culver City, California; Ronald Fujiyoshi – Ohara Ho’opakele, Hilo, Hawaii; Terry & Tom Fusco – Maine Progressive Party, Brunswick, Maine; Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace – Geneseo, New York; Starr C. Gilmartin – Peace & Justice of Eastern Maine, Trenton, Maine; Ernest Goitein – People for Land and Nature; Marty Goodman – Transport Workers Union Local 100, former member of executive board; Craig Gordon – The Now Age Press; Ellen Grady – Ithaca Catholic Worker, Ithaca, New York; Peter Gunther – Progressive Archivists; Danny Haiphong – Black Agenda Report; Hiroyuki Hamada – artist; Joseph F. Hancock – Los Angeles Peace Council, Los Angeles, California; Sue Harris – Peoples Video Network; David Hartsough – PEACEWORKERS, San Francisco, California; Marilyn Hoff – Peace Action, New Mexico; Rod Hojat, MD – Wouthwest Women’s Healthcare Ctr. *; Herbert J. Hoffman, Ph.D. – Albuquerque Veterans For Peace, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Joe Iosbaker – Anti-War Committee – Chicago; Connie Jenkins – Pax Christi, Maine, Orono, Maine; Mack Johnson – Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Silverdale, Washington; Ann Joseph – United Church of Christ, Chicago, Illinois *; Tarak Kauff – Veterans for Peace *; Matt Kelly – Petersburgh, New York; Mick Kelly – Editor, Fight Back!; Ed Kinane – Upstate Drone Action, New York; Bob Kinsey – Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of Nuclear War *; Heather Koponen – Alaska Peace Center, Veterans for Peace, Fairbanks, Alaska; David Laibman – Editor, Science & Society, Brooklyn, New York; Charles Douglas Lain – Zero Books, Portland, OR; Jason Lambert – Face Valyou; Barbara Laxon – Miramar, Florida; Mickie Lynn – Women Against War *, Delmar, New York; Nina Macapinlac – BAYAN USA; Jeff Mackler – Director, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Oakland, California; Kevin Martin – Executive Director, Peace Action, Silver Spring, Maryland; Kat McNeal – Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality; Natasha Mayers – Union of Maine Visual Artists, Whitefield, Maine; Bernard Meyer – U.S. Fellowship of Reconciliation *; Jodda Mitchell – LUV News; Rob Mulford – Veterans For Peace, Fairbanks, Alaska; Immanuel Ness – City University of New York *; Meryl Nass MD – Ellsworth Maine; Doug Noble – Metro Justice *, Rochester; Jon Olsen – Green Party, Jefferson, Maine; Tatyana Olson – Diplomatic School, Washington D.C.; Dr. Lewis E. Patrie – Western N.N. Physicians for Social Responsibility, Asheville, North Carolina; Rosalie Paul – Greater Brunswick PeaceWorks, Maine; Patricia Patterson – Retired International Mission Executive, United Methodist Church, Claremont, California; Tina Phillips – Brunswick, Maine; Charles R. Powell – President, Veterans For Peace, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Brian Noyes Pulling, M.Div. – Minister, Social Worker,Peace& Social Justice Organizer, South Carolina; Megan Rice SHCJ – Transform Now Plowshares, Washington, D.C.; Coleen Rowley – Retired FBI agent, former Legal Counsel, Minneapolis Division, Minnesota; Kathleen Russell – NeedtoKnow; Lisa Savage – Maine Natural Guard, Solon, Maine; Adria Scharf – Richmond Peace Education Center, Richmond, Virginia; Susan Schuurman – Albuquerqui Center for Peace and Justice; Richard D. Seifert – Fairbanks Peace Center, Fairbanks, Alaska; Diane Shammas, Ph.D – Shammas Group, Laguna Beach, California; Ruth Sheridan – Anchorage, Alaska; Alice Slater – Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, New York, New York; Anne Slater – President, U.S. Section of Radical Women; Gar Smith – Co-founder, Environmentalists Against War; Director, Academic Publishing, California; Jean Sommer – Peace Action, Cleveland, Ohio; Michael Springmann – “Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World *, “Washington, D.C.; Mary Beth Sullivan – Greater Brunswick PeaceWorks, Bath, Maine; David Swanson – Director, WorldBeyondWar.org; Author, “War Is A Lie,” Charlottesville, Virginia; George Szamuely – Global Policy Institute, London Metropolitan University; Wil Van Natta – Reality News Radio, Riviera Beach, Florida; Mazeda Akter Uddin – SouthAsian Fund for Education, Scholarship * Training; Virginia People’s Assembly for Jobs, Peace & Justice – Virginia; Steve Wagner – Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace *, Oakland, California; Karen Wainberg – Great Brunswick PeaceWorks, Maine; William H. Warrick III, MD – Veterans for Peace, Gainesville, Florida; Dave Welsh – Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council, San Francisco, California; Phil Wilayto – Editor, The Virginia Defender, Richmond, Virginia; Julia Williams – Green Party of Michigan; Johnny E. Williams – Trinity College *; Mike Wisniewski – Los Angeles Catholic Worker, California; Rowan Wolf – Uncommon Thought Journal, Portland, Oregon; Kristina Wolff – Veterans for Peace, Maine; Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) – Minneapolis, Minnesota; Russell Wray – Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST), Hancock, Maine; Sandra Yeager – Millersville University *, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Christl Meyer – Amnesty International *, Vienna
Dr. Ronald F. Price, OAM –La Trobe University, Emeritus Scholar *; Melbourne Radical Women
Tamara Lorincz – Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Saanichton, British Columbia; Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War – Hamilton; Roza Husseini – Student of PACE at University of Winnipeg, Manitoba; Rev. Wm. J. Hutton – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Amir M. Maasoumi – Palestinians & Jews United for Peace & Against Occupation (PAJU), Montreal, Quebec; Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) – Vancouver, British Columbia; Nicolas Royer-Artuso – Laval University *, Montreal, Quebec; Marguerite Warner – Peace Alliance Winnipeg, Manitoba; Doug Lang – Vancouver Co-Operative Radio, Vancouver
Vaclav Exner – KSČM, Alterantiva zdola, Praha
Ernst Mecke, Ph.D. – Helsinki, Finland
Csizmazia Alexis – Université Paris Est Creteil, Paris; Arlette Cavillon – Mouvement de la Paix *; Oranus Ravar – Aix-en-Provence; Guenter Schenk – CJACP, Strasbourg
Judith Dellheim – Zukunftskonvent, Berlin; Dr. Henry Stahl – Bund für Soziale Verteidigung, Eschwege, Hessen;
Narayana Rao – All India Peace & Solidarity Organization, Nagpur
John Kelly – Mullingar, County Westmeath; June Kelly – County Westmeath; Paul O’Brien – People Against War Network; Trevor Joyce – Aosdana Cork; Margaretta D’Arcy – WIMA
Arrigo Colombo – Movimento per la società di giustizia, Lecce, Puglia; U.S. Citizens Against War – Florence; Aldo Bernardini – Partito Comunista, Italia, Rome; Anna Farkas – U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice – Rome
Yasuaki – Matsumoto *, Japan; Akira Asada – Takarzuka, Hyougo, Japan; Kouichi Toyoshima – The Janan Scientists\ Association, Fukuoka branch
Mohamad Safa – Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar – President, International Movement for a Just World
Ethelia Ruiz Medrano – National Institute of Anthropology and History, Mexico *, Mexico
Khalid Ahmed Chaudry – Ambassador & Deputy Chairman, Supreme Council of the International Human Rights Commission *, The Hague
Dewald Wilhelm Scholtz – Pretoria, Gauteng Province
Choi Sung-Hee – Gangjeong Village International Team, Jeju Island; Regina Pyon Yeon-shik – Korean House for International Solidarity, Seoul
Oriane Peschoux – UN, Geneva
Purpose Osamwony – Smiles Africa International
Julie Webb-Pullman – Independent Journalist and Activist; Kay Weir – Editor, Pacific Ecologist, Pacific Institute of Resource Management, Wellington; Wellington Zapatista Support Group
Alexander Ionov & Anastasia Promskaya – The Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia
Agneta Norberg – Swedish Peace Council, Stockholm; Einar Schlereth – Retired Journalist / Translator / Writer, Klavreström, Kronoberg; Aaron Tovish – Executive Adviser, Mayors for Peace, Stockholm; Agneta Norberg – Chair, Swedish Peace Council; Aaron Tovish – “Cities are not targets!” Project of Mayors for Peace
Allen L. Jasson – RightOfChoice.com, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire; John Pilger – Two-time winner of Britain’s Journalist of the Year Award; Angie Zelter – Reforest the Earth; Giles Shorter – CP (M-L) of Great Britain; Susan Morris – Glasgow, Scotland
- Organization listed for Identification purposes only
This statement was initiated by the United National Antiwar Coalition (www.UNACpeace.org), a broad coalition of peace and justice organizations in the United States. UNAC encourages the circulation of this petition among human rights organizations all over the world. Please send all new endorsements to: UNAC, PO Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054 USA; Email: UNACpeace@gmail.com