PROTESTERS gathered in Whitehall, Westminster near the Ministry of Defence building to call for an end to the British military and financial support to the illegal regime in Ukraine, which includes Nazis and which idolises Stepan Bandera.
Bandera was a Second World War collaborator with the Nazi invasion. His followers in the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists eagerly set about murdering Jews and Poles to curry favour with the invading Nazis.
Now the British government, along with the United States and other NATO countries, is supplying money, weapons and training to the Ukrainian army, which includes the openly Nazi-supporting Azov Brigade.
The protest, on Thursday 28th July, was initiated by the New Communist Party (NCP) and supported by Solidarity with Anti-fascist Resistance in Ukraine (SARU), Socialist Fight, the London branch of Partido Communista from Italy and other progressive forces.
Speakers included NCP leader Andy Brooks, Stefano from the Partido Communista, Dermot Hudson from the NCP, Theo Russell from SARU and the NCP, and Gerry Downing from Socialist Fight and SARU.
They all spoke of the growing repression in Ukraine where the official government line is to teach children that the Nazi invasion was a liberation from communism, and where communism, socialism and trade unionism are being brutally repressed as are all demonstrations of anti-fascism.
This includes attacks on veterans laying flowers on memorials to Second World War heroes who died fighting fascism and vandalism to the memorials to the massacres of thousands of Jews at Babi Yar.
All the speakers stressed that it is shocking that the British government, which fought the Nazis in the Second World War, is now giving help and support to Nazis in Ukraine – at the expense of our taxpayers.
They spoke of anti-fascists, trade unionists, journalists and communists in Ukraine who have been beaten, abducted, tortured, murdered and some have disappeared.
And they spoke of the role of the European Union (EU) and NATO in fostering the destabilisation of Ukraine through the Maidan protests followed by the coup that brought the current government to power – as part of the western imperialist strategy to surround and intimidate Russia.
The noisy picket attracted a lot of attention and some important acts of support. Passers-by included some active anti-fascists from eastern Poland who expressed support and said that they were fighting exactly the same battle against Ukrainian Nazi-aggression in eastern Poland.
There was an Israeli woman of Ukrainian descent who voiced her fears for Jews in modern Ukraine and a building worker who joined in the picket.
Dozens of employees from the Ministry of Defence streamed passed the picket as they left the building for the evening. They all politely refused to take a leaflet – as we are sure they had been instructed to do. But they certainly noticed the picket and hopefully it gave them food for thought.
Those who took part agreed to do this more often.