Sunday, April 26, 2020

Solidarity with Ukrainian and Donbass anti-fascists

The following letter was sent on the 3rd April  2020

We send solidarity greetings from the UK to all those living under a fascist-infested illegitimate government in Ukraine, defending and building the anti-fascist people’s republics in the Donbas, and to the hundreds of thousands forced into exile by political repression, attacks by fascist gangs and economic austerity.
Although we have had no recent Ukraine anti-fascist solidarity actions, we have by no means forgotten your struggle and the sacrifices you are making.
We were intending to begin organising another Ukraine anti-fascist solidarity protest in London in the near future, but unfortunately events in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic have overtaken us.
All of us have been working hard on other political issues, including helping to organise a very successful meeting attended by 400 people in central London on March 3rd  which exposed the lies, tampered and falsified evidence being presented at the current MH17 trial in The Hague.
Ever since the February 22 2014 Ukraine coup we have been aware of the illiegal nature of that regime change, the open involvement of actual fascists in the government, police and armed forces, the complete suppression of democratic rights and freedoms in Ukraine, and the physical attacks on political parties, trade unions and even the courts.
We have not forgotten the heinous crime at the Odessa Trade Union House on 2nd  May 2014 and the many other outrages perpetrated by the fascist bands, and we have not forgotten the criminal, barbaric ‘Anti-Terrorist Operation’ launched in April 2014, unleashing all-out war against civilian anti-fascist protestors in Donetsk and Lugansk.
We know that the fighters of the people’s Donbas and Lugansk People's Militias are making daily sacrifices in the front-line trenches, and that civilians – women and men, children and the elderly – are being killed and injured every day in attacks by the Ukraine armed forces and the fascist brigades.
In our solidarity work for the anti-fascists in Ukraine we are also faced with confronting the lies and whipped up hysteria against the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin, which have continued for almost a decade.
We have no illusions about the capitalist, oligargic nature of the Russian Federation, but we reject the attempts to portray it as totally undemocratic, and we call for an end to the trade sanctions the constant western interference designed to economic instability and provoke protests. And this coming from governments which kiss the feet of the reactionary fuedal monarchs of the Middle East, and instigate coups and regime change from Brazil and Bolivia to Hong Kong.
Above all we are aware of the vital support given by the Russian Federation to the Donbas people’s republics, the generous hospitality extended to large numbers of Ukrainian exiles, and its open condemnation of the fascists in Ukraine.
We also applaud the the sacrifices made by the Russian volunteer fighters in the Donbas, by the Russian Federation’s armed forces to defend the popular front government in Syria, and the strong support the Russian Federation has extended to Cuba and Venezuela.
This anti-Russian hysteria has created a poisonous atmosphere in which anyone challenging the lies and false flag operations of of US-EU-NATO imperialism risks being labelled as a Russian asset, in a repeat of the anti-communiist witch-hunts of the 1950s.
Unfortunately many progressives, social democrats, trade unionists, and even the anti-fascist and anti-racist organisations on Britain, have fallen for this demonisation, even though it is clearly a repeat of the lies and fake news used against Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gadaffi and Hafez al Assad. This has prevented them from even discussing the most dangerous revival of fascism in the whole of Europe.
Once again we renew our support and solidarity with your organisations, which will continue as long as it takes until democracy has been restored throughout Ukraine, and communists, socialists and anti-fascists are allowed to operate freely again.

Andy Brooks
New Communist Party of Britain

Ian Donavan
Trotskyist Faction of Socialist Fight.

Gerry Downing
Socialist Fight

Bridget Dunne
Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine (SARU)

George Shaw
Posadists in Britain

As well as:

Frente Comunista Dos Trabalhadores (Brazil)
Tendencia Militante Bolchevique (Argentina)
Socialist Workers League (USA)

The letter was sent to the Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic; Borotba, the underground Ukrainian anti-fascist resistance movement and the Union of Ukrainian Political Refugees

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Lenin in London

Lenin's Room at Marx House
by New Worker correspondent

Most of us know that Lenin worked in London editing Iskra, the underground Russian socialist newspaper, from a room in the building now known as Marx House in Clerkenwell Green. In actual fact Lenin made five trips to London in the early 1900s, calling himself ‘Jacob Richter’ and a number of other aliases to confound the Czarist secret police who covertly monitored the activity of all the Russian opposition movements in Britain.
British Marxists and Russian tourists can explore what’s left of the Edwardian capital on  'Lenin’s London' walks, but the Bolshevik leader’s presence is barely recognised in what were his familiar haunts in the centre of the city that was, in Lenin’s days, the hub of a British empire that spanned the globe.
Their first port of call is usually the house in Clerkenwell Green where Lenin edited Iskra from April 1902 until the spring of the following year. Iskra was the organ of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) that later split into Bolshevik and Menshevik factions. The name means ‘Spark’ in Russian and it comes from a line of a poem by Alexander Odoevsky, a leading figure in the ‘Decembrist’ uprising of 1825.
The building, now owned by the Marx Memorial Library, was then a major social-democratic centre and Lenin shared an office with Harry Quelch, the director of the Twentieth Century Press. Although nothing remains of the original d├ęcor, you can still see the ‘Lenin’ room, which contains original copies of Iskra and other mementoes of Lenin’s life.
Lenin returned to London in 1905 for the third congress of the RSDLP. He stayed at a safe house in Percy Circus, in the Kings Cross area. A blue plaque marks the site today.  Another blue plaque is on the site of the rooms in Tavistock Place where Lenin stayed when he returned to London in 1908.
Sadly, a bust of Lenin is all that remains of a monument erected during the Second World War. It comes from a memorial put up during the Aid to Russia campaign at the site in Holford Square where Lenin lodged in 1902. It was removed following repeated vandalism by local fascists and the Lenin bust now stands in the Islington Museum.
Still, you can always drink to Lenin’s memory in the pubs that claim his name. There’s at least five, including the Crown Tavern in Clerkenwell Green where, it is said, Lenin first met Stalin, and the Water Rats in Grays Inn Road that also claims Karl Marx as a former patron!