Yesterday the Young Communist League (YCL) was amongst those commemorating the victims of the fascist attack on the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, Ukraine one year ago. 42 people – including communists, trade unionists and antifascists – were killed in the premeditated massacre by fascists in support of the new Kiev regime on May 2, 2014. There was a great turnout of around 60 friends and comrades at the Ukrainian Embassy in London, bringing a message of solidarity to those who are facing repression by fascists and the Kiev regime today.

Supporters of the Solidarity with Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine campaign held placards, banners and black balloons and laid flowers in tribute to the fallen. We heard speakers from the campaign as well as from the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union which is affiliated to the campaign.

London YCL branch introduced the speakers and summed up the purpose of the rally: “We’re (all) here today to mark the one year anniversary of the massacre in Odessa, and show solidarity with the antifascist resistance in Ukraine.”

“The campaign was set up a year ago, to unite people against the forces of fascism in Ukraine.”

IMG-20150502-00123Irina from the campaign noted that the actual death toll of the tragedy in Odessa could be much higher, and that the investigation into the tragedy by the authorities was ongoing without any result. She noted how people from all across Europe were united in condemning the events in Ukraine, particularly on this day, and that “we expected a change in rhetoric from the British government .. they should stop repeating propaganda from the Ukrainian media.”IMG-20150502-00121

Alex Gordon from the RMT explained why the commemoration was so important for British people: “That atrocity took place 81 years to the day that the German Nazi party took over all of the trade union buildings in Germany, imprisoned trade unionists, sent them to concentration camps and we know what happened to them in the end.

“It was no coincidence that on May 2 a coordinated fascist attack took place against anti-Maidan protesters in Odessa … and it should alert us to the fact that fascism is back, and it is back in Europe. Next week we will celebrate the victory over fascism 70 years ago when the Hitlerite Nazis were finally smashed by the Soviet Red Army. But that victory 70 years ago was only a temporary victory. The same forces that were defeated in 1945 are back in 2015 and they are on the verge of state power in Ukraine. We must demand solidarity with those who oppose fascism in Ukraine and every country, and demand justice for the people in Odessa who were murdered by a fascist mob for practising freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. Trade unionists, socialists and all those who believe in democracy and political freedom must stand up in solidarity with the anti-fascist resistance in Ukraine.”

Supporters then held a minute of silence to honour the victims of the massacre, and released the black balloons, each one representing a person who died in the attack. An appeal was passed on to Ukrainian diplomats demanding justice for the victims.

Later, an exhibition was held at the Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell Green, where we saw photographs of the attack as it happened and heard an eye-witness account of the resurgence of fascism in Ukraine.

IMG-20150502-00125 On May 2, 2014 pro-Kiev fascist forces trapped anti-government protesters in Odessa’s House of Trade Unions and set the building on fire using Molotov cocktails. At least 48 people died, including some who jumped to their deaths to escape and others who , and over 200 were injured as a result of the fire.

We remember Odessa! Stop the fascist junta!

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