From UNAC Co-coordinators
Marilyn Levine & Joe Lombardo
Join Ramsey Clark, Cynthia McKinney, John Pilger, Bruce Gagnon, Ray McGovern & more
It’s been nearly two years since the world was shocked by reports of the deaths of scores of pro-democracy activists at the hands of extreme right-wing forces in the city of Odessa, Ukraine.
It was barely three months after a violent, right-wing coup overthrew the elected Ukrainian government. The activists had set up a tent city in Odessa’s historic Kulikovo Square to publicize their demand for a national referendum to decide the legitimacy of the coup.
On May 2, 2014 a large mob led by organized fascist groups set fire to the camp, forcing the activists to retreat into the nearby five-story House of Trade Unions. The building was then set on fire. Many died of smoke inhalation or were burned alive. Some jumped to their deaths. Some of those attempting to flee the building were shot or beaten to death. One pregnant woman was strangled. At least 46 activists were killed and many more were injured. (You can find many Internet videos. A good overview is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yflMScowPfk)
Every week since the massacre, family members, friends and supporters, organized as the Mothers Committee for May 2, have held memorials in Kulikovo Square. These memorials are often harassed by the same or similar right-wing thugs, many of whom belong to neo-Nazi organizations.
The Mothers Committee is now planning a large memorial for this May 2 to mark the second anniversary of the massacre. The fascist organizations have publicly declared that they will not allow the memorial to take place.
In response to this very serious situation, and in consultation with our contacts in Odessa, UNAC is working to re-focus the world’s attention on Odessa, in the hope that this might help convince the U.S. and Ukrainian governments that allowing an attack on the memorial would not be in their best interests.
As part of this effort, UNAC will be sending a delegation of U.S. human rights activists to Odessa to monitor the memorial. We also sent a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Committee endorsing the call by the Mothers Committee for an international investigation into the 2014 massacre. Significantly, one of the leading fascist organizations, called Maidan, has formally asked the U.N. to deny this request.
YOU CAN HELP!
We also have drawn up the attached statement calling on the city government of Odessa, the federal government of Ukraine and the U.S. government to ensure that the civic rights of those attending the May 2 memorial, including the U.S. monitors, are respected. The statement also again endorses the Mothers Committee’s call for an international investigation into the events of May 2, 2014.
We are now appealing to human rights and progressive organizations and prominent individuals to sign on to this statement. We are asking you to help with this effort.
Please send endorsements to: UNACpeace@gmail.com
with the following information:
Name of Person signing:
Name of Organization :
for individuals, do you want the organization also listed and marked “for identification purposes only”?
City, State, Country
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
In order to be effective, we will need to send the statement to the Odessa, Ukrainian and U.S. authorities as soon as possible. At the same time, we will be releasing the statement to the world media.
Statement in support of May 2 memorial in Odessa 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.
Partial list of endorsers:
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
John Pilger – Award-winning Journalist
Marilyn Levin & Joe Lombardo – Co-Coordinators, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
Ray McGovern – Former CIA Analyst; Co-Founder,
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Margaret Kimberley – Editor and Senior Columnist, Black Agenda Report
Bernadette Ellorin – Chairperson, Bayan USA
Ana Edwards – Chair, Virginia Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project, Richmond, Virginia
Sara Flounders, Co-Director, International Action Center
U.S. Peace Council
See full statement and full list here: http://nepajac.org/ukrainepetition.htm
This statement was initiated by the United National Antiwar Coalition, 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:
PO Box 123,
Delmar, NY 12054 USA