Three members of UNAC’S delegation traveled to Odessa on the Black Sea to help monitor the May 2 memorial in Kulikovo Square. The delegation included three brave comrades Bruce Gagnon, who coordinates a global network opposing nuclear weapons in space; Phil Wilayto, editor of The Virginia Defender newspaper: and Regis Tremblay, an independent documentary filmmaker who will be producing a video about this issue. Both Bruce and Regis are members of Veterans for Peace. All three of them are affiliated with the United National Antiwar Coalition.
The coordinator and the leader of UNAC, Joe Lombardo, kept us informed about the delegation’s historical visit to Odessa and all the details of the memorial. We are willing to share their report with all our comrades and colleagues around the globe.
“Comment from Phil Wilayto:
…I was at the memorial today outside the locked gates of Kulikovo Square. There were three of us in a delegation sponsored by the United National Antiwar Coalition to monitor and report on the memorial. Other monitors came from about 10 European countries…
Report of May 2 events from Bruce Gagnon:
Many feared that there would be more violence in Odessa, Ukraine yesterday similar to what took well over 50 lives on May 2, 2014. But in fact the day was peaceful when up to 10,000 people gathered near the Trades Union Hall to place flowers and stand with the Mothers Committee in a make shift memorial. The public was blocked from having direct contact with the Trades Hall by huge numbers of local police, national security services and fully armed neo-Nazi Azov battalion members who have been incorporated into the newly formed ‘National Guard’ in Ukraine (equipped and trained by US Special Forces troops at a base in western Ukraine)…
Phil Wilayto on his way to the European Union meeting with head of Mothers Committee from Odessa:
I’ve left Odessa and will be in Brussels tomorrow. The president of the Mothers’ Council on May 2 is scheduled to make a formal presentation about the May 2 memorial to a committee of the European Parliament. I’ve been asked to add my impressions and also report on UNAC’S Odessa Solidarity Campaign. What is happening in Ukraine today is critical to political developments in Eastern and Southern Europe, and developments there will go on to affect the rest of the world. Odessa is the real thing: a modern-day struggle against the re-emergence of fascism. And yesterday’s turnout of thousands of Odessans in defiance of the fascist threats, official attempts at disruption and media hysteria defeated the best efforts of the extreme right-wing forces to terrorize the brave people of Odessa into submission. It was such a privilege to be there. I’ll be looking for friends and allies to help in this ongoing campaign. Please see the material at www.unacpeace.org for more information.
Bruce Gagnon interview with Alexander Todovov who lost 3 friends in the Odessa massacre. Video by Regis Tremblay.
Alexander Todovov shares his thoughts from May 2, 2014 when three of his close friends were killed inside the Trades Union Hall in Odessa, Ukraine.
Alexander is a lawyer and a journalist and is quite eloquent as he describes the “scary movie” experience on that fateful day when neo-Nazis killed more than 50 people inside the hall.
On that occasion local activists were gathering petition signatures on the Kulikovo Square that fronts the Trades Hall seeking a local referendum supporting local autonomy for the people after the US created coup d’etat in Kiev. When they were attacked by a huge horde of Nazi activists they ran inside the hall.
The Nazis then began throwing Molotov cocktails at the hall which quickly caught fire. As the smoke made it impossible to breathe inside the building people climbed onto the window ledges but were shot at by Nazis on the ground. Some jumped down and were beaten to death with bats. Many died inside the hall from smoke inhalation and burns. Only a few safely escaped that day.”
For more information, including videos and pictures, please read here: https://www.unacpeace.org/odessarpt.html
If your organization would like to join the UNAC coalition, please click here: https://www.unacpeace.org/join.html