Dear friends, we congratulate you on the occasion of the holiday!
The 1-st of May is actually holiday for us, despite the fact that the Bolshevik regime had captured and devaluated this holiday, as well as the International Women’s day, the 8-th of March.
On this day we do not, by any means, declare our solidarity with the NKVD-KGB thugs, or with Mao Zedong and his “cultural revolution”, or with the “Khmer Rouge”. We strongly reject that. Our souls are with the anarchists who fueled a riot in the Chicago Haymarket Square, with the rebel students of 1968, with “Earth First” initiative and the similar movements struggling against the consumerist society and for the harmony between people and the nature, and with hundreds of communities and “parallel societies” across all the planet, which clearly demonstrate that the slogan “Another World is Possible” can be made true.
While we, the founders of the “Nature First” Association of Free Journalists, used to have certain illusions that the society progress could yield some new party, we are now veering towards the realistic point of view. We can change things not via political parties, but by helping the people in their self-organization, in creation of the grassroots network of likeminded people.
We, alike the workers who struggled for their rights a hundred years ago, are compelled to meet and invent our own way to resist and to build their lives independently from the government.
We are sure that our way will unite the proponents of the social and the in-depth ecology, because their aspirations converge – they are focused on creating the conditions for the survival of both humans and wildlife in all its diversity.
We support the today’s March of the free people – the anarchists, which was held in Kyiv bearing the slogan “Against the depreciation of life”. Despite the attempted attack of the nationalists, the march was successful and showed that we are not alone with our beliefs and ideas. Below we set forth the key demands of the march. We would like to quote some points of our allies about the history of May 1 celebration:
«Since May 1886, when anarchist workers went to the Haymarket Square in Chicago demanding the 8-hours working day (and having finally won the struggle for this right which became a general standard), this memorable day was recognized and is now celebrated in all the world. Unfortunately, 70 years of the Soviet domain impacted our perception of the Solidarity Day – the USSR, which never really protected the workers’ interests, distorted May 1. The years of independence did not actually help, as this day still drags the tail of obsoleteness, formalism and obedience to the government».
Someone could say that the slogan “peace to the huts, war to the palaces” is outdated. However, it is actually very relevant now, especially in Ukraine, where the palaces of the rich literally devour the territories which belong to the people, such as forests and natural reserve areas. We have disgust to the gluttons building these palaces and being impudent enough to lie from their cozy cabinets, feeding us with all that “the country is at war, it’s not a time to protest” stuff.
The country is really at war, and the enemy which broke into our house is just as menacing as these officials. However, we keep them in mind and we will not pull back; the disaster of war just comes along the process of meaningful social transformations inside of the country.
This day we think not about open-air barbecue or the red sickle-and-hammer banners of the long-dead empire, but about the ways to liberate all us. First of all, it is the matter of inner liberation for all of us!
See you on our battlefields!
Co-founders of the Nature First
Anzhelika Komarova, Oleh Andros.
About the anarchist march of May 1, 2015 in Kyiv.
On May 1 in Kyiv the anarchist march was held with the participation of activists of different libertarian organizations, in particular, the “Black Rainbow”, “Direct Action” student’s trade union, “Chaotic Good” anarchist movement, “Rhythms of the Resistance” samba band, «ВК-17» publishing association, the Autonomous Association of Workers, “Nihilist” libertarian portal, the Proletarian Culture and Sports Association, as well as independent participants.
The march passed from the Poshtova Square to Zhovten Cinema. After its end the ultra-rights tried to attack the column, but failed to do it.
For the fourth year already the anarchist organization of Kyiv carry out the may 1 march, bringing the attention towards the most urgent social problems. We restore the real content of the International Workers’ Day, its sociopolitical and class essence distorted by the Soviet bureaucracy, corrupt trade unions and modern “leftist” parties. That’s why the activists marchin along Kyiv streets call “Let’s return our solidarity!”
We call on all workers to join our solidary fight against the anti-social Labour Codeg, which the new government, inheriting Yanukovych regime practices, is willing to adopt. The draft, all incarnations of which are strongly opposed by us, considerably reduces the trade unions powers, enshrines limitation for employment, compulsory transfer and overtime hours in law. if the code is adopted, the employer will take advantage of the simplified procedure of dismissal and additional grounds for it: for example, the employees may be dismissed “for the disclosure of commercial secret”, up to their salary amount, or for “participating in an unlawful strike”. Moreover, the draft allows for discriminatory fixed-term contract and video surveillance at the workplace, as well as increases the probationary period to 6 months.
We call upon working women, which will be the first to be affected by the government’s neoliberal initiatives, to join the solidary struggle for their class interests, and we call upon men to support the women in this matter. The women’s labour is paid in average 19% less than the men’s. the new labour Code may further deteriorate conditions for female employees, first of all pregnant women and single mothers. Now the employer may dismiss a pregnant woman or a single mother only if the enterprise is liquidated, at the same time ensuring her next employment? while the Ministry of Social Policy suggests the general procedure of dismissal, which is very convenient for the enterprise owners exploiting hired employees.
We call upon the students subject to the general social cut-down to join our fight. the above draft dismantles the graduates of the right to be employed without probationary period (except for the first employment on their profession). Moreover, the increased transportation fees will take the significant part of their allowance (thus, the price for student’s monthly ticket for the subway increased three times), while only two-thirds of the students will now receive the allowance based on the rating. Moreover, it is planned to cut down the number of higher education facilities from 802 to 317 till the end of academic year (http://dt.ua/UKRAINE/kilkist-vnz-zmenshilos-z-802-do-317-do-kincya-navchalnogo-roku-yih-bude-menshe-300-kvit-162549_.html).These“deforms” will, first of all, affect the access of the children from poor families to higher education (in particular, village schools graduates).
We call on everybody to join our solidary work against daily deterioration of the living and working conditions. Rapid inflation, increase of utility tariffs and prices for consumer goods, drastic decrease of real salaries – all this brings us to the verge of poverty. At the end of 2014 the number of unemployed people in Ukraine was about 2 million of people (http://korrespondent.net/business/financial/3497542-kolychestvo-bezrabotnykh-v-ukrayne-pryblyzhaetsia-k-dvum-myllyonam. The ones depending on small pension or social aid which in many cases are not paid at all, found themselves in no less complicated situation. The work in Ukraine is being depreciated, while the cost of living grows. Only millionaires improve their situation (http://www.ukrinform.ua/rus/news/v_ukraine_stalo_bolshe_millionerov_1732917, as well as deputies (http://www.hromadske.tv/politics/deputatam-pidvishchili-zarplatu-vtrichi—–nardep/).and government officials.
We call upon the citizen of Ukraine to have solidarity with the victims and people affected by the war unleashed by the imperialistic Russia. Our country is affected with a real humanitarian catastrophe – the number of internally displaced persons exceeded 1 million (http://news.bigmir.net/ukraine/892664-OON-chislo-pereselencev-v-Ykraine-dostiglo-12-mln-chel. Despite this, the politicians who “take care” of the IDPs just let out some false statements – the people forced to leave their homes do not receive decent social support, do not have assistance in employment or accommodation. The situation is further aggravated by the cultural policy dehumanizing the citizens of eastern regions supported by the current government and the media.
Thus, the conditions are getting tougher for all working people without exceptions. The government, implementing a neoliberal policy, and infringing our rights, excuses itself with war which, as they pretend, requires taking such steps. But we declare, that they will not shelter their wrongdoing behind the war!
When the country is affected by the Putin’s regime military aggression, the government systematically tries to borrow its worst features. Thus, there is a number of attempts to limit the freedom of speech — such as the initiative on censorship and deanonimization of the Internet, (http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=54006) (averted due to the civil society efforts), and the draft law on criminalization of public calls to avoid mobilization” (http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=53751, and requirement to link cell phone numbers to the passport data (http://economics.lb.ua/state/2015/04/20/302391_kabmin_obyazhet_abonentov_mobilnoy.html). The cultural field also remains directly controlled by the state – movies and TV series are censored (http://www.segodnya.ua/politics/pnews/1317-serialy-587401.html) upon ideological criteria.
The freedom of peaceful assembly is being attacked along with the freedom of speech – the government brought to its cabinets by the people’s protest tries to avoid the fate of its predecessor by strengthening the repressive structures. Let’s quote the initiative of MP Anton Herashchenko against the “paid demonstrations” (http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=54808), which practically only puts in the government’s hands a new tool of combating the social activists, any of whom could be blamed for receiving payments. Meanwhile, paramilitary units are unrestricted to act in racketeering and raiding (http://bykvu.com/bukvy/munitsipalnaya-militsiya-iz-pravykh-i-perevernutaya-kofemashina.html) and acting as “pocket armies” (http://rian.com.ua/analytics/20150323/365177085.html) of the big capital.
The activists also set forth their positive (affirmative) requirements. This is, in particular, the requirement to shorten the working wek and allow for free travel in public transport.
Considering the above, the only possibility for the working people to achieve decent life is the social revolution which will end the present injustice and destitution. Only global liquidation of capitalism and the state itself with all its repressive structures, establishment of direct democracy and public production would guarantee freedom and welfare. Human lives and dignity are the values we fight for.