Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Allegations of link-up between Socialist Action, Workers Power and Russian Far-Right.

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Should Left Back Everyone Resisting NATO?

As President Obama admits ” We don’t have a strategy yet.” one group in Britain is pretty certain he does.

The Stop the War Coalition urges people to ” Protest the NATO Summit” (? – Protest what? For, Against,?).

At a mass demonstration of 600 people (BBC estimate, StWC estimate perhaps 60,000) they expressed the views below.

The StWC focuses on NATO, “NATO is the military alliance binding Europe to US foreign policy, a foreign policy post-Iraq increasingly unpopular around the world. It is also the military alliance currently occupying Afghanistan.”

Apparently it’s all connected with the present wars and conflicts.

Or as they ask, and answer: What links Gaza, Iraq and Ukraine? The deranged policies of the US and NATO.

The most obvious but mostly unconsidered factor is that all three of these situations are directly linked to an increasingly aggressive Western foreign policy promoted by NATO over the last two or three decades.

So now we know: it’s the West’s fault.

The StWC urges mobilisation. “We need to make sure that the scale of anti-war opinion and the spirit of the great Gaza demonstrations is on display in Newport and Cardiff for all the world to see.”

Some might care to comment on the comparison between Gaza, Newport and Cardiff.

But for the instant other matters arise.

One group of people on the British left  seem to have taken the analysis  of NATO to a very definite conclusion.

They are now working with the “enemy” of the “West” on the issue of Ukraine.

A conclusion with practical consequences not all will admire.

The Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (here, hat-tip D) publishes the allegations below about the alliances of some of those on the British Left protesting against the Ukrainian government – that is ‘NATO’s ally’.

Less than two months ago Richard Brenner (Workers Power) and Alan Freeman (Socialist Action) were feted in the Hotel Yalta-Intourist by assorted Russian fascists and ultra-nationalists at a conference about Ukraine. The same initiative, meeting again this weekend, will apparently be without them.

The first conference produced a “Declaration” (full of worthy anti-fascist and anti-war verbiage, designed for a European/US left-liberal audience) and a “Manifesto” (which amounted to a programme to wipe Ukraine off the face of the earth, or at least to reduce it to the borders of pre-World-War-One Galicia).

Brenner defended his attendance at the conference on the grounds that “some of the people in the resistance are nationalists and socially reactionary on some (not all) questions.” As for the “Manifesto”, according to Brenner, “there is nothing reactionary in its practical proposals.”

(An astonishing conclusion, bearing in mind that the title of the Manifesto – “Manifesto of the Popular Front for the National Liberation of Ukraine, Novorossiya and Transcarpathian Rus’” – was itself a “practical proposal” for the dismemberment of Ukraine.)

This weekend’s conference in the same hotel is entitled “Russia, Ukraine, Novorossiya: Global Problems and Challenges”, and will launch what it calls the “Anti-Fascist (Anti-Maidan) Council of the Russian Federation”. (1)

The conference is organised by the “Co-ordination Centre for Novaya Rus’” – one of the organisations headed by Aleksei Anpilogov which ran the earlier conference attended by Brenner and Freeman.

Three of the conference’s listed speakers attended the earlier conference: Anpilogov, Vladimir Rogov and Pyotr Getsko. (Anpilogov can fairly be described as a nationalist-cum-fascist; the latter two are more ultra-nationalist/fascist-fellow-travellers.)

But this time they are not meeting with a couple of (possibly) useful idiots from the British left.

Keynote speakers at the conference include Igor Strelkov-Girkin and Alexander Borodai (respectively, former Defence Minister and former Prime Minister of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’). Both are members of the Izborsky Club, a Russian fascist ‘think tank’ headed up by Alexander Prokhanov and Alexander Dugin.

Sergei Glazyev (presidential aide to Putin, and a member of the Izborsky Club) will also address the conference, as too will Mikhail Delyagin (Russian academic and a member of the Izborsky Club).

Other speakers include Mikhail Sheremet (former head of the ‘Crimean Self-Defence’ which worked with the Russian military in the annexation of the Crimea, subsequently appointed Crimean Deputy Prime Minister) and Mateusz Piskorski:

“Piskorski is an open proponent of Nazism, a holocaust denier, and the author of articles in the portals “White World” and “I, A Russian”. He was the leading light of the Polish skinhead paper ‘Odala’, where he praised the Aryan race and Adolf Hitler.” (2)

Publicity for the conference states that it will be attended by “members of the Izborsky and Zinoviev Clubs”.

The latter Club is named after the late Soviet philosopher Alexander Zinoviev: an admirer of Stalin, a supporter of Milosevic, and an opponent of Western values. The Club is concerned with the restoration of “traditional Russian values”.

Also attending the conference will be “parliamentary and government delegations from twelve European countries.” So far, only one of them has been named: Marton Dyondyoshi, a leading figure in the Hungarian far-right and particularly anti-semitic party Jobbik.

The list of speakers shows the hollowness of the expression “anti-fascist” in the context of this conference and its goal of setting up an “Anti-Fascist Council”.

(It is no less hollow in the context of: “Campaign in Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine”, to which Workers Power, Socialist Action and other more explicit brands of Stalinism are affiliated.)

There is nothing “anti-fascist” about the politics of the Izborsky Club members. There is nothing “anti-fascist” about the politics of Dyondyoshi. There is nothing “anti-fascist” about the politics of the French National Front (regularly praised on separatist websites).

“Anti-fascist”, in this context, is no more than a verbal fig-leaf to cover up for straightforward Russian-imperialist aggression against Ukraine. And the fact that the organisers of the first Yalta conference have now organized this weekend’s event, inviting along sundry fascists, Hitler-admirers and anti-semites, tells you a lot about their own politics as well.

But for the likes of Worker’s Power, perhaps Jobbik should now also be classed as no more than “nationalists (who are) socially reactionary on some (not all) questions”?

1) http://delyagin.ru/news/81020-rossiya-ukraina-novorossiya-globalnyje-problemy-i-vyzovy.html
2) http://sz-n.com/2014/03/piskorski-head-of-international-observers-in-the-crimea-is-known-fascist-and-anti-semite/

It is important also to see this from the AWL  here.

Confirmation of their report, “Veterans of the Russian military and special forces, together with rights activists and representatives of Orthodox Christian community, are to jointly launch a group to try and thwart any attempts to forcefully change the political system in the country.” more Spetsnaz veterans to launch ‘anti-Maidan council’ in Russia (Russia Today).



Written by Andrew Coates

August 30, 2014 at 4:20 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Another example of lunacy is on the Left Unity site,.

    There somebody called John Tummon (see comments section) spent August advocating “critical support” for ISIS, and Islamic State, and stating that “a Caliphate will give the most sizeable and oppressed minority in the Northern Syrian desert – the Sunnis – the chance to build something unconnected to imperialism. ”

    Anybody wishing to join Left Unity should remember it gives space to people who advocate this “critical support” to the genociders on the basis that their organisation, “threatens the entire basis of the imperialist hold on the region.”


    Andrew Coates

    August 31, 2014 at 11:19 am

  2. The problem with the Ukrainians is they’re just not a very fashionable ethnic group. Some Ukrainians supported the Nazis during WW2, so the whole lot of them forever bear the mark of Cain. All Putin has to do is make dark invocations of “fascism” and a good section of the trendy Western “left” will line up in support of Great Russian irredentism. What a bunch of fucking idiots.

    John B.

    August 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm

  3. Never mind “fashionable” – the problem with the Ukrainians is that they aren’t any kind of cohesive ethnic group. Some of them will tend to identify with Russia, some of them see “Ukrainianness” in opposition to Russia. Some prefer using Russian to using Ukrainian, some prefer Ukrainian, many prefer a mixture. Some see the outcome of WW2 as their victory, others see it as their defeat. Many in the east have more contacts and connections with Russia than with people in the west of their own state.

    Ukraine’s entire history as a modern state is tied up with Russia. Its borders were drawn and redrawn in Moscow, the very existence of a union republic of the USSR called “Ukraine” was decided in Moscow. At the time, nobody expected it would ever be an independent state. It wasn’t designed to become one. Ukrainians and Russians mixed freely, it developed as part of a single economic space with Russia and the rest of the USSR. “Ukrainians” were just one nationality in an area which was basically just a province of an empire.

    Now this patchwork of different identities has to try to function as an independent state. It hasn’t done very well so far. If its government gets too cosy with Russia, then they won’t stand for it in Galicia, if its government starts taking an anti-Russia line, they won’t stand for it round Donetsk.The normal way of changing governments there seems to be by coups.

    The squabbles on the Western left about which side has the nastiest fascists are pretty meaningless. Nobody much in Ukraine gives a monkey’s about what the Western left thinks. What matters is whether, and how, Ukraine’s citizens can work out a way of making their state work. None of the outsiders interfering in the country at the moment are helping with that.


    August 31, 2014 at 8:36 pm

  4. I agree Francis.

    However we are bound to be interested in what is happening in the Ukraine as it’s one of the most important political dramas of the decade.

    Andrew Coates

    September 1, 2014 at 12:56 pm

  5. Yugoslavia became more stable when people finally admitted (or were forced to confront) that it was better off split up into different sections. Francis is right, I feel, that Ukraine is not a viable state in its present form. That should be the starting point when it comes to sorting out its future.

    Igor Belanov

    September 1, 2014 at 7:38 pm

  6. Be that as it may, the Ukrainians should be left alone to work out their problems on their own, without interference from Putin or anyone else. A pipe dream, I know . . .

    John B.

    September 2, 2014 at 11:08 am

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