What a horrible carnival we witnessed this spring, which is still going on even after Mardi Gras is over! Mummers are everywhere: supposed “Cossacks” in clown-like blue hats, nationalistic criminals with ribbons commemorating victory over the Nazis in 1945, whom nobody gave a moral right to use this symbol, military men without any insignia, who act as if they are wearing magic hats that make them invisible…
But the masquerade of notions and concepts is even more scary. “No to fascism!” – so scream the very same people who just yesterday attacked antifascists (and they continue to do so now). They attempt to annul the rights of all people, except for Russians, to claim that they “defend rights to speak native language”, while completely forgetting the sad past of other people in Crimea – Tatars, Greeks, all those who were repeatedly deprived of their own Crimea, their language and their rights.
And the rhetoric of people with patriotic ribbons on their sleeves? What worth is it? All this talk about fraternal people of Russia and the Ukraine… But they see the “shadow world government” (or “world capital”) as the source of all the harm in the world. “Of course, all the Ukrainian oligarchs are Jews and that’s the reason why they are together with the United States!” But anti-Semitism supposedly doesn’t have anything to do with this claim. Because, you know, “all the anti-Semites they are at the Maidan” and so are the “fascists”!
We see a similar hypocrisy in case of the rights of disabled people. It was the first time that Russia hosted Paralympic games, which disabled people were looking forward to so eagerly because the Russian state and the Russian society continue to largely ignore them. But instead of celebration we ended up with a war right nearby, on the shores of the Black sea and right at the same time as the “games of peace” were taking place. As if the Russian state was just waiting for the “main” and the most important super Olympics to end in order to move their troops into Crimea and to show that the really heroic efforts of the paralympians are not taken seriously by anyone. This clearly shows that not only people, but even the Olympics are treated differently. Multi-discrimination – in sports, in politics…
What can we – antifascists, opponents of discrimination, defenders of minority rights – can say, proclaim, scream in response to this now, amidst this madness, lies and an evil masquerade?
Yes, we are opposed to war, fascism and we advocate rights of all linguistic groups, peoples and individuals!
Europe has a long history and there are no “indigenous peoples” anymore – all people came from somewhere else. And it doesn’t matter whether some people originally came to, for example, Crimea, hundreds of years ago, while others arrived there thousands of years ago and yet others – just a few decades ago. As long as these people consider it their native land, all of these people have a right to leave peacefully and this right is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights!
All these people have a right for freedom of speech, for their culture, language and representation in the bodies of authority and participation in the life of their land.
People of Crimea have already chosen once where to wanted live by agreeing to join independent Ukrainian state (this was back in December 1991 following the dissolution of the USSR). Back then they agreed to join Ukraine, even though it was much easier for them then to dissociate from the Ukraine as it was still in the early period of establishing itself, but they decided it was more logical for them to stay. Ethnic Ukrainians were always a minority in Crimea. But other minorities also voted to join Ukraine back in 1991 – all those, who suffered from the Moscow authorities in the past and are still willing to do anything possible now in order to prevent Crimea from becoming part of Russia’s “multi-ethnic family”.
These people, ethnicities and cultures have serious reasons not to accept the new referendum, not to accept the authorities, who sit on the bayonets of the army that had installed them, but which for a long time played incognito, although everybody knew who it was right away by its unceremonious behavior and complete certainty that its arbitrary actions will go unpunished.
Annexation of another country’s territory is not defense of rights. Refusal to have UN and OSCE observers and human rights defenders in Crimea is a proof of that.
No expression of opinion under a barrel of a gun can be considered legitimate.
Discrimination of peoples of Crimea is not struggle against linguistic and cultural discrimination. War is not peace.
No to Russian troops in Crimea and other regions of southern and eastern Ukraine!
No to creeping occupation, no to aggression, no to violence, no to discrimination and violations of human rights under the pretext of “defending Russians”!
Fascism will not pass!
by Stefania Kulayeva