Blind and deaf…
Perhaps we do not know that there are Ukrainians who are fighting against the invasion of their country and against the neoliberal policies of their government.
Perhaps we do not know that there are trade unions, students, feminists and political organizations in Ukraine that share our struggles and ideas.
Perhaps we do not know that there are anti-war and progressive forces and oppressed peoples in the Russian Federation.
Perhaps we do not know that there are anti-war and progressive forces in Belarus.
Perhaps we have not heard Vladimir Putin talk about the destruction of Ukraine and the non-existence of Ukrainians as a people.
Perhaps we have not grasped that the armies of the Russian Federation have violated the borders of an independent country (crime of aggression), bombed civilian populations (war crime), deported adults and children (war crime), used rape as a weapon of war (crime against humanity), etc.
Perhaps we do not know that if Putin’s armies withdraw unconditionally from all over Ukraine, there will be no more war, and that peace will once again become a horizon of possibility.
Perhaps we don’t know that if Ukrainians give up resisting, Ukraine will be destroyed as a people and as an independent nation.
Perhaps we don’t know that if Ukrainians are no longer sufficiently armed, Ukraine will be destroyed as an independent nation.
Perhaps we know nothing or so little.
But is this a reason to believe the storytellers?
Perhaps we have forgotten the distinction between legitimate wars – such as wars of national liberation – and imperialist, conquest or colonial wars – wars of oppression.
Perhaps we have forgotten that there is a fundamental difference between a fascistic dictatorship and a democratic republic, however imperfect it may be.
Maybe we forgot that we were Czechs and that we fought against the annexation of our country and that some said no to war and that the Nazi armies invaded us.
Perhaps we have forgotten that we were Irish and that we fought against the English occupation and that some were telling us no to the war and the partition of our country has lasted for more than a century.
Perhaps we have forgotten that we were resistance fighters in occupied Europe and that some called us terrorists and others explained to us that both sides were equal.
Perhaps we have forgotten that we were East Germans, Poles, Hungarians, Czechoslovakians, Afghans and that we fought against the Soviet occupation and invasion and that some told us that we had to defend the « workers’ homeland » against imperialism.
Perhaps we have forgotten that we were Native Americans, that we were African peoples, Herero or Namas slaughtered by the Germans, that we were Armenians and that some did nothing against the genocides or applauded them.
Perhaps we have forgotten that we were Africans and that some did nothing against the slave trade and even applauded it.
Perhaps we have forgotten that we were somewhere in the world and that many did nothing against the colonizations and that many supported them.
Maybe we forgot that we were Spanish, Catalan, Basque… and that some refused to give us weapons to fight Franco’s armies.
Perhaps we have forgotten that we were Algerians and that we fought to liberate our country from French colonization and that some were content to say « No to war » and « Peace in Algeria ».
Maybe we forgot that we were Vietnamese and that we fought, first against the French army and then against that of the United States, and that some were content to say « No to war » and « Peace to Vietnam ».
Perhaps we have forgotten that we are Syrians and that we are fighting against the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, supported by the Russian Federation, and that some people said, « No to war. »
Perhaps we have forgotten that Karl Marx’s companions enlisted in the Union army to abolish slavery.
Perhaps we have forgotten that Spanish anarchists entered Paris on the American tanks of the Free French Second Armored Division.
Perhaps we have forgotten that we were Russians, Belarusians, Chechens, Georgians, which we still are, and that we are fighting against the Great Russian dictatorship and that some people think that Russia should not be humiliated.
Perhaps we have forgotten that US imperialism supplied weapons to the Chinese to fight against Japanese colonialism.
Perhaps we have forgotten that US imperialism supplied arms to the Soviet government to fight against the Nazi armies.
We are Czech, we are Irish, we are Polish, we are Hungarian, we are Vietnamese, we are Algerian, we are Palestinian, we are Syrian, we are Sahrawi, we are Haitian, we are Burmese, we are Uyghurs, we are Kurds, we are Peruvian, we are Nicaraguan, We are Iranian, we are Ukrainian.
Our lives and freedoms justified and justify our resistance to imperialism and dictatorship.
We do not want to be ignored and our security cannot be considered as negligible in the name of peace between great powers, in the name of maintaining world order.
Those who support dictatorships, those who support imperialist aggressors, deny us the right to resist (militarily or not) to defend our freedoms, our national rights, our rights as peoples, our social gains.
Those who want to disarm us in the name of « peace » choose the destruction of Ukraine and its people.
Yesterday Chamberlain (and British imperialism) and Stalin (and his dictatorship in the name of Sovietism) supported peace with Hitler: the result was the dismantling of Poland, the multiplication of concentration camps, the state industry of death and extermination camps, a world war, millions of civilian and military victims and a genocide of the Jewish and gypsy populations…
Those who support the invasion of Russian armies in Ukraine, those who do not want to give the Ukrainian people the means to resist and liberate their country are not our friends.
Those who speak of « peace » by not supporting the legitimate right of Ukrainian peoples to self-determination and to live, those who break with support for national liberation struggles are mistaken and contribute to undermining the rights of all citizens, in Ukraine and around the world.
Didier Epsztajn, Mariana Sanchez, Patrick Silberstein, members of the Editorial Solidarity Brigades
Traduction Dan La Botz