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This statement from the Ukrainian Autonomous Workers Union was posted on Avtonomia February 19th, 2014, just 3 days before Yanukovich stepped down. Whether Yanukovich or the Opposition prevailed, they predicted that there will be nothing good for the workers in either of the two directions.

Ukraine Maidan - Autonomous Workers Union

 ”We cannot call the proletariat to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the Opposition and its interests. “

 

Statement about the situation in Ukraine from AWU (Autonomous Workers Union).

Civil war began in Ukraine yesterday. A less than peaceful demonstration clashed with state defense forces and divisions formed by the adherents of the current government near the Vekhovna Rada (Parliament). On February 18, police, together with the paramilitaries, arranged a bloodbath in the governmental quarters during which numerous demonstrators were killed. Butchers from the special divisions finished off arrestees. Deputies of the ruling Party of Regions and their bourgeois lackeys from the “Communist” Party of Ukraine fled from the Parliament through an underground tunnel. The vote for constitutional amendments, intended to limit presidential power, did not take place after all. After their defeat in the governmental quarters, demonstrators retreated to the Maidan. At 6 P.M., the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Internal Security Bureau (SBU) declared an ultimatum to the protesters, demanding their dispersal. At 8:00 P.M., special police forces and paramilitaries, equipped with water cannons and armored vehicles, began their raid on the barricades. Police, the special divisions of SBU, as well as pro-governmental troopers made use of their firearms. However, the protesters managed to burn down one of the armored police vehicles, and it turned out that governmental forces were not the only ones in possession of guns. According to the data released by the police (on February, 19, 4 p.m.), 24 people were killed: 14 protesters and 10 policemen. Thirty-one policemen received gunshot wounds. Even if their estimate of losses on the side of the police is accurate, the number of victims among the protesters was definitely diminished. Maidan’s medics cite at least 30 killed.

One gets an impression that President Yanukovich was certain that by morning the resistance would be crushed, and so arranged for the Opposition leaders to meet with him at 11 A.M. on February, 19. As the negotiations did not take place, we can conclude that the government’s plan had failed. During the unsuccessful operation to clear off the Maidan, the citizens of several western regions occupied administrative buildings and chased away the police. At the moment the police, as an institution, do not exist in L’viv. According to the SBU, protesters have captured 1500 firearms. In less than 24 hours, the central government lost control over a section of the country. Right now, the only solution may be the stepping down of the President, however, that would mean that he, his family, and their multiple acolytes and dependents, which form a rather large group in the ruling government, would lose their source of profit. It is likely that they will not accept this.

In the event of Yanukovich’s victory, he will become a ruler for life, and the rest will be doomed to a life in which they face poverty, corruption, and the abolition of their rights and freedoms. Rebellious regions are now experiencing massive restorations of “the constitutional order.” It is not improbable that the suppression of such “terroristic groups” in Galicia will have the character of ethnic cleansing. Mad Orthodox radicals from the Party of Regions have, for a long time, seen the conservative Greco-Catholics as the aids of “Eurosodom.” Such an “antiterrorist” operation would be carried out with the assistance of the army, as the Minister of Defense, Lebedev, has already announced.

Today, Ukraine experiences a tragedy, but the real horror will start when the government breaks down the opposition and “stabilizes” the situation. Signs of the preparation of a mass-cleansing operation became noticeable as far back as early February, when criminal cases were opened against the Maidan self-defense divisions as illegal military formations. According to Article 260 of the Criminal Codex, members of such divisions may face imprisonment for 2 to 15 years. This means that the government was planning to put more than 10 thousand citizens behind bars. In the regions, as well as in the capital, special “death divisions” are acting as a supplement to the usual police forces. For example, responsibility for burning alive a Maidan activist from Zaporozhye was claimed by such a “death division,” calling itself “Sebastopol Ghosts.” They announced that they are ready to subject Maidan participants in the East to similar treatment.

In the event of the Opposition’s victory life would be far from perfect as well. Although fascists form the minority of the protesters, they are quite active and are not the sharpest tools in the shed. A few days of truce in mid-February lead to conflicts between the rightist groups, resulting in several pointless and violent confrontations, as well as attacks on ideological ‘heretics.’ Besides the fascists, old and experienced Oppositionists will also attempt to seize power. Many of them already have some experience with working in government and they are no strangers to corruption, favoritism, and the use of budget funds for personal purposes.

The “concessions” that the Opposition is demanding in Parliament right now are pitiful. Even the Constitution of 2004, that they are trying to restore, gives too much power to the President (control over the riot police and special forces is one example), and the proportional electoral system, with closed listings, hands parliament over to the control of a group of dictator-like leaders, who can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Together with the President they will rule without obstructions.

Their second demand – the appointment of a Cabinet of Ministers composed of Opposition leaders – is altogether shameful. Are people risking their health, freedom, and life for the sake of someone becoming a prime-minister, and someone-else getting an opportunity to control the flow of corrupt-money? This is the logical outcome of preferring pathos-ridden conversations on “the nation,” and focusing on vertical structures tied to the same hated politicians, instead of developing ground-up organizations around financial and material interests. This is the main lesson that Maidan is yet to learn.
However, we will be able to apply this lesson in practice only if the current government loses the battle.

The Opposition inside and outside of the Parliament is broken into multiple hostile and competing factions. If it wins, the ensuing regime will be unstable and lacking in coherency. It will be as bourgeois and repressive as was the Party of Regions before their first show of force against the protesters in November.

The guilt for the spilled blood is partially on the EU which gladly receives money from the corrupt scumbags in Ukraine, Russia, and several African countries, while diligently neglecting to check the source of such “investments.” It is only after seeing the dead bodies of the victims of such “investors,” that it gets so very sentimental and full of humanitarian pathos.

This is not our war, but the victory of the government will mean the defeat of the workers. The victory of the Opposition also does not promise anything good. We cannot call the proletariat to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the Opposition and its interests. We think that the extent of participation in this conflict is a matter of personal choice. However, we encourage all to avoid being drafted to serve in the internal military forces controlled by Yanukovich, and to sabotage by all means available the actions of the government.

No gods, no masters, no nations, no borders!

Kiev organization AWU (Autonomous Workers Union).

Labor News From Huriyet Daily News…
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/five-turkish-trade-unions-begin-nationwide-demonstrations-with-one-day-strike.aspx?pageID=238&nID=48920&NewsCatID=347

Turkish Unions Strike After Raid June 17, 2013

Five trade unions have launched a nationwide demonstration campaign following the harsh police intervention in Taksim the night of June 15. AA photo

Five trade unions are set to begin today a nationwide demonstration campaign and one-day strike following the harsh police intervention in Taksim the night of June 15, daily Hürriyet has reported.

The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (D?SK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB), the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) and the Turkish Dentists Union (TDHB) have called on workers to take to the streets in a joint decision.

“The ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] government has launched an offensive against the nation, who refuse to give up their rights and freedoms by staging an insistent resistance,” the group said in a statement.

The members of the unions will stop working on June 17 except for emergency cases and will march to their cities’ centers.

The group has also asked for tolerance because of the disruption and also demanded the support of the people in the squares for a more “egalitarian, free and democratic Turkey.”

The members of the five syndicates that will begin demonstrations as of today could reach “hundreds of thousands,” according to a KESK official.

“We will take the streets using our power of production,” said the general secretary of D?SK, Kani  Beko.

“KESK members will go to their workplaces tomorrow, they will read a statement, and they will take to the streets,” KESK General Secretary ?smail Hakk? Tombul said.

June/16/2013

(A communique from Year0.org with a list of ATU picket locations in each of the boroughs.)

Strike Lessons
January 17, 2013

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 called for a strike to begin Wednesday January 16th at 6am. The strike includes almost 9,000 yellow school bus drivers and matrons, and will affect upwards of 150,000 students who regularly use the buses to get to school.

The strike hinges on the Employee Protection Provision, where any new contract for bus routes must guarantee continued job security for its experienced, skilled workforce. The EPP was one of the victories of ATU’s last strike, lasting over three months in 1979.

During the 1979 strike, special needs children were picked up by Correction Officers in buses meant for inmate transportation to Rikers Island. How quickly our city schools and prisons become interchangeable. This time around, instead of New York’s Boldest behind the wheels, the Department of Education is planning to provide students with MetroCards, and to reimburse cab fare and mileage. Though perhaps the Boldest are just too busy now, as the 2013 population of Rikers is 14,000, making it the world’s largest penal colony, more than double its 1979 numbers of around 6,000.

Much of the debate around the strike has been around the education and safety of the students. But what better education for our city’s children than a strike—a group of workers, adults, parents, standing up for themselves, challenging repressive authority, confronting the government and the logic of capital, acting now for the future.
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[Communique from the Committee of Public Safety]

Management of Consolidated Edison demonstrated complete contempt for its workforce, locking out 8,500 members of the Utility Workers Union of America the morning of Sunday July 1st. The lockout continues, now 6 days later. Managers have opted to do the work themselves, in a full take-over of the utility, already resulting in a number of injuries of scabs on the job.

In a dispute over wages, pensions, health insurance, and other benefits, Local 1-2 of the UWUA refused to extend its contract past the June 30th deadline. One of the conditions for the extension was that there would be no strike, something threatened earlier in the negotiations, and authorized within the union.

Continue reading…