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Protest at Chicago Ukrainian Consulate slams fascists

Confrontation with right-wing Ukrainians
By staff |
March 23, 2014
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Kait McIntyre, of FRSO starting off chants against the Ukrainian nationalists
Kait McIntyre, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), starting off the chants against the Ukrainian nationalists. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Chicago, IL - In a rally to mark the International Day Against Fascism and Racism, 35 people stood against a right-wing crowd of more than 100 at the Ukrainian Consulate in Chicago. Chanting, “Obama, McCain, no fascist Ukraine,” the small crowd braved the anger from the Ukrainian nationalists.

In the right-wing Ukrainian crowd was the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) flag. That flag flew alongside the Nazi flag in World War II, when the Ukrainian Insurgent Army carried out attacks against Jews and ethnic Russians. The UPA was responsible for the deaths of 100,000 Polish people. That same flag was present at the marches of the Right Sector, the neo-Nazi organization that played a leading role in the violent assaults in the Euromaidan protests in Kiev that overthrew the democratically elected government in February.

The anti-fascist protest wavered in the face of the hostile Ukrainian crowd for 15 minutes because of the influence of the International Socialist Organization (ISO). Others, including Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) and other anti-fascists, including the Workers World Party, finally started leading chants to stand up to the reactionary nationalists. The ISO was unwilling to confront the right-wing crowd because they largely agree with their views.

The ISO continues to support the fascist-led Ukrainian protest movement that overthrew the government of former President Yanukovich. At the Chicago protest, ISO leaders refused to start chants. One ISO member objected to a FRSO sign that opposed U.S. government sanctions against Russia. Another leader repeatedly said no to chants because she was concerned that, “We have to be all on the same page.”

In the face of the Ukrainian rightists, the ISO refused to recognize the fascist nature of the movement that overthrew the government of Ukraine.