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Newark street action exposes U.S. intervention in Ukraine

Commentary by David Hungerford |
May 13, 2014
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Newark, NJ - Some veteran Newark activists set up shop at noon, May 3, on a busy street corner here. They were there to protest against the U.S.-instigated crisis in Ukraine. The objectives were several. The first was to get something going. A local peace organization had given a fundraising dinner a few days earlier. The Ukraine crisis was mentioned exactly once and only in passing. A union-supported May Day march had raised many issues - school closings, stronger protections for unions, raising the minimum wage, etc. The only mention of the Ukraine crisis was a sign against U.S. military involvement carried by a marcher. Nonetheless many people expressed an urgent interest.

Clearly there is a problem here. There is far too little mass protest and agitation around the U.S. imperialist aggression against the people of Ukraine.

It is sometimes said people are too busy with local issues to take an interest in world issues. But no, that is not true. Every conscious and active person is vitally concerned. The problem is not a lack of good analysis and understanding, as any reader of Fight Back! News knows.

The problem is twofold. First there is a climate of fear and intimidation. U.S. policymakers and the major media are alike the tools of Wall Street. They have relentlessly lied that the Ukraine crisis is an attack by Russia on Ukraine, rather than what it is, an attack by themselves on the people of Ukraine. There is a fear that opposition to U.S. policy will be smeared as an apology for the ‘terrible’ deeds of the big bad Russian bear.

In fact Russian involvement in the Ukraine crisis is only secondary and reactive. Russia has not broken any international law, while the U.S. imperialists in their usual brazen way have trampled upon every principle of acceptable international conduct. Russia is not provably responsible for a single fatality in the crisis, while the U.S. imperialists and their Nazi local allies are smeared from head to foot with the blood of innocent people.

No, there is nothing to fear from Russia-baiting. Some people got out on a street corner. The sky did not fall. It is easy to break the climate of fear. Just get out there and do it!

The main objective of the Newark protest was to develop the mass line of opposition to U.S. aggression in Ukraine. The mass line is the expression of the concerns and interests that are already there in the minds of the people, but in a way that shows them to be the concerns of the great majority, makes them political issues rather than passive individual worries.

Accordingly, one protester carried a sign that said, “Ukraine: We won’t fight! We won’t kill!” Other signs said “No U.S. military in Ukraine,” “No U.S./Nazi hookup in Ukraine,” etc. People did not have had any problems with the signs.

There were two main themes spoken about over the bullhorn.

First, “The U.S. government cannot and will not even run the U.S. right. This country is a mess. How are they supposed to straighten out Ukraine? People are lined up in the hallways at Newark Beth Israel Hospital waiting for a room. It’s Wall Street health care - your money or your life! They are closing Newark public schools every day and turning them over to private management so Wall Street can make profits. Millions of families have had their homes foreclosed and their life savings plundered by Wall Street. Meanwhile Wall Street gets bailed out for the crisis is caused.”

The other theme was: “Same enemy, same fight!”

The U.S. imperialists are hooked up to Nazis in Ukraine. We have a special name here for Nazis: the Ku Klux Klan! Same enemy! Same fight! The Ukrainian Nazis are ultra-nationalists. We have a special name here for ultra-nationalism: white supremacy! Same enemy! Same fight!

Many people listened thoughtfully. A couple of them even spoke a few words on the bullhorn. Persistence is the key. The protest will be repeated weekly. It will surely grow.

 

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