We have received several messages from people who were sympathetic to our initiative but who wished to know more about our objectives and resources:
“I am contacting you because I find your initiative interesting and relevant and therefore want to let you know. However, I have a question: you call for financial solidarity but it is not specified anywhere: for what purpose? In what perspective? In what way?”
Others tell us that they would not want their solidarity “to end up in the hands of those who provide arms for the war, but in the hands of those who defect and say no to the conflict between states and powers, that is happening on the backs of the people.”
We thank all those who wrote to us and gave us the opportunity to better clarify our initiative.
Indeed, our initiative was put together in a bit of a hurry, and we had not taken the necessary time to explain the project.
First of all, our solidarity initiative is specifically aimed at pacifists (especially Russians and Belarusians), deserters, and revolutionary refugees from the three countries at war. Indeed, we have made the observation from our experience (especially recently with the exodus of anarchists from Afghanistan), that for the States not all refugees are welcome, especially those with anarchist or simply revolutionary ideas, and that we cannot count on states or large NGOs to take them into account in their humanitarian evacuation operations.
But in the first instance what seems important to us is not so much financial solidarity (we have no illusions about the resources we will be able to mobilize in the face of the immensity of the needs...) but more moral and political solidarity. We are in regular contact with anarchists in Ukraine and Russia and they have told us that this link is important to them, it comforts them to know that their voices are heard.
The first type of solidarity consists therefore in re-disseminating information (websites, emails, informational materials), to let people know that not all Russians support Putin, that there are sabotages and desertions in Belarus, that in Ukraine some people have set up networks of mutual aid outside the state circuit etc...
Coming back to financial solidarity, it is currently very complicated, not to say impossible, to send funds to both Ukraine and Russia, for obvious logistics and banking reasons. But the Russian and Ukrainian comrades (and in particular, Assembleia from Kharkiv) have asked us to set aside funds for “after” because the needs at that time will be enormous (to pay the fines for the Russians, to help relaunch the movement for the Ukrainians).
On the other hand, there is one point on which we do not wish to make financial solidarity: our solidarity should not be used to buy military equipment for the units integrated in the Ukrainian army, including the territorial defense units. This is for obvious reasons of political principle. But also for very concrete reasons:
Only states have the means - financial, legal, logistical, ... - to send weapons of war to Ukraine. Revolutionaries of all tendencies, by contributing, could only send useless stone-throwers... Sending military equipment illegally would require going through mafia circuits that are fused with the extreme right (like Claude Hermant...) with the real risk that the equipment sent ends up in the wrong hands... Alas, there is already a proven case of tactical material sent by Spanish anarchist comrades to Ukraine that ended up in the hands of a fascist paramilitary group...
On the other hand, with our small means, what we can do as revolutionaries is to call the soldiers, first of all the Russian and Belarusian soldiers, to desert and let them know that if they refuse to obey their leaders, if they refuse the butchery, then they are welcome here. Housing deserters is within our capacity.
States campaign to send weapons, not to encourage desertion. And for good reason: sending weapons strengthens the states in their ideological bases (let’s not forget that what characterizes states is that they hold the monopoly on violence) whereas promoting the refusal to obey the military leaders undermines their authority... because if people refuse to obey it is the beginning of the end ... and this is true there as here.
We reach out to those who share these principles and goals.
Мир хижинам, война дворцам!
Peace to the people,
War to the palaces!
Companions of the Olga TARATUTA solidarity initiative