Saturday, June 13, 2015

Editorial: Ukraine: stop attacks on political rights!

Ukraine: stop attacks on political rights!
Working people should condemn the attacks on free speech rights by the Ukrainian government of Petro Poroshenko — from the thought-control "decommunization" law and proposed banning of the Communist Party to attempts to brand the independent miners union and all other critics of Kiev's anti-working-class policies as "fifth-column" tools of Moscow.
The labor movement and working class oppose restrictions on the right to speak freely. When the rulers move to silence any group, it sets a precedent that will unerringly be aimed at the fighting toilers. And it gives encouragement to the kind of thug actions by the bosses and rightist groups that have been directed against unionists as well as members of the CP in Ukraine.

We likewise condemn the May 28 decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin making it a criminal offense to report on the death of Russian soldiers during "special operations" — a blatant attempt to stifle criticism of Moscow's involvement in the separatist war in Ukraine.

The massive Maidan movement that overthrew the pro-Moscow regime of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 brought new confidence to working people in Ukraine. It opened the door for new experiences, a fresh look at revolutionary continuity buried by betrayals and lies, and deepening discussion about how to chart an independent working-class road forward.

The challenges before workers in Ukraine, Russia and elsewhere demand the freest debate of political views. Protest all moves to criminalize political views and organizations! Demand a halt to assaults and intimidation against people for their political activities!