Friday 4 March 2022

Stop the Warmongers




Italian writer Paolo Nori was informed by the University of Milano-Bicocca of their decision to postpone his course on Dostoevsky following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "Dear Professor, the Vice Rector for Didactics has informed me of a decision taken with the Rector to postpone the course on Dostoevsky … This is to avoid any controversy, especially internally, during a time of strong tensions."

Nori commented, "Not only is being a living Russian wrong in Italy today, but also being a dead Russian, who was arrested in 1849 for belonging to a literary group that discussed banned books and spent four years in a Siberian prison camp.”

In the UK, Manchester’s Centre for International Contemporary Art, Theatre and Film states that “we are in discussions” about removing a statue of Engels in solidarity with Ukraine. It is unclear how toppling the statue of a German philosopher who died in 1895 (22 years before the Russian Revolution) can soothe the wounds of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

We may take satisfaction at the seizure of Russian yachts following the aggression against Ukraine, but might remain puzzled that this has never happened to American yachts following multple US aggressions.

The absurdity of this unbalanced Russophobia is par for the course for those of us who have to take cover from the logic applied to opponents of wars. Just look at the silencing of the few remaining socialist MPs when told they must not be aligned with Stop the War Coalition because it is anti-NATO. The fear we have when criticising Israel’s occupation of Palestine for fear of being accused of anti-semitism.

Right now the situation is dangerous for Ukrainian lives and for the future peace of the world. We must emerge fron our mental bunkers and take to the streets – against Putin’s war and against NATO’s wars - past, present and to come.

If you are tempted to say “what do you know about war, you cannot speak for the people of Kyiv and Kharkiv.” My answer is f..k you. I was in Sarajevo when that city’s people were under bombardment and living and dying under similar conditions.

Our task is not to stop drinking vodka ot reading Russian novels. It is to stop the warmongers wherever they are. So solidarity with Ukraine, with the anti-war movement in Russia and join me at the protests taking place this weekend.

Lindsey German of Stop the War Coalition on this weekend’s protests - here


Ex-UKambassador Craig Murray on Putin and NATO - here


(photo taken in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina in 1993)