Voices from Russia

Friday, 20 October 2017

20 October 2017. Some of My Favourite Things… Remember the Anti-Fascist Fighters of Spain

Filed under: history,war and conflict — 01varvara @ 00.00
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Here are the lyrics to the first song:

Stand up, Red Madrid; stand up, proud Madrid! The world shouts, humanity is on fire, the globe sings your heroic song, millions sing out: Stand up, Red Madrid!

The fascists sent their mercenaries into the country; we’ll break them with our resistance.

Stand up, Red Madrid…

They want to keep us from joining your side; the fiercest fighters on earth march in your ranks.

Stand up, Red Madrid…

Remember the anti-fascist warriors of Spain… they lost, but they left a legacy. Reflect on this. The American Republican Party has the same ideology as the Condor Legion and Franco. Do you really want to support that? Also, reflect on the fact that the Clintons signed on to the same ideology… as their support of NAFTA and “welfare reform” showed.

It’s time to change all that…



Saturday, 15 July 2017

Remembering Oliver Law, an American Communist Who Died Fighting Fascism in Spain

Anti-fascist volunteers in Spain; Commandante Law is on the extreme left.


9 July 2017 marks 80 years since the death of Oliver Law, a communist, labour organiser, and the first Afro-American to lead an integrated military force in the country’s history. Law served in the US Army from 1919 to 1925; he joined the CPUSA in 1932. His communist activism and his political activities with International Labor Defense kept cops constantly on his coattails. In one incident, the Chicago Police Red Squad severely beat him. In another incident, cops arrested Law as he spoke at a demonstration in Chicago on 31 August 1935 against Italy’s occupation of Ethiopia during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. He organised mass protests against the occupation.

A year later, Law joined the joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, one of the thousands of international volunteers that travelled to Spain to fight against Spain’s dictator Francisco Franco and the rise of the fascist Nationalists. Fighting for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War, which occurred between July 1936 and April 1939, Law was commander of the entire Brigade for several days and commander of its Machine Gun Regiment for much longer. Law led the Brigade during the initial days of the Brunete Offensive, but on the fourth day of the campaign, he died of wounds suffered whilst leading an assault on Mosquito Ridge. Five decades after his death, Chicago Mayor Harold Washington recognised Law’s historic achievement by declaring 21 November 1987 as “Oliver Law and Abraham Lincoln Brigade Day”.

9 July 2017



Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Paul Robeson’s Role in Spain Remembered





The life of Paul Robeson was extraordinary; Nancy Wallach ( the daughter of a Veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade) recalled his journey of struggle and steadfast commitment to democracy and the working class in a riveting talk on the connection between Robeson and the Lincoln Brigade, given 17 December at New York University’s Tamiment Library entitled “The Artist Must Elect to Fight for Freedom or Slavery”. The words were those of Robeson himself. An organisation of descendants of some of those who had volunteered to fight in Spain, the Friends and Family of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (FFALB) sponsored the event. The talk highlighted Robeson’s support for the Spanish Republic and the International Brigades… the volunteers who came from around the world to fight for democracy and to resist fascism in Spain. The Lincoln Battalion was part of this International Brigade, a US contingent. The Communist International organised the International Brigade to help the democratically elected Popular Front government of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930’s. 60,000 volunteers came from many nations and from many walks of life, but they had one thing in common… the resolve to fight fascism.

Paul Robeson left the USA for Europe in the early 1930’s, at a time when the USA was in the Jim Crow era, so, opportunities for a Black artist were limited. He gave concerts in England and Scotland. Robeson was immensely popular in Europe and his concerts always sold out within hours. During this period, he grew to love the international working class so when the civil war broke out in Spain he already had a deep understanding of how the struggle for democracy was inextricably part of the class struggle. The fascist governments of Nazi Germany and Italy gave General Franco, the military leader of the Spanish fascist rebellion, massive support… including logistics and armaments… while most of the nations in Western Europe and the Americas, including the USA, took a position of “neutrality”, a policy that, in essence, supported the fascist forces.

Witnessing these developments, Robeson strove to enlighten the people of the Western nations about the situation in Spain and worked tirelessly to raise money for the cause of Spanish democracy. During his time in Spain, he visited the troops in the fields and hospitals and gave concerts at every opportunity to help lift the spirits of these courageous fighters and to arouse support for their cause. Robeson eventually travelled to Spain itself and said:

I went to Spain in 1938, and that was a major turning point in my life. There I saw that it was the working men and women of Spain who were heroically giving their last full measure of devotion to the course of democracy.

Later, in 1943, speaking of his visit to the front lines in Spain, Robeson told the Herald Tribune:

My heart was filled with admiration and love for these white Americans, and there was a sense of great pride in my own people when I saw that there were Negroes, too, in the ranks of the Lincoln men in Spain.

Ms Wallach noted that such observations stood in stark contrast to the then-segregated US Army. Comments from the audience were very moving, describing the love shown to Robeson when he visited the working men and women and sang for them in their homelands. Vinie Burrows, actor and storyteller, reminded the audience of “the tallest tree in the forest”, Paul Robeson. She said:

Paul Robeson’s life and vision for a world of peace remain an inspiration for all, but particularly I hope for young people. His unswerving stance against the violence of war and of poverty must motivate all actions to support the global peace movement and for nuclear abolition.

In 1940, the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade made Paul Robeson an honorary member, a rare honour. Founding member of VALB, Milt Wolf, said:

When I stood beside him to pin the star on his lapel, I had this feeling that Paul Robeson wasn’t so much becoming a member of the Lincoln Brigade, as that we were becoming a part of Paul Robeson.

The last word on Paul Robeson came from long-time International Brigade supporter, the musician/actor and activist, Harry Belafonte:

It’s interesting to me that I should have been blessed in those early years of decision-making by having been embraced by a man who had a profound effect on my life… Paul Robeson… and it was from Paul that I learned that the purpose of art is not just to show life as it is, but to show life as it should be.

Finally, Ms Wallach concluded the event with the words, Robeson’s own, which served as the title of the event and engraved on Robeson’s tombstone:

The artist must elect to fight for freedom or slavery. I have made my choice, I had no alternative.

4 January 2017

Gabe Falsetta

Peoples World


Monday, 4 August 2014

Poroshenko Raps Rada for Not Approving Extremist Agenda

00 Svoboda nazis. 22.03.14

THIS is what the Ukrainian junta stands for… and they have the gall to call others “terrorists”…



Note well that the USA in general and the Republican Party in particular approve of this dictatorial action of strongman Poroshenko. I’d say that it’s much too early to crow about anything… the junta forces are losing in Novorossiya, and there’s much civil disobedience in nominally junta-controlled areas. Remember, they called THREE mobilisations, and very few showed up. I believe that the junta is grasping at straws. I think that the junta bigs are preparing boltholes in the West, especially, in the USA and Canada. Look for Darlin’ Yuliya the Landshark at Saratoga next year… it’s the “August place to be”… and she’ll wanna hobnob with the Whitneys and the Mellons.

The Ukraine? God alone knows… and He’s not telling me (let alone clueless pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Rod Dreher, and Ann Coulter)…



Junta strongman P A Poroshenko blasted the Rada, saying, “I don’t know how to work with the Rada, when half of it won’t vote to recognise the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) as terrorist organizations. I don’t know how to work with a parliament where the majority represents a ‘fifth column’ controlled from abroad, whole factions. The danger of this is only rising”. Poroshenko’s reference to a “fifth column” is a strong term. It originated in the Spanish Civil War, where Franco’s fascists literally sent a “fifth column“ of spies and provocateurs to try to capture Madrid from inside the city. Nowadays, the term has a wider usage; it refers to any group of people who undermine a larger group… such as a nation or a besieged city… from within.

On 22 July, the Rada voted to recognise the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash near Donetsk as a terrorist act, calling on the world to identify the DNR, which controls the area, and the LNR, as terrorist organisations. However, such a definition apparently failed to materialise in the Ukraine. On top of the humanitarian crisis in the east, the Ukraine suddenly plunged into political turmoil. The country faces snap elections after the ruling coalition collapsed on 24 July.

Poroshenko told the media he’d hold early elections, “despite the law” and “whatever the circumstances”. One of his main targets is the KPU, illegally outlawed when the coalition collapsed. The KPU was a vocal critic of many of the junta’s current policies, including the repressions in Novorossiya, the failure to investigate mass killings in Odessa and Kiev, and austerity measures demanded by the West as preconditions of IMF loans. On Friday night, Poroshenko boasted, “I’m proud that during my presidency the Communist faction ceased to exist”. He added that after the elections, he’d erase the party from “the Ukrainian political map”.

Experts see the shrinking political field in Kiev as an attempt to purge the leadership and shape a compliant parliament. John Laughland from the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris told us, “When they overthrew President V F Yanukovich on 21 February, the parliament voted back new powers in terms of going back to the 2004 constitution. Now, the new president, Poroshenko, discovers that this new constitution doesn’t suit him, so, he needs to purge the parliament, he needs to stigmatise people who don’t agree with his policies as fifth columnists”.

2 August 2014



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