Workers’ solidarity in wartime: Bosnia 1993, Ukraine 2015

March 30, 2015

Read this article in Russian here – читать на русском языке здесь

There is a fragile ceasefire in place in eastern Ukraine, but the devastation wrought by military conflict continues. Some Ukrainian socialists, disappointed by the weakness of the anti-militarist movement, have tried to find ways of delivering aid to communities in the east, and to refugees 

Workers' Aid marching with Bosnian refugees at the Durham Miners' Gala, 1995

Workers’ Aid marching with Bosnian refugees at the Durham Miners’ Gala, 1995

who have fled to other parts of Ukraine. Some have joined non-governmental organisations working on the ground; some have formed links with mining communities; others have launched an international campaign in defence of Alexander Kolchenko, the anarchist from Crimea facing trial in Russia on trumped-up “terrorism” charges. In my view, these activists are taking forward the best traditions of the international working-class movement. One experience worth looking back to is that of Workers Aid for Bosnia, a group of labour movement activists, initially based in the UK, that in 1993 collected truck-loads of humanitarian aid and took them to the Bosnian mining town of Tuzla, which at that time was surrounded on three sides by the Serbian army. Here is an interview with two of its organisers: JOHN DAVIES, a writer, actor and activist who lives in Liverpool and BOB MYERS, an activist based in Manchester.

Gabriel Levy: please explain how the Workers Aid convoys came about. Who proposed them, who acted on the proposal? What was the situation in Bosnia at the time, and how did the convoys impact on it?

John Davies: The Workers Aid convoys were organised in response to an appeal by a Serb socialist, Rade Pavlovic, who was appalled at the atrocities being carried out by the Serb nationalist/Stalinist leadership, and with the widespread support of the Serb intelligentsia. Knowing of the way in which miners in former Read the rest of this entry »

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