November 24, 2021
From Anarchist News

Anarchists of Ukraine, tariff wars and expropriation of robbers

From posted by VAF Nov 22 2021 14:17

The time has come? Anarchists of Ukraine, tariff wars and expropriation of robbers

For several months now, Ukraine has been engulfed in social unrest, which periodically subside before flaring up again.

For several months now, Ukraine has been engulfed in social unrest, which periodically subside before flaring up again. The draconian gas prices, for which the average residents are spending the biggest in Europe part of their income, are shutting down a lot of enterprises, and many of the 700-800 people whose lives are daily taken by the pandemic have been weakened by the cold in their homes. 25th October a rally in Zhytomir against the increase in gas and heating prices grew into an assault on the office of Zhytomirgas JSC. When no one came out to the protesters who had gathered outside the building, they broke down the doors and burst into it. When reached the upper floors, they finally found the chairman of the board, who said that his company did not set tariffs. He was forced to go down to the street and give a report to the demonstrators, but the manager, having first agreed, then disappeared. The rally participants signed a statement containing, among other things, such demands as stopping the growth of gas tariffs, a ban on shutting off gas supplies during the heating season and returning gas networks to the ownership of urban and territorial communities. So, what we wrote about at the beginning of this autumn is gradually becoming a reality.

Kharkov also does not stand aside from this rage. After long-time shutdowns of  neighborhoods and villages, arranged by Kharkivgas JSC to extort debt from residents, gas activist groups from all over the region blocked 16-17th October one of the entrances to Kharkov. Some of them exist for several years, and during this time have managed to stop disconnecting from gas or electricity for dozens of families by direct stopping of gas brigades’ vehicles or trials with the company, others appeared only after the government lifted last August the ban to disconnect households during quarantine. The protest covered by anarchist online journal made a wide resonance and led to the return of gas in the most affected settlement.

The Holocaust memorial Drobitsky Yar is visible behind for a reason. This location on the eastern edge of Kharkov was specially chosen to draw a parallel between the Nazi genocide in Kharkov at the end of 1941 and the tariff genocide exactly 80 years later

Several anarchist journalists and militants took part in maybe historical precedent for our city…

7th November, on the 133th birthday on Nestor Makhno, delegates of the gas movement gathered for a public meeting on the Kharkov central square and elected a working group to constantly receive complaints from the population about such conflicts and to help resolve it with energy companies. Unlike the action on Kharkov ring road, this time there were no national flags. It should be an intermediate step on the way to the main goal: the transition of Kharkivgas JSC into municipal property under popular control from below for households energy supply at the minimal prices (now 95,5% of its shares belong to private corporation DF Group with offshore accounts).

Moreover, we have not yet faced the consequences of the agricultural land market opened since 1st July, 2021. Kharkov region now is in top-3 among the country at the rate of land sale, and you can imagine what can start when a whole stream of landless peasants fill the metropolis looking for any job!

Graffiti of our reader in the underpass near the square where meeting took place

Gas tariff leaflet from our comrades in Lviv

The intensification of traveling across the region and media activity inevitably requires some more resources. You are welcome to support the collective through our fundraiser in USD or EUR by this bank details. Each cent will be a contribution to development of all work!

On the other hand, the biggest own action of Kharkov anarchists at this moment stills be anti-police street intervention during LGBTQ march on 12th September which was announced much previously than semi-spontaneous gas unrests. In the first half of the year, we were not capable even of such acts, but now need to mobilize more actively. New 1917 is on the doorstep.

Would be pertinent to remember what stated one of the Italian anarchists in early August about the green pass protests: «Another reason to take to the streets is to break up the united front of those who are against the «green pass» for bourgeois reasons, a mentality of entrepreneurs that only wants to make its own profits even if it is at the bottom of the ladder of exploiters. […] It is the world of profit that must be destroyed and it is a world of freedom, mutual aid and balance between man and nature that must be totally rethought, the world of commodities must come to an end and if we don’t go and rub it in people’s faces I don’t know who will do so in our place. Going into the streets also means not having the filter of the regime’s media communication, talking to people directly is the best way to get a sense of the climate around us. […] After these first days of mobilizations which simply expressed opposition in words, something that happened in various European streets with more or less determination, we must find local proposals, but not only, to resist together with those who want to fight, with those who say they don’t want these impositions and are ready to do things that they have never done before. It is here that our history as anarchists can be a huge help, to avoid controls and to ward off repression, but above all to have concrete proposals of struggle and solidarity with those who will lose their jobs and will be unable to make a living, with those who refuse even more invasive social control, with those who think that the techno-industrial production system is actually a problem, and perhaps also with those who realize that all this must be revolutionized once and for all and know that words are not enough»…

Forward under black flags! Salud y Anarquía!

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