Performative Nuance

Refugee solidarity for ukraine, and sanctions.

Ukraine is under a devastating and rapid invasion by Russian forces- We won’t know how successful it is for days, but it is a question of how quick Russia will be at taking most territory, and how bloody the fighting will be in the cities, not whether it will eventually occupy all the territory it wishes.

Histories of 4 million dead, 6 million stillborn, as a result of imperialist soviet policy in the 1930s, are at the forefront of many minds. Memories 14,000 dead in the fighting with Russian backed separatists are fresh in many more. Worries of a repeat of both are real.

We want to help, to bear witness, to make the suffering stop.

We can.

Refugee solidarity

The first thing on any list should be helping civilians who’re fleeing Ukraine.

This means making sure they get in- Making our government open the borders and accept any refugees who ask to flee to the UK and demanding an operation to accept refugees from the western Ukrainian border and transport them to the UK.

Ideally this should be in concert with other countries, but without them if needs be.

The UK has spent more than half a billion pounds- likely north of a billion pounds- supporting the Ukrainian military to make the invasion more bloody and costly for Russia.

Expecting us to spend any less on supporting Ukrainians fleeing this indiscriminate war is disgusting. This must be spent on housing, transport and support for refugees- Home office policing of who’s deserving isn’t helping refugees, it’s political theatre.

Sanctions

The UK is a well renowned clearing house of oligarchic money, extracted from the people of Russia and stored in empty flats and mansions across London.

The oligarchic money controls most political power in Russia, and any steps to inconvenience them are a good thing: It damages the ruling class.

More broadly: The UK is a financial centre, and this was used to raise funds to fund the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

This must end. Russia must be denied access to global capital markets: More control over what these markets are used to fund is essential, and we should start immediately with Russia.

Sanctions will doubtlessly cause the price of gas to rise, and further compound the price of living crisis: Russia knows this, and it’s why they’re invading now. They think that gas prices will prevent serious and damaging sanctions.

If the choice is to have our homes heated by the bodies of Ukrainian civilians or to adapt our housing stock and lifestyle over the next year before winter bites again: There is only one option, and it’s also nessecary to end the climate crisis.

Targeting the those who have profited from the Russian peoples suffering(the oligarchs) and those who’re invading Ukraine rather than supporting the Russian people(the state) is essential- it is not a punishment of the Russian people, who broadly oppose the war.

Act now.

Ask your MP

Email your mp and ask that they:

My letter is here for your reference. Here is a script for calling your MP, updated recently.

After this you should ring them immediately to follow up on this- use your email as a script, cover the talking points and be quick and polite.

If phones are difficult for you- Put the number in your phone ready to call. Then try doing your script into a voice note on Whatsapp or similar. If you feel up to it after a few tries, call them then.

Contact your councillors

You should also email your local councilors and ask that they:

Spread the word

Spread the above points: Don’t let this become about “no war in ukraine”: There is already a war in Ukraine.

Don’t let this become #refugeeswelcome- The Refuees need to get here first: We need airlifts and opening the the border, not hashtags.

If you share this blog that’s fine. But more important is that you repeat the points: Help the people of Ukraine get out. Stop funding the invasion.

Ukrainian organisations in the UK

Ukrainian people in the UK are not a group with homogenous views, and this is not trying to be a representative sample of their organisations, however: Most Ukrainian national organisations I’ve seen in the UK are pushing for military aid and intervention alongside sanctions on Russia(I’ve not seen any discussion of refugees yet, but they will be first in the blocks supporting when refugees start arriving).

Some are currently organising protests, so are worth paying attention to:

Refugee solidarity:

I cannot vouch for any of these groups- I’m trying to vet for fash/etc, where I can.

The overlap between diasporic groups, national organisations, states, and fash organisations can be difficult to tease apart.

If you see other non-charity organisations helping, especially leftist groups, please email me.

More

I’m hoping to have better going here:

If you’re not in the uk: Figure out how to get similar things in your country. Email me a link, I’ll add it here.