Last month we told you about some of the difficulties of being an antifascist in Belarus these days. But you know what might be even more difficult than that? Being a Belrusian antifascist living in Ukraine.
For example, there’s Alexey Bolenkov and Artur Kondratovych – two Belrusian antifascists and anarchists who have been living in Ukraine for several years now, doing really solid organizing work in the community there. Ukranian authorities have been keen to rid themselves of people challenging them on issues such as police brutality, the plight of refugees, and the creeping fascist presence there and have actively deported several people for their completely-legal participation in peaceful demonstrations. Such is the context in which they have attempted to illegally deport Alexey and Artur.
Our two friends have challenged this illegal extradition on the courts and have every sign of winning there. But this is costing a lot of money and they need help to fight for their rights – a situation made more difficult by Alexey recently losing his job as a result of all the publicity.
On top of that, the case has attracted a lot of public attention, particularly from no fewer than four separate fascist gangs operating in Ukraine. These gangs have coordinated their efforts, physically attacking Alexey’s and Artur’s supporters and, in one especially bold move, attacking Alexey himself outside of the courthouse prior to a hearing, in full view of Ukranian police and court security.
It’s fair to say that Alexey and Artur are in a tight spot and need support from antifascists to help see them through it. That’s what the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was established and that’s why we were happy to be able to come to their aid!