Peace

2007 - 2022

Solidarity with Ukraine

As Moya Lothian-McLean has written: “The desperate people of Ukraine need help, not self-satisfied social media posts … Twitter, Instagram and TikTok posts offer quick catharsis, but it’s the unshowy work of collective organising that makes a real difference.” So we’re collecting information and links of solidarity and ways of showing support to people fleeing war and people who cannot flee war.

Please give, connect and contact us with information.

Here are some organisations working on the ground in Ukraine – and other projects working in Scotland and beyond – all of them could use your support. Some are practical humanitarian aid and some are forms of cultural solidarity. I think all are needed. Please send your suggestions and we will add and share.

  • The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas. Donate here.
  • The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (UGB) have set up a GoFundMe to support accredited Ukrainian charities to provide medicines, food and critical services.
  • The Ukrainian Red Cross provide first aid in areas where access to medical services will be limited, raise awareness of health risks and provide humanitarian support to all people in need.
  • A Poem Letter from Scotland  – the Makar, Kathleen Jamie has said: “We’re making a poem letter to Ukraine, from Scotland Please, send me a single line of poetry. I’ll assemble submissions into a finished work It will be a message of fellowship and affinity with the people of Ukraine”. All details are here.
  • Voices of Children ​​give psychological and psychosocial support to children in Ukraine traumatised from war, working in various villages and towns along the frontline in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
  • Together with Ukraine – “an international collaboration of over 100 producers, artists and volunteers, with a goal of uniting the music community in support of Ukraine.” Hear here.

We are collating Ukrainian solidarity projects, events & funds. Send details here: https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/contact-us/ and we will promote.

Artwork by Maria Prymachenko.

Comments (28)

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  1. SleepingDog says:

    I have given a small donation to DEC, but what does “solidarity with Ukraine” actually mean? I doubt it is meaningful to have solidarity with a country. Perhaps the Ukrainian people are divided and do not share a single solidarity themselves. Talking of which, how many Ukrainian oligarch billionaires are there? Perhaps we ordinary non-Ukrainians should wait until these billionaire have given their unnecessary, excess and almost certainly ill-gotten riches to help their own countryfolk, before we consider donating money, although we might help in other ways. Wikipedia says:
    “In total, the top 100 wealthiest business people in Ukraine control around $44,5 billion, according to Forbes, which accounts for 27% of Ukrainian GDP in September, 2021.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_oligarch
    I am not the only person to have noted the racist bias in media coverage of the humanitarian disaster in Ukraine. Perhaps we should ask why in the UK we are not doing more to alleviate the humanitarian disaster in Yemen, especially as the UK is supplying arms and aiding the aggressors, and the area was blighted by British colonialism (no, you cannot just get those years back and catch up with the ‘developed’ world). And I doubt there are as many Yemeni billionaires who could and should be aiding their countryfolk. Still, I am sure the profits of arms dealers will be vast compared to the aid contributions, just as government military spending is vast compared to aid budgets. And however hungry Britain’s poor are, don’t expect the British royal family to do anything but attempt to maximise their ill-gotten riches and cling on to power. Similarly, it would not make sense to “show solidarity with the UK” if we were invaded by, say, the USA.

    1. 220310 says:

      ‘Solidarity’ normally means unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals who have a common cause.

      ‘Ukraine’, in this instance, doesn’t just mean a country; it’s a cause. It’s the manifold cause of national independence, democracy, humanitarianism, justice, and defeating the common enemy we have in the Russian state or establishment. To have ‘solidarity with Ukraine’ means thus to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with one another in the defence or furtherance of some or all of these things.

      But you’re right to wonder why, as a country, we don’t also stand in such a degree of solidarity with people of colour. Why aren’t we signalling our virtue by gathering food and toiletries and driving it in vans and minibuses to Calais, Lampedusa, and Moria to give to people who have been displaced by conflict, persecution and poverty from countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and sub-Saharan Africa? Why aren’t we relaxing our immigration rules to allow people from those countries to find refuge among us?

    2. Ottomanboi says:

      «Solidarity with Ukraine» is a social media feel good slogan, just do not look too closely with what you are expected to feel that solidarity.
      Yemen, the never ending colonial/neo colonial war zone no one cares about, Syria is moving that way. Remember South Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Kashmir and my birth country, Iraq? The latter not to be confused with Eye ran.
      The «ruler of the west» hypocritically cherry picks concerns depending on the «gain» of the moment.
      The current conflict is just another picked cherry.

      1. “Solidarity with Ukraine» is a social media feel good slogan”. Its really not. Just give or dont give

        1. 220311 says:

          It is; such is the fickle nature of public opinion as it flits from meme to meme in pursuit of the topical. That’s a big part of the whole phenomenon of hyperreality in our postmodern society whereby the topical becomes the real and we become less able to distinguish simulations/representations/protestations from the thing itself.

          But the protestation isn’t the thing itself. Protesting one’s ‘Solidarity with Ukraine’ isn’t solidarity with Ukraine; it’s just virtue-signalling.

  2. Daniel Raphael says:

    “Solidarity with [fill in country name here]” is never going to help–it is part of the obscuring of the problem, not clarification of any solution. This problem is neither new nor unique; it has a name–imperialism–and is a regular feature on the world stage. We don’t hear quite so much about it most of the time in the mass [white, corporate, imperialist-embedded] media, but it’s there. It’s especially present in the form of the world’s #1 aggressor, the United States of America. Remember that one? Never mind those dusky corpses in countless locales, and how even today, mass starvation is imposed on those [undeserving, nonwhite, non-Christian] useless mouths] Afghani people by the “cop of the world,” as folksinger Phil Ochs dubbed the USA in his eponymous song of the 60s/70s.

    No, solidarity means to actively oppose all wars, and never to fall for the national flag of current choice. It is us, the cannon fodder, who pay the price for imperialism, which is the activity of capital across the world…by any and all means. As the people of Cuba know, economic imperialism kills as surely as do missiles and bombs. But…hey, who are they? There are countless other examples of what recipients of (mostly US-generated) “sanctions” endure. Solidarity means opposition to the routine, systematized attack upon our persons and hopes via an economic system that is weaponized to the utmost. It is daunting, especially given climate catastrophe–far more devastating than all the military conflicts combined–and the ravages of COVID (treatment of which is repeatedly mismanaged in the effort to return to “normal” production of profits). Humanity will learn and practice solidarity, or perish in the failed attempt. As Dr. King said, we will live together as brothers [sic] or perish as fools.

    1. 220310 says:

      The trouble with ‘actively opposing all war’ and ‘opposing the routine, systematised attack upon our persons and hopes’ is that these are not SMART objectives. They’re worthy expressions of piety, but they’re too vague and imprecise to sustain effective action that results in hard measurable outcomes.

      Solidarity is shown by communities when normal governance breaks down and people have to pull together to provide for themselves. Solidarity is born of shared suffering and mutual aid. It manifests itself in times of emergency when the state can no longer deliver the security on which our welfare depends and we ourselves have to step into the breach until normality can be restored. We see it when natural and man-made disasters strike and we ‘consolidate’ in our herds to offer and receive mutual support.

      Real solidarity (in contrast to the mere virtue-signalling of waving flags and making speeches) requires a specific, tangible crisis around which that solidarity can consolidate; abstract generalities like ‘opposing all war’ and ‘opposing all injustice’ just doesn’t cut it.

    2. John Learmonth says:

      Daniel,
      Why do you choose to live in the USA?
      Its a free society and your perfectly free to leave and live wherever you want….Cuba, Venezuala, N.Korea.
      Could it be that you have a safe, relatively comfortable life and slagging your own country off won’t result in any unpleasant outcomes unlike say if you lived in Cuba?
      Just a thought

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @John Learmonth, you seem unfamiliar with the concept of democratic citizenship, in which it is the duty of citizens to hold their own governments, state and officials to account. You might run away if you found things better to your liking elsewhere, instead of trying to fix the problems in front of you, but please do not project your moral weakness and cowardice onto others. Here is one summary of the position:
        “If officials are corrupt, citizens must vote them out. If policies are outdated, citizens must revise them. If news outlets are skewed, they must be corrected. Even when democracy’s failures owe to institutional defects, the buck stops with the people.”
        https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2021/12/09/sustaining-democracy-the-moral-burden-of-citizenship/

        1. John Learmonth says:

          SD,

          I’m fully aware of democratic citizenship.
          I live in a country that practises it.

          Thanks John

        2. John Learmonth says:

          SD,
          I dont hate democracy, I love it and I’m grateful to live in a free society……aren’t you?

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @John Learmonth, which free society is that? That cannot be the one where even discussing having a republican form of government is a treason felony punishable by life in prison, is it?
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treason_Felony_Act_1848
            I guess if you love licking the boots of your masters, all you may care about is your freedom to bootlick. Certainly UK subjects have no protected freedoms from executive overreach under the British Imperial quasi-constitution, and after Brexit certain of those international guarantees of freedom are also being stripped away. Not that the British public generally has any freedom at all to choose foreign, diplomatic, security-espionage or military policy. Perhaps you mean commercial freedom? Bad timing, since the UK is leaving the EU free trade zone. Or religious freedom? Well, England has an established church, with 26 bishops sitting in the House of Lords, so more free for some than others, rather we need freedom from religion. Freedom of information? Resisted by government and ministries of state, media cowed by D-notices and largely owned by right-wing corporations. Freedom from Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, Idleness? Have you looked around you?

            Perhaps you really mean licence instead of freedom. After all, the UK was widely held to be the dirty man of Europe (until the EU forced it to clean up its act), and dirty money is shaping public policy like Old Corruption never went away, and perhaps when it comes down to it, your political philosophy amounts to the demand to crap in your nappy whenever you feel like it. The British Empire forced unfreedom on people right round the world. Russia has a lot of catching up to do.

        3. John Learmonth says:

          SD
          So all republicans in the UK are currently serving life in prison?
          News to me……
          The UK is not perfect (far from it) but there is a reason why so many people from around the world wish to come and live here.
          Perhaps you’d like to raise yourself up from your self loathing and appreciate the fact that compared to the vast majority of the people on this planet we in the UK don’t have that much to complain about……..doesn’t stop us complaining though, the curse of a free society.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @John Learmonth, is the reason because we’ve nicked all their stuff, wrecked their countries and poisoned their land and waters?
            https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2022/02/22/bees-syngenta-paraquat-uk-exports/
            Sure, UK jails may not be full of republicans, but neither is there much discussion of republicanism in the mainstream (the Guardian ran a faltering campaign for a while), let alone serious constitutional alternatives. Academic freedom has always been limited and threatened in the UK in areas the imperial state, royalist institutions and corporate backers find uncomfortable, although (as my old contemporary-issues-in-British-politics tutor put it) there are some important things discussed by academics that are not repeated in corporate British media like the BBC, at least in prime-time programming. My criticisms come from research and analysis (as indeed I was trained for), nothing to do with self-loathing, you odd fish. Perhaps your own privilege and lack of empathy insulates and blinds you to the very real concerns and problems that people have, here in the UK and elsewhere. After all, in the richest (or the most bankrupt) nation on the planet, the USA, there are deep social problems, and an opioid epidemic that is recognised as a public health crisis, that may be about to get much worse here in the UK. Not signs of a healthy societies.

      2. Daniel Raphael says:

        The struggle is everywhere, not in one locale or another–the old saw of “if you don’t like it, go elsewhere,” is the trope of the smug, the ignorant, and the hypocritical. “Patriots” are real big on that one, too. As to “choice,” unless of course one is speaking of ‘choice’ as one of the Platonic forms, it is always situated: by resources, by health, by age, by wealth (or lack thereof), and so on. In real terms, the “choices” of many of us are largely defined by the kinds of considerations I just mentioned. But the real question is: what does it say about someone, when addressing someone else’s being confronted by a problem, to suggest “you could just leave”? Frankly, I think some kind of commitment to struggle is a defining quality of citizenship and just being a decent human being. But that’s my bias.

        1. John Learmonth says:

          I see, basically your happy with your safe comfortable lifestyle in the ‘imperialist USA’ but your free to slag it off.
          Good on you Daniel, if only the people of Ukraine were so fortunate.

          1. Daniel Raphael says:

            Save for voyeurs and dilettantes, I recommend taking up activism…as exhibited by the very brave people in Russia, objecting to their government’s war. But…maybe they should just leave?
            Those of us who have been in demonstrations all across our lives, know well what they endure and risk; police perform the same role, with predictable outcomes.

        2. John Learmonth says:

          Lots of Russians are leaving, I wonder which country they’d ideally want to live in?
          Take a wild guess…….
          Being an ‘activist’ in the USA is a cushy number compared to being an ‘activist’ in Russia or for that matter Cuba.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @John Learmonth, since you hate democracy so much, why don’t you decamp to Saudi Arabia and transfer your slavish loyalty to their royal family? After all, they are supremely willing to crush dissent, which you also abhor. And you will still be friends with British royals and British arms dealers, and take part in joint projects like the mass murder of Yemeni civilians. But if your loyalty to the British royals really cannot be shifted, don’t worry. There are many places within the British Empire where democracy is also banned, handily listed in the United Nations summary of non-self-governing territories. https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt

  3. Pat Walsh says:

    Funny how people who have no problem with soldarity with Palestine, find all sorts of ways of arguing against solidarity with Ukraine (and vice versa of course).

    Also funny how people who are appalled at the fact that sympathy for Ukrainian refugees is far greater than sympathy for Syrian refugees, are often the same people who showed no sympathy towards the Syrian people when they rose against the brutal klepto-capitalist elite led by Assad.

    As someone who has always actively supported the struggle of the Palestinian people, including spending a few months in the West Bank, working with communities engaging in civic resistance against the Israeli occupation, I am trying to do all I can to actively support the struggle of the Ukrainian people against Russian invasion and occupation. I’m able to rub my tummy and pat my head at the same time.

    https://ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org/

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Pat Walsh, so are the Ukrainian oligarchs a ‘klepto-capitalist elite’? Does ‘solidarity with Ukraine’ mean ‘solidarity with all Ukrainians’ even if some are on different sides, like Syrians in their civil war, and some of Assad’s domestic opponents were “terrorist jihadist” (as Wikipedia puts it) organizations like the Al-Nusra Front?
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Nusra_Front
      You seem fine with using slippery language to shift between a nation (an imaginary construct incapable of suffering) and a set of refugees (real people all too capable of suffering). In regard to my philosophical training, that smacks of sophistry. It cheapens the term ‘solidarity’ (which Google’s selected definition is “unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.”) and grossly oversimplifies complex problems.

      During World War 2, I think the UK raised income tax to around 99% so that at least some of the richer sort (not that serial tax-avoider W Churchill though) would be contributing financially to the war effort. One might think the Ukrainian government could impose a wealth tax of 99% (which would leave a sterling-billionaire oligarch comfortably well-off with ten million pounds) which if resisted could be enforced by seizure of assets. The DEC says “£100 could provide emergency food for two families for one month” and there are 2 million refugees. A 99% wealth tax on just one billionaire oligarch would return £990,000,000 or (surely much more with efficiency gains) enough emergency food for all 2 million refugees (at an average family size of 4) for (if my maths is correct) 990,000,000 / (((2,000,000 / 4 ) / 2) * 100) = 39.6 months or 3.3 years. Please correct my figures if I have made any errors. So perhaps a little more effort could be directed towards instilling a sense of solidarity in Ukrainian oligarchs for their fellow Ukrainians; or failing that, taxing them with enforcement measures?

    2. 220312 says:

      Indeed, Pat!

      Instead of virtue-signalling and name-calling in relation to the latest topicality before moving on to consume the next, we should be doing whatever we immediately can as individuals and communities to save the lives of ALL victims of power politics everywhere, protect them from further harm, and promote their recovery from those hardships that geopolitical forces beyond their control have visited upon them.

      And we need to simultaneously do whatever we can in the longer term as individuals and communities to reduce the risk of further eruptions of violence between rival national bureaucracies; e.g. by democratising the matrices of official and social relations within which power is exercised in our society.

      1. Pat Walsh says:

        Fine, everyone will do what they think is the best way to help, as a socialist I actively support those fighting oppression and exploitation. If you agree with that, I would recommend visiting the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign – link posted above.

        As for virtue signaling, I’m one thing of those old fashioned socialists, I’m not interested in signaling anything, I’m interested in doing something.
        And definitely not interested in debating with Assad fanboys either.

  4. SleepingDog says:

    The Web Foundation has published an appeal to fund independent journalism in Ukraine, saying:
    “Reliable, accurate information will be especially critical during this war and it’s vital that rigorous, independent journalists are supported to do their work.”
    https://webfoundation.org/2022/03/standing-with-ukraine-a-message-from-our-co-founders/

    1. 220312 says:

      I’ve been making a monthly donation to Голоси дітей (Children’s Voices) since 2015, when it was set up to provide psychosocial support to (Russian and Ukrainian) children affected by the armed conflict.

      Back then, the volunteers’ efforts were directed to the evacuation, treatment, and rehabilitation of traumatised children and families from both sides of the frontline in Eastern and Southern Ukraine and Crimea. Clearly, the escalation of the conflict in recent weeks has greatly increased the need for this kind of support; so, if you’ve got a few bob to spare, follow the link to https://voices.org.ua and hit the ‘Donate’ button.

  5. John Monro says:

    I don’t have any solidarity with Ukraine. It’s a badly managed kleptocratic state with serious ethnic and political tensions, an extreme right wing element in some sort of power, stooges of US imperialism and is partly the author if its own misfortune. But I am sorry for the people who live there, of course, victims of an appalling violence that’s seriously distressing even living thousands of miles away. The UK’s elected an equally kleptocratic incompetent government, stooges of US imperialism, but so far we haven’t been invaded being the only major difference. NATO, the Pentagon’s branch office in Europe, has led Ukraine and its citizens up the garden path to an anti-Russian sovereignty and a promised protective umbrella of NATO, idle and cynical promises that could never have been fulfilled. Like Georgia, its leadership has been encouraged to poke the big bear in the forest next door with a large stick in the eye. The reason for this stupidity is so that the big bear will react violently, so that the US and its rulers, the neocons, can institute even more punishing sanctions and starve the bear to death. Except the bear has quite bit of fat in reserve and is spoiling for a fight. But that’s ok, Ukraine, we’re standing shoulder to shoulder, resolute in the face of terror, right behind you, about a thousand miles behind you.

    I shall contribute to the Red Cross and even though I am a non-believer, I shall pray. It will manifestly be less damaging than Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, Ben Wallace, Keir Starmer or Nicola Sturgeon.

    . .

    1. “an extreme right wing element in some sort of power”

      that’s a statement you might need to embolden with some evidence

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