May 2, 2015 - No. 18

May Day 2015

 Worldwide Actions Affirm Rights and Reject Neo-Liberal Agenda of Austerity, Terror and War

Havana, Cuba, May 1, 2015

Harper Government's Extremism in Contempt of Canadian Values
Canadian Troops to Be Sent to Ukraine

- Louis Lang -
Shameless Warmongering Hyperbole by
Citizenship and Immigration Minister

Commemorate First Anniversary of Odessa Massacre in Ukraine

Brutal Atrocities of Kiev Regime Must Be Stopped!
Disinformation Obscures Ferocious Battles Among Ruling Oligarchs
- Dougal MacDonald -

Vietnam Marks 40th Anniversary of
Victory over U.S. Imperialists and National Reunification

Grand Spectacles Celebrate Historic Victory and
Ongoing Nation-Building

40 Years After End of Vietnam War, Let's Not Forget
Who Helped Stop It and the Vietnamese Who Still Suffer

- Merle Ratner and Azadeh Shahshahani -

Coming Events
Activities to Celebrate 70th Anniversary
of the Defeat of Fascism

May Day Around the World
Workers of All Countries Unite in Defence of
Their Rights and for Social Progress

May Day 2015

Worldwide Actions Affirm Rights and Reject
Neo-Liberal Agenda of Austerity, Terror and War


Millions of workers, women and youth around the world marked May Day, the Day of International Working Class Unity and Struggle, with vigorous actions to affirm their rights and oppose the neo-liberal agenda imposed on the peoples of the world by the financial oligarchy and governments in their service. In countries where these governments are in power, the people expressed their determination to resist attacks on their rights and well-being and the anti-social programs of austerity, state terror and restructuring of the state to subordinate the public interest to private interests.

In countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia where the mechanisms of people's empowerment exist or are being brought into being, May Day activities were joyful celebrations of that political empowerment and nation-building and the aspirations of the people to stand with the other countries of the world based on mutual respect, solidarity and peace.

In Canada, there was a broad affirmation of rights and rejection of the Conservative government's attacks on the working class and the most vulnerable members of the society and its all-sided nation-wrecking and destruction of the natural and social environment. Their determination to get rid of the Harper government in this year's federal election was prominent. Actions also expressed the rejection of the neo-liberal governments of the provinces and Quebec, which are also cutting social programs and attacking the workers who provide them in the name of the bogus austerity agenda.

In Quebec, the state launched a concerted and brutal offensive against demonstrators. In Montreal at 6 am, police used their batons to attack workers gathered at the entrance to the Montreal University Health Centre construction site. Later, when a 1,000-strong contingent marched from Ahuntsic College in north Montreal to join others in Phillips Square, the police fired tear gas at the crowd and violently pushed them back. The demonstration that these workers had planned to join, organized by the Anti-Capitalist Convergence and scheduled to start at 7 pm, was declared illegal by the police shortly after 7 pm. The P-6 municipal by-law was used to carry out this offensive, citing the masks that some people wore and the fact that the demonstration route had not been registered with police. The offensive continued with over 70 arrests for mischief and obstruct police and dozens of tickets for by-law offences being issued. Bystanders and demonstrators alike were subjected to state terror.


Workers around the world faced similar attacks, showing the state terror that is being unleashed against the workers' struggle to reject the anti-social neo-liberal offensive. In each country, workers raised their banners of common struggle against this offensive while addressing particular problems that have emerged for them, such as the crisis of police violence and brutality against black youth in the United States, and the plight of the thousands upon thousands of Africans forced to migrate to the European countries because of the anarchy and violence created by the imperialists' intervention in Africa.

TML Weekly will provide a special supplement with photo coverage and reports on May Day 2015 in Canada and around the world on Tuesday, May 5.










United States

New York City

Los Angeles

Latin America and the Caribbean

Mexico City

Havana, Cuba

Caracas, Venezuela

Quito, Ecuador

La Paz, Bolivia


London, England

Dublin, Ireland

Paris, France

Hamburg, Germany

Lisbon, Portugal

Athens, Greece



Moscow, Russia

Vladivostok, Russia

Gaza City, Palestine

Quetta; Lahore, Pakistan

Jakarta, Indonesia

Manila, Philippines

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Pyongyang, Korea


Brisbane, Australia


Lusaka, Zambia

Capetown, South Africa

(Photos: TML, Trabajadores, T. Tracy, Shushagah, Xinhua, Eibarra, MinCI, ABI, Unite, SIPTU, E. Hamann, CGT, PCP, I. Akin, Chara_fc, CFMEU, ANC)

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Harper Government's Extremism in Contempt of Canadian Values

Canadian Troops to Be Sent to Ukraine

Parliament Hill, October 5, 2014. (L. Mitsner)

On April 14, the Harper Conservatives announced their decision to send 200 Canadian troops to Ukraine as part of a so-called training operation along with 800 U.S. troops and 75 troops from Britain. The Harper government did not explain why no debate took place in Parliament concerning the deployment of Canadian troops. Prime Minister Harper stated, "Canada continues to stand with the people of Ukraine in the face of the Putin regime's ongoing aggression. The Canadian military mission being announced today will help Ukrainian forces personnel to better defend their country's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau supported the deployment of Canadian troops, while NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair criticized the decision because it was not authorized by Parliament or NATO. Elizabeth May of the Green Party of Canada demanded that the issue be debated in the House of Commons: "If Stephen Harper believes there is an argument to be made to send our troops to Ukraine, he should make it in Parliament. With the information Parliament currently has received, there seems to be no compelling reason to engage militarily in this region."

While Harper is justifying these actions by high sounding ideals like defending Ukraine's "sovereignty and territorial integrity," the real role of the Canadian government has been to assist U.S. imperialism along with the European Union in military intervention and installing and supporting the puppet regime in Ukraine, and it has been working hand in hand with the other foreign powers in the takeover of Ukrainian agriculture. In fact the Harper Conservatives have been active participants in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, before and after the coup against elected President Viktor Yanukovich, to open the rich Ukrainian agricultural sector for foreign private investment.[1]

The Harper Conservatives continue to justify the criminal activities of the Kiev government against the people of Ukraine. It is well-known that the Kiev regime turned on Ukrainians in the east with the ferocity of ethnic cleansing. Deploying neo-Nazi militias, they bombed and used artillery to destroy cities and towns. They used mass starvation as a weapon, cutting off electricity, freezing bank accounts, stopping social security and pensions. More than a million refugees fled across the border into Russia. None of this is reported in the western mainstream media and what is reported are distortions and unfounded accusations that describe the Ukrainians in the eastern part of the country, who are fighting for the right to autonomous regions where their rights are recognized, as "terrorists" or "pro-Russian separatists."

In an April 16 interview on, American historian Stephen F. Cohen spoke about the crimes of the Kiev government: "The horror of this has been Kiev's use of its artillery, mortars and even its airplanes, until recently, to bombard large residential cities, not only Donetsk and Luhansk, but other cities. These are cities of 500,000, I imagine, or 2 million to 3 million. This is against the law. These are war crimes, unless we assume the rebels were bombing their mothers and grandmothers and fathers and sisters. This was Kiev, backed by the United States. So the United States has been deeply complicit in the destruction of these eastern cities and peoples. When [Victoria] Nuland [Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs] tells Congress there are 5,000 to 6,000 dead, that's the U.N. number. That's just a count of bodies they found in the morgues. Lots of bodies are never found. German intelligence says 50,000."

The Harperites make a point of repeating the big lie each time they speak, about "Russian aggression," although not a shred of evidence exists to justify their wild accusations. Along with its most unprincipled demonization of Russian President Putin, the Canadian government is trying to justify assisting the rabid, warmongering regime installed by the U.S. in Kiev, which far from being a democratic institution, is a collection of infighting oligarchs, each with their own private armies and neo-Nazi militias.

The Kiev government, which the Harper Conservatives are intent on propping up, revealed their true fascist nature with legislation they passed recently that imposed a police state in Ukraine.

On April 9, the Ukrainian Rada passed four pieces of legislation submitted by the government, which ban all "Communist symbols and propaganda." After the law comes into effect, any monuments for Communist figures which have not already been destroyed by fascist thugs in the last few months must be demolished. Also any cities and streets named after communists are to be renamed. The preamble states: "The draft law is aimed at condemning Communist and National Socialist (Nazi) criminal totalitarian regimes at the legislative level, implementation of the ban on public denial of the criminal nature of totalitarian regimes, banning public use of symbols and propaganda, the introduction of the State's obligation to carry out an investigation and disclose the crimes committed by members of these totalitarian regimes to prevent the recurrence of such crimes in the future, eliminate threats to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security of Ukraine, as well as for historical justice."

The anti-propaganda legislation says it concerns Communist symbols from 1917 to 1991 and the list of banned items includes the Soviet flag and anthem as well as monuments and historical plaques commemorating Communist leaders. Penalties for violating the law range from five to 10 years in prison.

Among the monuments already demolished by fascist thugs is one dedicated to the legendary Soviet intelligence officer Nikolai Kuznetsov in the village of Povcha in the Rivne region of Ukraine. Kuznetsov, subsequently recognized as the top Soviet scout during the Great Patriotic War, personally eliminated 11 generals and high-ranking officials of the occupation administration of Nazi Germany. It was Kuznetsov who managed to obtain information about the preparation of the German offensive at Kursk. According to TASS, he died on March 9, 1944, during a shootout with soldiers of the Organization of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the paramilitary faction of the Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) -- the same notorious Nazi-collaborating organization whose members have been proclaimed national heroes of Ukraine by this new law.

In Velikiy Lyuben (Lviv region), the followers of UPA also demolished a monument to the 5-year-old Roma Taravsky, a Polish boy who was killed by the Bandera gang.

The condemnation of "Nazi totalitarian regimes" is cover for the true anti-communist intent of the legislation. Another law passed by the Rada is called, "On Legal Status and to commemorate fighters for Ukraine's independence in the twentieth century." This law lists dozens of organizations which are recognized as Ukrainian freedom fighters, including those which collaborated with the Nazis and carried out massacres of Jews, Poles and others, like the OUN and the UPA. Their symbols are widely used by far-right organizations and paramilitary fascist organizations which are now part of the state apparatus. In fact, just a few days ago, the leader of the Right Sector Dmytro Yarosh, who sees himself as the inheritor of the tradition of Nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera and his OUN-UPA organizations, was appointed as Advisor to the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces.

Under this new law, the symbols of these Nazi-collaborationist and genocidal organizations are protected: "Public denial of the legitimacy of the struggle for the independence of Ukraine in the twentieth century, [a] recognized insult to the memory of fighters for independence of Ukraine in the 20th century, constitutes disparagement of the Ukrainian people and is illegal."

Another organization specifically mentioned by the law is the Hetmanate, a short-lived anti-socialist German-backed dictatorship which existed in 1918. With this the re-writing of history by present day "Ukrainian patriots" reaches the absurd. The Hetmanate only existed because of German and Austro-Hungarian support. The commanding staff of its armed forces were all officers of the Russian Imperial Army defeated by the Bolsheviks and the Hetmanate was opposed by the vast majority of Ukrainians and overthrown by the people within ten months. That such an organization can be considered part of "the struggle for the independence of Ukraine" clearly demonstrates that in fact what is being legitimized and protected is anti-communism and anti-socialism.

The new Ukrainian laws also downgrade the May 9 Victory Day celebration by creating an additional Remembrance and Reconciliation Day in Ukraine on May 8 "to commemorate all the victims of World War II." Presumably that means the celebration of those who died fighting on the Nazis' side. The term Great Patriotic War will no longer be officially used. Victory Day will remain a holiday but the remembrance ceremonies cannot include any Soviet symbols under the new law. Since it was the Soviet Union which played a decisive role in the defeat of Nazism, by banning all Soviet symbols these laws render the victory over Nazism meaningless.

These new laws have been roundly condemned by people all over the world.

In an April 12 statement, the Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced the laws passed by the Ukrainian Parliament to equate Nazism and Communism and to recognize local Nazi collaborators as "Freedom Fighters":

"In a statement issued here today by its Director for Eastern European Affairs, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, of the Center termed the decisions an outrageous distortion of the history of World War II and the Holocaust."

According to Zuroff:

"The passage of a ban on Nazism and Communism equates the most genocidal regime in human history with the regime which liberated Auschwitz and helped end the reign of terror of the Third Reich. In the same spirit the decision to honour local Nazi collaborators and grant them special benefits turns Hitler's henchmen into heroes despite their active and zealous participation in the mass murder of innocent Jews. These attempts to rewrite history, which are prevalent throughout post-Communist Eastern Europe, can never erase the crimes committed by Nazi collaborators in these countries, and only proves that they clearly lack the Western values which they claim to have embraced upon their transition to democracy."

Meanwhile the extremism of the Harper government is such that it can entertain the likes of Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Andriy Parubiy, who was greeted like a hero by the Harper Conservatives on Ferbruary 23 in Ottawa. Parubiy co-founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991, a neo-Nazi party which glorifies the wartime activity of anti-Semitic collaborators in the Second World War, including the OUN and UPA.

The Harper government's decision to send Canadian troops to Ukraine constitutes interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state but, more importantly, he is implicating the Canadian military in the war crimes being committed against the people in Donetsk and Luhansk by the Kiev government. Furthermore, in joining with the U.S. and Britain, who have also deployed troops to Ukraine, the Harper government is violating the Minsk peace agreement of February 15 which bars foreign troops from Ukrainian soil.

In this collusion with the neo-Nazi government in Kiev, the Harper Conservatives stand condemned for being in contempt of the vast majority of Canadians who fought and made great sacrifices to defeat the scourge of Nazism during the Second World War.


1. See "Canada's Financial Assistance to Ukraine: Plunder in the Name of Economic Stabilization, Democracy and Human Rights," Louis Lang, TML Weekly, February 14, 2015 - No. 7.

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Shameless Warmongering Hyperbole from
Citizenship and Immigration Minister

Toronto, June 23, 2014. (L. Mitsner)

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress, an organization which has lent open support to the U.S.-backed pro-Nazi Ukrainian regime of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, held a fundraising dinner in Toronto in February where Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander delivered a speech that has been criticized from many quarters for its almost surreal warmongering absurdities and hyperbole. The sections of his speech that have particularly come under fire are as follows:

"What is going on in eastern Ukraine... really has to do with the incomplete process of ending the existence of the Soviet Union for good. Ending the oppression and ending the Faustian bargain that was made during the Second World War with Stalin's Soviet Union, for good...

"We have been expecting this. We have been expecting a crisis in Ukraine because there have always been Russians, since 1991 -- everywhere -- and now around Vladimir Putin, who wanted to put Humpty Dumpty back together, who couldn't accept that Ukraine could be an independent country. They are a menace to Russia, they are a menace to Ukraine, they are a menace to the whole world. We must speak out against this dangerous ideology, which is present in our own city of Toronto. Which is present across Canada. Which comes to us via Russian, state-sponsored channels which are preaching absolute poison...

"All of our democracies, all of our democracies, depend on the outcome of this struggle. This is going to be a great struggle. We are just at the beginning of this struggle. When I see groups like this assembled... I know that the future of Ukraine is still bright. I know that the times that bring Canada to Ukraine have never been stronger."

Alexander also stated: "This is the biggest issue facing the world today. In my view. I think in the view of our prime minister, and our team. Yes, there is terrorism. Vladimir Putin is behaving like a terrorist. ... But the buck stops in Ukraine. There is absolutely no scenario going into the future that leads to secure peace and security for this world, that leads to prosperity in Europe, globally, that does not include a full international effort to give Ukraine the tools it needs to drive Russian forces from their borders and to secure its borders for good."

A March 13 item entitled "Canada's immigration minister delivers pro-war speech to right-wing Ukrainian audience in Toronto" presents the editorial opinion of the online bulletin The New Cold War: Ukraine and Beyond which aims to provide accurate factual information about the Ukraine conflict and its rapidly-widening consequences. It writes:

"The minister delivered a pro-war rant that could easily serve as dialogue in a film sequel to the 1964 doomsday-nuclear war film, 'Dr. Strangelove.' Alexander told the audience that 'every' military option must be exercised in the process of giving a 'comeuppance' to Russian president Vladimir Putin...

"The aggressive tone of the minister was no doubt occasioned by the presence of the principal guest speaker at the dinner -- Andriy Parubiy. He is a deputy chairperson of the Ukrainian parliament. He was a founder of an important organization of the extreme right in Ukraine back in 1991, the Social-National Party of Ukraine. The party became a fount of future extreme-right formations, including today's Svoboda Party.

"Parubiy was also a 'commander' of the far-right shock troops which seized the leadership of the protest movement called 'Euromaidan' in Kyiv in late 2013 and early 2014. The violent actions of the extreme-right on Maidan Square in Kyiv sparked the overthrow of the elected president Viktor Yanukovych and the commencement of the civil war by the new government against the people of eastern Ukraine.

"The dinner was attended by several hundred people. Parubiy travelled to Ottawa the next day where he was feted by the Conservative Party government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The shock troop commander received a warm welcome from Canada's minister of foreign affairs, Rob Nicholson, and from many members of Parliament."

A March 16 article by David Climenhaga entitled "Citizenship Minister Chris Alexander delivers a troubling speech on Ukraine" was published on Climenhaga states:

"One of the principal talking points of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his supporters in the federal election campaign that is now for all intents and purposes under way is that the Conservatives are statesmanlike and mature, while Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is a crazy kid who could do or say anything and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is an angry old man.

"But when the media's not around, nobody can match our Conservatives for recklessly immature and angry rhetoric.

"Indeed, listening to a recent speech to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress by Chris Alexander ... one gets the feeling that the grownups are no longer in charge in Ottawa, and that the people who are running things are in the middle of a tantrum with potentially catastrophic consequences."

Climenhaga also references Alexander's attempt to disassociate the pro-Nazi leanings of the Kiev regime: "Alexander then moved into a long discourse hotly denying the argument modern Ukraine has a problem with neo-Nazis. While the influence of far-right groups and militias has been credibly covered by such generally conservative news organizations as the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and even the normally politically reliable New York Times, Alexander blamed 'Russian language television' for what he called 'one of the greatest perversions of history that I have seen in my lifetime,' the suggestion far-right groups are influencing the Ukrainian government."

A March 26 article entitled "Mr. Alexander's fantasy Cold War" in iPolitics by Christopher Westdal, Canadian ambassador to Russia from 2003-06 and to Ukraine from 1996-98, described Alexander's speech as "a scathing attack on Vladimir Putin with a rousing call to arms." He says that Alexander "drove his rhetoric right off a cliff." Westdal writes, "The 'whole mad nightmare' of Vladimir Putin, who is 'behaving like a terrorist,' will only end, [Alexander] predicted, 'when the whole world is standing against him, with every option on the table (and) standing with Ukraine with military assistance.' His call for war was unambiguous: 'Let's join that fight.'

"God help us. The minister evidently imagines that before Putin is done, the whole world will have to confront Russia with every option -- including nuclear weapons. This makes no sense."

Westdal concludes: "Since nothing in Mr. Alexander's speech has been retracted since he gave it, we must assume that he was speaking for the government. It troubles me greatly to think that these views represent the quality of public discourse and foreign policy analysis Canada is bringing to bear in a deadly serious global security crisis. It troubles me even more to think that Ukrainian Canadians might believe that such facile thought and reckless rhetoric will help the land of their ancestors. Mr. Alexander claimed to speak 'for those of us who have served in Russia.' He did not speak for me."

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Commemorate First Anniversary of Odessa Massacre in Ukraine

Brutal Atrocities of Kiev Regime Must Be Stopped!


On May 2, 2015 actions are being organized in several Canadian cities to commemorate the one year anniversary of the brutal massacre in Odessa. On May 2, 2014 thugs led by the fascist Right Sector organization set fire to Odessa's Trade Unions House killing at least 48 Ukrainian activists who had retreated to the building to escape escalating street violence. They had been peacefully protesting in Odessa against the fascist measures of the Kiev government and collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine when they were violently attacked by gangs organized by the Right Sector. The actual number is undetermined, but generally estimated at over a hundred; the number most often cited is 116.

Witnesses say that members of the Ukrainian security forces withdrew from the scene allowing the neo-Nazis to block the exits and firebomb the building forcing many to jump from open windows to the pavement below where they died on impact. The few who survived the fall were savagely beaten with clubs and chains by the nearly 300 extremist thugs who had gathered on the street.

Since that time the Kiev government has done everything in its power to cover up and distort the truth about this horrendous crime. The results of forensic examination of the causes of deaths are classified and were not disclosed until recently. None of the perpetrators of the massacre have been arrested; the state prosecutor's office deliberately ignores numerous videos proving their guilt. Instead, people who tried to defend the Trade Unions House have been arrested and put on trial. Though the investigation found no evidence of their guilt, the court refuses to set them free.

Attack on Odessa Trade Unions House by fascist thugs, May 2, 2014. Firefighters only appeared once the front doors had burned through.

Hundreds of videos and the testimony of eyewitnesses and survivors of the criminal attack point conclusively to a premeditated and organized act coordinated with the Odessa police forces. In summary, the Kiev regime bused in Right Sector thugs, dressed in civilian clothes, who pretended to be separatists and shot at crowds of people who were supporting a soccer team from the western part of Ukraine as they were leaving a soccer match. It was reported that some members of the local police refused to participate in the conspiracy but video evidence clearly shows that many local police were involved in bringing these enraged western Ukrainian, pro-Kiev, soccer fans to the encampment in front of the Trade Unions Building where demonstrators had been distributing literature against the Kiev regime, to join in setting it ablaze. Some of the videos indicate that part of the preparation in advance of the arrival of these enraged western soccer fans was the burning of the tents in front of the Trade Unions House. Regime agents, pretending to support the protesters inside those tents, warned them that attackers were coming and that they had better go into the Trade Unions House for their own safety. Then, the attackers came and set fire to the tents and threw firebombs into the building. Even before many people were incinerated, the regime's gunmen entered the building's basement where some protesters were hiding, and shot as many as they could. Most of the corpses were dragged out and taken away in vans, but the victims on the upper floors were counted by the police, who announced that some forty people had been killed.

Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed the massacre as "another bright day in our national history." In the American and British media, this was reported as a "murky tragedy" resulting from "clashes" between "nationalists" (neo-Nazis) and "separatists." The New York Times buried the story, having dismissed as Russian propaganda warnings about the fascist and anti-Semitic policies of Washington's new clients. The Wall Street Journal blamed the victims -- "Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says."

In statements following the Odessa massacre U.S. President Obama also fanned the flames of disinformation. Despite video documentation of the atrocities committed against unarmed people in the Trade Unions House, Obama distorted the facts to defend Washington's puppet regime in Kiev, reporting "as Ukrainian forces move to restore order in eastern Ukraine, it is obvious to the world that these Russian-backed groups are not peaceful protesters. They are heavily armed militants who are receiving significant support from Russia. The Ukrainian government has the right and responsibility to uphold law and order within its territory, and Russia needs to use its influence over these paramilitary groups so they disarm and stop provoking violence."

The Obama administration continues to provide cover for the crimes of the Kiev government, which is accelerating its persecution and killing of political opponents at an alarming rate. Recent reports indicate that journalists, politicians and academics who oppose the Kiev regime are being systematically killed by death squads.

A recent article by Justin Raimondo entitled "The Murderers of Kiev," which was posted on the website on April 17, 2015, provides information on the recent deaths in Ukraine[1]:

January 26 -- Nikolai Sergienko, former deputy chief of Ukrainian Railways and a supporter of Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions, reportedly shot himself with a hunting rifle. The windows were all locked from inside, and no note was found.

January 29 -- Aleksey Kolesnik, the former chairman of the Kharkov regional government and a prominent supporter of the now-banned Party of Regions, is reported to have hanged himself.

February 24 -- Stanislav Melnik, another former Party of Regions member of parliament, was found dead in his bathroom: he is said to have shot himself with a hunting rifle. It is reported that he left a suicide note of "apologies," but what he was apologizing for has not been revealed as the note has not been released.

February 25 -- Sergey Valter, former Party of Regions activist and Mayor of Melitopol, was found hanged hours before his trial on charges of "abuse of office" was set to begin.

February 26 -- Aleksandr Bordyuga, Valter's lawyer and former deputy chief of Melitopol police, was found dead in his garage, another "suicide."

February 26 -- Oleksandr Peklushenko, a former Party of Regions member of parliament and chairman of the Zaporozhye Regional State Administration, was found dead in the street with a gun wound in his neck and officially declared a "suicide."

February 28 -- Mikhail Chechetov, a professor of economics and engineering, former member of parliament from the Party of Regions and former head of the privatization board, is reported to have jumped from the window of his 17th-floor Kiev apartment. Another "suicide"!

March 14 -- Sergey Melnichuk, a prosecutor and Party of Regions loyalist, "fell" from the ninth floor window of an apartment building in Odessa.

April 15 -- Oleg Kalashnikov, another prominent Party of Regions leader, died of a gunshot wound.

April 16 -- Oles Buzina, historian and journalist, shot dead.

April 16 -- Serhiy Sukhobok, journalist, shot dead.

April 17 -- Olga Moroz, editor-in-chief of the Neteshinskiy Vestnik, was found dead in her home. Her body showed "signs of violent death."

These deaths are connected to a website called "Peacemaker," which is financed by Ukrainian member of parliament and government advisor Anton Gerashchenko. The "Peacemaker" website describes its purpose as follows:

"Research centre features crimes against Ukraine's national security, peace, security and humanity and international law. Information for law enforcement authorities and special services about pro-Russian terrorists, separatists, mercenaries, war criminals, and murderers."

The site claims a list of some 7,700 names of "saboteurs" and "terrorists." People are invited to post personal information, including addresses and phone numbers, of people deemed hostile to the Kiev regime. Information about Buzina and Kalashnikov was posted on the site less than 48 hours before they died.

Toronto, May 2, 2015

Meanwhile, responsibility for some of the deaths was claimed by a group calling itself the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which the BBC quotes as having written: "We are unleashing a ruthless insurgency against the anti-Ukrainian regime of traitors and Moscow's lackeys. From now on, we will only speak to them using the language of weapons, all the way to their elimination." No one has been arrested to date for any of the deaths.

To commemorate the killing of Ukrainian activists in Odessa on May 2, 2014, people worldwide who stand against fascist violence and the suppression of democratic rights, must raise their voices to denounce the atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people by the Kiev regime. All freedom-loving people hold U.S. imperialism and its allies responsible for the wave of violence perpetrated across Ukraine by the Kiev regime which is despised by the people and would not last one day without the backing of the U.S., NATO and their henchmen including the Harper Conservatives.

All the warmongers who want to drown Eastern Europe in another destructive war with their self-serving agenda to dominate Russia, deserve the condemnation of the whole world. All foreign troops must be immediately withdrawn from Ukraine to allow the Ukrainian people to chart their own destiny without any foreign interference of any kind.

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Disinformation Obscures Ferocious Battles
Among Ruling Oligarchs

On March 24, it was announced that an open dispute has broken out between current Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, the billionaire "chocolate king" who came to power in the June 2014 coup, and billionaire Igor Kolomoisky, Governor of Dnipropetrovsk district and owner of Privatbank and major interests in metals, oil and media. Dnipropetrovsk is Ukraine's most important industrial region. The specific subject of the dispute is Kolomoisky's control over two state-owned energy companies, UkrTransNafta and Ukrnafta.

The dispute was stopped, at least temporarily, only by the direct intervention of the U.S. Embassy, using the leverage that Kolomoisky might endanger his own investments in the west if he continued his attacks on Poroshenko. This meddling of the U.S. in Ukraine's internal affairs and the country's increasing dependence on the U.S. is clearly not in the best interests of the people. Meanwhile, the dispute between Poroshenko and Kolomoisky reveals once again how real power in Ukraine is held by about a dozen businessmen or billionaire "oligarchs." The oligarchs, who have a combined wealth amounting to a fifth of the country's gross domestic product, constantly battle each other for increased profit and political power, using the Ukrainian people as their cannon fodder.

Kolomoisky is rated the third richest person in Ukraine. He has a triple Ukrainian-Israeli-Cyprus citizenship and runs his business empire from Switzerland. Kolomoisky controls a number of profitable Ukraine-based companies, including Privatbank and Burisma Holdings, Ukraine's largest private gas firm. While U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was engaged in diplomatic talks with Ukraine in May 2014, Burisma announced that Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, had joined the Burisma board. Kolomoisky uses Privatbank's security forces to enforce hostile takeovers of companies along with phoney court orders and strong-arm tactics to replace directors on boards of companies he purchases stakes in. Kolomoisky has used some of his billions to create and fund his own private armies now waging war against the Russian people, including the Dnipro Battalion which has been blocking humanitarian aid, the openly pro-Nazi Azov battalion, and the Aidar battalion which has been accused of war crimes.

The Ukrainian oligarchs became rich by grabbing and privatizing former government assets after the so-called "fall of communism" in 1991. President Poroshenko was a close ally of Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine's president from 2005-2010, and served in the Yushchenko government. Yushchenko is also godfather to Poroshenko's daughters. Poroshenko was the wealthiest businessman among Yushchenko supporters, and was one of the main financial backers of the Our Ukraine political party and the made-in-USA Orange Revolution that brought Yushchenko to power. However, Yushchenko failed to secure a run-off spot during the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election, gaining only 5.5 per cent of the vote. He was also unsuccessful in 2012.

In the 2010 election, most of the oligarchs supported Victor Yanukovych who became the new president. Rinat Akhmetov, the country's wealthiest man due to his grab of state assets in the steel, coal and power sectors, helped finance Yanukovych's 2010 campaign. Ukraine's second-richest man, steel pipe billionaire Viktor Pinchuk also supported Yanukovych. The situation changed at the end of November 2013, when Yanukovych rejected a pending trade agreement with the EU, calling for closer ties with Russia. The EU treaty would have allowed European monopolies to grab Ukraine's crucial energy markets. Instead of signing with the EU, Yanukovych went to Moscow on December 17 and signed several agreements with Russian President Vladimir Putin that would reduce by a third the cost of Russian gas sold to Ukraine. Russia also agreed to lend $15 billion to Ukraine on easy terms.

Certain oligarchs behind Yanukovych had interests in tightening Ukraine's connections with Russia. Titanium king Dmytry Firtash has close ties with Russia. Exports of Ukrainian titanium dioxide to Russia in January-June 2013 totaled about 13,000 tonnes, 19.5 per cent of the total shipments to foreign markets. Another rising monopoly group with connections to Russia was closely connected to President Yanukovych's son, Oleksandr, including 27-year old "gas king" Sergey Kurchenko, who also owns a large media group. However, other oligarchs such as Akhmetov and Pinchuk saw any turning away from deals with the EU as a potentially huge financial loss to themselves and their empires and not to be permitted at any cost.

The agreements with Russia led to the parliamentary coup that removed Yanukovych on February 22, 2014 and, eventually, the appointment of EU-friendly Petro Poroshenko in June. Between November 2013 and February 2014, Poroshenko had actively and financially supported the U.S.-backed Euromaidan protests against Yanukovych's government to advance his own economic and political interests. In March 2015, Poroshenko sealed a deal with the International Monetary Fund, which is controlled by the world financial oligarchy, giving Ukraine a $17.5 billion, four-year loan and firmly tying the country to U.S. and European interests for years to come.

The Ukrainian oligarchs like Poroshenko and Kolomoisky and their backers in Europe, Russia, the U.S., and Canada are playing out their economic battles by trying to mobilize popular support, not in the interests of the Ukrainian people, but for their own private interests. The private takeover of the state by the oligarchs is the root cause of the shooting wars, killings of innocent civilians, destabilization, street demonstrations, foreign intrigue, and passing of state laws favouring one bloc or the other. Foreign politicians such as the Harperites and their sycophants in the monopoly media are blatantly interfering in Ukraine's affairs by spreading disinformation using misleading pro-democracy slogans to promote the interests of certain of the Ukraine monopolies. The Harperites openly support Poroshenko and the pro-EU forces, even though their pro-Nazi connections are very well-known.

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Vietnam Marks 40th Anniversary of
Victory over U.S. Imperialists and National Reunification

Grand Spectacles Celebrate Historic Victory and Ongoing Nation-Building

On April 30 in Ho Chi Minh City, a spectacular ceremony with a parade involving nearly 6,000 soldiers, militia, and civilians marked the 40th anniversary of the liberation of southern Vietnam and national reunification.

The celebration of the victory over the U.S. aggressors was attended by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, President Truong Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung, former national leaders, and leaders of Ho Chi Minh City and many of the provinces.

Also in attendance were delegates from Cambodia, Cuba and Laos, veterans who fought to liberate the city 40 years ago, and Vietnamese from abroad.

Personnel from 38 military and civilian units, including the Army, Air Force, Navy, commandos, police, mobile police, and others marched from the zoo, past the dais on Le Duan Street, then split to enter Ton Duc Thang Street and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street following a flag-hoisting ceremony, and music and dance performances.

The parade, watched by local residents and national and international leaders and covered by hundreds of local and international journalists, was conducted by Lieutenant General Nguyen Quoc Khanh, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Viet Nam People's Army.

Left to right: General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong, former Chairman of the National Assembly and former CPV General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attend the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the liberation of South Vietnam and the National Reunification in Ho Chi Minh City.

In his opening speech, Prime Minister Nguyen said: "The great victory in spring 1975 is a glorious chapter in our great history of national construction and defence.

"With that victory, we accomplished a historic mission of liberating the South and reunifying the country, bringing Vietnam into a new era -- an era of independence and reunification and building socialist Vietnam into a strong nation with wealthy people and a democratic, just and civilized society."

The Prime Minister, on behalf of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the State, people and Army, paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh, hero of the nation's liberation, as well as to heroic martyrs and other comrades and compatriots who sacrificed and dedicated their whole lives to the struggle for independence, freedom and reunification.

In 30 years of reforms Vietnam had achieved things of historical significance, he said. From being an underdeveloped nation, the country has become a middle-income, developing country with an annual average growth rate of seven per cent, and its economic structure has been positively transformed, he said. The economy has grown consistently and GDP per capita is currently U.S.$2,200, he noted.

The Prime Minister added that economic and social infrastructure has undergone strong development with many modern projects, creating a new image for the country, while social development, justice, cultural development and the building of new rural communities have also seen progress.

Social security is essentially ensured, social welfare and people's living standards have greatly improved and poverty has fallen sharply to less than six per cent, the Prime Minister said, adding that Vietnam has fulfilled most of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule.

Addressing the ceremony on behalf of younger generations, Nguyen Dao Phuong Thuy, a fourth-year student at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law and a member of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, said she was proud of the previous generations who made sacrifices for the country's reunion and pledged to unite with others to safeguard the achievements.

Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Thai, who fought in two triumphant battles -- the Dien Bien Phu Campaign in 1954 and the Ho Chi Minh Campaign in 1975 -- said that in the last four decades Vietnam has changed significantly and achieved major development in all fields -- social, economic and cultural -- both rural and urban.

With global integration, the spiritual and material living conditions of the people have improved significantly, he said, adding that today the country has a strong voice in the international arena, and ties between Vietnam and other countries are growing rapidly.

In the evening, a music performance featured more than 4,400 artists. This was followed by a 15-minute fireworks display set off at the Bitexco Financial Tower in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 and seven other locations around the city.

The grand celebrations in Vietnam and words and experiences of the people and those visiting from overseas affirm that from being a war-torn, isolated and sanctioned country, Vietnam is now fully connected to the world in all spheres of human endeavour. It has established diplomatic and trade relations with most of the world. Forty years after its reunification, Vietnam has entered a new phase of its nation-building, with the focus on improving its institutions and expanding democracy.

Tim Page, an American war correspondent during the Vietnam War, back for the 40th anniversary, said he was happy to come to the country and see the peace and prosperity there. He told Viet Nam News: "When I first came back to Vietnam 35 years ago, everybody was hungry. There were only two restaurants in Hanoi. Today, they are even making BMWs in Hanoi. It's good to see the progress. It's good to see your people happy and peaceful."

Michael Ebert, a German photojournalist who was impressed by the ceremony, said it was a very special event for Vietnam, colourful and powerful and with many great moments. "I am also teaching the history of photojournalism. I think the Vietnam War was a very important part of the history of photojournalism."

Soo Youn, a U.S. journalist, told Viet Nam News: "I have only been in Vietnam for one or two days. It's good to see things going forward here. Why should the U.S. [have been] involved in the Vietnam War?"

Eighty-year-old veteran Nguyen Tran told Xinhua, "We feel so happy each time the country commemorates Liberation Day and National Reunification on April 30. It is not because we are victors, but because it marks a time when there is no more war in our country and peace has returned to our people."

Nguyen said he joined the resistance war against the French colonialists and he witnessed its ending with the triumphant Dien Bien Phu Victory in May 1954. He also participated in the anti-U.S. resistance war and knew very well the aftermath of this horrible war and the value of peace. "When the Vietnam War ended in 1975, only five out of my 10 classmates survived and returned home. It was really a huge loss," said the veteran, adding that young Vietnamese were the main force to participate in the war, and each of their deaths was a great loss to the country.

Ngo Van Tien, a native of southern Tay Ninh province and young soldier -- a private first class who took part in the parade and marches -- said that he was very happy to attend the celebration: "Being a soldier I am so proud to witness this significant event with my own eyes, and I feel more responsible for any task assigned to me."

Twenty-three-year-old Le Thanh Thuy, who just graduated from a college in Ho Chi Minh City, told Xinhua that she felt lucky to be born in the post-war period, but she is well aware of the sacrifice that the older generations of her compatriots made for today's national reunification. "The annual celebration on April 30 reminds us, the young generation of the country, of the nation's historical milestones and the forefathers' sacrifice for our current life in peace. We should strive to continue their tradition in defending and building the country," Le said.

(VNS, Xinhua)

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40 Years After End of Vietnam War,
Let's Not Forget Who Helped Stop It and
the Vietnamese Who Still Suffer

The war continues in those still suffering from its legacy of
unexploded ordnance and Agent Orange.

Forty years ago, on April 30, 1975, the U.S. war against Vietnam finally ended with a victory for the national liberation forces. After decades of struggle against French and U.S. intervention, Vietnam was finally independent and at peace.

Millions of Americans took part in anti-war activities during the 1960s and early '70s. Together with the civil rights movements, this activism changed the body politic in this country. It made it harder for U.S. administrations to wage full-on land wars until the Persian Gulf wars. Today as the U.S. wages simultaneous land and drone wars in several countries, the lessons of the Vietnam War are under attack as never before.

The U.S. Department of Defense has a website commemorating the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War. Dedicated to whitewashing history, the website's goals are, "to highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War." One wonders whether these advances include the development and use of napalm, Agent Orange and other weapons that killed millions of Vietnamese people along with U.S. veterans. Veterans For Peace, and its many members who fought in Vietnam, is fighting against this revisionist history through a campaign called Vietnam Full Disclosure.

The U.S. government clearly has an interest in obliterating the lessons of the war as it slogs on with brutal interventions in the Middle East and attempts at intervention in Latin America. American drones, white phosphorus, depleted uranium, and other weapons of destruction are built upon the "advances" in technology lauded by the DoD's 50th anniversary website.

The DoD and others are working hard to obscure the history of the Vietnam War because they seek to blunt criticism of unpopular U.S. interventions and to give the Pentagon a freer hand in conducting future wars. They seek to spend more of our tax dollars on military hardware and weaponry for use in their wars. What are some of the myths that the right is trying to spread about the Vietnam War?

A major general in the U.S. Air Force who served in Vietnam told an anti-war veteran recently that the U.S. could have won if it had committed enough resources to achieving victory. During the war, General Curtis LeMay suggested that the U.S. could bomb Vietnam "back into the stone ages." While the U.S. did not use the atomic bomb due to international pressure, it did everything short of this, deploying more air and ground munitions than were used in all of World War II.

"April 30, 1975: Complete Victory
for Vietnam"

Despite overwhelming U.S. military superiority, the Vietnamese liberation forces won because they had the support of the people. Use of more U.S. firepower and troops might have prolonged the war and the killing, but it would not have changed the outcome. A people who are organized and dedicated to winning their independence cannot be truly defeated -- a lesson the U.S. government has yet to learn in conducting its international affairs.

Another shibboleth of the right is that the U.S. conducted an "honorable" war in Vietnam with only sporadic human rights violations such as the massacre at My Lai. The Winter Soldier Investigation, conducted by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in 1971, painfully documented the massive scale of the massacres, torture of civilians and other war crimes perpetrated against the Vietnamese people.

Testifying before Congress on April 22, 1971, a young John Kerry, then representing VVAW, spoke of, "war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command." He went on to describe the testimony of his fellow veterans, who, "personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."

Nick Turse's well-documented book describing U.S. atrocities in Vietnam, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam is a more recent recounting of the war crimes Kerry testified about. The book has unsurprisingly been attacked by conservative pundits.

Connected to the whitewashing of U.S. war crimes is a denial of how U.S. racism fueled the war in Vietnam. General William Westmoreland, the four-star general who was in command of all U.S. military operations from 1964 to 1968, famously said, "The Oriental doesn't put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful. Life is cheap in the Orient."

Vietnamese people were referred to by the racist expletive "gooks" and outright murder of civilians was justified by the "mere gook rule" which held that the death of any Vietnamese person, including women and children, was justified. Today, bigotry directed at Arabs and Muslims in countries the U.S. has attacked and occupied and at home eerily echoes such racism as does the police murders of black men in cities across the U.S.

Perhaps the most tired of all the myths the right is trying to perpetuate is that anti-war activists' actions dishonor U.S. soldiers. This goes hand in hand with the myth that U.S. soldiers returning from Vietnam were routinely spat upon by anti-war activists. Soldiers involved in illegal and immoral wars benefit greatly from anti-war movements (which they often lead upon their return). Ending U.S. wars of intervention saves human lives abroad as well as the lives of our soldiers.

The soldiers who come back from U.S. wars are not dishonored by anti-war movements, but by the callous disregard for their welfare shown by the U.S. government which refuses to provide adequate treatment, rehabilitation and jobs. The impact of the violence of unjust wars echoes long after the wars are over and beyond the ranks of the soldiers and their families. Seymour Hersh, the reporter who documented the My Lai massacre, told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now that when he spoke to a mother whose son had been involved in the massacre, she told him, "I gave them a good boy, and they sent me back a murderer."

The final lesson that is being undermined by the revisionists is their contention that the war is long over and is ancient history. In fact, wars are not over until those harmed by them receive justice and compensation. The Vietnam War killed four million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans. But the war continues in those still suffering from its legacy of unexploded ordnance and Agent Orange, a dioxin-laden chemical weapon.

Agent Orange protest, April 19, 2010.

Agent Orange causes cancers and other diseases as well as horrific birth defects in the children and grandchildren of those exposed. The U.S. government has done precious little to provide redress to the Vietnamese victims or to Vietnamese-Americans who were exposed. While U.S. veterans fought for and won some compensation from the Veterans Administration, the children of U.S. veterans who suffer with disabilities due to birth defects related to exposure to Agent Orange receive no aid at all. To address this, Representative Barbara Lee is introducing the Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2015 to provide medical, rehabilitative and human services to several generations of Vietnamese and Americans suffering with diseases and disabilities. The Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign is working to build public support for U.S. aid to the victims to heal the wounds of war.

Progressives also espouse myths about the war. One that some among us perpetuate is the portrayal of the anti-war movement as a mainly white student movement and ignorance of the leading role of black and other movements of color. While students did play an important role, the role of returning anti-war veterans, the Vietnamese-American anti-war movement, and movements of color was crucial.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech in 1967, Beyond Vietnam, helped turned the tide of public opinion in the U.S. against the war. Even before Dr. King, the Southern Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) came out against the war in 1965 as did Malcolm X. Muhammed Ali lost his heavyweight title and was convicted for refusing to fight in Vietnam. While there was media coverage of the National Guard shooting of unarmed white anti-war protesters at Kent State, scant attention was paid to the killings of black anti-war students at Jackson State. Vietnamese-Americans, particularly the Union of Vietnamese in the U.S., played a crucial role in analyzing the events in Vietnam even as they were often sidelined in some rallies for fear they would be identified with the "enemy." The national veteran's anti-war movement, led by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, brought formidable credibility and a working-class base to the anti-war movement. Seeing and giving voice to those who truly made up the anti-war movement is crucial if we are to build a strong and successful diverse anti-war movement today.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once called the United States, "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world." He noted that "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of peace and independence in Vietnam, it is important that we bring the unadulterated and true lessons of the war forward as we build the movement to end wars of aggression and to invest our resources in projects of social uplift.

Merle Ratner is the co-coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign, a project of Veterans For Peace.

Azadeh Shahshahani is a human rights attorney based in Atlanta and President of the National Lawyers Guild.

(AlterNet, April 29, 2015)

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Coming Events

Activities to Celebrate 70th Anniversary
of the Defeat of Fascism

Saturday, May 9 -- 11:00am

Downtown Montreal, details TBA

Angrignon Park (Angringon metro)
Details TBA

Saturday, May 9 -- 5:00-11:00pm

Villa Lucia, 3430 Carling Ave.

Space limited, tickets $70.00 at 1311 Pinecrest Rd.
For information: (613) 866-0705, (613) 700-7829, (613) 558-3187,

Victory Day 2015

Saturday, May 9 -- 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Earl Bales Park, Bathurst St./Sheppard Ave
Parade -- 11:00 am
Parade of World War II veterans from the former USSR together with the veterans from Allied countries, the Home Front workers, and survivors of the Leningrad Blockade and Holocaust, and Parade of the Immortal Platoon
Greeting of Veterans -- 12:00 pm
Greeting and congratulating the veterans by representatives of the state and
municipal authorities, political parties and public organizations.

Concert -- 12:00-5:00 pm
  Remembrance Territory (a section of the park where people can meet the veterans).
Includes exhibition of portraits/photographs of the veterans.
For Information:

Discussion and Celebration
Saturday, May 9 -- 7:00 pm

Presentations on the significance of the victory of the peoples of
the world and related events.
 Refreshments and cultural program of
anti-fascist resistance songs to follow.

For information: 416-253-4475

Public Meeting

Saturday, May 9 -- 7:00 pm
Mt. Pleasant Neighbourhood House, 800 E. Broadway

Organized by: BC Regional Committee of CPC(ML)

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