Solidarity actions took place in Kyiv, Ternopil, Krakow, and Berlin to honor the birthday of political prisoner Alexandr Kolchenko (26 September).
One of the actions took place in Kyiv at the monument to the philosopher author Grigory Skovoroda (Kontraktova Square). The event was organized by the “Solidarity Committee” (support group for the “Crimean Hostages”).
Committee activist and human rights defender Maksym Butkevych noted that this time the 27th birthday of Kolchenko coincided with the mourning day of remembrance of the Holodomor [the Great Famine of 1932-1933] victims. “Therefore, marking this birthday in a festive way would be quite inappropriate. Instead, at the current solidarity action we decided to express the hope that this land will never be hungry again; we decided to feed random people, whom we meet at one of the central squares of Kyiv, under the slogan “Food Not Repression” [or “Food Not Jails”]; and inform them about Sasha,” said Butkevych. He implied that Tundra [Alexandr Kolchenko], in line with his anarchist philosophy, himself has participated in similar activities, “Food Not Bombs”, distributing vegetarian food to people in need in Simferopol”.
Alexander’s mother Larisa Kolchenko, former fellow political prisoner Gennady Afanasiev, human rights activists Alexandra Nazarova and Alexandra Dvoretska, lawyer Eugenia Zakrevskaya, and a number of Sasha’s friends and comrades also spoke at the event. Organizers said that the collective photo taken during the rally will be sent to Alexander Kolchenko.
On the same day, solidarity rallies took place in Krakow and Berlin. On Saturday, “Zhadan and the Dogs” band [collaboration of famous writer Serhiy Zhadan and “Dogs in Outher Space” ska band], which previously joined “Give Sasha meeting with his mother” campaign, held a solidarity event in Ternopil. Musicians hang a «Free Kolchenko!» banner on the stage at the gig.
Food Not Bombs at Krakow demo
Serhiy Zhadan: writer, poet, singer, and campaigner for Kolchenko’s release