We, a collective of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Azerbaijani and Kyrgyz left-wing writers, activists and organizers, ask for your solidarity and support to launch a collaborative media platform — September.
The brutal war Russia is waging on Ukraine, the end of the so-called international ruled-based world order, and the multiple other challenges the current system has no answer to — from the joint climate and biodiversity crisis which multiplies pandemics and natural disasters to the global recession, the breakdown of the just-in-time economy and the continuous exploitation and subjugation of the Global South — create a perfect storm. Stopping this storm demands a consolidated effort from international socialist and left-wing forces more than ever before — as mass movements are also going through a deep, decades-long crisis of organization.
Our ability to find a way out of the crisis depends on building independent institutions and systems of power. We aim to create a platform to link together struggles in different parts of the world — with an obvious focus on post-Soviet countries. The war in Ukraine has received an unprecedented amount of media coverage, but that coverage has been remarkably monochromatic: heroic Zelensky is leading a united Ukrainian nation against the evil mastermind Putin and his alternately hapless and barbaric Russian hordes. But the most common alternative narratives, about NATO expansion or the far right in Ukraine, capture only the narrowest slice of the tremendously complex social reality created by the war.
All kinds of other questions remain largely unaddressed. What are we to make of the way the Zelensky government has taken advantage of its newfound mass support to drastically restrict labor rights? How are ordinary Russians who oppose the war dealing with the devastating impact of sanctions on their daily lives? What is the logic behind the Russian government’s appropriation of Soviet symbols? How are more peripheral states and societies in the region adjusting to the global political polarization created by this new reality?
We don’t want this to be a one-way exchange where we educate the international left on Russia’s imperialist war against Ukraine or post-Soviet affairs in general, as if we have the monopoly of knowledge on these questions, nor do we aim to restrict ourselves to these topics only. We encourage comrades from all over the world to write for us and to participate in the discussion. We firmly believe that only together we can come up with a complete and fair picture of the current crisis and find a way out of it. We aim to create a permanent publication in — at least — three languages: Russian, Ukrainian, and English, in order to reach as many readers as possible.
Your donations will help us to maintain wages for three constant members of the editorial office and to pay our freelance authors for their articles as well as promote their work on social media. Any remaining funds will go to support left-wing anti-war initiatives in Russia and Belarus and union struggles in Ukraine. This could become a lifeline for a uniquely threatened community. In Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine members of the democratic left are being actively jailed, fined, and threatened, while in other post-Soviet countries left-wing and labor activism is seen as a threat to an increasingly hegemonic neoliberal nationalism and subjected to various forms of harassment or repression. In the middle of every month, we will publish a financial report on how your money was spent.
Due to the brutal persecution of the opposition in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and other post-Soviet countries, we reserve the right to publish some works anonymously or under pseudonyms to protect the authors.
Thank you for supporting September. There is a long and hard road ahead, and we hope you will join us on this journey. You can find all the relevant information regarding our fundraising campaign here.