Expanded version of a report published on Revolution News, Oct 3, 2014
Once again, neo-nazi fascists supporting the Right Sector and/or the neo-nazi Azov Battalion have committed a violent act in the U.S. in the name of defending the name of the Euromaidan coup. Today, October 3rd, three people attacked and vandalized the traveling art exhibit ‘Material Evidence‘ while it
was on display in New York City. The assailants objected to the Ukraine-focused section of a photojournalistic show on recent unrest in that country and Syria called Material Evidence,held at 540 West 21st Street (formerly home of the Eyebeam Art & Technology Center).
HyperAllergic reports that three people were involved in the attack which included the defacement of artwork and the pepper spraying of the curator, Benjamin Hiller. The attack began with a man and a woman entering the gallery, handing out anti-Putin and pro neo-nazi literature, and approaching the curator to ask him if he spoke Russian (which he doesn’t). Soon after, a third person came in and headed directly for Hiller:
He asked me if I am the guy responsible for the exhibition, that we have brought shame on the Ukraine people. I tried to explain that we show also the killed [Euromaidan] protesters, but then he pulled out pepper spray, sprayed it in my face and kicked against the table and my laptop fell on the ground.
At this point the female assailant fled, while the other male defaced photographs and left the premises. Photos of the defacement can be seen on the HypoAllergenic website, and some featured photos from ‘Material Evidence’ can be seen on the exhibit’s official website. The exhibit will stay open until October 11, with increased security.
In February of this year, a government of oligarchs loyal to Russia was replaced by a government of western-controlled oligarchs and fascists, dominated by the IMF and European Union.
The Euromaidan coup led to the devastating war going on in eastern Ukraine, named by the Kiev government as an ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’. The war features U.S./EU backed murders of ethnic Russians and other Ukrainian civilians, impunity for neo-nazi fighting brigades and has led to as many as one million refugees fleeing from Ukraine to Russia.
Since the US backed coup, Euromaidan activists and Right Sector supporters have been relatively active in the United States and abroad, spreading nationalist ideology and the propaganda of the Ukrainian government and its fascists. In April, Right Sector supporters tried to storm and attack a teach-in at a Chicago union hall, dropping Right Sector literature. On September 30, a high-ranking member of Right Sector, Borislav Bereza, held a conference in San Francisco, which was interrupted by Bay Area Antifa.
The Ukrainian section of ‘Material Evidence’ is described by its creators as follows:
The events of the last months in Ukraine have almost led to the dissolution of Ukraine as a sovereign country. Bloody collisions on the «Maidan Independence Square» in Kiev resulted in an upsurge of nationalists-banderovtsy groups on the ground who where the main force behind the overthrow of the last president. This uprising could not be ignored by the Eastern parts of Ukraine, which are mostly populated with Russian-speaking people. The residents of the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine strongly oppose «benserovtsy» and «Westerner Oligarchs» who had come to power. Accordingly the Autonomous Republic of Crimea held a referendum on the separation from the Ukraine and its reunification with Russia.
What happened in Kiev and Crimea during these weeks? What awaits Ukraine? The exhibition tries to give the answers on that in the section ‘Ukraine: Material Evidence‘.
The exhibit ‘Material Evidence’ was organized by and contains work from a group of Russian, Ukrainian, French, and Spanish photojournalists alongside physical artifacts from those conflict zones. A collaborative effort, it was, according to Hiller, backed by crowdfunding and private fundraising efforts. Hiller, a freelance photojournalist and writer, was appointed curator by the group due to his prior involvement with the Browse Fotofestival in Berlin. The Chelsea exhibition will continue, with increased security, through October 11.