On the 30th of March, it was the first time that the Austrian parliament offered a stage for a leading representative of a war party. Volodymyr Selensky, the Ukrainian president held a speech in front of many parliament members. This is a new and serious push to undermine Austrian neutrality. Against this, a manifestation with about 200 participants was organized in front of the parliament, calling for the restoration of neutrality, against the increasing warmongering and against the involvement in the Ukraine war.
Against the staging of the rulers that Selensky would be a "hero", it was emphasized at the manifestation that the ruling classes in Ukraine have themselves committed a long list of crimes against their own peoples and that they are ruling by anti-democratic means. This was highlighted, among others, by peace activist Peter Weish, who has been speaking annually since 2015 at the commemorative manifestations of the Odessa massacre, in which nearly 50 trade unionists and anti-fascists were murdered. While the Russian war of aggression is condemned by many speakers, it was also rightly denounced that the same fascists, who already have a long list of crimes to show, are now part of the government and army in Ukraine, have eliminated the opposition, as well as democratic rights have been wholesale undermined. That is why Selensky's speech in the parliament was a "disgrace for the republic", as the activist Stefan Kritzmanich emphasized.
The fact, that around 200 participants gathered in front of the parliament at eight o'clock in the morning on a Thursday, is a strong sign against the warmongering policies of the rulers. Within the population in Austria there is broad support for the cause of defending neutrality. Many people condemn the speech and believe that it is contrary to the interests of the peoples for peace and friendship among peoples and nations.
At the manifestation, the Red Flag's statement on the Selensky speech was distributed widely (LINK) and was taken with pleasure. It clearly states the interests of the rulers in the war: "The country's water, industry and infrastructure have been sold out." The land grab by the West "even far exceeds the annexation of farmland and industry by Russian monopolies in eastern Ukraine." The ruling clique of Selensky claims that only the "Western integration" of Ukraine and NATO arms supplies can "save" Ukraine. In doing so, this leadership clique is selling out the interests of the people for sovereignty and betraying the struggle for national self-determination and liberation. Not the Ukrainian people should assert its interests, but the population should be ready to go for the interests of the western imperialists "up to the last Ukrainian" into the death – that is what the present Ukrainian government stands for! Thus it prevents the struggle for national liberation from Russian imperialism.
Large parts of the ruling media have already begun to tear the manifestation to pieces. The online newspaper “Heute.at” wrote of a "conglomeration of vaccination opponents, self-proclaimed neutrality defenders and peace apostles". Wolfgang Petritsch, the politician who gained international fame as the author of the Kreisky biographies and the diplomat responsible for the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, even stopped on his way to parliament to personally argue with participants at the manifestation. The rulers, whether of conservative or liberal hue, are showing more and more openly how they are betraying and undermining neutrality. Therefore, in defense of neutrality, one must not rely on the rulers. It is precisely the democratic and anti-imperialist sections of the population that are today demanding the restoration of neutrality, and this must firstly be forced upon the rulers.