01 March 2022
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have sent messages of solidarity and offers of help to performers and artists in the country - and those affiliated with it. On 24 February, Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming wrote to the President of the Cultural Workers of Ukraine, Lyudmyla Perelygina. The letter includes an offer to support their members wherever we can, whether directly or through campaigning and lobbying.
We have also signed a joint letter of solidarity from the International Federation of Actors (FIA) to the Cultural Workers of Ukraine. The letter expresses “solidarity and heartfelt sympathy” and the federation’s readiness “to support your union’s efforts to aid members in need”.
We will always stand with artists and working people whose rights to expression are under threat or where they suffer social injustice.
Letter from Equity to the President of Cultural Workers of Ukraine
Dear Lyudmyla Perelygina,
Solidarity from Equity in the United Kingdom
I am writing on behalf of Equity in the United Kingdom after the news we heard last night of Russian invasion into Ukraine, and assaults by the Russian military on targets across the country.
As you know from your long association with the Federation Internationale des Acteurs (FIA), Equity stands with artists and working people whose rights to expression are under threat, or where they suffer social injustice around the world. FIA’s proud history including progressive unions throughout the world, whether from East or West in Europe or across the globe, has never been more relevant than at this present time.
Equity is already redoubling our efforts with artists we know who have had an affiliation with Ukraine, but if there is anything further we can do to support your members at this time of great anxiety –whatever their background – then please do let us know. This support can be direct or lobbying and campaigning to ensure our own government is acting in the interests of Ukrainian artists in your country or in the broader diaspora.
The terrifying prospect of war will meet resistance from working people around the world – throughout our history the trade union movement has shown that the unity of our members can speak and act louder than the actions of powerful elites who seek to divide us. It is testament to this unity that we can rely on our Russian sister union to facilitate communication between us at this time, as they have in the past.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can assist, and I hope you and members of CWU will stand strong at such a trying time.
Paul W Fleming
General Secretary - Equity