Sep 2, 2017
Ukraine’s Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko speaks to Ben Chacko about the Institute of National Memory and the wave of destruction engulfing his country
CLASHES over the removal of statues to Confederacy leaders in the United States have dominated headlines over the past month.
The politics of this new iconoclasm is hotly debated on the left: should statues of racists, tyrants and oppressors be torn down on principle, or should countries have to look their past, however ugly, in the eye? Who decides which statues are unacceptable, and on what grounds?
The battles in the US are more complicated than that: many statues do not date from the civil war but were erected in the era of the Jim Crow laws as a conscious symbol of the subjugation of Black people; their current role as active rallying points for white supremacists and fascists strengthens the left case for tearing them down.