Toronto, May 6, 2017
May 9, 2017 marked 72 years since the anti-fascist front of the peoples, with the communists, resistance movements and the Soviet Union at the head, achieved victory over Nazi-Fascism in Europe. At midnight, Moscow time on May 9, 1945 Germany signed its unconditional surrender to the Allied powers in Berlin. Since then, May 9 has been celebrated in the former Soviet Union and around the world as Victory Day to honour those who fought and sacrificed their lives to contain fascism and to repeat humanity’s call of Never Again!
This year, Canadians held events in several cities, including Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver, to pay tribute to the anti-fascist fighters. The rallies and parades are known as the March of the Immortal Regiment, in which participants bring portraits of relatives or others who took part in the anti-fascist war to honour their contribution. The marches began in 2012 in Tomsk, Russia. Another 120 cities and towns participated the following year and millions of people have taken part in subsequent years in Russia and other former Soviet republics and around the world.
More than 25 million Soviet citizens were killed during the war and countless more suffered terrible injuries. Millions also took part in the resistance movements throughout Europe and Asia. More than 1.1 million Canadians served in the armed forces during WWII, more than 44,000 lost their lives and 54,000 were wounded. Contingents from the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) participated in this year’s Victory Day rallies to honour the sacrifice of the peoples and oppose the stepped-up war preparations of the U.S. imperialists and their allies today.
In Montreal, hundreds marched carrying portraits, Soviet flags, banners and a giant ribbon of Saint George (used in high military decorations in Russia and the Soviet Union) ending at Cabot Square with speeches. A plane flew overhead trailing a ribbon of Saint George emblazoned with the words “May 9 — Victory Day.”
In Ottawa, participants marched to the Canadian War Museum for a program of speeches and music. A delegation from the embassy of the Russian Federation in Ottawa participated with portraits of their own relatives.
A rally and march was held on May 6 in Toronto, with hundreds converging at Yonge and Dundas before marching to the war memorial at Old City Hall. The event also commemorated the third anniversary of the Odessa Massacre, in which more than 100 people were killed at the Trade Unions House in Odessa, Ukraine on May 2, 2014 by fascist criminals backed by the coup regime in Kiev.
In Vancouver, two days of events were held, with a rally on May 6 at the Vancouver Art Gallery followed by an evening concert, and a march the next day at the All Saints Monastery in Dewdney, east of Vancouver.
Millions more marched in countries of the former Soviet Union and around the world.
(Photos: TML, TASS, my-vancouver.ca, @zapoponio, J. Trefz, E. Lukacs)