Friday, 02 September 2022 19:00
Estonian Life No. 35 2022
Organizers from the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish & Ukrainian communities in Vancouver joined together to co-organize and commemorate Black Ribbon Day - a day of remembrance to honour the victims of Soviet communism and Nazism and to draw attention to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Vancouver City Councillors Melissa De Genova, Pete Fry and Adriane Carr were in attendance as well as MLA Selina Robinson. Councillor De Genova, Deputy Mayor, presented and read aloud a formal Proclamation from the City of Vancouver recognizing August 23 as Black Ribbon Day, and expressed the City’s solidarity and remembrance of the victims and their families.
The one-hour program also included a speech from Dr Serhy Yekelchyk, a Canadian Ukrainian Historian, who has published widely on modern Ukrainian and Russian history and Russian-Ukrainian relations. His speech drew a straight line from the effects of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on Ukraine and other nations, to the present-day totalitarian, territorial ambitions of Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime.
President of the Lithuanian Community of BC, Algis Jaugelis, delivered a message of hope and call to action inspired by the Baltic Way of August 1989, and how the Baltic Way inspired future demonstrations such as The Ukrainian Human Chain of January 1990, the Taiwanese Hand-in-Hand demonstration of February 2004, and most recently, the Hong Kong Way of August 2019.
Miroslav Petriw, President of the League of Ukrainian Canadians Vancouver, spoke about the war in Ukraine, and urged participants to donate to the Friends of Ukraine Defense Forces Fund which provides direct support to Ukraine’s troops. The BRD event helped to raise almost $1,000 in donations towards the fund with the sale of Black Ribbons.
In a powerful echo of the Baltic Way the event concluded with an invitation to those gathered to join hands with each other, while the Ukrainian patriotic song “Oi u luzi chervona kalyna” was performed by Iaroslava Tanko, Mikhaylo Gajdejchuk & Aarne Tork, and as the entire Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza was encircled with hundreds of participants standing hand in hand.
A big thank-you to all of the organizers & volunteers and to the following organizations & supporters: Vancouver Estonian Society, Canadian Polish Congress British Columbia, Lithuanian Community of British Columbia, the Latvian community in British Columbia, Ukrainian Canadian Congress BC Provincial Council, and the Central and Eastern European Council in Canada (CEEC).
#StandWithUkraineVANCOUVERI EESTI SELTS
PHOTOS - Christian Stanley Ciesielski ©2022
PHOTOS - B. Zurock, V.Viktus, I.Soide, T. Pajur, A. Jaugelis, K.Jaugelis. ©2022