HISTORIC DAY AS ROCHDALE COUNCIL REMEMBERS HOLODOMOR

17.10.08



Councillors Irene Davidson and Angela Coric alongside Anna Kecyk (Chair of Friends of Lviv) and Oksana Paraszczak (survivor of Holodomor)

Rochdale Council has unanimously called upon the Government to recognise ‘Holodomor’ as an official act of genocide. Holodomor was the systematic starvation to death of at least 7,000,000 Ukrainians during 1932 and 1933, when the Soviet regime imposed its policy of collectivisation of farming and livestock and confiscation of food, causing untold famine in Ukrainian villages. The historical request for recognition was put forward through a Liberal Democrat Motion to Council and was supported by all parties in the chamber.
 
In a hard hitting speech, Councillor Irene Davidson, who proposed the motion said: “Rochdale’s Ukrainian community, which has for more than 50 years made a significant contribution to our diverse society in the borough, is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor in the Ukraine. I ask that we, as a council in Rochdale, recognise that Holodomor was a barbaric act of inhumanity and one of the largest catastrophes to affect the Ukrainian nation in modern history. Hopefully in the near future, the Ukraine can become a member of the EU and NATO, allowing it to grow stronger, securing a brighter future for all Ukrainians.”
 
Councillor Angela Coric seconded the motion, giving a personal account from Reverend Mychajlo Diachenko, a survivor of Holodomor, in what was an emotional speech saying: “I have lived in Milkstone and Deeplish all my life – I grew up alongside Ukrainian neighbours and friends. The Ukrainian Church was situated at the end of my street on William Street and the Ukrainian Club is still round the corner on Mere Street. I grew up knowing something about Holodomor and I urge our Government to officially recognise it as a holocaust.”
 
Watching the historical motion get passed was Anna Kecyk, Chair of Friends of LVIV and survivor of the Holodomor Oksana Paraszczak.  Anna said: “Rochdale is only the second council in the country to do this and it makes me so proud. When I approached Councillor Davidson about our wish to remember Holodomor appropriately she sprung into action and I cannot thank her enough. On behalf of the Ukrainian community I would like to thank all council members and the Mayor for their unanimous support in recognising the 1932-33 Holodomor in Ukraine as an act of genocide. This truly is a great day for the Ukrainian Community of Rochdale”
 
Rochdale’s MP Paul Rowen said: “I am glad to see my council colleagues putting this motion forward and fully support their campaign for recognition. I have signed the EDM 1693 calling for the Government to recognise Holodomor as an official genocide and I will be attending the National Commemorative Service and Rally on the 22 November in London, alongside Councillor Irene Davidson.” 
 
Adam Power 


NB. The full text of the motion (item 12(b)) moved by Councillor Irene Davidson, seconded by Councillor Angela Coric read:
 
That this Council notes that Rochdale's Ukrainian community, which has for more than 50 years made a significant
contribution to our diverse society in the Borough is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor in the Ukraine. Council further notes that the Holodomor was the systematic starvation to death of at least 7,000,000 Ukrainians during 1932 and 1933, when the Soviet regime imposed its policy of collectivisation of farming and livestock and confiscation of food, causing untold famine in Ukrainian villages.
 
That this Council recognises that the Holodomor was a devastating act of inhumanity and one of the largest national catastrophes to affect the Ukrainian nation in modern history. Furthermore this Council notes the importance of this anniversary and that we properly remember the atrocities which took place, so that they are never allowed to happen again.
 
This Council therefore calls upon the three party leaders and our Members of Parliament to write to the Government and  request that Britain officially recognises the Holodomor as an act of genocide.

 
 
 



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