Black Ribbon Day 2017

Date:         Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Time:         12 pm
Place:          Queen’s Park Toronto
Address:     111 Wellesley Street West

Date:         Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Time:         16:30pm
Place:          Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Church
Address:     460 Monroe Ave.

Washington D.C.
Date:         Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Time:         5-6pm
Place:         Victims of Communism Memorial intersection of New Jersey Avenue NW and Massachusetts Avenue NW, in Washington, DC.
Contact:   Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

Date:      Monday, August 28, 2017
Time:      7pm
Place:     Ben Franklin Place, The Chamber (Amphitheatre)
Address:     101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean
Contact:      Andris Kesteris: andriskesteris8 [at]

Date:         Monday, August 28, 2017
Time:         4-5pm
Place:         Rotunda, Alberta Legislative Building 10800 97 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB
Contact:         Anna Szenthe


Black Ribbon Day 2016

Date:         Saturday, August 27, 2016
Time:         11 am
Place:          Toronto City Hall Rotunda
Address:     100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Contact:      marcuskolga [AT]


Date:      Sunday, August 28, 2016
Time:      6pm
Place:     Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
Address:     1000 Byron Avenue, Ottawa, ON K2A 0J3
Contact:      Andris Kesteris- andriskesteris8 [at]

Date:         Sunday, August 28, 2016
Time:         1:00pm Polish Mass, 2:00 pm commemoration (after service at 1:00 pm)
Place:         Our Lady of Good Counsel – Roman Catholic Parish
(Marry Help of Christians Hall)
Address:         10460 139th Street, Surrey, BC
Contact:         Iwona Swiatczak

Date:         Tuesday August 23, 2016
Time:         7 pm
Place:         Rotunda, Alberta Legislative Building 10800 97 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB
Contact:         Anna Szenthe

Date:         Monday, August 22, 2016
Time:         7 pm
Place:         “The Pool of the Black Star”  Manitoba Legislative Building 450 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB
Contact:         Grazyna Galezowski

Sofi Oksanen & Bill Browder in Toronto March 27


Tickets Available at the door and online at

Anti corruption crusader, CEO of Hermitage capital and leading critic of the Putin regime, Bill Browder award winning Finnish author of “Purge” and “When The Doves Disappeared,” Sofi Oksanen visits Toronto on March 27 to give a keynote address at the Toronto Conference on Repressions and Human Rights: Commemorating the 1949 Baltic Deportations on March 27. The event will also feature a panel discussion of international experts and historians including former Swedish MP and VP of the Parliamentary Assembly of The Council of Europe, Göran Lindblad; University of Toronto, Estonian Studies Chair, Jüri Kivimäe; Director of the Joint Baltic American Committee, Karl Altau and others.

The Toronto Conference on Repression and Human Rights commemorates the March 1949 Baltic Deportations. The event comes at a time when Kremlin propagandist are actively working to resurrect the status of the Soviet Union.

Over a three day period in March 1949, 90,000 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians were forced from their homes and deported to the grim squalor of the Soviet GULAG slave labour camps. The grimly named Operation Priboi (“Coastal Surf”), was intended to further ethnically Sovietize the three Baltic States, nine years after the initial occupation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union.

Over four nights between March 25-28, Soviet terror spread through all three nations as entire families, from infants to the elderly, were stolen from their farms and homes in the dead of night. Herded into primitive cattle cars, they spent days and weeks traveling to the most remote far eastern and northern regions of the Russia. Many died along the way due to unsanitary conditions and starvation. Even more died in the slave camps – where they were overworked, underfed and left to die of disease and exposure to extreme conditions.

The Soviet March 1949 deportation has since been deemed a Crime Against Humanity by the European Court of Human Rights. Over 100 Soviet bureaucrats, members of the Red Army and the secret police were award state honours by the Moscow authorities for their barbarism. Not a single person has been held accountable for the deportations, the thousands who died as a result of them nor any other damages.


Over the past decade, Vladimir Putin has allocated resources and tens of millions of dollars towards rehabilitating Soviet history. This includes the denial of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States and any other wrong doing by Soviet forces. Putin’s campaign has been so effective in Russia and among Russian minorities in the Baltic States, that a majority now believe that Stalin was a strong and benevolent leader who, along with Putin, was the father of the Russian people. So extreme is the campaign, that a recently published state textbook features a politicized alphabet that features images of Lenin, Stalin and Putin in order to establish political subservience in Russian kindergarten aged children.

“Putin’s disturbing campaign to whitewash Soviet crimes both in the Baltic states and Russia have been steadily accelerating over the past few years,” says conference founder and co- organizer Marcus Kolga, “that’s why it’s as important as ever for the public, historians and writers like Sofi Oksanen to come together and discuss and commemorate this history: to make sure that this history is never marginalized and forgotten.”

A panel discussion will discuss the historical facts surrounding the March deportations as well as their impact on current geopolitical affairs, including the attempts to stop a monument in Ottawa from being erected to memorialize the victims of communism.

“The conference features a panel leading experts from around the world who work directly with this history,” says Piret Noorhani, co-organizer and Director of conference lead partner, VEMU, The Museum of Estonians Abroad, “and we’re extremely luck to have Sofi Oksanen join us, whose incredible work on this subject has been awarded some the world’s highest literary honours.”

Tickets are available at:

Tartu College, 310 Bloor St W, Toronto, and by phone at 416 925 9405
The Estonian Foundation, 956 Broadview Ave, Toronto

Black Ribbon Day Canada

In November 2009, a resolution declaring Black Ribbon Day, August 23, an annual day of remembrance for the victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe was unanimously passed by Canada’s Parliament.

Black Ribbon Day historically commemorates the anniversary of the infamous Molotov- Ribbentrop pact, a sinister partnership treaty between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia that allowed each to violently and illegally seize the lands and peoples situated between them and in essence started the second world war. Twenty Five years ago, Canada’s Central and Eastern European communities, by initiating Black Ribbon Day, were instrumental in bringing international attention and understanding of the plight of their heritage nations. This Canadian initiative organized demonstrations in 21 cities on both sides of the Iron Curtain. In 1989 close to 2 million people formed a human chain across the Baltic republics and by 1991, demonstrations were held in 56 cities on three continents.
Presently, August 23rd is officially commemorated in close to a dozen European nations under several names including Black ribbon Day and European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.

Click HERE for BRD-Resolution
Click HERE to view Hon. Bob Rae’s introduction of The Black Ribbon Day Resolution in the House of Commons Nov 30, 2009:

From November 2009 Press Release:

OTTAWA – Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic, the Hon. Bob Rae, passed a unanimous Resolution in Parliament today to commemorate the victims of Europe’s totalitarian regimes.
“Millions of Canadians of Eastern and Central European descent whose families have been directly affected by either Nazi or Communist crimes have made unique and significant, cultural, economic, social and other contributions to help build the Canada we know today,” said Mr. Rae. “We must unequivocally condemn the crimes against humanity committed by totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes and offer the victims of these crimes and their family members’ sympathy, understanding and recognition for their suffering.
“Every victim of any totalitarian regime has the same human dignity and deserves justice, remembrance and recognition by the Parliament and the government of Canada.”
Twenty years after the fall of the totalitarian Communist regimes in Europe, knowledge among Canadians about these regimes, which terrorised their fellow citizens in Central and Eastern Europe for more than 40 years, is still alarmingly superficial and inadequate.
This annual day of remembrance is to be held on August 23rd, to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between the Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes.
“Called Black Ribbon Day, the establishment of this Day of Remembrance on August 23rd, will show Canadians and those around the world, that Canada will not stand for crimes against humanity and we will be counted among those who stand up for victims of systematic and ruthless abuse.
“Canadians must not allow these crimes to go misunderstood and unrecognized.”
Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Special Advisor on Emerging Democracies to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, went on to explain the personal impact of this motion.
“My parents were refugees who arrived on Canada’s shores having survived the hatred, genocides and wars unleashed by two of humanity’s greatest tyrants,” he said. “Stalin, responsible for the famine and genocide of Ukrainians, the Holodomor; and Hitler, who unleashed the Holocaust, divided Europe and cost the lives of close to 100 million souls.
“Let us all remember this dark part of history to ensure that the world will never stand by in the face of crimes against humanity – so that Europe’s people can never again be divided.”

International Black Ribbon Day