Regardless of which party controls the House and Senate, one thing is certain. The war in Ukraine and the US intervention will continue in the short-term, as a lame-duck Congress considers another $50 billion for Ukraine, with much of the money earmarked for weapons, military training and intelligence to escalate a war with no military solution.
For every Ukrainian battlefield victory, there is Russian retaliation as the conflict threatens to engulf Europe in a regional conflict or world war with direct combat between the two most heavily armed nuclear countries: Russia and the United States.
Meanwhile, an estimated 100-million Americans, almost a third of the country, are steeped in medical debt; 34-million, or 10 percent, are food insecure; over 30-million lack access to clean drinking water due to contamination from sewage, uranium mining and industrial carcinogens.
Sanctions on Russia have led to skyrocketing inflation, impacting the price of gas and food, with the price of cereal climbing 11% in the US. Inflation is even worse in Europe where the cost of food has risen nearly 14% as tens of thousands in Rome, Paris and Prague march to protest the cost of living and NATO expansion. Demonstrators are demanding an end to sanctions on Russian oil and natural gas before a freezing cold winter arrives.
While those of us in the US can exercise little influence over the governments of Russia and Ukraine, we can pressure our own government to stop fueling the fighting that began years before the Russian invasion after the US supported a coup that led to a civil war between Russian separatists and Ukrainian nationalists in the Donbas.
The Peace in Ukraine Coalition–CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, DSA-International, World Beyond War and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-US – strives to build a united front of anti-war activists, veterans, environmentalists, union workers and retired people to demand a ceasefire, peace talks and an end to weapons shipments that serve as a disincentive to a negotiated peace.
Here are 7 actions you can take to Stop the War in Ukraine.
1. Get informed. Don’t believe everything the government and corporate media tell you. Question the dominant narrative that the US is spending tens of billions of dollars to protect democracy. Learn about the history of the conflict, including NATO expansion to Russia’s borders, US complicity in the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected president and US weapons shipments that undermined the MINSK II peace agreement. On our coalition website, see Ukraine Crisis FAQ’s and review articles, videos and podcasts posted at News and Press. For a deeper dive, read: “Peace in Ukraine, Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict” by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies.
2. Organize a weekly “Ceasefire Now” street vigil at your local farmer’s market or anywhere people gather. Our coalition’s page for resources provides fliers that expose the costs of war, posters for tabling and one click computer messages from DSA and CODEPINK. If you are in high school or college, engage students in tabling and circulating with clipboards on campus. Ask students to sign a letter calling on their congressperson to vote against future weapons for Ukraine. Collect names and contact information and organize a delegation to deliver the letter to your House and Senate reps.
3. Write a Letter to the Editor in your local community. While large newspapers are often owned by media conglomerates parroting the “fight to the last Ukrainian” line of thinking, your local newspaper is more likely to embrace diverse voices from the community. Need examples of letters? To see World Beyond War’s sample Letters to the Editor, click here. To refute common arguments in favor of more weapons for Ukraine, see the coalition’s “How to Guide: Responses to Misconceptions.”
4. Host a book tour event. Invite authors Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK, and Nicolas J.S. Davies, a researcher and journalist, to your city or town to discuss their excellent new book, “War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict.” Medea and Nicolas are touring the country, speaking at town halls and large gatherings about the importance of demanding a ceasefire and peace negotiations.
Host a smaller Living Room Movie Screening to view and discuss a 20-minute video that accompanies their book. You can download the video and discussion guide at the above link.
5. Visit the offices of your House and Senate reps to press for a ceasefire, peace talks and an end to weapons shipments. Ask your reps to publicly support, in a social media post or letter to constituents, a ceasefire and diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine and to commit to voting no on future weapons shipments. Here is a roadmap from the Friends Committee for National Legislation for conducting a meeting with your congressperson or a staff member.
Or if you can’t get a meeting …
Organize a protest or rally outside your congress members’ offices. Invite friends, allies and representatives from diverse populations to participate and speak at your rally. Deliver a letter or petition to your congress members and invite local press to cover the event.
6. Challenge corporate media coverage of the war in Ukraine by contacting editors to request the news outlet publish or broadcast OpEds and invite guests calling for diplomacy, not more war. You can find twitter handles and some emails here for the Washington Post, NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC and others. If editors are unresponsive, picket their offices.
7. Introduce a “ceasefire-no more weapons” resolution for discussion and passage by a political club, union, religious institution or service organization. If the resolution passes, email a copy to your House and Senate reps. If the resolution doesn’t pass, at least you’ve started a conversation and raised questions about funding an endless war. Here is a sample resolution.
For the globe, continued arms shipments to Ukraine presage a dangerous escalation that pushes the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. To sound the alarm, join our Peace in Ukraine Coalition and participate as a representative of an organization or as an individual activist in our bi-monthly organizing calls. Help us build and amplify the anti-war movement to demand money for climate, housing and healthcare, not endless war.