Stop the War on Ukraine: Calls to Action

War Is A Crime Against Humanity (lettering by Liz McAlister)

Lettering by Liz McAlister, original WRI broken rifle

- from WRL's Perpetual Calendar  

War Resisters League believes that war is a crime against humanity; we are clear that war is never the answer.

As an antimilitarist organization we refuse to take sides between the armed camps. We do recognize and oppose what the U.S. does and is doing to feed this conflict, and other conflicts. We stand with others in War Resisters' International in opposition to war over Ukraine, and support those who refuse to fight.

Escalating tensions between the world's two largest nuclear powers once again points out the pressing need for disarmament, and the dismantling of NATO and other military alliances. Instead of  the U.S. building new nuclear weapons, we urge it and others to ratify and implement the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons now signed by 86 countries.

War Resisters League knows that the conflict over Ukraine benefits the weapons suppliers, expanding militaries, and a handful of political elites. Ukranians, caught in the middle, are first ones to suffer.


Read WRL's Full Statement on Ukraine here


Statement: Creating a Culture of Peace: Ukraine, Buffalo, Uvalde

July 4, 2022 - National Council of Elders We are veterans of a long struggle for social justice in our nation and peace in the world. We are the National Council of Elders and stand alongside legions of elders who work to resist oppression and build dreams of new worlds. Our commitment is to accompany younger 21st-century leaders in their effort to bring a greater measure of justice, equality, and peace to our country and world. Individuaal members of NCOE who are signing this staement are listed at its end.

We are offering this out of our deep concern for the future. We are appalled at the brutality of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the killing and uprooting of thousands, and the destruction of their homeland.

Yet we have questions about our own country’s role in the lead-up to the war and the decision to supply Ukraine with weapons and intelligence information while failing to work for de-escalation of the conflict and peace between Russia and Ukraine. Though the Ukrainians are valiant, we must support them by insisting that there be negotiations towards peace before their country is utterly destroyed. We recognize the longing for peace within Russia, as many Russians risk their lives to denounce the invasion of Ukraine.

Our government has proven to be able to turn global crises into opportunities to extend its domination of other people and to gain control of resources. It must be stopped from waging a proxy war against Russia to maintain world domination, initiating the Cold War all over again. In committing billions of dollars to Ukraine for war weaponry, our Congress seems oblivious to the danger that escalation might lead to nuclear war, putting all human life at risk. It has refused to provide the same pressures toward a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the conflict.

The United States capitalist system rests upon a power that is secured by violence and the threat of violence. Hence violence pervades all aspects of our lives here in the U.S., corroding our most essential connections to each other. Our government is ready to spend trillions on war, but will not legislate to provide money to feed the hungry, house the homeless, provide a good education for our children, health care for all.

A deepening sense of grief has settled over many as we witness the outrage of war in Ukraine and the egregious gun violence here at home, in the neighborhoods of Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX, and elsewhere. Any violent death by noose, knee, gun, drone, missile, howitzer, or bomb is a dramatic symptom. It is not the disease.

The mounting bloodshed at home and abroad engulfs us all. Domestic gun violence has broken our hearts and greatly wounded our lives. It has destabilized our society by inducing wide-scale fear, distrust, and loss of faith in the laws of civility. Most egregiously, gun violence has killed or injured more than 34,500 children, 6,500 of them under the age of 12. Guns are the number one cause of death for teenagers, some of whom have been targeted by a “toy” industry that inures them to violence and the preciousness of life.

 The profits from the arms industry, from handguns to missiles, are skyrocketing. Many of our members of Congress and the gun manufacturers are so heavily invested in the sale of guns, and the culture of violence and war, that they try to deflect attention from the horrors we are witnessing -- and which we are responsible to stop – by insisting that mental health problems and the failure of school safety measures are to blame for the loss of so many innocent lives.

We know the profound hypocrisy of their message. We must not allow legislators whose objective is U.S. global dominance, and who have been corrupted by bribes from the gun lobbyists to sacrifice the lives of our children and the people’s peace to their own arrogance, greed, and inhumanity.

At the international level, we call for:

  • Intensification of demands for peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
  • A pledge that the US will never again use nuclear weapons.
  • Re-engagement in nuclear arms reduction by all nations.

At home, we call for:

  • A ban on the sale of weapons of war.
  • De-militarization of local police forces and an end to racist police violence,
  • Increased funding of programs that ensure essential social and economic resources to communities, and cultivate the critical and creative capacities of our children.
  • Our society is drowning in over 400 million guns. By all means at our disposal, and with all measures that will restore our spirituality and our respect for our neighbors, we will work towards a culture of peace. We call on everyone to become actively involved in the local and national efforts that are focused on keeping our communities free of weapons of war. Foremost, we must commit ourselves to protecting the children and helping them see the possibilities of a world where life is valued, protected, and cherished.

Signers:

Rachele Agoyo ~ Dorothy Aldridge ~ Judy Baca ~ Dorsey Blake ~ Lewis Brandon III ~ Candi Carawan ~ Mandy Carter ~ Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz ~ Marian Wright Edelman ~ John Fife  ~ Aljosie Aldrich Harding  ~ David Hartsough ~ Gloria Aneb House ~ Shea Howell ~ Dolores Huerta ~ Phil Hutchins ~ Joyce Hobson Johnson ~ Nelson Johnson ~ Frank Joyce ~ James Lawson Jr. ~ Philip Lawson ~ Sherri Maurin ~ Catherine Meeks Eugene ~ Ed Nakawatase ~ Eugene “Gus” Newport ~ Myrna Pagán ~ Suzanne Pharr ~ Lyn Pyle ~ Bernice Johson Reagon ~ Frances Reid ~ Loretta Ross ~ Kathy “Wan Povi” Sanchez ~ Charles Sherrod ~ Shirley Sherrod ~ G. Zoharah Simmons ~ Louie Vitale ~ Hollis Watkins ~ Arthur Waskow ~ Junius Williams ~ Bob Wing ~ Janet Wolf


Statement: solidarity with all those nonviolently resisting the war in Ukraine

March 11, 2022 - War Resisters' Internationalhttps://wri-irg.org/en/story/2022/wri-statement-war-ukraine

War Resisters' International expresses solidarity with all those resisting war and its causes.

As War Resisters, we stress that we do not support any kind of war and, at the same time, we strive for removal of all causes of war.

We want to express our support and solidarity for those nonviolently resisting the war in Ukraine. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the bravery of all those arrested in Russia recently.

I

The nature of the war in Ukraine is clearly that of a foreign military invasion that is being met with both armed and non-violent resistance. War Resisters’ International demands an immediate end to all military actions in Ukraine, and the immediate return of all Russian troops back to Russia.

We strongly condemn any war activities, especially those that are directed towards civilians throughout Ukraine, including those against civilians in the Russian-controlled Donbass region.

We stand with those in Ukraine who decided to nonviolently resist military activity in Ukraine, as well with those in Russia who took the stand against the war and openly oppose the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. We are glad to see that some members of the Russian and Belarusian militaries have refused to fight, or hindered their ability to do so.

II

We call upon the governments of the world to open their borders to anyone who refuses to participate in the war in Ukraine. Asylum should be granted to anyone whose conscience does not allow them to kill another person – regardless of which side of a conflict they find themselves on.

The same right should be granted to anyone who risks persecution for advocating and/or working against its own governments’ military policies in Ukraine, Russia, NATO countries and elsewhere.

The right to conscientious objection – in all countries, but particularly those in a state of war - must be protected and upheld, and no state should resort to conscription as a means of bolstering their forces.

III

We believe that the causes of the war in Ukraine are much more an object of a debate than the nature of that war itself. The specific conflict we see now is rooted in a much longer, highly militarised history.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media refuses to organize and maintain a serious debate about how we got here in the first place, and what should be done in order to deescalate the conflict as soon as possible.

No one should be forcefully excluded from the debate because they doubt their governments’ policies and actions towards the war in Ukraine. The absence of such a debate is a characteristic of the binary logic of war. We’re talking about a possible nuclear threat and people have the right to know all the aspects and positions towards the situation in Ukraine.

Those who criticize the NATO policies of expanding eastwards or those who criticize the shipment of the NATO military aid to Ukraine, arguing such action adds fuel to the fire, have the right to speak and to be heard.

V

We call upon people everywhere to express their opposition to war in any way they consider it possible. From a single post on social media or a small symbolic action, to organizing or participating in a protest against the war, every action creates a mosaic of the war resistance throughout the world.

STOP THE RUSSIAN INVASION IN UKRAINE!

STOP THE NATO EXPANSION!

STOP ALL THE WARS, INVASIONS AND OCCUPATIONS WORLDWIDE!


Statement of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement Against Perpetuation of War

April 17, 2022 - Український Рух Пацифістів / Ukranian Peace Movement is a non-governmental, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization which aims to promote the right to peace, disarmament, the abolition of conscription, nonviolent resolution of conflicts, and democratic civilian control over military affairs.

Ukrainian Pacifist Movement is gravely concerned about the active burning of bridges for a peaceful resolution of conflict between Russia and Ukraine on both sides and signals of intentions to continue the bloodshed indefinitely to achieve some sovereign ambitions.

We condemn the Russian decision to invade Ukraine on 24 February 2022, which led to a fatal escalation and thousands of deaths, reiterating our condemnation of the reciprocal violations of the ceasefire envisaged in Minsk agreements by Russian and Ukrainian combatants in Donbas prior to the escalation of Russian aggression.

We condemn the mutual labeling of parties to the conflict as Nazi-alike enemies and war criminals, stuffed into legislation, reinforced by the official propaganda of extreme and irreconcilable hostility. We believe that the law should build peace, not incite war; and history should give us examples how people can return to peaceful life, not excuses for continuing the war. We insist that accountability for crimes must be established by an independent and competent judicial body in due process of law, in result of unbiased and impartial investigation, especially in the most serious crimes, such as genocide. We emphasize that the tragic consequences of military brutality must not be used to incite hatred and justify new atrocities, on the contrary, such tragedies should cool the fighting spirit and encourage a persistent search for the most bloodless ways to end the war.

We condemn military actions on both sides, the hostilities which harm civilians. We insist that all shooting should be stopped, all sides should honor the memory of killed people and, after due grief, calmly and honestly commit to peace talks.

We condemn statements on the Russian side about the intention to achieve certain goals by military means if they cannot be achieved through negotiations.

We condemn statements on the Ukrainian side that continuation of peace talks depends on winning the best negotiating positions at the battlefield.

We condemn the unwillingness of both sides to cease fire during the peace talks.

We condemn the practice of forcing civilians to conduct military service, to perform military tasks and to support the army against the will of peaceful people in Russia and Ukraine. We insist that such practices, especially during hostilities, grossly violate the principle of distinction between militaries and civilians in international humanitarian law. Any forms of contempt for the human right to conscientious objection to military service are unacceptable.

We condemn all military support provided by Russia and NATO countries for militant radicals in Ukraine provoking further escalation of the military conflict.

We call on all peace-loving people in Ukraine and around the world to remain peace-loving people in all circumstances and to help others to be peace-loving people, to collect and disseminate knowledge about peaceful and nonviolent way of life, to tell the truth that unites peace-loving people, to resist evil and injustice without violence, and debunk myths about necessary, beneficial, inevitable, and just war.

We don’t call for any particular action now to ensure that peace plans will not be targeted by hatred and attacks of militarists, but we are confident that pacifists of the world have a good imagination and experience of practical realization of their best dreams. Our actions should be guided by hope for a peaceful and happy future, and not by fears. Let our peace work bring closer the future from dreams.

War is a crime against humanity. Therefore, we are determined not to support any kind of war and to strive for the removal of all causes of war.

Ukrainian pacifists adopted the statement on 17 April. At the meeting, a work plan was discussed regarding antiwar activities online and offline, advocacy of conscientious objection to military service, legal aid for pacifists and peace-loving civilians, charitable work, cooperation with other NGOs, education and research on the theory and practice of peaceful and nonviolent life. Ruslan Kotsaba said that pacifists are under pressure today, but the peace movement must survive and thrive. Yurii Sheliazhenko stressed that stubborn war prolongation around us demands of pacifists to be truthful, transparent and tolerant, insist on having no enemies, and focus on long-term activities, especially in the fields of information, education, and human rights protection; he also reported about formal complaint filed against the state border guard for concealment of violations of the human right to conscientious objection to military service. Ilya Ovcharenko expressed a hope that educational work will help people in Ukraine and Russia to realize that their meaning of life has nothing to do with killing enemies and military service, and recommended to read several books of Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy.

ONLINE MEETING OF THE UKRAINIAN PACIFIST MOVEMENT 17.04.2022 RECORDED: https://youtu.be/11p5CdEDqwQ


War Resisters International Statement on the War in Ukraine

February 24, 2022 - In response to this morning's news, the War Resisters' International Executive Committee has released the following statement.

As War Resisters' International, we are extremely concerned about the war in Ukraine. War is a crime against humanity!

We call on Russia to immediately cease all attacks and withdraw its troops from the borders with Ukraine.

We call on the people of Luhansk/Lugansk and Donetsk/Donetsk to make it clear to the Russian government that they want to determine their own destiny, not at the price of war.

We call on the Ukrainian government to renounce military resistance and to proclaim civil resistance instead.

We call on the Ukrainian people to refuse all obedience to a possible new government installed by Russia. This is called social defence. If everyone refuses to obey Russia's orders, if Russia occupies Ukraine, it will ultimately not be able to achieve its goals.

We also call on the Russian people and Russian soldiers to refuse all obedience to their government's acts of war, to resist non-violently and to bring about the removal of the Putin regime. This is also part of social defence.

We call on Russia, the UN, the OSCE, NATO and all governments to start negotiations immediately.

We call on NATO members to show moderation in their response to Russian aggression and not to make the Russian people pay for the crimes of their leadership.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine in these difficult times and we support those resisting war in Ukraine, Russia and elsewhere.

- War Resisters' International Executive Committee


We share these statements from others involved in War Resisters' International:

For African and Colonized Peoples, to Understand Ukraine: De-center Europe and Focus on Imperialism

March 1, 2022 -  Black Alliance for Peace

"The Black Alliance for Peace emphatically declares that the conflict in the Ukraine emerges from the ceaseless and single-minded drive of the U.S., NATO, and the European Union for global economic and political dominance. The genesis of the current crisis, as BAP has previously asserted, is in the 2014 US-backed coup of Ukraine’s democratically elected government – and in the determination of the U.S./EU/NATO “axis of domination” to convert Ukraine into a heavily-militarized NATO member nation, lurking on the border of the Russian Federation. NATO’s expansion has been a well-known security concern for Russia since 1999, when Bill Clinton inaugurated the official process of growing NATO’s membership to include former nations of the Warsaw Pact. Today, as the conflict escalates, NATO’s expansion has become an existential threat to African people and all oppressed and colonized people around the world. For peace to arrive in the region and in the world, the expansion of this “axis of domination” must be halted and NATO must be dismantled."

read full statement here: blackallianceforpeace.com/bapstatements/ukrainedecentereurope


 

Women's Appeal for Peace

24 February 24, 2022 (Zagreb) - This appeal was initiated by feminists and peace activists from Croatia, which was supported by feminists and peace activists from the post-Yugoslav countries and the world. 

With consternation and disbelief, we are witnessing the escalation of the war and violence in Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion and the suspension of negotiations between the leaders of Russia and Ukraine.

As female citizens of Europe and the world, we demand from the Government of the Russian Federation to immediately cease hostilities, knowing that war is a crime against peace and humanity. At the same time, we urge all sides in conflict to continue the negotiations through diplomatic channels and to rely on all available non-violent means, in order to find appropriate solutions and ensure long-term peace and security in Ukraine, including the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

As peace activists and feminists, we strongly oppose any act of war by any state or international actor. We oppose the culture of violence based on permanent military armament, constructing and producing of enemies, macho-militaristic competition and creation of new military shields in the heart of Europe.
 
We also oppose the public incitement to war by powerful states based on their geopolitical and financial interests, and warmongering atmosphere that promotes fear and anxiety among the people of Ukraine, but also among the citizens of neighbouring countries as well as citizens of Russia.

As witnesses of the havoc of war and war iconography during the 1990s in our own country, we are well aware of the harmful repercussions of the war and its long-lasting devastating effects on society, civilians and the human community. We know all to well how divided communities in the post-war period suffer from trauma, and feelings of injustice, which makes the healing hard to achieve. For us, human security and the life of every human being is an ethical imperative for every political action, surpassing issues such as state-territorial interests, political independence and military-defence security.

Therefore, we demand for from the Government of the Republic of Croatia to actively support peace efforts in order to prevent further escalation of the conflict.

We express our solidarity with all citizens of Ukraine and express our support for peace initiatives and anti-war movements in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.


Global Civil Society Urges to Stop Saber-Rattling over Ukraine and Negotiate Sustainable Peace

January 11, 2022, By Yurii Sheliazhenko - Український Рух Пацифістів / Ukranian Peace Movement is a non-governmental, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization which aims to promote the right to peace, disarmament, the abolition of conscription, nonviolent resolution of conflicts, and democratic civilian control over military affairs.

"The escalation toward major war in Ukraine is unnecessary, and both West and East share equal responsibility to avoid it. If global leaders fail to negotiate sustainable peace in good faith instead of blame game and violent settlement of their power dispute on the local battlefield in Ukraine, they will be held accountable via nonviolent means by the people of Earth."
 
Read full statement here: https://truth.in.ua/en/public/1206/

Peace Pledge Union statement on Ukraine and Russia

January 21, 2022 - The Peace Pledge Union is the British section of War Resisters’ International.

"The Peace Pledge Union shares the concern felt around the world about the possibility of war between Russia and Ukraine. Sending more troops and more weapons to the area is only making the situation worse."

Read full statement here: https://www.ppu.org.uk/news/peace-pledge-union-statement-ukraine-and-russia


Russian Opponents of War: "If only the war will not happen"

January 30, 2022 - Statement of Peace Supporters against the Party of War in the Russian leadership

"The flow of disturbing information about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine is intensifying... Citizens of Russia are actually becoming hostages of criminal adventurism, which is turning Russia's foreign policy line. They not only live in uncertainty - whether a big war will begin, but also observe a sharp rise in prices and a fall in the national currency. Do Russians need such a policy? Do they want war, and are they ready to bear its burden? Did they give the authorities the right to play such a game with their destinies?"

Read automatic translation of full statement here: https://echo-msk-ru.translate.goog/blog/echomsk/2972500-echo/?_x_tr_sl=ru&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp

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