We in the United States are on the brink of war with a major nuclear power, Russia. If that is not a dire emergency, an acute existential threat, what is? This situation has persisted for a year now without a national protest to stop the slide to Armageddon.
Given the proximity of nuclear Armageddon, the reaction that sanity dictates has now materialized for the first time. On February 19 in Washington DC, a demonstration against the war, RageAgainstWar, will take place, with sister rallies occurring in cities distant from DC, like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, and others.
But its organization and composition represent a radical departure from the peace movements of the last 40 years. The organizational framework for Feb. 19 has leapt the bounds of conventional political discourse. The effort is being led by a broad coalition of forces from “left” to “right.” The Peoples Party, a new progressive Party growing out of dissatisfaction with the Bernie Sanders campaigns and forfeited promises, and the Libertarian Party have taken the lead, represented by Nick Brana and Angela McCardle, respectively.
Here is a brief interview with McCardle and Brana conducted by David Swanson of World Beyond War, himself one of the featured speakers at the rally. It reveals two competent and inspiring leaders who provide an eloquent and clear exposition of the event. A full list of the speakers at the rally with their bios is found here and includes Jill Stein, Tulsi Gabbard, Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney, Dan McKnight, Garland Nixon, Daniel McAdams, Chris Hedges and many others.
The lead demand of the demonstration is simple, straightforward and unequivocal: “Not one more penny for war in Ukraine.” It summarizes the point of unity among the politically diverse forces that are brought together for this event. And it directs the attention of this American protest to our own government, the only one which we can hope to influence in the real world.
Furthermore, the lead demand of the event recognizes that the US is not simply a bystander in this event. The war in Ukraine is our war, a war ginned up by the neocon-dominated foreign policy Establishment. It is a proxy war waged by the US, cruelly and cynically using Ukrainians as cannon fodder. Its purpose, as the clueless Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin acknowledged, is to “weaken” Russia. In the words of the second demand of the rally, “Negotiate Peace,”
“The US instigated the war with a coup on its democratically-elected government in 2014, and then sabotaged a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine in March, 2022. Pursue an immediate ceasefire and diplomacy to end the war.”
A brief and complete history of the genesis of this war can be found in pamphlet sized books here and here, beginning with the expansion of NATO and the US-backed 2014 coup. In fact the beginning of the US assault on Russia antedates those events going all the way back to the 1990s with the US-engineered Russian Great Depression, worse than our own in the 1930s….