Is There A Russian Anti-War Movement?

Speaking of antiwar protesters….

I do go on and on about the evils of war and the war in Ukraine….I try to explain why the anti-war movement in the US is a limp dick.

That aside do the Russians have the nuts to stand up and protest this god awful war?

The easy answer is ….yes they do!  And it is more vocal than the Americans.

Given the Russian government’s brutal repression of dissent, the level of Russian resistance to the Putin regime’s war on Ukraine is quite remarkable.

Beginning on the evening of February 24, 2022, the date of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, many thousands of Russians, defying threats from the authorities, staged nonviolent antiwar demonstrations across their nation. On the first night alone, police made 1,820 arrests of peace demonstrators in 58 Russian cities. Over the ensuing weeks, the mass protests continued, with the intrepid demonstrators chanting or holding up signs reading “No to War.” As the authorities viewed any mention of “war” as a crime, even elementary school children were arrested when they said the forbidden slogan. Some peace demonstrators took to holding up blank signs, but they, too, were arrested. By March 13, according to OVD-Info, a Russian human rights group, the police had made at least 14,906 arrests of these and other Russian peace demonstrators.

Russian war resisters also engaged in numerous other activities. Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at Channel One Russia, disrupted the station’s main news program by holding up a sign reading: “NO WAR. Stop the war. Do not believe the propaganda.” Prominent cultural figures and politicians spoke out publicly against the war. By March 1, an online petition protesting the invasion had drawn a million supporters. Signers of open letters that called for stopping the war included 30,000 technology workers, 6,000 medical workers, 3,400 architects, more than 4,300 teachers, more than 17,000 artists, 500 scientists, and 2,000 actors and other creative figures. Other activists posted antiwar stickers in neighborhoods, replaced supermarket labels with protest statements, and even wrote peace messages on currency. Most startlingly, Russian soldiers began refusing to fight in Ukraine.

Naturally, the authorities were infuriated by this resistance and determined to crush it. Demonstrations were brutally suppressed through arrests, huge fines, and violence against activists. To bolster the legal basis for repression, the Russian parliament passed laws that provided 10 years imprisonment for spreading “fake” news about the armed forces and 5 years imprisonment for “discrediting the army.” In mid-March, Vladimir Putin publicly denounced “the scum and the traitors” who opposed his war policy and promised that the Russian people would “spit them out” like insects who had flown into their mouths. This “necessary self-cleansing of society will only strengthen our country,” he promised.

Homage to Russian War Resisters

I am glad to see that there are those with principles and nuts that will stand up to the policies of Vlad the Invader….

Maybe the US will find its guts and take to the streets….that is if they can back away from the game console or Twatter or Tki Tak long enough to make a difference.

I have my doubts.

Any thoughts that you would like to share?  (Please make it about antiwar protesters)

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


War, It’s Dark Is Worst Than It’s Light

Finally there is a call to arms over Ukraine….Sunday 19Feb23….a protest.

I was one of those ‘pinkos’ as we were called back in the day……when I returned from Vietnam I got deeply into the antiwar scene and since those days I have never wavered from my belief that war is a last result.

Step back into history for all those that have short memories….

Consider just one long-gone date in the world of give-peace-(not-war)-a-chance: January 27, 1973. On that day, the United States, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and the South Vietnamese rebel forces signed an agreement initiating a cease-fire during which the U.S. would withdraw its troops and dismantle all its bases in the South. On that very same day in this country, the draft was ended, launching what would become America’s all-volunteer military. Richard Nixon was still president then. He had long been convinced, as Andrew Glass wrote at Politico, that “ending the draft could be an effective political weapon against the burgeoning antiwar movement. He believed middle-class youths would lose interest in protesting the war once it became clear that they would not have to fight, and possibly die, in Vietnam.”

Though it was already too late for Nixon to test out that thesis in terms of America’s disastrous war in Vietnam, almost half a century later, it seems as if he was onto something. I was in that “burgeoning antiwar movement” of the late 1960s and early 1970s; turned in my draft card in protest; was often in the streets demonstrating against the war; and worked as an antiwar journalist at a time when, among others, both rebellious students and antiwar soldiers demonstrated repeatedly, often in significant numbers, against a first-class horror thousands of miles away.

In this century, we haven’t exactly lacked Vietnam equivalents. After all, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the administration of President George W. Bush launched its Global War on Terror and, with it, two fiercely destructive distant conflicts that could have been considered Vietnam-competitive. I’m thinking, of course, of the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. The devastating war in Iraq following that invasion continued for years, while the one in Afghanistan only ended (disastrously) in August 2021. And yet here was the odd thing: though there were large antiwar protests in February 2003 against the coming invasion of Iraq and more followed after that war began, unlike in the Vietnam era, they died out all too soon, while this country’s conflicts went grimly on (and on and on).

Originally posted at TomDispatch.

I see that I am one of a very few these days that opposes war… what happened to us antiwar people?

This is the American Conservatives take on my question….

On Feb. 15, 2003, 14 million people poured into the streets of 800 cities worldwide to oppose the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. It was a preemptive response to the preemptive war hatched by Bush administration, and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, it was the largest protest ever in human history. Yet the 2003 protest was also a swan song of sorts: the movement that gave rise to it is now all but defunct—namely, the antiwar left.

Two decades later, as U.S. hawks press for relentless escalation against nuclear Russia, and as European leaders unfailingly toe Washington’s line, there is no major movement of the left to channel dissent. Nor are there commanding antiwar figures comparable in stature to the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Labour M.P. Tony Benn, who spoke for the movement in 2003. Old antiwar groups, like the ANSWER Coalition, are either silent or struggling to be heard.

Some two-dozen House progressives on Monday called for diplomacy, but antiwar leftists who championed the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders and The Squad must surely be disappointed, as the few elected socialists on Capitol Hill dutifully voted “Yes” on one massive Ukraine military-aid package after another. Some veteran left-of-center restrainers, meanwhile, such as former Ploughshares Fund boss Joe Cirincione, sound downright Kristolian, what with the calls to smoke out a “pro-Putin axis.”

Whatever Happened to the Antiwar Left?

I have been saddened by the lack of concern for our propensity for endless war…..but that could change (he said with fingers crossed)….

On February 19, Washington, DC, will witness a protest against the war in Ukraine that marks a sharp departure from past demonstrations. The lead demand is simple and direct, “Not One More Penny for war in Ukraine.” It is a demand that emphasizes what we in the US can do to end the war, not what others can do. After all, the only government we have the power to influence is our own.

Above and beyond that demand, the potential power of this unique and promising movement arises from the nature of the sponsoring organizations – The Peoples Party, a progressive new Party, and the Libertarian Party. It is in fact what much of the press would term a “right-left” Coalition, spanning a spectrum broad enough to actually bring the proxy war in Ukraine to an end. Fittingly, the organizers are calling the protest “Rage Against the War Machine.” With the war in Ukraine putting us the precipice of nuclear Armageddon, “rage” might be considered a mild reaction.

The Peoples Party is probably the lesser known of the two sponsoring organizations, because it’s newer. Its founder and National Chair is Nick Brana, a lead organizer of the protest. Brana was National Coordinator of the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, but has turned his back on the Democrats in disgust over the failure progressive Democratic pols to fight for the promises they made. Among the speakers at the Party’s founding convention in 2020 were Cornel West, Chris Hedges, Jimmy Dore and Nina Turner (co-chair of the Sanders 2020 campaign).

The Libertarian Party is better known. It has been around longer and, though small, is the third largest political party in the US by voter registration. The present National Chair, Angela McCardle, is the other lead organizer of the DC protest. In American political life, probably, the best known representative of libertarian values, most notably a principled anti-interventionist stance in foreign policy, is Ron Paul.

Right and Left To Join in D.C. Protest: ‘Not One More Penny for War in Ukraine’

Will this make a difference?

I wish I could be more positive but the American people do not have the capability of understanding the consequences of war anymore.

It is sad.

This country needs a “Rage against the war machine”

Feb. 19: We Need a Huge Rage Against the War Machine

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”