(Editor’s note: This was originally published on February 21 prior to the invasion.)
The commercial mass media, more than ever an arm of the culture of war, has trumpeted claims that the Ukraine is about to be invaded by Russia in open warfare and that the US and NATO are moving forces into the surrounding countries.
What you don’t find in the commercial mass media is any mention of the antiwar declarations by peace activists in all of the countries concerned.
By careful searching we have been able to find these declarations. Here they are.
Ukraine: The Ukrainian Pacifist Movement has published a declaration on their facebook page, demanding
– compliance with the Minsk peace agreement of 2015;
– withdrawal of all troops,
– suspension of all supplies of weapons and military equipment,
– suspension of total mobilization of the population for war, propaganda of war and hostility of civilizations in the media and social media.”
and going beyond the Ukraine they demand:
– global deescalation and disarmament
– the dissolution of military alliances,
– the elimination of armies and borders dividing people.”
Russia: An open letter, signed by many Russian artists, politicians and academics, and even a retired colonel of the armed forces, criticizes what they call “the party of war in the Russian leadership.” “Only one point of view. is presented on state television, and that is the point of view of the supporters of the war. We hear about military threats and aggression concerning Ukraine by America and Western countries. But the most dangerous thing is that war is being presented as an acceptable and inevitable course of events. People are trying to deceive, corrupt, impose on us the idea of a holy war with the West instead of developing our country and raising our standard of living. The question is not discussed, but it is ordinary people who will have to pay this price – a huge and bloody price.”
Ironically, the Google document with the full list of signatures is blocked by Google, with the statement that “You can’t access this item because it is in violation of our Terms of Service.”
(Editor’s note: More recently, as of March 5, protests have intensified including thousands of Russian IT workers, teachers, the directors of LUKOIL, the largest private company in Russia, mathematicians, chess champions, artists and cultural workers and scientists who have signed open letters or declarations against the war.)
United States: The United National AntiWar Coalition (UNAC), which brings together most of the leading antiwar organizations of the United States, has issued a statement recalling that the United States promised Soviet leaders at the end of the Cold War that NATO would not expand east of Germany, and criticizing the West for breaking this promise and threatening Russia.
– No US weapons or military advisors for the Ukrainian military;
– Stop the US saber rattling;
– No war with Russia;
– Keep Ukraine out of NATO.
France: An extensive list of French peace organizations and trade unions have signed a statement condemning the “geopolitical games at work both on the part of the Russian Federation, the European Union, NATO and others” and demanding:
– Immediate negotiations for de-escalation;
– Stopping threats, NATO and Russian troop concentrations and arms deliveries to all parties;
– A ceasefire in Ukraine and the implementation of existing agreements;
– That the United Nations be the privileged framework for developing political and diplomatic solutions to settle the Ukrainian question.
United Kingdom: Stop the War Coalition has issued a statement opposing war in the Ukraine and criticizing the role the the Britsh government has played by talking up the threat of war continually, advancing no proposals for a diplomatic solution and sending arms to Ukraine and deploying further troops to Eastern Europe. Among other demands, the Coalition call for “a halt to the eastward expansion of NATO” and “a new security deal for Europe which meets the needs of all states and peoples.”
Germany: A petition signed by over 200 German politicians and peace activists states that “A one-sided blaming of Russia, as practiced by some Western governments and in the major media, is unjustified and is increasingly taking on the character of war propaganda.” The petition demands:
– Concrete steps to de-escalate, no military supplies to Kiev,
– No more war rhetoric, confrontational politics and sanctions against Russia;
– Active advocacy for the implementation of the Minsk II agreement, which is binding under international law ;
– Negotiations with Russia based on a clear commitment to detente and the principle of common security;
– Active advocacy for arms control and disarmament negotiations.
In addition to these declarations by peace activists, the European Leadership Network has published an updated set of seven far-reaching recommendations for reducing the military tensions between Russia, the US and NATO that is signed by 26 leading Russian academicians and 49 leading academicians from the West. In addition to academicians among the signatories from the United States are former ambassadors to Russia, Ukraine and NATO, a former Secretary of Defense, and several retired admirals and generals. On the Russian side there are also very high-placed signatories in addition to academicians, including the former head of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, a former ambassador to the United States, a former Chief Military Representive to NATO and a retired general of the armed forces.
Will the political leaders of Russia, Ukraine, United States and NATO listen to these voices, even though they are not found in the commercial mass media. We can only hope so.
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