The Peace Movement: Alive and well
As the war in Ukraine threatens to unleash a new world war, the peace movement is rising to the occasion to provide an alternative.
In this month’s CPNN, we carry articles from the peace movements in the United States, Italy, France, England and Germany, as well as information about the remnants of peace movements in Ukraine and Russia.
In the United States and Canada antiwar actions were held in more than 70 areas at the end of October. The actions took place in answer to a call from the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), and were joined by a coalition of antiwar groups from Canada and also by some European countries. The actions filled a void during the pre-election campaigns in the United States because the Ukraine War was not debated by the candidates of either political party. The UNAC demands are “Stop Washington’s war moves toward Russia and China; Stop endless wars: Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, everywhere.”
In Rome, Italy, 30,000 people took part in a demonstration demanding negotiations for peace in the Ukraine. It was organized by the trade unions CGIL, CISL and UIL, ARCI, ACLI, ANP, together with the community of Sant’Egidio, the association Libera, Emergency, Sbilanciamoci and the Aoi. Reduce military spending in favor of investments for poverty, ecological transition and decent work, guarantee shared security, which “does not come from weapons that only cause suffering to the populations”: these were some of the demands raised by the stage.”
150 activists from 62 of the 101 departments in France were delegates to the congress of Mouvement de la Paix that met in November in the City Hall of Tours. The Congress was also attended by activists from 14 other countries and representatives of national organizations such as Arac, CGT, Free Thought, ACCA, Teachers for Peace, Pugwash, Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament (IDN), Afcdrp, International Feminist Initiative, Europ Ecology The Greens (EELV), Pcf, Pax Christi, Ccfd, Solidarity peoples, Acat, France Kurdistan, Christian migrants, peace educators, international handicap, family planning. An appeal from the Congress calls for national days of action on December 13-14, for a Christmas ceasefire in the Ukraine, and for a world mobilization against all wars on 24 February 2023.
In Germany, after a two-year break, the nationwide Peace Council 2022 will take place as a face-to-face event on December 10th and 11th. This meeting comes at a time when: the Ukraine war is escalating into an open proxy war between NATO and Russia; humanity is threatened by nuclear self-destruction; the EU economic war is leading to massive social protests; open debate is restricted on these topics; and there is a great need for discussion within the peace movement.
In England, the first ever trade union conference of the Stop the War movement will take place on 21 January. The call says “It’s vital that we connect the struggles of the anti-war and labour movements and make the call to ‘cut warfare not welfare’ at this crucial time. We stand alongside our teachers, nurses, firefighters, lecturers and all those who refuse to see their living standards eroded to pay for the misery of war.”
In the Ukraine, the small, but persistent, peace movement, from which we published an anti-war manifesto earlier this year, continues to send its message of peace to Western activists, including an eloquent letter that was read to the meeting of Mouvement de la Paix mentioned above.
As for a peace movement in Russia, the thousands, even millions, of voices that we published earlier this year in CPNN, have mostly been silenced by Russian authorities. However, some Russian anti-war activists have fled to other countries and continue to publish. A good example is Meduza which recently published an article describing the reactions of Russian mothers against the war in Ukraine. They were excluded from the meeting that Putin held with mothers of Russian soldiers.
Looking into the future, let’s support the call of Mouvement de la Paix for a Christmas ceasefire and world mobilization on February 2023. In the Ukraine, all sides of the war are suffering and need a ceasefire. And in the rest of the world where over 100 armed conflicts are continuing, the people long for peace.
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|FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION
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