This week we brought our anti-war message to progressives in Congress! We are appalled that NO progressives are saying what the majority of American people are saying: We need peace talks, not more war. Former champions of peace like Senator Bernie Sanders have aligned themselves with the pro-war establishment, abandoning many in the movement who propelled them to office.
We know Bernie understands that diplomacy is the solution, but power concedes nothing without a demand. This is why CODEPINK held a beautiful intergenerational advocacy day with over 60 peace activists in Congress this Wednesday. Our youngest activist was 2 years old, and our oldest was 89! We started with a sit-in at Senator Bernie Sanders’s office, where 11 of us were handcuffed and arrested. Our crime? Holding up a sign with Bernie's quote from a speech he delivered on the Senate floor just before the Russian invasion. The speech called for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Bernie has heard from us and now he – and The Squad need to hear from you, too!
We went from office to office and heard the same question: “Do you really think negotiations will work?” the staffers asked us condescendingly, conveniently forgetting that it’s their war funding policy that hasn’t worked for the past year and a half! We confronted pro-war forces wherever we encountered them. We ran into a handful of representatives and senators and demanded they support negotiations – we even crashed a pro-war press conference!
On Tuesday evening, hundreds of people packed our anti-war rally featuring several speakers including Dr. Cornel West who called for a renewal of the peace movement— one that is morally consistent. We can’t just care about our own country, we have a profound responsibility to be internationalist in our approach. All of our speakers highlighted the urgency of the current moment as we head towards the second anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine is losing negotiating power every day. More Ukrainians are dying, and $140 billion later, members of Congress insist that $24 billion more will end the war for good. Fueling this war endlessly will only kill more people—that’s how wars of attrition go. We cannot be silent in the face of so much death and destruction. We need to be steadfast in our belief that war is never the answer.
Ann, Danaka, Cale, Calla, Farida, Grace, Jasmine, Jodie, Marcy, Medea, Melissa, Michelle, Nancy, Nour, Nuvpreet, Paki, Terry, Tian, Tim, and Ysa