The first national demonstration against the Ukraine War under the banner of Rage Against War will take place on February 19 in Washington, DC. The lead demand is "Not One More Penny for War in Ukraine." It is being organized by the left-wing Peoples Party and the Libertarian Party, a broad coalition that reflects the enormous concern, transcending ideologies, over the U.S. proxy war to the last Ukrainian and the path to nuclear Armageddon on which we now tread.
But what about all those who crave peace but for one reason or another cannot make it to Washington? For people like us, many cities are having local rallies, sister demonstrations, in support of the national effort in DC. San Francisco is one such city. A full list of sister city demonstrations and information about them and details about each can be found here on the RageAgainstWar web site. At the time of this writing they include cities in 10 states: Corvalis, OR; Ann Arbor, MI; Los Angeles, CA; Milwaukee, WI; Bath, ME; Santa Cruz, CA; Denver, CO; Fresno, CA; Tacoma, WA; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle, WA; HiLo, HI; Austin, TX – and of course, San Francisco, CA. Details of each and contacts are here. (Some occur a day or two before Feb. 19.)
The local RageAgainstWar in San Francisco.
In San Francisco, the event will commence with a rally at Embarcadero Plaza, across from the Ferry Building, at noon, Sunday, February 19. After speeches there, the participants will march a short distance to the offices of Lockheed Martin to protest the war machine which is a major driver of our endless wars.
More details of these and follow-on events can be found on the Facebook page of the tireless Cynthia Papermaster, the principal organizer of the SF events. The speakers at the Embarcadero Plaza and Lockheed Martin include: Ray McGovern, Harvey Wasserman, Cindy Sheehan, Shahid Buttar, Arienne Harrison, Cat Brooks, Dayton Andrews, Mike Wong, John Walsh, Francisco Herrera, Cynthia Papermaster, and Eric Garris, co-founder of Antiwar.com.
The Spirit and Leading Demands of the February 19 events.
For a guide to the content and spirit of the events in San Francisco, and the National Demonstration in Washington, DC, the two leading demands provide a good summary:
The first demand is "Not one more penny for war in Ukraine." It summarizes the point of unity among the politically diverse forces that come 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.
The second demand is "Negotiate Peace." It is stated as follows:"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."
Together with the lead demand, the second recognizes that the US is not simply a bystander in this war. 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 Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin blurted out, is to "weaken" Russia.
One of the best ways to understand the spirit of February 19 is to view the brief interview below by David Swanson, a speaker at the DC rally, with Nick Brana of the Peoples Party and Angela McCardle of the Libertarian Party. There you will see two inspiring and capable of leaders of a new generation of antiwar activists, quite enough to make one make haste for the nearest February rally.
John V. Walsh, until recently a Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, has written on issues of peace and health care for the San Francisco Chronicle, EastBayTimes/San Jose Mercury News, Asia Times, LA Progressive, Antiwar.com, CounterPunch, Consortium News, Scheerpost and others.