What Can I Do To Prevent Nuclear War? You Can Shout ‘No’ Now!

The Biden administration has just approved using U.S. weapons to attack Crimea, a horrifying leap closer to nuclear war. This chain of escalation can only go so far. We agree with journalist Caitlin Johnstone that, "Everyone on earth should be shouting a loud, unequivocal “no” to this at the top of their lungs."

Some are. This month anti-war voices have gotten into the New York Times and The Hill, a DC newspaper. We’ve been active here in Wisconsin with two antiwar groups – Madison for a World BEYOND War and Wisconsin Against World War 3 (WI vs WW3). Here’s a short video of our May 6 antiwar demonstration, at the large farmers market at our state capitol in Madison. We’re sharing what we’ve been doing in hopes that you will join us, or join with activists near you to make some noise. You can do it!

On May 16, an open letter from the Eisenhower Media Network to the Biden administration was published as a full-page ad in the New York Times, from a group of former military, intelligence, and civilian national security officials. Their headline: "The U.S. Should Be a Force for Peace in the World." Watch coverage here on Democracy Now! and read the open letter here.

The letter begins, "The Russia-Ukraine War has been an unmitigated disaster. Hundreds of thousands have been killed or wounded. Millions have been displaced. Environmental and economic destruction have been incalculable. Future devastation could be exponentially greater as nuclear powers creep ever closer toward open war.

"As Americans and national security experts, we urge President Biden and Congress to use their full power to end the Russia-Ukraine War speedily through diplomacy, especially given the grave dangers of military escalation that could spiral out of control.

"We deplore the violence, war crimes, indiscriminate missile strikes, terrorism, and other atrocities that are part of this war. The solution to this shocking violence is not more weapons or more war, with their guarantee of further death and destruction."

What a welcome development! More welcome news: The Peace in Ukraine Coalition’s ceasefire and peace talks petition was printed on May 24 in The Hill, a widely-read Capitol Hill newspaper.

In Wisconsin we have been raising our voices for diplomacy to end the war. We’ve held demonstrations we call Wisconsin Against World War 3 (WI vs WW3). These are big-tent events, including veterans, socialists, Catholics, Quakers, libertarians, and Democrats. A video is here of our WI vs WW3 demonstration in Madison.

We’ve done 31 War Abolition Walks in Madison since April 2022 to call for an end to the war in Ukraine, and all war. Sometimes we walk a few blocks together, sometimes a few miles. We visit the offices of our members of Congress. We often get on the local TV news; you can watch coverage here and here. We hold signs that say, "Defuse Nuclear War" and "Weapons Makers Are the Only Winners." We pass out flyers. People stop to talk with us, their faces lit up with hope. They say, "Thank you for doing this," and "I agree," and "Why don’t we hear this perspective in the media?"

In March, we helped host the 20th Midwest Catholic Worker Faith & Resistance Gathering, which brought together well over 100 people to resist the F-35 fighter jets and war. Those civil disobedience actions got lots of media attention.

War is organized mass murder. We are part of a global movement for war abolition. All wars end in negotiations. Why not skip the killing and start with negotiating? Almost all human conflicts are resolved nonviolently, between individuals and between nations. Only a tiny number of conflicts lead to people killing each other. But once wars get started, they are addictive and terribly hard to stop. We are doing what we can so that the war in Ukraine ends in negotiations, not nuclear annihilation.

Will you shout with us in Wisconsin, or make some noise wherever you are with other antiwar activists? The Peace in Ukraine Coalition and World BEYOND War are great places to connect with others. In Wisconsin, check out Madison for a World BEYOND War, WI vs WW3, and Peace Action Wisconsin.

Photos by Paul McMahon, Madison Veterans for Peace, Chapter 25.

James Oldenburg is a recording artist and co-founder of Wisconsin Against World War 3 (WI vs WW3). Janet Parker is co-coordinator of Madison for a World BEYOND War.

16 thoughts on “What Can I Do To Prevent Nuclear War? You Can Shout ‘No’ Now!”

  1. I’d go to the demonstration if I were there. The people should take the protests to the White House so there would be a lot more media coverage. Both Democrats & Republicans are warmongers when they are in charge but some of them are against wars when the other party is in charge. More people blame Republicans for wars than Democrats for wars.
    Mehdi Hassan of MSNBC rightfully criticizes Republicans for wars but does not criticize Democrats for wars. He says Kissinger, W & many other Republicans should be prosecuted for war crimes & they should be. He doesn’t say Democrats doing the same thing should be & they both should be prosecuted for war crimes. He criticizes the Obama’s for becoming friends with the Bushes but won’t say the Obamas are just as guilty & have just as much blood on their hands.

  2. Apocalypse Dawn

    “Angry red drips from the sky, flowing into shallow graves, where sistine eyes, in hollow skulls, gaze at mornings dawn…

    Wailing winds, invoking incantations, the soul of man is singing, lamentations of our trespasses, in this world, it is the end of our beginning…

    In the wake of the apocalypse, bones rise from the fetted mire, ordained with rotting flesh, as tribute to the modern man.

    Acrid rain, pelts the earth
    and through the pukish haze emerges,
    the hideous, grotesque shape of man,
    standing naked, the nature of our beginnings”…

  3. Simple solution: Putin removes all Russian troops from Ukraine and stops threatening nuclear war.

    Does anyone really think Ukraine will pursue the Russians into Russia? That would never happen. (No matter how much commenters believe it would.)

    This has the possibility of escalation due ONLY to Putin’s actions and threats. Putin is not acting in self-defense. He uses that excuse to cover for his war of aggression. (The same excuse the US used to go into Iraq.) He leaves Ukraine, the threat of nuclear war is over. Let’s stop deluding ourselves.

    1. Biden should dissolve NATO, end all of America’s wars, aid to Ukraine & Israel & close all US Bases abroad. That would end the war in Ukraine. The USSR & Warsaw Pact were dissolved long ago. Not only is NATO still around, its membership has expanded & includes most former Warsaw Pact members & some members that were neither NATO nor Warsaw Pact members during the Cold War. Finland recently joined NATO, Sweden can’t get in yet because it doesn’t have unanimous support.

      1. Although I can get behind your proposal, no US war — since WWII — put the world in jeopardy of nuclear holocaust. The USSR and Warsaw Pact devolved because they couldn’t sustain the model. NATO expanded due to Putin’s threat of aggression. That’s the real history of it.

        1. Wrong! You’re so brainwashed by your hatred of Putin that you can’t see reality. The fact is that NATO expansion was driven by U.S. arms manufacturers, who were concerned that the dissolution of the Soviet Union and end of the cold war would lessen their profits. It had nothing to do with Russian aggression, which didn’t exist after the fall of the Soviet Union.

    2. Simple solution: The U.S. closes all foreign military bases and stops meddling in the political affairs of other countries. This is a U.S. proxy war, and the U.S. is pushing the world toward nuclear war more than Russia is, though I agree that it was wrong of Russia to threaten the use of nuclear weapons.

      Your final paragraph shows total ignorance of the context and history of this situation. The U.S. has been provoking and threatening Russia ever since the Soviet Union disbanded, and it finally came to a head with Russia invading Ukraine. Ukraine is just caught in the middle here, this war has nothing to do with that country.

      1. If Putin invaded Ukraine because the US “provoked” him then he a bigger fool than I originally thought.

        However, that is not his reason for invading. It was to restore the Russian Empire. He wants to be Peter the Great. He’s after power and prestige.


        1. Putin doesn’t seem so foolish as to believe that he’s got any chance of restoring the Russian empire to e.g. its Soviet Union scope/size.

          He seems to be more intent on slowing its decline, and Ukraine suddenly swinging from Russian satrapy to US/NATO satrapy in 2014 was problematic in that respect.

          By February of 2022, he probably felt like a demonstration of Russian military might was the only way to stem the disintegration. Eight years of proxy war had failed to bring Donetsk/Luhansk firmly back within his empire’s grasp, and he’d had to send troops into Belarus and Kazakhstan to prop up his satraps there.

          A quick Donbas land-grab a la the little dust-up with Georgia probably seemed like the way to demonstrate who was still boss. And if it hadn’t turned into a fiasco on him, that would likely have worked.

          1. Ukraine didn’t “suddenly swing” from allying with Russia to allying with the U.S. and the west, that’s whitewashing what really happened. The U.S. fomented a coup in Ukraine that overthrew the democratically elected president, who in fact was trying to work with both the west and with Russia. The west wouldn’t give Ukraine a good deal on gas, so Yanukovych got a better deal from Russia.

            As to empires, this U.S. proxy war is far more about the U.S. extending its empire than Russia maintaining what minuscule empire it may have left. Despite the fact that all large countries, including the U.S. and Russia, lie regularly about almost everything, it’s objectively clear that Russia had a very good reason to feel threatened by first NATO expansion eastward, then the U.S.-fomented coup in 2014.

          2. But that’s false equivalence. The U.S. is by far the dominant empire on the planet. Whatever little Russia has left is not even close. As a country, Russia is far too big, but so are the U.S., China, Australia, Canada, and India.

          3. Inserting relative notional measures on your part does not constitute false equivalence on my part.

            From 1945-1990, the US and Russian empires were in plausible competition and both in slow decline. The Russian empire fell further, faster than the US empire in the years around 1990; there’s more remaining of the US empire. But they’re both on their way out.

        2. Again, you’re brainwashed and that statement is detached from reality. Putin has actually shut down the idea of annexing other countries by people in Russia’s government who wanted to do so because they saw as those countries as threats due to their joining NATO and placing missiles ever closer to Russia. The U.S. has Russia virtually surrounded militarily, but you don’t think Russia had a reason to feel threatened?

          It’s the U.S. that has almost 1,000 military bases around the world, not Russia. It’s the U.S. that fomented a coup in Ukraine that directly led to the current situation, not Russia. It’s the U.S. that has allied with the Nazis in Ukraine to overthrow the democratically elected president and attack the ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine on Russia’s border, not Russia. Etc.

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