Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Peace with Russia Demonstration by Janice Sevre-Duszynska ARCWP

When I heard that Putin was sending more troops and weapons to the border with Ukraine, like others, I sensed the insides of my stomach tighten. Would he really invade? If it happened, could it lead to a nuclear war? I remember seeing photographs of the nuclear shadows of Hiroshima which were scorched into the city by the blinding light of the atomic bomb detonated August 6, 1945.

On television, I witnessed the arrival of young US soldiers arriving in a snow-laden Europe. Dread rose up in me as I recalled memories of Vietnam veterans who smoked incessantly through Professor Joe Chang’s Shakespeare class at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Mitchell Hall. Another flashback was of Uncle Henry’s horrifying annual saga of the Battle of the Bulge told to me and my cousins every Christmas Eve in our grandmother’s [busia’s] house. This was a startling scene, as he was quite taciturn.

So, Max and I followed the lead of CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin and joined an anti-war demonstration in Baltimore on a very cold and windy February 5. I produced two signs for us -- “Peace with Russia” and “Yes” to Peace, “No” to War” – with little hesitation. I also brought with us the “Stop the War Machine, Export Peace” banner. Sadly, the Pentagon budget dwarfs spending on social services, and at about $730 billion tax dollars is close to 60 percent of the discretionary federal budget. Like Rev. William Barber, I believe the federal budget is a moral document. In this case, it is immoral to waste tax dollars on war-mongering and to short-change health care, education and environmental protections. This is a very difficult time as we are dealing with a pandemic and climate chaos, but unfortunately our legislators are bought by the weapons contractors.

We were joined by others equally concerned about the madness of a war with Russia, including members of Women in Black, Veterans for Peace, CPUSA-Baltimore club and Johns Hopkins University students. Despite the gloomy setting, lots of passersby showed their approval. And afterwards, some of us enjoyed a community meal and conversation at a nearby restaurant. I thought it was a wonderful way to relax despite the ominous clouds of war

Janice Sevre-Duszynska- ARCWP

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