As the nuclear “Doomsday Clock” inches towards midnight, peace, anti-war and Climate Crisis activists took the streets today across the country to protest their “Rage against the War Machine” demanding substantive de-escalation of the Russian-Ukraine war and calling for “Not one penny for war in Ukraine” while emphatically calling for substantive changes to reverse the climate crisis. Participants in the San Francisco event sponsored by Code Pink also demanded Global Nuclear De-Escalation; no war with China or Russia; slashing the Pentagon budget; disbanding NATO; the freeing of all political prisoners including Julian Assange and an emphasis on community care.
Calling for an end to the war now, were several speakers including Eric Garris of Antiwar.com who remarked that “…this administration and most of our representatives have decided to endanger our lives and risk Armageddon. In less than a year, they have spent over 100 billion dollars to feed this war at the expense of everyone except the military industrial complex.” In attempting to shut the war down he reflected that during the Vietnam war resistance movement, everyone was welcome to participate regardless of any other differences they may have had in a combined effort to shut the war down.
Today “…we should welcome and embrace everyone who opposes the advance towards WWIII.” Noting that war monger’s welcome division by and between anti-war activists to weaken resistance. This was particularity the case as a small group of pro-Putin Russian sympathizers were present holding aloft the Russian and a red Communist flag along with a sign calling on the US not to arm Ukraine and to “cancel Zelensky.”
“Not one penny more for Joe Biden’s cruel proxy war” was how a spokesman from Veteran’s For Peace summed up the war in Ukraine. As to the goal of the war he quoted Secretary of Defense Austin as saying it was “to weaken Russia.” And attributing to Ambassador Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the Department of State–whom he referred to as “one of the chief architects of the war”–that US involvement was to “…get rid of the Putin government or any government like it in Russia.” This he likened to as keeping the US as hegemon of the globe that he described as a “nutty goal.”
In closing he warned that we are challenging Russia and they said, “You can’t threaten our existence, or we will go nuclear. We are on the path to nuclear war and we the people here because we control our government have the right and the responsibility and the duty to stop it. And I hope we do!”
As Russian war in Ukraine continues with Putin threatening to use nuclear weapons along with rising tensions between nuclear armed India and Pakistan over Kashmir and a global Climate Crisis in full swing, the Dooms Day clock created in 1947 by atomic scientists to measure how close humanity is to total annihilation, has reached its highest point ever at 90 seconds to Midnight. This supersedes the clocks highest previous measurement during the Cold. In response UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned of a “wider war” recently noting, “We need to wake up — and get to work.”
After rallying the group and marched to confront the “War Machine Village in the SF Financial District” where they protested outside of the offices of “War Profiteers: Merchant of Death, Lockheed Martin” where they performed a skit and held a Duck and Cover drill on the sidewalk outside the entrance to the building. See: https://tinyurl.com/5666ekzj
The simple exercise was a staple of American elementary schools during the Cold War in the1950s in expectation that if school children ducked under their desks while covering their heads and necks with their arms, they would be protected from an atomic detonation. Like so many things well intentioned, “Duck and Cover” was nothing more than an illusionary concept that anyone could survive such an attack.
Let us hope that the very illusion of a pending nuclear Armageddon is enough to shock the world and its leaders into working together in resolving the wars and their differences but creating conditions that will help stabilize the Peace that has so much to offer all of us.
Photo Phil Pasquini
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(This article has previously appeared in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and Nuzeink.)
Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and Nuze.ink. He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.