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.

By Janet Parker and James Oldenburg, Antiwar.com

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.”

Wisconsin anti-war activists

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 WarWI 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.