Stop The War is supporting a day of global protests for peace and for an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine this Sunday.
On Wednesday a packed meeting at Conway Hall in London heard an impressive array of speakers. But the most impressive and inspiring contribution came with the reading from a declaration against the war by a newly formed coalition of Russian socialists.
We may be called Putin’s Puppets for challenging the pro-NATO narrative and questioning the role of Western governments in bringing us to this point. But to challenge Putin from inside Russia takes international solidarity to a whole new level. Here is the statement in full.
Manifesto of the Socialists Against the War Coalition
The Russian government betrayed its promises of peace and stability, leading the country into war and economic catastrophe.
Like any war in history, this one divides us all into poles: for and against. Kremlin propaganda tries to convince us that the nation is united behind the government — and that it is the pathetic renegades, the pro-Western liberals and the enemy mercenaries who demand peace. This is an untenable lie. This time, the elders of the Kremlin are in the minority. Most Russians do not want a fratricidal war, even among those who still trust the Russian government. They close their eyes as best they can, so as not to see how the world drawn by Russia’s propagandists disintegrates before them. Many still hope that this is not a war, much less an aggressive one, but a “special operation” designed to “liberate” the Ukrainian people. Terrible footage of brutal bombing and shelling of cities will soon destroy these myths. And even Putin’s most loyal voters will say: we did not give you consent to this unjust war!
Already today, tens of millions of people all over the country have expressed their horror and disgust at the actions of the Putin administration. These are people of various persuasions. Most, as the propagandists claim, are not liberals. Among them are a great many people of leftist, socialist or communist views. And of course, these people — the majority of our people — are true patriots.
We are told that the opponents of this war are hypocrites — that they stand not against the war, but for the West. This is a lie. We have never been supporters of the United States and its imperialist policies. When Ukrainian troops shelled Donetsk and Luhansk, we were not silent. Nor will we be silent now, when Kharkov, Kiev and Odessa are being bombed on the orders of Putin and his camarilla.
There are so many reasons to fight against the war. For us advocates of social justice, equality and freedom, several are especially important:
- This is an unjust invasion. No threat to the Russian state exists that would warrant sending our soldiers to kill and die. They are not “liberating” anyone. They are not helping any popular movement. They are nothing but a regular army tearing down peaceful Ukrainian towns at the behest of a handful of billionaires who dream of keeping their grip on Russia forever.
- This war produces incalculable disasters for our peoples. Both Ukrainians and Russians are paying for it dearly with their blood. Long after the dust has settled, poverty, inflation and unemployment will affect everyone. It is not the oligarchs and bureaucrats who will foot the bill, but poor teachers, workers, pensioners and the unemployed. Many of us will have no means to feed our children.
- This war will turn Ukraine into rubble and Russia into a prison. The opposition media have already been shut down. People are put behind bars for sharing leaflets, innocuous pickets, even for posts on social networks. Soon, Russians will have only one choice: prison or enlistment. War produces dictatorships unlike any that living generations have seen.
- This war multiplies all the risks and threats to our country. Even Ukrainians who a week ago sympathized with Russia are now enlisting in the militia to fight our troops. With his aggression, Putin has nullified all the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists, all the intrigues of United States and NATO hawks. Putin has given them the justifications for putting new missiles and military bases along our borders.
- Finally, fighting for peace is the patriotic duty of every Russian. Not only because we are the custodians of the memory of the worst war in history, but also because this war threatens the integrity and very existence of Russia.
Putin is seeking to connect his own fate with the fate of the country. If he succeeds, then his inevitable defeat will be the defeat of the entire nation. Then, we may indeed face the fate of post-war Germany: occupation, territorial division, the cult of collective guilt.
There is only one way to prevent these catastrophes. We ourselves, the men and women of Russia, have to stop this war. This country belongs to us, not a handful of distraught old men with palaces and yachts. It is time to take it back. Our enemies are not in Kiev and Odessa, but in Moscow. It is time to kick them out. War is not Russia. War is Putin and his regime. That is why we, Russian socialists and communists are against this criminal war. We want to stop it in order to save Russia.
No to intervention!
No to dictatorship!
No to poverty!
Aberdeen – Protest – Sun 6 March, 4pm – Marischal College, Broad Street, AB10 1AB.
Barnstaple – Protest – Sun 6 March, 5.30pm – The Square, EX32 8LW.
Bath – Peace Vigil – Sat 5 March, 11.30am – Bath Abbey, BA1 1LT.
Birmingham – Protest – Sun 6 March, 3pm – Victoria Square, B2 4BP.
Brighton – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm. The Clocktower, Brighton Place, BN1 1HJ. Click Here for Full Info.
Bristol – Protest – Sun 6 March, 2pm. The Fountains, Central Promenade, BS1 4XG. Click Here for Full Info.
Cambridge – Protest – Sat 5 March, 1pm – Market Square, Cambridge. Click Here for Full Info.
Canterbury – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Westgate Gardens, Canterbury. Click Here for Full Info.
Cardiff – Protest – Sun 6 March, 2pm – Aneurin Bevan Statue Queen Street, Cardiff. Click Here for Full Info.
Chichester – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – The Market Cross, PO19 1YH.
Colchester – Protest – Sat 5 March, 12pm – Castle Park War Memorial, CO1 1UG.
Derby – Protest – Sun 6 March, 2pm – War Memorial, Derby Market Place. Click Here for Full Info.
Durham – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Durham Market Place. Click Here for Full Info.
Edinburgh – Protest – Sun 6 March, 3pm – Junction of Castle Street and Princes Street. Click Here for Full Info.
Glasgow – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Buchanan Steps, Buchanan Street.
Huddersfield – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Market Cross, HD1 2AN.
Ipswich – Protest – Sun 6 March, 1pm – Corn Hill, IP1 1DH.
Isle of Wight – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – St James’ Square, Newport, PO30 1UX. Click Here for Full Info.
Lancaster – Protest – Sun 6 March, 1pm – Market Square, LA1 1HT.
Leeds – Protest – Sun 6 March, 1pm – Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, LS1 3AD. Click Here for Full Info.
Liverpool – Protest – Sun 6 March, 1pm – Derby Square, L2 1XA.
London – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12.00pm. Assemble: BBC Portland Place, W1A 1AA. Click Here for Full Info.
Manchester – Protest – Sun 6 March, 1pm – St. Anne’s Square, M2 7DH. Click Here for Full Info.
Milton Keynes – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Outside M&S, City Square, CMK. Click Here for Full Info.
Newcastle – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Grey’s Monument, 150 Grainger St, NE1 5AF.
Norwich – Protest – Sun 6 March, 2pm – City Hall, St Peters St, NR2 1NH. Click Here for Full Info.
Oswestry – Candle Lit Vigil – Sun 6 March, 6pm – Bailey Head Square, SY11 1PZ. Click Here for Full Info.
Plymouth – Protest – Sun 6 March, 1pm – The Sundial, New George St, Plymouth PL1.
Rawtenstall – Protest – Sun 6 March, 1pm – Rossendale opp. Rawtenstall Market, Newchurch Rd, BB4 7QX. Click Here for Full Info.
Sheffield – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Sheffield Town Hall, S1 2HH.
Stoke-on-Trent – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Upper Market Square, ST1 1PZ. Click Here for Full Info.
Southampton – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – The Bargate, SO14 2DA. Click Here for Full Info.
Swansea – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Swansea Waterfront Museum Green, SA1 3RD. Click Here for Full Info.
Tavistock – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Bedford Square, PL19 0BU.
Totnes – Protest – Sun 6 March, 2pm – The Plains, Totnes, TQ9 5QL.
Worcester – Protest – Sun 6 March, 2pm – Catherdral Square, WR1 2QE. Click Here for Full Info.
Worthing – Protest – Sun 6 March, 12pm – Montague Place, BN11 3BG. Click Here for Full Info.
York – Protest – Sun 6 March, 2pm – York Minster near Constantine Statue.
Birmingham – Online/In-Person Meeting – Tues 1 March, 7.30pm. Click Here for Full Info.
Bristol – Online Meeting – Thurs 3 March, 7.30pm. Click Here for Full Info.
Glasgow – Online Rally – Tues 1 March, 7pm. Click Here for Full Info.
London – In-Person Meeting – Weds 2 March, 6.30pm. Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL. Click Here for Full Info.
Merseyside – In-Person Meeting – Thurs 10 March, 7pm. Casa Bar, 29 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BP. Click Here for Full Info.
Newcastle – Online Meeting – Tues 1 March, 7pm. Click Here for Full Info.
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Life long socialist. Now retired, I have been an office junior, a bookseller, a docker and a teacher. I write a lot and read a lot more. Committed member of the Society of Authors, English PEN and the National Education Union. Uncommitted member of the Labour Party. Will they expel me before my direct debit expires?