Protests denounce U.S.-NATO war in Ukraine

By Dave Welsh
October 10, 2023

San Francisco

The Peace in Ukraine Coalition called twin demonstrations here on Oct. 4 demanding Congress stop funding the U.S./NATO war in Ukraine. The protests were part of a week of action in over 40 cities in the U.S. and Canada and over 30 cities overseas.

San Francisco, Oct. 4. (Photo: Leon Kunstenaar)

Target No. 1 was the mammoth BlackRock investment company with $9 trillion in assets, a big backer of the Ukraine war. Marchers asked the question: “How does BlackRock influence the US government?” and gave an answer in their appeals — that BlackRock donates to political campaigns, currently giving equally to Democrats and Republicans. The top recipient in 2022 was Senate majority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer.

The demonstration then moved through the Financial District, denouncing the Ukraine War, which 55% of people in the U.S. oppose, according to polls.

At Montgomery BART Station, Gerry Condon, from Veterans for Peace, raised four questions: Who Lies? Who Dies? Who Pays? Who Profits?

“Veterans know who lies,” said Condon. “We have been lied into many wars, from Korea and Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan. The president lied. Newspapers and TV lied. Even religious, academic and city leaders encouraged us to fight and die in a war based on lies.

Condon continued: “And we definitely know who died: 58,000 U.S. soldiers — mostly poor and working class — died for lies in Vietnam, while we killed over 3 million Vietnamese, mostly poor peasants. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans died … Our soldiers continue to die. PTSD and moral injury have led to more soldiers taking their own lives than those who died on the battlefield.”

The Peace in Ukraine Coalition grew out of an international summit held in Vienna last June, with 330 participants from 32 countries. Current backers of the coalition include CODEPINK, DSA International Committee, Veterans for Peace, United National Antiwar Committee, Answer coalition, and International Action Center.