WNPJ & Member Groups' Statements on the War in Ukraine


Statements from WNPJ groups and affiliates on the War in Ukraine (Feb - October) :


· Interfaith Peace Working Group

· Veterans for Peace

· WILPF

· UNA-USA

· Democratic Socialists of America

· Peace Action WI – Code Pink

- Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice

· …a statement from WNPJ's Lifetime Achievement Awardee: Bonnie Block.

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From Interfaith Peace Working Group * 10/28/2022


As people of faith and conscience, believing in

the sanctity of all life on this planet,

we urge our government to take a leadership role

in bringing the conflict in Ukraine to an end

through a negotiated settlement,

before the conflict results in a nuclear war

that could devastate the world’s ecosystems

and annihilate humankind as well as many other living creatures.


www.interfaithpeacewg.org/ 608-514-2811

interfaithpeaceworkinggroup@gmail.com

​ ***************************************

From Veterans for Peace * 2/24/2022


Veterans For Peace Encourages Diplomacy Not War


Veterans For Peace condemns the invasion of Ukraine. Our mission remains the same. We are committed to a sustainable and just peace. As veterans we know increased violence only fuels extremism. We have watched, and in some cases been firsthand witnesses to how the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc. have had their countries and lives destroyed by U.S. and Russian military involvement.


For the United States and Russia, the only sane course of action now is a commitment to genuine diplomacy with serious negotiations – without which, conflict could easily spiral out of control to the point of further pushing the world toward nuclear war. Genuine diplomacy is a commitment to compromise and maintaining open lines of communication.


We reject punitive sanctions that harshen the lives of people across the region. The sanctions that Biden is proposing are not tools of diplomacy, nor are they nonviolent methods of foreign policy; they do NOT target those responsible for war, but affect vulnerable civilian populations by limiting access to basic necessities.


The U.S. has a responsibility to pursue genuine diplomacy to push for an immediate ceasefire and to apply pressure on other nations to do the same.

Veterans For Peace recognizes that this current crisis did not just happen in the last few days, but represents decades of policy decisions and government actions that have only contributed to the building of antagonisms and aggressions between countries. We must respond to this current crisis, and continue our focus on addressing the causes of war; by redirecting the military budget towards human needs, pushing for the global abolition of nuclear weapons and eliminating the ability of corporations to profit from war.


Local chapters:

*Veterans for Peace – Chapter 25 – Madison Address: PO Box 1811, Madison, WI 53701 E-Mail: books24u@aol.com

Website: http://madisonvfp.org/

*Veterans for Peace – Chapter 102 – Milwaukee Contact: Mark Foreman Address: 11325 W Daphne St, Milwaukee, WI 53224 Phone: 414-550-8945 E-Mail: vfpchapter102@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MilwaukeeVetsforPeace/

*Veterans for Peace – Chapter 114 – Sheboygan Contact: Chris Kuehnel Address: 2034 N 6th, Sheboygan, WI 53081 E-Mail:cqnel@clevelandwi.net

Website: http://vetsforpeacesheboygan.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Veterans-for-Peace-Sheboygan

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Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom * 2/24/2022


Crisis in Ukraine and its threats for planet and people


The crisis in Ukraine has escalated into an all-out war. In addition to the threat to life, the current military build-up and a potential for a broader military conflict in Europe would have devastating impacts on the climate and the environment. We urge climate and environmental youth activists to mobilise for an end to this conflict and the militarisation of our societies. We all need to act to protect the planet, the people, and all the living things from impacts of war, and to work together for environmental justice and peace.

Local Chapter:

*Women's International League for Peace and Freedom – Madison Branch

Contact: Susan Freiss

Email: wilpfmadison@gmail.com

Website: http://www.wilpf-madison.org

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Rachel Bowen Pittman, Executive Director of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), issued the following statement today on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, 2022:

“The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s invasion and subsequent attacks on Ukraine. Russia’s military offensive on another sovereign nation contradicts the fundamental principles of the United Nations and is a clear violation of the UN charter. We echo the UN Secretary-General’s call for Russia to end its assault and bring its troops back home.

“We know all too well the destructive impact of war, and innocent civilians always pay the highest price. Amid the escalating violence, more than 500,000 Ukrainians have fled their homes to seek refuge in neighboring countries with millions more impacted and expected to be in need of humanitarian assistance in the coming days and months.

“As UN partners scale up humanitarian operations on the ground in Ukraine and at its borders, UNA-USA stands committed to helping the Ukrainian people caught in the middle of this conflict.

“Our thoughts are with the millions of people in Ukraine impacted by this egregious act of violence. This conflict must come to an end – immediately.

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Take Action

Here are three actions you can take right now to support Ukraine:

  • Donate to OCHA’s Ukraine Humanitarian Fund (UHF) and other UN agencies, like UNHCR and UNICEF, working on the ground in Ukraine and at its borders to provide critical support and assistance to people in Ukraine.

  • Ahead of tonight’s State of the Union address, send a message to your Members of Congress urging them to support full funding for the UN and its agencies to ensure they can continue to carry out their life-saving work around the world, including in Ukraine.

  • Participate in a peaceful protest. Find one close to you.

United Nations Association of the United States of America

1750 Pennsylvania Ave NW#300

Washington, DC, DC 20006

United States

*United Nations Association–Dane County Chapter Contact: Linda Baumann, President Address: PO Box 5155, Madison, WI, 53705

Phone: 608-332-8431 E-Mail: ljbauman@wisc.edu Website: http://www.unadane.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnitedNationsDaneCo/


*United Nations Association – Milwaukee Chapter

Contact: Dan O'Keefe Address: PO Box 511638, Milwaukee, WI 53203 Phone: 414-688-0694 E-Mail: danok@att.net

Website: https://www.unamilwaukee.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UNAGreaterMilwaukee/

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From Democratic Socialists of America

On Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine * 2/26/2022


The Democratic Socialists of America condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demands immediate diplomacy and de-escalation to resolve this crisis. We stand in solidarity with the working classes of Ukraine and Russia who will undoubtedly bear the brunt of this war, and with antiwar protestors in both countries and around the world who are calling for a diplomatic resolution.


This extreme and asymmetrical escalation is an illegal act under the United Nations Charter and severely threatens the livelihoods and well-being of working-class peoples in Ukraine, Russia, and across the region. We urge an immediate ceasefire and the total withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.

There is no solution through war or further intervention. This crisis requires an immediate international antiwar response demanding de-escalation, international cooperation, and opposition to unilateral coercive measures, militarization, and other forms of economic and military brinkmanship that will only exacerbate the human toll of this conflict.


DSA reaffirms our call for the US to withdraw from NATO and to end the imperialist expansionism that set the stage for this conflict. We call on antiwar activists in the US and across the world to oppose violent escalations, demand a lasting diplomatic solution, and stress the crucial need to accept any and all refugees resulting from this crisis. Much of the next ten years are coming into view through this attack. While the failures of neoliberal order are clear to everyone, the ruling class is trying to build a new world, through a dystopic transition grounded in militarism, imperialism, and war. Socialists have a duty to build an alternative.

No war but class war.


Madison Area Democratic Socialists of America

Address: 2645 Milwaukee Street, Madison, WI 53704

E-Mail: DSAmadison@gmail.com

Website: www.madison-dsa.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dsamadison


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Peace Action WI stands with the Code Pink Statement: 2/3/2022


CODEPINK strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, where over 350,000 civilians have fled the country in fear of explosive weapons and missile attacks, while remaining residents from eastern to western Ukraine seek refuge in underground subways and bomb shelters. As an international peace organization, we call for an immediate ceasefire, negotiations without preconditions, withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, an end to NATO expansion and a return to the negotiating table to address the security interests of all stakeholders. We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people under vicious attack and with the thousands of courageous Russian anti-war activists risking arrest and imprisonment to protest in the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg.


There is no military solution to the conflict over Ukraine, a country caught in the crossfire between the United States and Russia, the world’s two most heavily armed nuclear nations. While we denounce Putin’s reckless veiled threat to launch nuclear weapons against NATO countries, we also recognize the United States government is culpable in the proliferation and deployment of nuclear weapons, and must reverse course on its decision to pursue nuclear rearmament and instead advance verifiable agreements for global nuclear disarmament.


In condemning Putin’s invasion of a sovereign country, the shelling of a Ukrainian hospital, the tanks closing in on Kyiv, we understand the U.S. has played a major role in exacerbating this conflict, facilitating a 2014 coup to overthrow the democratically elected leader of Ukraine and breaking promises not to expand NATO into Eastern Europe, where offensive missiles in Romania and Poland could reach Russia in minutes.


Though some will argue NATO is a defensive alliance of 30 countries, we view NATO as a threat to world peace with its military encirclement of Russia and support for U.S. military aggression in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, where an estimated million died under a rain of bombs and millions more were displaced. NATO’s aggressive stance on China, another nuclear-armed nation, also threatens world peace and efforts to unite in the face of existential climate catastrophe.


In advance of the NATO summit in June, CODEPINK calls for an international security agreement to protect the interests of all Europeans to remain free from war and occupation. Such an agreement should have been forged after the fall of the Soviet Union and dissolution of the Warsaw Pact; instead the U.S. and NATO sought further militarization in a continuance of the Cold War that spawned multiple hot wars, from Korea to Vietnam.


To prevent further fighting in Ukraine, to stop the loss of life, bloodshed and grave environmental degradation from the bombing of munitions plants, let us return to the 2015 Minsk II agreement that established a blueprint for peace and an end to the civil war rocking eastern Ukraine. Ukraine should be a neutral country; its incorporation into NATO should be off the table as a starting point for diplomacy.


During this perilous time, when further military escalation could trigger a Chernobyl radioactive meltdown or push us to the brink of nuclear annihilation, we urge President Biden and Congress to stop the flow of weapons to Ukraine, offer humanitarian assistance and safe refuge instead, renew lapsed arms control treaties (Anti-Ballistic Missile, Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces, Open Skies) the U.S. abandoned with Russia, and reject the imposition of massive sanctions that will harm the Russian people who, like us, want peace and security.


Blanket sanctions on the entire Russian economy could spread economic and environmental hardship to Europe and potentially the global community with energy price hikes that may reduce energy consumption in the short term but prompt more oil drilling and lethal burning of fossil fuels in the long term.

In solidarity with anti-war protesters in Russia and across Europe, we call on the world’s peace-loving people, including conscripted front-line soldiers, to join us in a massive unified response to say:

No to War in Ukraine; Yes to Negotiations and Peace.


*Peace Action of Wisconsin

Address: 1001 E Keefe Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53212 Phone: 414-269-9525 E-mail: info@peaceactionwi.org Contact: Pam Richard, Office Manager


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From the Board of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice: Feb. 26,2022


Global citizens are witnessing a transgression against humanity and a violation of international law as Russian military might continues to roll over the independent nation of Ukraine.


Debates over what triggered this moment must now take second place to the very pressing need for peace. There is no debate about the ravages of war, of innocents killed, of destruction of the earth, and of human beings displaced from their homes and their way of life.


The Ukrainian people are asking for help. And brave Russian citizens are standing for peace even as the threats of imprisonment and charges of treason are held against them. Let this be the moment when people of goodwill unite and demand a change of course.


As a Network we have the opportunity to raise the voice of peace. Peace internationally, as well as peace right here with one another, with each organization, and each community throughout our state. We must be in solidarity for peace in Ukraine, as well as oppose the current trends that weaken voting rights, civil rights and workers’ rights and increase militarism in our own backyard. It is all part of a bigger human rights tapestry.


We invite you to stand for peace in whatever way you can, in whatever way calls you. Thank you for all of your efforts. May peace prevail.


Sarah Hinkley (she/her/hers)

Former Network Coordinator

Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice

office@wnpj.org


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And from Bonnie Block – awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award 2021

NO WAR!

The current situation in Ukraine is another example of what happens when the dominant operating principle among governments is using military and/or economic force as the means of bringing an end to conflict. It’s not just the Russian troops and tanks currently illegally invading Ukraine. It’s also NATO’s military alliance expanding into former provinces of the Soviet Union in violation of an agreement at the end of the Cold War. As a result member states of NATO now have their weapons and troops on Russia’s borders.


The U.S. is a key supporter of NATO (and has engaged in its own multiple invasions) so it is hypocritical to pretend we haven’t engaged in similar power politics. Furthermore, our annual military budget is approaching $800 Billion (which is greater than the combined spending of the next ten countries) and that is hardly a way to world peace and sustainability.


Furthermore, the nuclear weapons of Russia, the U.S. and several countries of the European Union heightens the grave danger of this war. Physicians for Social Responsibility has described the unbelievable death and destruction of even a small nuclear exchange. Please see https://www.psr.org/issues/nuclear-weapons-abolition/


Not only are nuclear weapons a danger but so is nuclear power. Ukraine has already had a nuclear reactor meltdown in 1986 in Chernobyl. That meltdown near Ukraine’s northern border, caused the immediate deaths of people nearby, spewed radiation worldwide, increased cancer rates and birth defects, and has made the area uninhabitable for centuries. All of this can happen again if one of the fifteen remaining reactors is bombed or loses electrical power.


This makes clear the urgent need for the U.S., Russia, and all other nuclear powers to ratify the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which requires that these countries will abolish their nuclear weapons arsenals. But instead the U.S. plans to spend $500 Billion in the next decade to maintain and upgrade nuclear weapons – money that I think should be used instead to mitigate our other existential threat, namely, climate change.


Every single one of us needs to get informed and work diligently to end the stupidity of war and demand our governments find a diplomatic solution to the current crisis. Only then can we honor our shared humanity and protect this beautiful, yet fragile, planet from the death and destruction of militarism and the economic sanctions that mostly end up harming ordinary people.

Bonnie Block, Madison 3/1/2022 blb24@earthlink.net

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