Stop war in Ukraine, fight like hell for peace

The horrific war in Ukraine is now entering its third week after Russian troops launched a full-scale invasion on Feb. 24. As Ukrainians fight for their lives and the world teeters on the edge of global conflict, the disastrous ripple effects of the war can be felt throughout the world. What will it take to organize and mobilize an international movement for peace and de-escalation? As part of the Global Day of Action for Peace in Ukraine on March 6, 2022, RootsAction.org, the American Committee for US-Russia Accord, CodePink, Just Foreign Policy, World BEYOND War, and Progressive Democrats of America convened an urgent panel discussion to address this very question. With permission from the event organizers, The Real News is publishing this panel discussion for our audience. 

Speakers include: Sevim Dağdelen, member of Germany’s federal parliament, where she serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and as the spokesperson for International Policy and Disarmament for the Left Party (Die Linke); Bill Fletcher Jr., former president of TransAfrica Forum and a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editorial director and publisher of The Nation magazine, columnist for The Washington Post, and president of the American Committee for US-Russia Accord; Ann Wright, a peace activist and retired US army colonel who served as a diplomat in the State Department for 16 years before resigning in 2003 in protest of the US invasion of Iraq; Norman Solomon, executive director of RootsAction; Marcy Winograd, coordinator of CODE PINK CONGRESS and a long-time anti-war activist who served as a 2020 DNC delegate for Bernie Sanders and co-founded the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party; and Alan Minsky, executive director of Progressive Democrats of America, a lifelong activist, and longtime progressive journalist. This discussion is moderated by Charles Lenchner, co-founder of People for Bernie and executive director of Organizing 2.0.

Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

Pieces marked as Opinion may contain views that do not necessarily reflect or align with those of The Real News Network; they also may contain claims that could not be fully corroborated by TRNN’s editorial team.


TRANSCRIPT

Charles Lenchner: Hello. My name is Charles Lenchner. I’m with RootsAction and Progressive Hub. And you are now attending the Zoom webinar that we’ve done together with a bunch of wonderful organizations that we’re going to mention and wonderful speakers that you’re going to hear from. Our style is to get right into the meat of it. So just know if you’re tuning in, if you’re watching this live, if you’re just getting started, we collectively are part of an antiwar movement, a peace movement that is gravely concerned about what is happening in Ukraine.

Gravely concerned about the invasion that Russia has chosen to embark on. And at the same time, we think that those current events connect to deeper issues that are at the core of why militarism is so hard to do something about in our country and around the world. Without further ado, let’s hear from Norman Solomon, executive director of RootsAction.

Norman Solomon: At this really terrible time, RootsAction is glad to be hosting our gathering here. RootsAction opposes militarism everywhere. We categorically oppose and denounce what Russia is doing in Ukraine. For many years, we have opposed NATO and its expansion. We’ve opposed NATO’s involvement and aggression in Afghanistan, in Libya and elsewhere. This is an ongoing 24/7, 365 commitment that RootsAction shares with individuals and organizations around the world.

I want to mention that Daniel Ellsberg, who for 51 years has been a powerful voice for peace, while scheduled to speak to us here today, literally lost his voice this week. He has been speaking out so much against this war as he has against all wars for five decades. And Dan and his book, The Doomsday Machine has been inspirational and deeply informative to us at RootsAction as well as to people around the country and the world. Right now, the flow of information is so crucial. We obviously cannot depend on any country’s mass media to give us a full picture. It’s organizing, its activism, it’s connection across countries and across oceans and continents that will make it possible for us to turn around to stop what Martin Luther King called the madness of militarism.

I’d like to mention that one of the hubs for information and organizing is something that RootsAction has put together, and I want to invite everybody to take part in it, to contribute to it, and to utilize it as we organize further for antiwar movements. It’s on the web at nowarinukraine.org. That’s nowarinukraine.org. Thanks very much to everybody for making our gathering here possible.

Charles Lenchner:         Thank you, Norman. We are now going to proceed directly and hear from Katrina vanden Heuvel, who is very storied career in the past and currently at The Nation magazine and also president of Acura, one of the co-sponsors of this event and an important organization in addressing the nature of this conflict now and in the future. Welcome Katrina. Thank you for coming.

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Thank you, Charles. Thank you, Norman. The Nation, which has opposed militarism for its 160 years in the belief that you cannot have true democracy at home. But what I’m here for today really is to be here for Nadia Azhgikhina, my Russian friend of more than 30 years who was supposed to join, but the stress and other factors have hurt her health and she just can’t come. So I just want to say Nadia and Cynthia Lazaroff and I about a month ago with about 25 Russian and American women signed an open letter for independent women of Russia and the United States for peace.

And I think those signs are so important. As Norman said, we oppose the war. We’ve opposed the militarism of NATO. We did a special report against NATO expansion in 1997. We understood how dangerous NATO would be, the militarism. I want to read just a short note from the editor of Novaya Gazeta, who received the Nobel peace prize along with a Filipino journalist at the end of last year. They are debating now whether to suspend Novaya because of the laws that are being passed in the Russian parliament subjecting people to 15 years in prison if they report “fake news” about using the word war and not special operations.

This was written about a week ago. “Pain, anger, and shame are the three words that reflect our attitude to what is happening.” This is the editorial team at Novaya. “This reckless decision will bring grief to the families of thousands of people both in Ukraine and in Russia. We the journalists of independent Russian media declare that we are against the massacre started by the Russian leadership. We promise we will be honest about what is happening while we have this opportunity. We wish steadfastness and strength to the people of Ukraine who are resisting aggression to everyone in Russia and the world who is now trying to resist militaristic madness.”

I was just watching the Sunday shows, which are a blight in our country, and the host was pushing the secretary of state as to why we don’t have a no-fly zone. And you had Anthony Blinken having to resist the journalist and explain it might lead to nuclear war. We need in the media to present alternatives to the militarism that I fear is already gripping, and has for many years, but is now empowering the worst forces in our society. The NATO forces, the weapons forces and the shock doctrine as Naomi Klein wrote the other day, the effect on climate, the climate crisis, is going to be something we need to resist.

The drilling that is being pushed as a response to Ukraine is threatening our work, our priorities. The reporting on the conflict is very important to offer alternatives, which we all try to do. I think in that context to report on the resistance inside Russia and of course, the antiwar peace protests around the world will be important in these next days. CNN has many journalists inside Ukraine. There’s a lot of coverage of the conflict and the war and the humanitarian crisis, as there should be. But there’s also a need to show the opposition to ongoing fighting and the ability to de-escalate and negotiate where that can be found.

This is not like Crimea in Russia. This war is not popular. Russia faces economic problems, COVID problems. The sanctions – Which I know on the left we’re divided about, but I think sanctions are another form of warfare – And they are hitting the oligarchs, but they are really hitting ordinary people. And if Nadia were here, she would tell you how in previous sanctions, because the sanctions are not new versus Russia, it has led ordinary people often to be more anti-American, more anti-sanctioner. And I think that is something we have to think hard about. I want to say two more things.

The demonization, the Russophobia we’re seeing, I think is very dangerous in terms of an enduring Cold War. There’s an ending to sister cities, Eric Swalwell in the Congress, US Congress, is proposing that Russian students be expelled. In this country the cultural boycotts are happening in New York in fierce ways. These are people who’ve denounced the war, yet they are being treated as pro Putin, Putin apologists. And I think the solidarity with those who have opposed the war is critical as we move forward.

I wanted to talk briefly about the oligarchy, the oligarchs of the world. President Biden in a State of the Union called out the Russian oligarchs, I think he said seize their yachts, seize their planes. I think what is important is a transnational movement, a journalistic movement building on Pandora’s papers of people, remember that? Investigating the transnational oligarchy and bringing to bear what is at the root of some of this conflict, which is the international offshore finance system. If we’re going to start taking on oligarchs of the world, we should take on other countries.

But I think above all, fight the attempt to silence dissent. It is already fierce, Norman and I have talked long about this, but it’s been tough in the last few years. Russiagate I think was squandering our political capital in many ways, but that persists. And it’s going to be very hard to speak for peace at a time when the demonization of Russia, of Putin, of Russia because it’s extended. Putin has become Russia. And I think it’s important as a journalist and at The Nation to continue to report on all signs, all protests, but also to be in solidarity with peace activists globally. I’ll be very interested to hear from our guests from Germany, but the protests in this country are beginning and there have been protests in 50 cities in Russia.

So even with the repression, there is protest. And there is protest from the elite, from elected officials in Russia who are being fearless in denouncing a war they don’t agree with. There’s much more to say, but I think let us not punish people and reward the arms industry, something Daniel Ellsburg has spoken eloquently about. Because as we speak, weapons are being shipped, US planes are being shipped through Poland. And I think the weapons pouring in we’ve seen, we’ve just exited from Afghanistan after 20 years, there’s always money for weapons, but the money for humanitarian crises globally and other ways to empower peace, not war, are going to be in short supply and that’s our fight. So thank you.

Charles Lenchner:     Thank you so much, Katrina. And we are turning now, and I hope I get this pronunciation right, to German member of parliament for Die Linke, The Left Party, Sevim Dağdelen. And she is the party spokesperson on the issues related to this war and has been deeply involved both before it started and since then on how best to de-escalate. Thank you for coming. Please go ahead.

Sevim Dağdelen:          Yes. Thanks a lot, Charles. Thanks for having me and doing this event for the exchange. I really do appreciate it. The invasion of Ukraine is now rapidly escalating toward intercontinental war. The West is prolonging the war with its arm supplies, ignoring the fact. And this is really the worst thing. That only negotiations and diplomacy can end this conflict. And moreover, the deployment of further NATO troops to NATO’s Eastern flank increases the danger of a military escalation that goes beyond the armed conflicts between Russia and Ukraine.

Therefore, I think we need to begin to articulate a common position in order to prevent a senseless spiral towards war, towards a big war between NATO and Russia. And in my opinion, the central task of the international peace movement is to put pressure on national governments, not to escalate the conflict further. They must realize that only the respect of international law by all of them and the resumption of diplomacy can lead to peace, rearmament, arms deliveries, troop deployments, and economic sanctions, or even an economical war, are the wrong way.

Let’s see if the 18 times NATO’s military expenditures against Russia have not prevented Moscow from starting the war against Ukraine. Then the increase in NATO spending pursued by the German government lately will not lead to peace. I mean, what’s the point of spending more for the military? And we must take up proposals, aim to end the military confrontation, and campaign for negotiations that create – And I think this is really the most immediate and important thing now – We have to create an off-ramp for Putin. He has to get an off-ramp. And even if the war can be stopped for the time being, our task is to prevent the next military escalation here in Europe. And this is all the more likely as we are going to face a new phase of increased military spending and rearmament.

A few days ago, last Sunday, the German government announced the historic increase in arm spending consisting of a one-time investment of €100 billion [euros] and the commitment to meet NATO’s annual 2% target. Two percent target means in Germany about €80 billion per year for the military. I mean, I know you are having now the discussions about $780 billion by the Biden administration and you are used to this, but we are not used to spending so much money for the military. After two years of the pandemic, of COVID-19 pandemic, we had, for example, one and a half years of discussions, how much money we can give the caregivers. And after one and a half years discussion, the German government decided to spend €1 billion for the caregivers just because of their work for the last two years of the pandemic. After one and a half years.

And now all of a sudden they are willing to give more than €80 billion per year plus the one-time €100 billion for the German military. The government also announced a 180 degree turn-around in foreign and security policy, and this is extremely dangerous. Foreign policy, hard liners who advocate offensive realism in the tradition of John Mearsheimer, are increasingly setting the debate in Germany and we have to do something to counter this. And I hope we can do something together.

In my view, the historical model to deal with nowadays conflict should be former West German chancellor Willy Brandt, ostpolitik, and détente in order to avoid nuclear escalation and relax the tensions. This approach had been quite successful in the past despite and in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia to suppress the Prague Spring in 1968. The aim to balance conflicting goals and interests in order to lay the foundations for a lasting European peace resulted in the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe [inaudible] in 1973 and the Helsinki Final Act in 1975.

In view of the recent Russian invasion, I think our common goal must be to gain public support for and push through alternatives to the logic of military armament and escalation. And of course the international peace movement is far from being as strong as it was in the ’80s or, for example, in 2003 during the protest against the Iraq war on both sides of the Atlantic. But nevertheless, I think recent protests around the world in Germany, in Europe, even in the US, everywhere in the world show that people are fundamentally afraid of the new threat of war.

And the challenge now is to convince these people who are often rather unpolitical. They’re not very political, most of them, to support a peaceful foreign policy, to reject NATO’s rearmament and arms supplies to Ukraine, and not to fall for war propaganda by the media outlets. And that’s why I think we must oppose this by informing and contradicting publicly. And for example, Katrina just said it regarding the no-fly zone, the ask for no-fly zone means, actually, a war in the whole of Europe. That means NATO versus Russia. That’s not anymore Russia versus Ukraine. That’s NATO versus Russia.

And I know people are very concerned in the US as well. But the thing is here in Europe, regarding the geographical aspects, we are the first victims of such a big war, NATO versus Russia. That’s why we are very much concerned about how it is going with the escalation with arms supplies and deliveries, the rearmament, and the deployment of more NATO troops to the NATO East flank. That’s why I think it’s… I’m very, very glad that you are organizing this event and for having the opportunity to exchange our ideas here and to find maybe a common ground, common positions where we can start to work together on this.

Charles Lenchner:         Thank you very much. That was great. We are going to move to our next speaker, someone that I have sort of known about for decades and many of you as well. We’re talking about Bill Fletcher, Jr. I mean, I think his bio here lists him as part of the Institute for Policy Studies, a very important institution, but I want folks to know that is not the limit of why he’s here and what he’s done. So without further ado, Bill.

Bill Fletcher Jr.:    Thank you, Charles. And thank you, Norman, for putting this together. And in interest of full disclosure, I have an affiliation with the Institute for Policy Studies but I’m not speaking for them. I want to start by saying that I’ve been very perplexed by much of the discussion on the left about Ukraine, and let me explain why. While I absolutely agree with Katrina that there have been NATO provocations since the late ’80s, and there were very mixed signals sent by the United States and by NATO to Russia, the Soviet Union, then Russia about NATO expansion. One of the things that I hear very little discussion about is the 1994 Budapest Accord.

And let me just remind everybody about that because I think if that accord had not been signed, we would be having a very different discussion right now. The 1994 Budapest Accord was where the Ukrainians voluntarily turned over their nuclear weapons to Russia. Ukraine at the time was the third largest possessor of nuclear weapons on the planet. Let me just say that again. The third largest possessor of nuclear weapons on the planet. They voluntarily gave those over on the condition that Russia would never invade them, never.

What happened in 2014? Russia invaded. They seized Crimea. They started provoking a secession movement in Eastern Ukraine in direct violation of the Budapest Accords. Now, I want to ask you the listeners to think about it for a second. What lesson does that tell small nations? The nations that are thinking about developing weapons of mass destruction. What lesson does it tell them that you sign an accord with an imperialist power only to have it broken at the convenience of that imperialist power? I think that’s something that we have to look at very, very carefully. I mean, I think that the moment that we’re looking at right now, and we can’t walk around this, and we in the end, the United States, too many of us are walking around it.

The Russians invaded Ukraine. NATO did not invade Ukraine. NATO troops are not in Ukraine right now crushing Ukrainians. Russian troops are crushing them, they’re doing this weird dance around nuclear power plants that puts the entire Ukraine in danger. They are the principal problem here. Absolutely what Katrina and other people have raised about NATO is correct, about provocations. And far be it from me, I would never support the idea of any kind of no-fly zone because that means a war, an open war. But there’s this question when we talk about peace, everybody wants peace or most of us want peace. But the Ukrainians didn’t launch the war. This is not like both sides decided to go at each other. The calls for peace have to begin with a call for the Russians to stop their aggression and pull their troops out. This is not an evenhanded demand.

It’s not that the Ukrainians should stop fighting and Russians should stop fighting. The Russians need to get out of Ukraine. And there can’t be any ambivalence about this, none. They are the aggressors. The question then is if the Ukrainians are the victims of aggression, of naked aggression and violation of the Budapest Accords, how are they supposed to fight when their military doesn’t hold a candle to the Russians? What are we saying to the Ukrainians? I mean, I feel like we’ve got to get real. And the question of what kind of pressure gets put on Russia is something that is of strategic importance. What kind of pressure will lead Putin to stop this? Final point, I could go on and on. But my final point is this: that Putin gave away the whole car on the day that he announced the invasion.

And I’m still stunned that he would do something like this. He could have given a brilliant propaganda speech about launching the invasion to stop NATO, and a lot of people would’ve eaten it up like they were eating up french fries. Instead, what did he do? He called Ukraine a national fiction and went into a polemic against Lenin and Stalin on a national question. In other words, he was making it very clear the objective of this was not about stopping NATO. The objective of this was about crushing Ukraine and reconstituting the Russian Empire.

We should be clear about this. While we can oppose NATO expansion and all the nastiness that NATO has done, we should not be, as progressives, supporting spheres of influence which will come back and bite us in the rear when the United States continues to talk about it in Latin America and the Caribbean. But we should also be clear that we’re supporting the right of self-determination of nations. That Ukraine has a right to exist. It is not up to Russia to send troops in to resolve internal situations, internal conflicts in Ukraine.

And remember, many of us that are on this call right now and are watching vehemently oppose NATO intervention in the form of Yugoslavia when there were issues of crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing. But the argument was, it was not up to NATO to unilaterally come in and resolve that situation and that it had to be handled through a recognition of international law. You can’t have it both ways. I’ll leave it at that. Thank you.

Charles Lenchner:           Thank you so much, Bill. That was great. Just reminding the folks in the chat if we turn it off, it won’t be because we don’t like what people are saying. It’ll only be because the traffic is too much or the same people are posting too much individually, but please continue. Our next speaker is Ann Wright. Ann Wright is probably one of the best known peace activists for many years now after serving for decades as an officer in the US army. She’s been active against war since the Iraq war. And it’s really great to have her here. Thank you so much, Ann, for coming.

Ann Wright:                  Thank you, Charles. And one part about that Iraq war that’s a little bit important on this, I ended up resigning as a diplomat over the Iraq war and the whole issue of wars and what our political government leaders do to us. And whether it’s George Bush going into Iraq on a national security threat just as Putin says, I have to go into Ukraine because of a national security threat. Well, these politicians, these government leaders that are elected or sometimes elected, they’re using these terms so indiscriminately as a pretext for doing whatever they want to.

And it’s tough. It’s tough as people who oppose war when you’re faced with this. We know how tough it was for the US activists to try to get the Bush administration and then the Obama administration and then the Trump administration and then the Biden administration. I mean, 20 years of war in Afghanistan, over 10 years of war in Iraq, those are difficult times. And as a peace movement, we tried hard to get those two wars closed much earlier than happened. And tragically millions of people either were injured, killed, and certainly displaced.

When we look at what the Russians are facing, where we know as Katrina mentioned earlier, I mean, there are petitions that have over a million signatures on them of Russians that don’t want war. There are scientists, academic missions, over 5,000 of them signed a separate petition. There are mothers against war. I mean, it was the Soviet mothers that actually, I think, had the greatest impact on the Soviet Union finally pulling out of Afghanistan because the mothers, like mothers in the United States, started saying, we don’t want our kids killed in these things. What are we doing?

So I think one of the purposes of this seminar is to try to come up with some ideas of how we as a peace community, how we can try to put influence somewhere that will help with the, as Sevim said, an off-ramp. I mean, it’s Putin that is going to have to remove his troops from Ukraine. We know that it took so long to get our governments to withdraw our troops from Ukraine and Afghanistan. So it’s no easy deal. We can look back in history. If we look back 60 years ago to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union actually did remove missiles from Cuba. And it was a behind the scenes deal, I guess, with the US actually compromising also saying, okay, we’ll remove missiles from Turkey if you get your missiles out of Cuba.

So there has to be a compromise. There has to be negotiations. There’s got to be diplomacy. And as much as the diplomacy attempts so far have failed in the first 10 days of the Russian invasion, I think we as a peace community must keep hounding on that. That is ultimately what the solution will be, and the question is how long will it take. The discussion of giving more weapons to Ukrainians so they can defend themselves, it’s a very valid point. If I were sitting in Ukraine and somebody was invading me, I think it’d be very difficult to be standing out on a street corner with a sign saying peace.

So you can understand the humanity of it, of people wanting to keep invaders out. I think part of this, also, where a soft spot may be, although it’s tough with the Russian government closing up the media so much, but still the Internet’s open. There are lots of email lists that have lots of Russians and continuing to support those who are calling for peace and recognizing it’s at great expense to them with the Russian government criminalizing that speech, that challenge to the Russian government’s decision to invade and occupy Ukraine. But I think that’s one thing that we certainly can be doing.

Working with groups that we have had longtime relationships, letting them know that we know they are not responsible for this, just like we had hoped as Americans that the world wouldn’t say to us as individuals, we’re going to put sanctions on you guys, because you were unable to control George Bush. The cakewalk that Donald Rumsfeld said toward George Bush, this Iraq thing, it’s a cake walk. Well, I think somebody may have given a little bit of that impression to Putin, that it’d be a much easier thing than it has been to go into Ukraine. But the bottom line is trying to figure out ways to support the voices in Russia that will ultimately be the ones that will be the pressure points I think is very, very good. And then continuing to support the diaspora, the Ukrainian diaspora, and this week of action that we are having even here in Honolulu, there is a Ukrainian community and we’ve had over 100 people on Friday that were out.

I’ll be leaving this webinar to go to another rally to rally people about what’s happening and to say, no more war. It’s way past that. Up here I’ve got a little sign that says – This sign’s been used so much. It started out “No war on Iran.” And that was, what, 12 years ago when that sign came out. So now it’s just “No war on anyone,” of course, but trying to support the diaspora, trying to support people, the voices of peace in Russia, and let’s not demonize the Russian people. Thank you very much.

Charles Lenchner:        Thank you so much, Ann. We’re having a great time discussing this while this event’s going on. I’d like to invite Marcy Winograd, who is here representing Code Pink, to please say a few words. And just before you start, I want to make sure everyone understands that this event is part of a Global Day of Action that RootsAction has endorsed and that Code Pink has organized. I’m not able to check right now, but all the amazing events that have been going on there, but Marcy will tell us. Thank you.

Marcy Winograd:       Thank you so much, Charles. Thank you, RootsAction, Norman Solomon, Daniel Ellsberg, all of you who have put this excellent program together. One of my proudest moments was serving as a paralegal on Daniel Ellsberg’s defense team many decades ago. Today, I want to agree with much of what I have heard here and to present Code Pink’s statement and position which, to some extent, has come up against some pushback from others on the left. I really do embrace a unified call on the left to challenge all wars of aggression, all imperial wars, and certainly to denounce in a thunderous tone Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Our position is that there should be negotiations without preconditions. That Biden should meet with Putin. Why has he not met with him? Why do we not have an international conversation about Putin’s concerns? He does not want NATO missiles in Romania and Poland. He doesn’t want Ukraine to be a member of NATO. Sovereignty is important, but world peace trumps – Forgive me for that word, all of this – We say negotiations without preconditions, negotiation not escalation, Ukraine as a neutral country and not a member of NATO, Russian troops out of Ukraine. And again, Biden meet with Putin.

I was concerned when I heard Biden’s State of the Union address. And he said that he was not going to allow Russian planes to land in the United States. And I thought, what about these antiwar protesters, thousands in 40, 50 cities in Russia, we aren’t going to allow them to come here? We aren’t going to allow there to be an educational exchange between US and Russian students? This makes absolutely no sense to me to vilify all of Russia. I think it’s imperative for us to say that while it is tempting to want to arm Ukrainians who are under siege, and you watch the news and it’s horrifying.

Cities without water, without electricity, over a million people displaced, massive civilian casualties. I am sickened watching this. But what will shipments of weapons do to solve this, to ameliorate the human misery? Nothing. It will only escalate it with another nuclear power. The nuclear power that possesses the most nuclear weapons on earth. So now is the time to say, we need a ban. We need to support the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. We need a people’s uprising against imperial wars whether they be waged by the United States or Russia. And we need to say, ban the bomb.

Those are the critical calls right now to action. And I thank you. I have to go to a Global Day of Action here in Santa Barbara on Chumash land in just a little while. And again, our banners will say, Russia out of Ukraine, US weapons out of Yemen. And what was our part in this?

Charles Lenchner:           Thank you.

Marcy Winograd:              Thank you.

Charles Lenchner:    Thank you so much. Thank you so much. And now I’d like to call, from Progressive Democrats of America, Alan Minsky. And I just want to point out that Alan’s a great guy to work with and I’m always excited to see PDA show up. Go ahead, Alan.

Alan Minsky:              Thank you, Charles. And I actually want to build upon what Marcy said and actually have a slight point of realism that I think maybe many of the people on the call sometimes lose sight of, because I’m guessing of the people who are attending here and the people who participate with RootsAction and Code Pink and World BEYOND War and PDA, we’re very engaged with foreign policy matters to a much, much greater degree than has been the case in recent years, not only in general American politics in the national political discourse, but also on the progressive left.

PDA of course, we’re very proud, we’re the sole national organization to have called to draft Bernie Sanders to run for president in the Democratic Party. And we loved Bernie’s campaigns in 2016 and 2020. But even in 2020 where we brought foreign policy into play, of course, one of our criticisms of the campaign was the degree to which foreign policy was a minor note, not a major note. It was too absent from the considerations. We as a progressive movement are stronger and stronger inside the Democratic Party have to seize a moment like this and ourselves reconsider the broad tenants of US foreign policy and put forward a strong, progressive alternative.

So much of what has been said by the incredible speakers that have been here today point to a different framing for a US foreign policy. For instance, the non vilification of any people so that we don’t have this kind of caricature vilification of the Russian people that we’re seeing. That is done through solidarity with the people across the world. And we even have to go all the way back to the ways in which US foreign policy is so configured to prioritize the interest of business and the wealthy as opposed to people and workers and unions. We have to pivot towards the climate emergency, away from weapons.

I just encourage everybody to join with organizations like RootsAction, Progressive Democrats of America. We are also partnering with, for instance, Our Revolution on a project of building up the progressive base inside state Democratic Parties. We have progressive caucuses. The long term goal of that is to put forward an alternative platform for the Democratic Party, and that of course will include a fully understood foreign policy that is organized around human needs, human rights, peace anti-militarism, lowering the military budget and solidarity with peoples all over the world.

So I just wanted to put that forward and as always honored to be here with all of you. Bill Fletcher, you were brilliant. Daniel Ellsberg, so honored to be with you. Sevim and Marcy and Katrina and Charles, thank you so much.

Charles Lenchner:           Thank you. I’m going to continue by turning to each of our main speakers to see if you have something that you want to say, not directly in response to what someone else said, but we all hear things and we have a response. So we’re going to do a quick round of that. I ask, please no more than one or two minutes each. And I’m actually going, according to the order on the screen in front of me. So I’m going to start with Bill.

Bill Fletcher Jr.:            Yeah. Thanks, Charles. And again, I’m really pleased to be on this program. I have very little to add to what I raised earlier. I think that it is absolutely right. I think one of the problems that we face continuously is that we have no sustained antiwar movement in the United States. We have episodic emergence of protests, and there are groups, great groups like Code Pink and others that hold the banner high. But there’s very little else and I think that that is an indictment of the left and progressive movements. That we haven’t actually done what Alan argues.

We haven’t integrated foreign policy into everything that we’re taking up. We need to be pushing for a democratic foreign policy – Democratic with a small D – That makes the US a partner rather than a bully. But we also have to be very clear that the US is not the only evil player on this planet and that the idea of a multipolar world in one sense is something to support. At the same time, we could have a multipolar authoritarian world a la George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

What is going on around the world is not something we can ignore and just simply focus on the politics of the United States. We’ve got to be there in solidarity with workers and oppressed peoples in nations that are getting trampled on by various imperial and sub imperial powers. I’ll leave it at that. Thank you.

Charles Lenchner:       Thank you so much. And we’ll turn now to Sevim.

Sevim Dağdelen:             I think we actually have here common positions on this war. This is an illegal war by Russia which we condemn, and nothing can justify this invasion of another country, neither the citing of a country’s own security interests. I think on this position we have a common ground. And we all demand an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. But the thing is, how can we achieve this? How can we achieve these goals? And I think this is the point where we have maybe some differences.

And I think, and I am really convinced of it, that there’s no other way rather than to have negotiations and diplomacy. Only negotiations and diplomacy can end this conflict and this killing at the moment. And that therefore, I think we have to really put pressure on the national governments. As I said, we have a discussion. I mean, I’m in the foreign affairs committee and the defense, and just lately we had the briefing on Friday by the chancellor, by the Defense Ministry, by the State Department, by the Secret Service and so on. And as I said, it’s a very, very dangerous situation at the moment. And it’s not only Russia versus Ukraine and the invasion by Russia.

The same is that we do have in Germany and Europe warmongers. They want this war with Russia. They are so insane. And as I said, we do have a lot of people who are going onto the streets and saying, we are going for a peace demonstration and manifestation. But the weird thing is they are clapping their hands for war. They are clapping and asking for arming Ukraine. They are clapping their hands for a no-fly zone. And they don’t even know what that means. And this is the dangerous thing we are living at the moment. And even the accident with the fire in this nuclear center in Ukraine, some opposition leaders from the conservatives in Germany, for example, they were asking for intervention by NATO just because of the centers.

And just imagine. I mean, can you imagine what that means? That means a nuclear war between NATO and Russia. And this is the really serious danger at the moment. And that’s why every peace-loving person has to put pressure on their governments to de-escalate. De-escalate and put in the Russian Federation an off-ramp to get out of this war. I think this is the most important thing we have to do now because we have a spiral of escalation on both sides. And if we don’t stop it, it will be the hell for everyone of us on both sides of the Atlantic, but immediately or in a fast way for us in Europe.

That’s why I think it would help to have a common appeal by the US peace movement, by German progressives, to say no to a no-fly zone on Ukraine. No deployment of NATO troops to the East flank of NATO, no more arms deliveries to Ukraine, because what’s the point. It will not end the killing if we deliver more arms to Ukraine, it will last this war longer. And another thing I really want to add is one thing. Of course, Bill is right with Bucharest – No, Budapest, Budapest. But I think we have to consider more things in the past.

What about the promises by NATO, by the US, by Germany, by Europe to Russia in 1990 that there would be no expansion of NATO towards Russia? This is a really big problem for the Russian people. They feel insecure and they feel betrayed because of these promises in the past. And if we do not understand that not only the US has the right to feel secure and safe where they are, and if we don’t understand that other countries have the same right for security in their region, we cannot end this conflict.

Charles Lenchner:        Thank you very much. Ann, turning to you.

Ann Wright:                      Well, Sevim was right about warmongers and we certainly have our share of them here in the United States that are making a killing out of this. I mean, every time the US sends a shipment into Poland to go to Ukraine, you can just see the guys and gals just rubbing their hands, more war, more money for them. So keeping that always in mind, and something we haven’t brought up that has been mentioned in other places is going to the international criminal court and putting Putin on trial.

Well, okay, I agree with that, but let’s have a couple of other people including George Bush on the Iraq war. How about Mohammad bin Salman for what he’s done to Yemen? Yeah. I think some of these big guys need to fall on this stuff because they’re getting away with murder, for sure. And I think we also need to be looking at a new security network organization instead of NATO. I mean, I’ve been part of what’s called the No to NATO coalition, which is a large coalition, mostly European countries, but we’ve got US, Canada, and others that are a part of it because NATO has been threatening.

And when you think about the Anaconda operation a couple of years ago, that was the name of it, to encircle Russia. I mean, there are no clean hands on this. The US has no clean hands, NATO has no clean hands. And what we’ve seen, what this type of security network is, is that it is dangerous and it needs to be changed. Thank you.

Charles Lenchner:              Thank you so much. And turning now to Katrina.

Katrina vanden Heuvel:    Thank you, Charles. And I want to thank Sevim for reminding us of history, as did Charles, as did everyone. But I’m going back to not just ostpolitik and Willie Brown and Egon Barr but think of all of Palman. I mean, there have been movements for peace and we do need a new security architecture. And that was an offer in 1990. NATO was not inevitable. The expansion of NATO, the Warsaw Pact collapsed, the Soviet Union’s military alliance and the militarization of relations not just with Russia, then the Soviet Union proceeded. And I do think there are other institutions, the OSC, the United Nations, though flawed, international law is critical, the reference to Helsinki.

But Gorbachev, who is 91, who looks out at the world. He was a democratizer. He had a vision of a common European home which he spoke of at the UN in 1987, which was a common European home from Vladivostok in Siberia to Lisbon in Portugal which wouldn’t have been militarized. I think everyone has spoken of militarism. Bill, you spoke of militarism. It is at the root of our problem. And I think at this moment if Daniel Ellsberg’s voice was strong, which I wish it was, he would remind us this is not a Russian propaganda point, how close we are to the danger of a nuclear peril.

I mean, we have not paid enough – I think everyone on the call has – But tactical nuclear weapons, the escalatory rhetoric and policies on both sides, US, NATO, Russia, of moving more quickly to use of nuclear weapons, 15 nuclear reactors. This is very, very perilous. I wanted to, second, echo we need transnational solidarity. I remember 2002, the other superpower at the time of Iraq, people in the streets, people reminding their governments. And I think deescalation is critical at this point, finding an off-ramp, not for Putin, not for governments, but for people.

And let’s not forget we just exited Afghanistan. That war, according to the Costs of War project, was something like $6 trillion. The international community can’t pony up $5 billion now for humanitarian crises, who’s going to rebuild Ukraine? Who’s going to help with the humanitarian displacement crisis we see? We have to end this war so that there won’t be more suffering. And it’s for the people. And I would say June 6, 1982 is the 40th anniversary of a million people in Central Park. They were there, I think it was a UN disarmament session, to protest in support of disarmament.

A few years later, partly, I’m not going to talk about Reagan, but the wisdom of Gorbachev, an entire class as a result of people in the park then and continuing mobilization, an entire class of nuclear weapons was abolished, the INF. We haven’t talked about the unraveling of nuclear arms controllers. We’re for abolition or we should think of the nuclear proliferation treaty as our end goal, but ABM in 2002, Bush W. the INF has been undone, start is not really anywhere.

This Open Skies treaty, the conventional European forces. This is the unraveling of an already fragile disarmament process which we need to push forward, because that is extraordinary danger. But I do think June 6, 1982, but every day offers an opportunity. And I thank you for including me in this very important discussion which shows the possibilities of civil debate, which we need to remember. Because our voices are not welcome in many parts of the political elite class in this country. Though I do think there’s a real disconnect between the elite blob and the country and other countries’ peoples not in supportive imperialism, but in support of finding a way toward deescalation and peace, or at least antiwar on the road to a real peace. Thank you.

Charles Lenchner:     Thank you. And we’re actually on time in the best possible way. We’re going to switch to Q&A right away. I am reading the questions that folks have submitted and asking them in a way that’s designed to make it as difficult as possible to give me a short answer. Also, all answers should be short. And we’re just going to do this to get as much of your views as possible. I’m going to start with an easy one. What is the most important concrete objective that the left in Europe and North America should be advocating for in public right now? And since you have it fresh in your mind, Katrina, you go first.

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Deescalation and negotiation and finding a way to end, I think, a crippling insurgency war in Ukraine. I wanted to just note that President Biden repeated very carefully that no American men or women would be sent to Ukraine. There’s a danger of Ukrainians fighting Ukrainians. But I do think to begin to think hard about a new security architecture, and as Bill Fletcher put it well, the left should incorporate ongoing thinking about foreign policy in our work and not just when it’s a crisis. There has to be new thinking on our part about what that means their new frameworks that we should build in as we do with our electoral politics. We continue to say it shouldn’t just be voting, you have to have movements throughout the cycles, and I think that’s critical.

Charles Lenchner:      Thank you. Bill, what is the most immediate concrete demand that the left should be issuing right now, specifically in the United States? I point that out because people sometimes talk as though Putin’s listening to us too.

Bill Fletcher Jr.:           Right. I think that the first thing that has to be raised is Russia out of Ukraine. And as opposed to some of these strange demonstrations that have taken place where people call for NATO to withdraw from Ukraine as if NATO troops are there, I’m trying to figure out whether they’re in some sort of seventh dimension of something, of reality. So I think that’s the first thing. I think opposition to a no-fly zone. And I think that we’ve got to keep the pressure on the Russians. I don’t think that this is about civil discourse between us and the Russians. I think the civil discourse is within progressives.

Putin violated the Budapest Accords. He knew exactly what he’s doing. He’s trying to eliminate Ukraine. I don’t think that this is about using harsh language with him. I think that a global mobilization to make it clear that this is not going to be tolerated any more than the fascist insurrection of 1936 and the German and Italian intervention in Spain was something that progressive people sat back on and said, well, it’s Spain, it’s not us. There’s all these other powers. We can’t take a position. I mean, it was right for the people of the world to say, no pasaran.

Charles Lenchner:     Thank you. And Sevim, I’m turning to you next, but I’m going to give this a little bit of a twist because you are here our closest contact to the antiwar movement in Germany, and I assume you have much closer connections to the emerging peace movement in Europe right now. What in Germany is the most important demand? Knowing that, as you must, that the political echelons are severely compromised in their relationships with Russia, with fossil fuels, with pipelines. And that that connection isn’t just about political statements, it’s about former politicians taking jobs with Russian oligarch corporations and so on. Does that impact what the demand would be in Germany aimed at German leaders?

Sevim Dağdelen:          Well, firstly, the thing is we do have a really big gap in Germany as well between the political elite. The political elite is very much influenced by transatlantic networks, and way more than it was in 2014. So they work very, very hard here in the media, in economy, in politics, these transatlantic networks so that they are very, very loud and have a really big backing at the moment. And we do have the majority of the population which normally was always supporting all the aims and goals and asks of the peace movement, for example, against… And of course, historically we had a very big support by the population for Willy Brandt politics, for Egon Barr politics, for the East policy towards Russia to have a very good friendship.

You have to remember, last year was the 80th year, the anniversary of the attack by Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union. And the Soviet Union had 27 million people who died just because of this fascist attack by Germany. And it was the second one, the First World War started as well with an attack from Germans to Russia. And this is a really big trauma in Germany as well. That’s why normally people want to have a good relationship, want a good neighborhood, because Russia is a part of Europe, it’s a European country, it’s our neighbor.

Normally, so the majority always wanted to have a good relationship like the peace movement always wanted and asked for. But now after the attack, after the invasion, after the illegal war by Russia, it changed a lot. So 10 days before, 80%, 90% of the population in Germany was against arms deliveries to Ukraine. Now, it’s changed. Not that much to the opposite, but about more than 50% is now supporting arms deliveries to Ukraine after the attack and after, of course, the campaign of the political elite here in Germany.

So this is now changing a bit. But nevertheless, thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people, they are going onto the streets and supporting the slogan, stop the war, stop the war in Ukraine. But as I said, it’s a little bit divided. The peace protesters are divided. Some of them, they say, no arms deliveries. No to the no-fly zone, no escalation, and so on. And others, mostly younger people, they are forcing and asking for an economical war because they don’t think about the day after tomorrow. The day after tomorrow, we will get the bill for the energy, and that’s the problem. The German government now said that just for the next two or three months, mostly two months, we do have safe energy.

For autumn and winter there is no energy at all in Germany and that’s going to be a really big problem. So all the retired people, low income people, they cannot afford to spend way more money for the energy and for the gas or for the dirty fracking gas from the US which is way more expensive than the gas from Russia. And this is going to be a very big problem in the next months in Germany. So people can get aware of what it means to have an economical war against Russia. Economical war, it’s not only hitting the ordinary people in Russia. It will hit our people in Germany as well. I know it’s not going to hit the Americans, but it’s going to hit the people here in Germany and in Europe. And even regarding the fact that the US is still getting oil from Russia.

So the US is asking us to stop Nord Stream 2, to stop getting gas from Russia, but they want to have Russian oil. I mean, that’s hypocrisy, and this is something we have to criticize, that ordinary people will get the damage of this economical war. And I think the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 is now stopped and is bankrupt. And that’s going to be a very, very big problem for the people in Germany as well. And to come to the point for your question, the most important thing which the peace movement in Germany is asking for is deescalation, stopping arm deliveries, stopping to prolong this war in Ukraine by rearmament and arm deliveries and troop deployments. Because the escalation spiral, the spiral of this escalation, you cannot stop from one point of… There can be just one accident in Ukraine, one false flag or there are not just the military legal troops by Ukraine and Russia.

We know from the German government there are criminals, there’s this international league supported by the Ukraine president where fascist troops even from Germany, Nazis hiking there and we don’t know what’s their aim, what’s their goal. And that’s why we are asking for de-escalation and negotiations. And there are initiatives by the Israelis. The Israeli, India, they are supporting negotiations for a ceasefire. And I think we should put pressure on our governments to support these initiatives rather than to deliver more arms to Ukraine.

Charles Lenchner:       Thank you so much. And we’re going to turn now to Ann, please finish this round.

Ann Wright:                      Well, yeah. Deescalation, no more weapons to anyone, Russia pull back their troops to their own territory. And then one thing to remember. When you put somebody in a real corner you have to watch out for lashing out. And that’s one of the challenges I think that the West has on all these sanctions that they’re putting on Russia. I mean, they are totally, totally isolating the country in every possible way, from airplanes to bank notes, to banking service, to everything.

And we hear the rationale of it. We’ve heard the rationale of it as the sanctions have gone on so many countries around the world that hurt the people. And although I think some of these sanctions are certainly targeted toward the elite in Russia, I think we have to be very watchful because this can precipitate yet one more aspect to this whole thing. So de-escalate, out, no more weapons. Thank you.

Charles Lenchner:          Thank you very much. I just want to say this is amazing information. I’m proud to say that RootsAction was not choosing speakers whose position would fit with a particular approach that we’ve already agreed is the right one. We understand that this is a time where good people and allies have different approaches to things. And as things become politically difficult I hope we can preserve that, at least among those of us who are committed to reducing war and military spending on the planet.

My last question might be harder to answer in a short time like the first one, and I might phrase it in an awkward way. But I just feel like the messaging of the left in this conflict has been far less effective than the messaging around other issues – And I’ll just make a comparison in the US – On issues like student debt or Medicare for all, the left’s position is we ejected by those in power but is very popular and polls very well. That’s not true in this conflict where large numbers of people have basically accepted a lot of premises that we don’t, and we’re not going to talk about why that is.

My question for you is what could the left antiwar progressive forces do differently around messaging in order to come out ahead by the end of this conflict, rather than the feeling of we’re right but we’re not connecting with where people are right now? And I’m going to go and start again with Katrina. So everyone has time to prepare. Katrina.

Katrina vanden Heuvel:  I’m going to sound too radical, maybe that’s why my mic was off. And I want to thank everyone for their strong views, important views. I don’t think it should be the left. I think it has to be transpartisan. I think endless war is not a bad message. The danger of endless war, the importance of restraint, of dialogue. War sells better in this country sometimes, peace has become a subversive word in some instances. I’m not sure the left has been so great on messaging domestically. I mean, I think living wage was important.

I’m not sure defund the police was the best messaging. And I think working with Russia at this time coming off of five, six years of Russiagate, whatever you think of Russiagate, is very tough, because it’s not just war right now. It’s also about a country that rightfully, wrongfully has been demonized. Certainly in all my years of study, 40 years, I don’t remember calling it Brezhnev’s Russia, Chernenko’s Russia, it’s become Putin. Putin’s like the only force. And I will say one thing that’s heartening and I’ll stop, is a lot of Americans saw Russians in the streets protesting.

And I don’t think that was understood, that there was another Russia that is not Putin’s Russia. How can a country be without other forces multifaceted, multicolored? But I do not deny that we need not just messaging, but what Bill said, we need to bring the idea of new security into our politics, into our foreign policy. What good are nukes for pandemics, global inequality, climate crisis? What good is militarism for those issues which we thought were 21st century issues?

Charles Lenchner:       Thank you. Sevim, you should go again now.

Sevim Dağdelen:          I think maybe we should learn to focus, to focus our demands and ask and to say, war should never be a kind of politics, a form of politics. And I think we have too many demands. We have too many [inaudible] and too many slogans. Maybe it’s better and more effective to concentrate just on one. And the other thing is I would think it’s helpful and can be more effective to build more connections, more networks from Europe to the US.

I’m member of the German Parliament since 2005. And I can see that the political elite, the conservatives say this, the trans-Atlantic network, the trans-Atlantic network, the transatlanticism is moreover the one who is supporting the military-industrial complex, the war policies like Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and whatever, the NATO politics. Actually, the transatlantic partnership is NATO. Is nothing else.

And I think we should have an alternative to that. Alternative to that to counter them. Otherwise, you are single, we are single, and we are just trying to survive, trying to fight them. But I think we should give it a try, to try to have a progressive transatlanticism like internationalism to counter this kind of transatlantic partnership, like the NATO elites they’re doing in media, in politics, in economics. And I think this could be a good alternative and we can focus and concentrate on one or two common goals. Common slogans.

Charles Lenchner:        Thank you very much.

Sevim Dağdelen:             Maybe this can be the beginning.

Charles Lenchner:     Yes. One hopes. We’re going to turn now to Ann, and then Bill, you’ll be the last one here.

Ann Wright:                  God, what messaging? How about all mothers against war? All veterans against war. There are so many phrases that we can always use and bring in, stop these wars. It’s a tough one because we have such a small voice on the international mainstream media. Our voices seem to be on the street corners and every now and then a little picture will come up. Well, there they are again out there. But trying to find that key message that will resonate with people is really, really tough. But I think one of the things we have to consider is the people in Russia that are just horrified about what their government has done, and they’re the ones that are going to be the… Well, the Ukrainians are of course just suffering from destruction and all that.

But if you look back at what the Russian people are going to have to go through with over 150,000 young men, and I guess a lot of young women in their military that are doing some things in the Ukraine that they didn’t think they were going to do. They were on an exercise. Just like the US troops going into Iraq and Afghanistan, most of them didn’t have a clue what was going on. And then you look at what has happened to society and want the veterans to be brought back to that society. And maybe that’s one aspect that we need to keep harping on, that all parts of society will be suffering from this. The Ukrainian society, of course, is the country that’s been invaded and people killed there. But the people coming in, the invaders are going to be suffering a very great deal just as the US did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thank you.

Charles Lenchner:         Thank you so much. And now we’re going to turn to Bill.

Bill Fletcher Jr.:                  Thanks. So I think first, part of the problem that left and progressive forces have is that many of us see three fingers when five fingers are actually sitting in front of us. So that we want to reshape reality to be something that we’re comfortable with. Thus, these ridiculous slogans like NATO out of Ukraine. So if you wonder why we’re looked at as odd, it’s because we see three fingers when there’s five fingers right in front of us. And that also is related to being US centric. Too many of us on the left in the US think that the US is behind everything.

That nothing can happen unless the US is behind every nefarious thing that’s happened on this planet. We don’t look at the concretes of situations, what are the real social forces in operation? Who is in play? What’s the role of the US? What is the role of other forces? So when you basically present this imaginary view of the world to people, why does it surprise us that we get laughed at? In terms of what we need to do, it seems to me that there needs to be, rather than an abstract demand for diplomacy, there needs to be a demand that several countries set up a mediation team that basically goes to Zelenskyy and Putin and says, we’re here to mediate a resolution to this conflict.

And these have to be countries that both of those are going to pay attention to. This is not going to happen without mediation. A cessation of the fighting otherwise is unlikely unless it’s the total victory of the Russians. Second thing is related to something that keeps being raised. Now is a time, Katrina, to rebuild the demand for denuclearization. And I think that this is that moment. For many people that was an abstraction, at least if you weren’t alive during the Cuban Missile Crisis. But for many people, it’s an abstraction.

It’s not an abstraction anymore when you have Putin saying, we’re going to go on nuclear alert, then everyone knows that this guy is thinking at least about tactical weapons, or not tactical nuclear weapons, or is thinking along the same lines that Richard Nixon did where he said it was to the interest of the United States that Russia and China believe he’s nuts. That’s another thing. We need to be against spheres of influence, intervention, and annexation. That needs to be central to our foreign policy demands. And that’s across the board whether we’re talking about the attempt to crush Ukraine or the apartheid in Palestine, the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, you name it. Or Yemen. And finally, I’ve seen a lot of discussion about fascists in Ukraine.

I’m so sick of it because you’d wonder if the fascists are the main forces in Ukraine, how do we explain what’s going on in the Kremlin and the politics of the Kremlin? There needs to be an international movement against right-wing authoritarianism. Right-wing authoritarianism has assumed global proportions and takes a number of different forms in different countries including what we see in Poland right now with them setting up two different lines for refugees. If you’re so-called white you’re in one line, if you are of color you’re in a different line. There needs to be an international movement. We should think about this as the moment to be calling attention to this danger, this global danger of right-wing authoritarianism.

Charles Lenchner:           Thank you so much, Bill. And thank you to everyone who came out. I want to especially praise our co-sponsors who have helped and will be helping with circulating this broadcast in their social media and email, we hope. I want to remind everyone that nowarinukraine.org is a place where RootsAction and Progressive Hub keep a series of very well curated informative resources about the war along with actions that you can take online. We are doing events like these. And not just us. All of you who have spoken here today and many in the audience I’m sure are being invited to things routinely.

I just want to express as we wrap up that we are able to go beyond the dissemination of information and analysis and towards a place where we are the ones exercising enough power to determine an outcome. And moving from figuring out what’s up to exercising that power is what I’m going to be thinking about as I review these notes to write more for Progressive Hub.

Thank you Norman Solomon for calling this event to be created. Thank you to all of our organizations that were involved. This was amazing. You will be hearing from me with links and emails, and just thank you all so much for coming. We are going to make sure that this war ends. Thank you.