An intergenerational, multiracial group of organizers demonstrated in Washington, D.C., on March 18, seeking to unite various sectors of the nation’s anti-war movement. Under the slogans “Peace in Ukraine—Negotiations not escalation,” “Fund People’s needs, not the war machine,” and “Say no to endless U.S. wars and sanctions—Abolish NATO,” around 2,500 people representing over 200 organizations rallied in front of the White House and marched to the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church for a teach-in. Endorsers and organizers include the ANSWER Coalition, CODEPINK, and the People’s Forum.
The war in Ukraine has taken hundreds of thousands of lives, plunged the world into crisis, and will cost the people of the U.S. at least $113 billion in public funds. Many in the anti-war movement argue that the war wasn’t caused by Russia alone, despite what U.S. politicians and media say, and was completely avoidable.
Those joining the march had plenty of reasons to participate. Some have been active in the anti-war movement since even before the Iraq War 20 years ago, which broke out on March 20, 2003, in the “shock and awe” U.S. invasion.
Ellen Barfield of Veterans for Peace, who was active in opposing the Iraq War, told Peoples Dispatch, “Sadly, the general public worships troops, so they listen to us.” “We use our status. And that’s what Veterans for Peace is all about; it’s about supporting each other in doing a better job of trying to educate the public about the real costs of war… to the whole world.”
The March 18 rally united various working-class struggles around the globe. Riya Ortiz of Damayan Migrant Workers spoke on the struggle of Filipina labor trafficking survivors. “The reason that [Filipina workers] were getting trafficked is because the U.S. ravaged our home country. We don’t have our own heavy basic industry, and basically the main commodity of the country [is] our people,” Ortiz told Peoples Dispatch on the link between anti-imperialism and Filipina struggle.