Across the U.S., protests demand ‘No war on Russia and Donbass!’


On Feb. 5, anti-war and community organizations took to the streets across the United States in a united demand to the Biden administration: No war on Russia!

It was a crucial moment of visible opposition to the rapid U.S./NATO war buildup that has marked the first weeks of 2022. 

An ad hoc coalition of anti-imperialist organizations, including the Socialist Unity Party and Struggle-La Lucha newspaper, Solidarity with Novorossiya and Antifascists in Ukraine, longtime Minneapolis antiwar activist Alan Dale, Women Against Military Madness, the Communist Workers League and Workers Voice Socialist Movement first put out the call for “National Days of Action Feb. 4-12: No War on Russia and Donbass! U.S./NATO Out of Ukraine!”

“Biden claims that there is an imminent threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine,” says the call to action. “But the real invasion threat stems from U.S.-allied Ukraine against the independent Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, near Russia’s western border.

“Washington and its NATO partners have been pushing Ukraine’s government to invade Donbass, hoping to provoke a response from Russia that can cover further NATO expansion. Ukraine has deployed 125,000 troops [now more than 150,000] to the ceasefire zone, including battalions of neo-Nazis, armed with NATO weapons.

“Poor and working people are wracked with crisis after crisis here at home. … We need a struggle to end racism and poverty, not another criminal war abroad!”

The national call was endorsed by the Anti-War Committee, Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle, International League of Peoples’ Struggle – U.S. chapter, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Peoples Power Assembly, Moratorium Now Coalition, Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice and others.

Shortly after, Code Pink: Women for Peace made its own call for a national day for “negotiations, not war” with Russia on Saturday, Feb. 5. Other anti-war formations, including the ANSWER Coalition, Peace Action, United National Antiwar Coalition, Veterans for Peace and International Action Center, also mobilized. 

In many cities, the groups joined forces for united anti-war activities.

New York City
New York City

‘Bring the troops home’

In New York City, the anti-imperialist coalition organized a speak-out Feb. 5 at Columbus Circle. Hundreds of fact sheets were distributed to passersby while protesters chanted: “Hands off Russia! Hands off Donbass! Bring the troops home!”

At the speak-out, activists explained that the U.S. and NATO pose the real invasion threat to the Eastern European region. They also contrasted the massive flood of U.S. weapons to Ukraine in recent weeks with the Biden administration’s failure to provide promised N95 masks to people here during the omicron COVID surge.

Speakers included Johnnie Stevens of Parents to Improve School Transportation (PIST NYC), Michaela Martinazzi of NY Community Action Project (NYCAP) and International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), Teri Kay of Communist Workers League and Greg Butterfield of Solidarity with Novorossiya and Antifascists in Ukraine.

The protesters then held a small but spirited march down Broadway to join the rally called by Code Pink at Times Square. The group entered chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, NATO has got to go,” helping to set a militant tone for the second event. 

Bill Dores spoke at the Times Square rally representing Struggle-La Lucha. He said, “The health care system is collapsing, millions are facing eviction, people are drowning in student debt, Congress can’t pass the Build Back Better Act – but they have endless money for war and destruction. Because only war and destruction can preserve the domination of Wall Street and the U.S. dollar in the world economy. And they’re willing to risk global destruction for that purpose.”

Other speakers included Margaret Kimberley of Black Alliance for Peace and Larry Holmes of Workers World Party.

Los Angeles
Los Angeles

‘Fight fascism and white supremacy’

In Los Angeles, a broad coalition of anti-war forces rallied at the downtown Federal Building. 

John Parker, candidate for U.S. Senate in California representing the Socialist Unity Party and Peace and Freedom Party, spoke about his recent visit to Honduras as part of a solidarity delegation to celebrate the inauguration of leftist President Xiomara Castro. He described the parallels between the people’s struggles against fascism and white supremacy under the U.S.-backed coup regimes in Honduras and Ukraine.

“The regime created by the coup in Ukraine in 2014 with U.S. support bans communist and socialist organizations, but they allow Nazi collaborators to be lauded. The FBI finally admitted that some of the white supremacists who were in Charlottesville in 2017 went to Ukraine for training. Then they come back here and attack us. That’s the link, and we have to explain it to people here.”

Organizers from Parker’s Senate campaign said they plan to distribute more fact sheets about the U.S./NATO war danger as they hold neighborhood outreach events.

San Diego

In San Diego, Socialist Unity Party activists visited several locations to distribute fact sheets and talk to organizers about the importance of building the anti-war struggle, including at San Diego State University, Malcolm X Library, Black Resource Center, World Beat Cultural Center, City Heights Library and the Centro Cultural de la Raza.


A rally and car caravan drew about 30 protesters in Baltimore. Bright green signs declared, “Banks and Big Oil profit from Pentagon wars” and “Money for healthcare, not for fascists and war profiteers!”

Despite frigid temperatures, 70 people came out in Minneapolis to demand “No war on Russia” at the call of Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, Anti-War Committee, Veterans for Peace, Women Against Military Madness and others. 

The protesters then joined with hundreds of others marching to demand justice for Amir Locke, a young Black man slain by Minneapolis police days before.

Two actions were held in New Orleans. The Workers Voice Socialist Movement held a mass leaflet distribution. “Whether it’s at bus stops, grocery store parking lots, or barber shops, we need to get the word out: We workers have no interest in another bloody war for the rich,” the group explained.

At Congo Square, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, ANSWER Coalition, the Communist Party of Louisiana and others rallied against war on Russia.

Protests were held in dozens of other cities Feb. 5, including Washington, D.C.; Des Moines, Iowa; Topsham, Maine; Kansas City, Missouri; and Missoula, Montana

In Detroit, the Moratorium NOW! Coalition and Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice are planning a rush-hour protest on Friday, Feb. 11. Visit the Facebook event page for details.

With reports from Sharon Black in Baltimore, John Parker in Los Angeles, Greg Butterfield in New York and Gloria Verdieu in San Diego.

SLL photos: Sharon Black, Maggie Vascassenno, Greg Butterfield

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