Ukraine War protestors: “Negotiations Now!”

by Reginald Johnson, October 25, 2022

MIDDLETOWN, CT — Peace activists took to the streets here Saturday to protest the war in Ukraine and warn people that the conflict threatens to become a nuclear holocaust.

Gathering on the corner of Main and Washington, the demonstrators held signs and passed out fliers which said “Prevent Nuclear War” and “Negotiations Now.”

We’ve gotten a number of horn honks and people have taken leaflets,” said Steve Krevisky, one of the organizers.

As parents walked by with their children dressed up in halloween costumes, Krevisky added,

“We know there’s a Halloween celebration down the street and you don’t want to spoil a good mood, but the threat of nuclear war should bother people. So considering, we’ve had a pretty good response.”

The Middletown protest was one of more than 70 actions that took place around the country and Canada in the past week sponsored by an umbrella peace group, the United National Anti-war Coalition (UNAC).

We did not expect such an overwhelming response from our movement, but we learned people are ready to hit the streets and build a strong unified antiwar movement,”

read a statement by UNAC.

The protests erupted as the Ukraine-Russia war, now seven months old, has reached a more dangerous phase. Neither side seems to have the upper hand in the war and leaders of both nations have talked of the possibility of using nuclear weapons.

NATO, the US-led military alliance which is aiding Ukraine, recently began nuclear war training exercises in eastern Europe and Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country may do the same.

Over the months, the US and NATO have pumped billions of dollars in lethal aid into Ukraine and military observers believe the weaponry has allowed Ukraine to launch effective counter attacks against Russian forces and prolong the war. Thousands of combatants have died in the conflict and there’s been massive damage to civilian infrastructure.

Meanwhile, there is no movement towards negotiations to achieve a peaceful settlement. While several European leaders including France’s Emanuel Macron as well as Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodomyr Zelensky have indicated at different times that they were open to peace negotiations, the United States has been a roadblock.

The administration of President Joseph Biden has rebuffed the idea of peace talks several times, including in April shortly after the war began when a tentative settlement was on the table, but the US rejected it.

Recently, Biden reaffirmed American opposition to negotiations when he told CNN that he had no interest in meeting with Putin at an upcoming G20 summit and he was not interested in negotiations to end the war.

Nonetheless, Biden himself commented recently on the gravity of the present situation. He said the risk of a nuclear “Armageddon” was higher now than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

The US refusal to get behind peace talks is a sore point for activists like Krevisky.

I feel from my own perspective that I have to be critical of the Biden administration not only because they still refuse to negotiate, but in fact they seem to be upping the ante,” he said.

A member of the Connecticut Peace and Solidarity Coalition, Krevisky said that he and others in the group are also trying to make people understand the “connections” between US war policy and military spending and the fact that domestic needs are not being met at home.

One of my favorite slogans is, ‘money for jobs and education, not war and occupation.’ So we wanted to connect issues and get people to recognize the danger of the situation especially since a lot of us think that the corporate media is brainwashing people to go along with a war that many of us think the West wanted a long time ago,” he said.

Also protesting the war — at the same time she was campaigning — was Dr. Amy Chai of New Haven who is running for Congress as an independent against long-time Democratic incumbent Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro in the Third Congressional District. DeLauro has, like other Democrats, fully backed the massive military aid packages being sent to Ukraine.

I’m against all proxy wars — the war in North Africa, sending arms to Yemen and sending arms to Ukraine,” said Chai. “I’m against the US being the arms dealer for the world and I’m against that because I don’t want people using my tax dollars to kill people — that goes against everything I believe in as a doctor.”

Asked about the administration’s claim that the American support for Ukraine was about defending Ukrainian democracy and freedom, she said, “That’s baloney. That’s baloney. It’s about corruption and money — making money for the arms dealers. It’s a corrupt scheme that serves some people’s interest but not ours,” she said.

Reginald Johnson, of Bridgeport, CT, writes frequently about war and peace issues for his blog, The Pequonnock. He can be reached at

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