The daily headlines are flooded with the latest updates as Russia invades Ukraine and US troops are sent to bolster North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries’ defenses. Human dignity groups across Oregon and communities around the world have responded, calling for peace and funding our communities instead of the global military expansion of Russia and NATO. Read on for opportunities to make your voice heard and to get inspired by how rural Oregonians have already taken action for peace in Ukraine and beyond!
Ready to take action? Here are some ways to make your voice heard:
→ Sign the Friends Committee on National Legislation’s petition to condemn the Russian invasion and press for diplomacy.
→ Send a postcard to your US Representative telling them why peace matters to YOU personally, and what rural schools, libraries, and other programs you would rather they fund instead of defense contractors and military intervention. You can find their mailing addresses here. The Consolidated Oregon Indivisible Network is encouraging people to write postcards against the war to US District 2 Representative Cliff Bentz in particular.
→ Join or organize a rally in your community! Check out a few examples below and don’t forget to bring a sign-in sheet so you can stay connected to new people taking action for the first time! Extra credit: send a press release to your local papers, or write a letter to the editor about your action to broaden the impact!
→ Support refugees across the world by calling on US and European governments to prioritize the health and wellbeing of all people fleeing conflict. Black and brown refugees are facing particular hardship as racism and xenophobia add barriers to seeking safety.
→ Want support making your local action plan? Let us know by emailing us at Emma@rop.org.
How is your group taking action? What’s happening in your community in response? Let us know by emailing us at Emma@rop.org. Not sure where to start?
Check out the powerful ways rural Oregonians are taking action below! Be sure to share peace rally and vigil announcements with ROP so we can share them out on our social media and more.
Emma and the ROP Team
Peace Rallies in Support of Ukrainian Democracy
Hood River County: Stand with Ukraine Sign Waving & Fundraiser
Express your opposition to the war in Ukraine, your support for the people of Ukraine, your opposition to the rise of autocracy at home and abroad, and your support of democracy everywhere. Please bring flags, signs and goodwill.
Where: Hood River, Overlook Memorial fountain, 2nd and State St.
When: Saturday, March 5th, 12:00-1:00PM
Umatilla County: Stand With Ukraine sign waive on Roy Raley sidewalk Wednesday, March 2nd at 4:00 pm.Please bring a sign and/or flag and come show your solidarity with Ukraine!
Deschutes County: The Vocal Seniority brought people in Bend together with this statement: “Join us at Peace Corner at noon on Tuesday to express your opposition to the war in Ukraine, your support for the people of Ukraine, your opposition to the rise of autocracy at home and abroad, or whatever your inner voice wishes to express. Bring your own signs. Peace.”
Jackson County: Oregon District 2 Indivisible, the Rogue Valley Chapter of Veterans for Peace and Peace House all invite you to attend a rally to Stand With Ukraine on Wednesday, March 2nd, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at Vogel Plaza in Medford. Participants are asked to wear blue and yellow in honor of Ukraine’s flag and to bring signs, sunflowers, and donations to benefit Doctors Without Borders, which is providing aid to people injured and displaced by the conflict.
Marion County: Oregon PeaceWorks and the Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation invite folks to “Join Us on March 6 in Salem to call for an end to the fighting in Ukraine. Meet at noon at the corner of NE Liberty and Chemeketa Streets. Bring banners, peaceful signs and flags.”
Albany Peace Seekers say, ‘War is not the answer’
Albany Peace Seekers had a great article written up about their War is Not the Answer vigil in the Albany Democrat-Herald after 15 community members gathered near the Linn County Courthouse on Wednesday, Feb 23.
“Our mission is to encourage a peaceful, just world,” event organizer Sharon Gisler said. “There’s so much confusion and fear in the world right now. It’s a moment to hold up the idea that peace is still possible…War is never a good option.”
“Protesters took to the streets in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and across Russia on Friday to decry the invasion of Ukraine, even as authorities sought to suppress the spreading antiwar sentiment and project an image of strength and righteousness.” US News.
On Friday, February 25, In St. Petersburg, shocked Russians turned out by the thousands to decry their country’s invasion of Ukraine as emotional calls for protests grew on social media. Some 1,745 people in 54 Russian cities were detained, at least 957 of them in Moscow.
Peace House is committed to peace. Peace involves the ability to listen to the needs of all parties in a conflict, and the attempt to accommodate the legitimate concerns of all. Gandhi tells us that the worst kind of violence is fear. Militarism, preparing for war, is sold as the way to security, but it only creates insecurity and more fear. The people of Ukraine and the world should not be held hostage to the fear of war and its unintended consequences in Ukraine that will inevitably affect us all in some way, especially if nuclear powers are involved. Defusing fear is the proper work of peacekeeping, and in this case, defusing fear requires pulling back from the brink of war, and walking instead the difficult but necessary path of listening as a beginning toward peace.
The Ukraine situation is complex and fraught with consequences, not only for Ukraine and its people but also in a much larger international context. The consequences of military engagement would be disastrous for so many people. Our history of military intervention and war in such situations is one of dismal failure to achieve peaceful resolutions, but success in creating unintended and very negative consequences. Clearly, war, military intervention, is not an answer. Finding ways to listen to and accommodate the needs of all parties is difficult but it is the only way to produce a peaceful and more secure situation for everyone.
Statement by Elizabeth Hallett, Peace House Director, and Jim Phillips, Peace House Board of Directors Chair.
Bentz Accountability Team Organizes Postcards to Bentz: “Reject Putin’s Attacks on Ukraine”
The Consolidated Oregon Indivisible Network is inviting people in House District 2 to tell US Representative Cliff Bentz why this matters to YOU personally. How has this affected your family? Your community? Sign with your first and last name, and the city or county you live in. Stick a 40-cent stamp on it and please put it in the mail ASAP!
Address your postcard to:
Rep. Cliff Bentz
1239 Longworth House Office Bldg
Washington, D.C. 20515