On Feb. 4, organizers from several prominent anti-war and anti-imperialist organizations gathered in California’s capital to hold a rally.
Sacramento ANSWER Coalition, the Sacramento Branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Democratic Socialists of America Sacramento, Sacramento Women’s National League for Peace & Freedom, Veterans for Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace Sacramento, NorCal Resist, Sacramento Area Peace Action, Peace & Freedom Party Sacramento Chapter, Poor People’s Campaign Sacramento, and others helped organize and took part in the event.
The attendees decried the continued warmongering and escalation of tensions with Russia over Ukraine by the Biden administration and demanded the disbandment of NATO, as well as for the United States to stop sending arms to Ukraine. Other demands included the call for the United States to obey international laws and the UN Charter, to resolve the current conflict within the UN Security Council, and to de-escalate tensions between the two countries.
Using signs and microphones, attendees made clear that a war with Russia was not in the interest of working-class people in the United States and any soldiers sent would fight and die in a needless and potential nuclear conflict. It is also against the interests of most Ukrainians and Russians, who have also expressed their own fears and discontent with rising tensions.
Instead, the only people that would benefit from such an escalation with a nuclear power would be the western military-industrial complex. Additionally, The Levada Center, a non-profit organization which receives partial funding from the U.S.-based National Endowment for Democracy and does polling and analytical work in Russia, found that 50 percent of Russians see the United States and NATO as responsible for rising tensions and that fewer than 5 percent blame the Kremlin.
An organizer from ANSWER Coalition, Kevin Martinez, highlighted how current tensions were merely an extension of a cold war that never really ended, stating: “Over the past few years, we have been fed constant warmongering and threats against a state that has a policy of mutually-assured destruction. As the budget for the military continues to rise, social programs for our working class have been on the decline.” Martinez further added, “When we think of the Cold War as part of an era that came and went. This is far from the truth — it never left. Instead, it has morphed into open regime change policy, funded by CIA-led NGOs, like National Endowment for Democracy and USAID. It looks like coups in Latin America, the Lima Group, Organization of American States, and in Europe, the imperialists call it NATO.”
Martinez also elaborated on how war spending has divested funds away from vital human services that are currently strapped for funds in Sacramento County, stating, “U.S. spending on troop occupation in Europe totals to $600 million a year. … The attitude of U.S. imperialist policy reflects our communities here in Sacramento. At the beginning of the [COVID-19] crisis, $181 million of federal funding was given to the county for COVID relief efforts. However, $50 million of that was given to the Sheriff’s office. During a time when our healthcare system in Sacramento and housing for our unhoused community is needed most, money is diverted to law enforcement! This is the guarantee that we can expect in this two-party system of the rich.”
Responding to a request for comment, an organizer with the Democratic Socialists of America Sacramento told Liberation News, “Last Friday, anti-war folks of all stripes joined in solidarity to form a unified front against the U.S. imperialist war machine. These escalating tensions further enrich the military-industrial-complex at the expense of the working class here in the U.S., Ukraine and Russia.”
The organizer added, “Solidarity will be the key to our success. Here’s to more in the future.”