Over the past several weeks, members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation passed out 50,000 pamphlets around the country to agitate against a “No-Fly Zone” over Ukraine. This includes members of PSL San Diego, who held several local actions and passed out nearly a thousand pamphlets across the county since mid-March.
As the pamphlet points out, “A No-Fly Zone would compel U.S. war planes and missile batteries to shoot down Russian military aircraft.”
A No-Fly Zone would be a dangerous step up the escalation ladder and could lead to a global, nuclear war between the U.S./NATO and Russia. No-Fly Zones killed civilians in Iraq, Libya and Yugoslavia.
PSL San Diego members advocated for a peaceful, diplomatic resolution rather than a dangerous escalation that could kill many thousands more Ukrainian civilians. Signs at a rally in the College Area neighborhood on April 8 read, “Hey Biden, negotiation not escalation,” “No-Fly Zone = WW3” and “Disband NATO. Bring the troops home!”
Socialist congressional candidate in California’s 51st district, Jose Cortes, was present on the evening of April 8 and addressed attendees. Cortes, who is a member of PSL, said, “[Around] 50% of our tax money is going straight to war. It’s not going to schools – it’s not going to maintain the roads. It’s going directly into…the war machine.”
Cortes is running on a platform that demands the dissolution of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as well as an end to the New Cold War, which he calls a war on the workers of Russia, China, Iran, Cuba and other independent countries. Cortes’ campaign argues that the hundreds of billions of dollars that are siphoned to the Pentagon and Ukrainian nationalist militias should instead be used to guarantee housing, healthcare, education and food for all.
Liberation News sat down with Jose Cortes. Cortes expressed, “The juxtaposition of billions of dollars of military hardware polluting our air and water while people are priced out of housing and healthcare serves as a clear demonstration of the contradictions inherent to this war-for-profit system.”
Notably, there are nine military bases in San Diego County.
Liberation News also spoke with David Zimmerman, a PSL San Diego member who organized much of the branch’s initiative to agitate against a No-Fly Zone over Ukraine. Zimmerman thinks some people are fooled by the language and framing of a No-Fly Zone: “I think a no-fly-zone is meant to sound peaceful when in reality it is an act of war. It’s time to negotiate peace, not escalate to World War 3!”
In addition to the rally on April 8, PSL members hosted banner drops, canvassing days and other events to agitate against a No-Fly Zone over Ukraine. PSL San Diego is hosting a community forum at the San Diego Justice Center about the history and present role of Nazis in Ukraine on April 29 at 7pm.
As long as there is an imperialist drive for war, socialists and other anti-imperialists will struggle for a world free of war and exploitation.