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Milwaukee Anti-war Committee rallies for peace in Ukraine, against U.S. war machine

By staff

Anti-war activists in Milwaukee demonstrate for an end to endless wars in sub-ze

Milwaukee, WI – In solidarity with the protest in Washington D.C. on March 18 that saw organizers from all over the country descend on the capital, the Milwaukee Anti-War Committee (MAC) hosted a rally downtown to demand peace in Ukraine and reflect on the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Despite the frigid weather, members from the MAC, Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) came together to speak on the need to end imperialism and touched on the destructive history of U.S. economic and military interventions abroad.

The event opened with an introduction to MAC, which formed in November 2022. “The Milwaukee Anti-War Committee is part of the growing international efforts to oppose U.S.-led, imperialist warmongering and proxy wars conducted from Iraq to Ukraine,” said Remi Schueler, member of MAC and FRSO. The crowd chanted “From Ukraine to the Philippines, end the U.S. war machine!” and “Whose streets? Our streets! Whose war? Their war!”

Farzad Ghodsi, a member of the MAC, compared the war in Iraq to the proxy war in Ukraine. “This proxy war between the U.S. and Russia has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of people being displaced. The U.S. has appropriated over $114 billion to spend on this senseless bloodshed. Money that could be spent at home on far more important matters. Feeding the hungry, housing the houseless, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, educating our children, any number of things the American people are desperate for.”

Farzad called for the end of NATO, which has served as an anti-democratic organization through military force, and to end all illegal sanctions placed upon countries such as Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and many others.

Brian Velasquez-Verdin, a longtime community and peace activist in Milwaukee and member of the Milwaukee Alliance, spoke after Farzad. His comments focused largely on the hypocrisy of the U.S. response to Russia’s actions.

“Ukraine and Russia share 1200 miles of border. The United States and Mexico share 1600 miles of border. Could you imagine if China – who’s supposed to be our adversary – started building up forces in Mexico? You think the U.S. [government] would stand for that?” said Velasquez-Verdin.

Next up was Ryan Hamann from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, whose comments painted a picture of the general situation of the decline of U.S. imperialism, using specific examples to illustrate the point.

“We want a peace treaty to end the destruction and violence, but also one that will curtail NATO's influence and reach. We know that at the end of the day, this war – just like all other wars waged by imperialism – is ultimately all about money,” said Hamann, member of FRSO.

“U.S. imperialism has been thoroughly defeated in Afghanistan and continues to be in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Syria, Iran, and a slew of other places. The policy of economic warfare is failing the world over, largely as a result of the continued rise of socialist China and their policy of building a world order based on cooperation and mutual benefit as opposed to domination and exploitation.”

The event ended on a high note, with Hamann proclaiming, “We must continue to build a united front of progressive forces whose aim is to struggle for an end to endless war! Abolish NATO! Money for human needs, not the war machine!”

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