Several thousand people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, February 19, to protest U.S. support for the war in Ukraine around the time of its one-year anniversary.
The protest was organized by the People’s Party and Libertarian Party. It brought together groups on the left and libertarian right which were unified in their demand that the U.S. government should not spend one more penny on the war in Ukraine.
Nick Brana, the founder of the People’s Party and a main organizer of the event, told CovertAction Magazine that the rally was “the biggest anti-war demonstration since the Iraq War and it was sorely needed.” Brana said that it was nice to see groups on the left and right coming together, though “these labels are largely artificial” as “working people are being screwed whether they are left and right and we need to collectively fight back.”
Pat Ford, a member of the Libertarian Party national committee, echoed Brana when he told CovertAction Magazine that the “rally was a complete success as an exercise in coalition building.” According to Ford, while the latter “can be challenging, fractious, and messy, it is the best possible avenue for grassroots organizers to affect social change” and “succeeded before when people of differing outlooks came together to end the Vietnam War.”
Prior to the event, a few people on the left pulled out or wrote denunciations of the rally because of the presence of the Libertarian Party, which advocates policies they don’t like.
Responding to that, comedian Jimmy Dore said on Sunday that this kind of attitude was akin to saying: “I would like to fight against the threat of nuclear war but not with you [as if these people had some kind of disease]” and that, “if a fireman came to help save his burning home, he would not quiz them about their views on gender relations or trans-sexuals and then stop them if they didn’t accord to his own.”
Dore further said that the oligarchy wants Americans to hate their neighbors when people have mutually suffered from their policies, including the controlled demolition of the economy. He then told the crowd sarcastically they should know that “not everyone on the left likes Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer” and that “not everyone on the right is a Trumper, white supremacist, and gun nut, only a gun nut.”
Inspiring the Crowd
Dore was one of the A-list speakers at the event who inspired the crowd.
Dore started out by quoting from his friend who, when asked “if he didn’t like America, why didn’t he move to another country,” responded, “because then I’d become a victim of our foreign policy.”
Dore went on to provide a list of better ways the U.S. government could have spent the $100 billion used for arms to Ukraine. These included:
- Ending homelessness in the U.S., reinstating it, and then ending it again
- Funding a new police force to police against the current ones
- Facilitating two FTX collapses
- Paying Hunter Biden’s monthly salary for the rest of his life; and giving Joe Biden a dog who knows where to lead him when his press conferences are over
- Funding 90 Alex Jones lawsuits
- Funding balloons to spy on China
- Curing cancer
All kidding aside, Dore said that, instead of improving health care and funding high-speed rail and needed social programs, the U.S. government decided to fund people who commit horrible atrocities, many of whom are Nazis.
The U.S. government is led by the most powerful mafia that ever existed; even its Nobel Prize winners are war criminals, like Barack Obama, who bombed Libya and sent 26,000 bombs over Syria.
Raging Against the Satanic War Machine
Max Blumenthal, of The Grayzone Project, started the rally by reminding the audience that the people of Luhansk and Donetsk have suffered for nine years under bombs supplied by the U.S. and by avowed neo-Nazi forces who killed Jews in pogroms [during World War II].
Blumenthal also said that people on the other side of the U.S. empire did not care whether people identified as a leftist, or rightist—what they wanted was for people in the U.S. to “rage against the sick, satanic, neo-conservative war machine” that has caused so much destruction.
Chris Hedges promoted a similar message, emphasizing that the Ukraine War had been waged by the same intellectually dishonest “high priests of empire” who had advanced the original Cold War and War on Terror. These “pimps of war never see the corpses of their victims”; and subscribe to “delusional fantasies”; they are “parasites vomited up in the dying days of empire.”
Since politicians use fear, the best strategy for the anti-war movement, according to Hedges, is to make those in power afraid; the latter must feel the wrath of non-violent civil disobedience on a massive scale and civil and political disruption. “And if that doesn’t work, to quote the Queen of Hearts: Off With Their Heads.”
Ex-Congresspeople and a Former Presidential Candidate
The speakers at the rally included three former congressmen and women (Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard, and Ron Paul) and a former presidential candidate (Jill Stein of the Green Party).
The speech by Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was notable in its call to hold Biden administration officials accountable for their apparent bombing of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, an act of war which is illegal under U.S. law since only Congress has the authority to make war.
According to Kucinich, the reprehensible conduct of the U.S. government has “debased the U.S. Constitution and threatened the peace of the world” to the extent that “even former intelligence officials are aghast.” The people of Ukraine have been “used as pawns in a vicious geopolitical chess game,” and “the people of Taiwan will be used next as the U.S. tries to portray China as the aggressor while it surrounds it with military bases.”
Tulsi Gabbard followed Kucinich, saying that people at the Rage Against the War Machine rally were united in one thing: They valued human life and don’t want to die in a nuclear holocaust. Gabbard said she had warned about the danger of the new Cold War during the 2020 Democratic primaries but that, sadly, things have worsened since that time, with the advent of this proxy war with Russia that could easily now turn into a direct and nuclear war.
An Avoidable Catastrophe….
The rally ended with concluding remarks over a video by Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters, who said that we wouldn’t be in the current mess that we are today if U.S. leaders had kept Secretary of State James Baker’s 1991 promise not to expand NATO one inch eastward in return for the removal of Russian troops from Germany, and not engineered an illegal coup in Ukraine in 2014 that helped trigger the current war.
The U.S. could have also supported the Minsk peace agreements in 2019, and chosen not to blow up the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was an act of war and international terrorism.
New Bipartisan Movement Against War?
Many people traveled long distances to attend the rally.
As an example, Abel Tomlinson, 42, and Edward J. Hejmanek, 73, drove eighteen hours from Fayetteville, Arkansas, telling CovertAction Magazine that they were concerned that the proxy war with Russia could soon become a nuclear war and that they wanted to support the demonstrators.
The rally turned out to be completely non-violent, with a minimal police presence and no counter-demonstrators.
There were many creative signs and peace anthems were played during breaks from the speeches and at the end.
Many at the event felt that it was a great thing that people of different ideological perspectives were coming together to oppose war and that, potentially, this event could mark the beginning of a revived anti-war movement that effects real political change.
Kucinich also pointed to Gain-of-Function research to manufacture viruses and the censorship of criticism of the government’s COVID-19 policy as an example of the mounting tyranny of the U.S. government. ↑
CovertAction Magazine is made possible by subscriptions, orders and donations from readers like you.
Blow the Whistle on U.S. Imperialism
Click the whistle and donate
When you donate to CovertAction Magazine, you are supporting investigative journalism. Your contributions go directly to supporting the development, production, editing, and dissemination of the Magazine.
CovertAction Magazine does not receive corporate or government sponsorship. Yet, we hold a steadfast commitment to providing compensation for writers, editorial and technical support. Your support helps facilitate this compensation as well as increase the caliber of this work.
Please make a donation by clicking on the donate logo above and enter the amount and your credit or debit card information.
CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift is tax-deductible for federal income purposes. CAI’s tax-exempt ID number is 87-2461683.
We sincerely thank you for your support.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s). CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI), including its Board of Directors (BD), Editorial Board (EB), Advisory Board (AB), staff, volunteers and its projects (including CovertAction Magazine) are not responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. This article also does not necessarily represent the views the BD, the EB, the AB, staff, volunteers, or any members of its projects.
Differing viewpoints: CAM publishes articles with differing viewpoints in an effort to nurture vibrant debate and thoughtful critical analysis. Feel free to comment on the articles in the comment section and/or send your letters to the Editors, which we will publish in the Letters column.
Copyrighted Material: This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. As a not-for-profit charitable organization incorporated in the State of New York, we are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of humanity’s problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. You can read more about ‘fair use’ and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.
Republishing: CovertAction Magazine (CAM) grants permission to cross-post CAM articles on not-for-profit community internet sites as long as the source is acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original CovertAction Magazine article. Also, kindly let us know at info@CovertActionMagazine.com. For publication of CAM articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: info@CovertActionMagazine.com.
By using this site, you agree to these terms above.
About the Author
Jeremy Kuzmarov is Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine.
He is the author of four books on U.S. foreign policy, including Obama’s Unending Wars (Clarity Press, 2019) and The Russians Are Coming, Again, with John Marciano (Monthly Review Press, 2018).
He can be reached at: email@example.com.
SHame on shysters in MSM. So many big personalities at this rally. ZERO PRESS.
ONe “bleeding heart” for war, Samantha Powers’ pro war rally, got a Charlie D’Agata tongue bath.
Why doesn’t Roger Waters have any problem with Biden funding the Husseini-disciple nazis of palestine? Trump cut off their funding, which actually brought calmness and some peace to the region, which means safety for both Jews and non-Jews. But Biden has attacked Israel with lies from the start, and funded the Arab nazis’ pay-for-slay program. See Daniel Greenfield’s “After Biden sent $1 billion to the PLO, Israeli deaths rose 900%”.
No mention of the fact that the Libertarians demanded that Scott Ritter cancel speaking at this event or they would cancel it?!
Shines a different light on Dore’s BS about people who refuse to stand together with those they don’t agree with on other issues. Doesn’t it?
Neither the Libertarian Party nor the People’s Party are serious about empowering the 99%. This peace movement is as much a pied piper scam as Sanders’ phony revolution.
Like many others on the Left, I can see that this pathetic rally of a few people (from a population of 334 millions) was dominated by the right-wing, ultra capitalist Libertarian party whose aims are diametrically opposed to the interests of the working class. To read this site supporting such a party is to lose what little credibility it had.
Things look a bit different for you. Here is more of a Greenie-beanie poc version from not being able to rub elbows like you! Just to give some context—ya know I can smell the capital police practically asiangreennews (dot) com
Very glad to see the very active beginnings of yet another anti-war movement, and I hope this one will be able to get that job done.
Having said that, the wars will go on until the billionaires who own the war factories are identified and hounded unmercifully, as they now fund the congress and the so-called “news” media in their collective efforts to destroy Russia. Ever since 1945 those war-mongering parasites have slavered to get their hands on Russia’s vast and valuable natural resources, and that is what this anti-Russia tsunami is really all about.
BRAVO Jeremy!!!! I hope all CAM readers will realize that same as now Left and Right Join Together to ‘Rage Against’ the Russia-Ukraine War, a year ago Left and Right politicians Joined Together to Rage “FOR” the War. Left and Right politicians have the same obligation:” promote the sale/export of whatever military toys his State produces.
It seems like this this small gathering included many people from the far right and not that many of the more typical right and left people.
The whole rally was a sad statement of the political situation in the US.
Where were the labor unions?
Where were the workers speaking on behalf of membership?
You cannot rally against war and not rally against capitalism.
How sad for young people in the US.