Friends count. Code Pink sent out a national call for Feb. 5 actions: “No War with Russia over Ukraine.” Code Pink members in the Kansas City area reached out to friends in PeaceWorks-KC for follow-up. The Veteran for Peace on the PeaceWorks Board, Chris Overfelt, said yes! So a combo—Code Pink, Vets for Peace, and PeaceWorks—rallied with two days’ notice, with temperatures in the 30s, with snow underfoot.

Amazing turnout of 30 people passionate about peace. Amazing friends.

KCTV5 noticed. Besides our rally on the Plaza in KC MO, news watchers heard our pitch for peace.

Overfelt gave us some context for the Russia/Ukraine crisis: “Russia has been invaded three times by Europe, twice in the 20th century,” he said. “So the fear the Russian people have of Europe and the West is very real, just as our fear of Russia is very real.”

He warned that the US House of Representatives is trying to pass a bill that will send $500 million in military aid to Ukraine. “Military aid means money to buy weapons from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrup Grumman,” funds in addition to the record defense spending bill passed last year. “We want our leaders to focus on policies that increase access to health care, education, and housing, not policies that send weapons and money to other countries.”

Mary Hladky (from left), Ken Gates, Cris Mann, and Rachel MacNair brave the cold and make their point for peace.

Henry Stoever said the tensions between Russia and Ukraine harken back to the build-up to World War I: Soldiers gathered at borders; problems that could have been resolved by national leaders escalated; war broke out. “We, the People, must demand and enforce peace,” he said.

Margot Patterson of the local Code Pink thanked PeaceWorks for organizing the gathering.

Mary Hladky, the mother of a GI, said, “We want to be here now, calling for peace before the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates to all-out war.”

See our other stories about this rally: Pictures, video show peace activists at rally vs. war with Russia and KCTV5 covers 2/5 rally, No war with Russia over Ukraine.

—By Jane Stoever of PeaceWorks-KC. ©2022, Jane Stoever, Henry Stoever, Jim Hannah, Mary Hladky, Chris Overfelt, Margot Patterson, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.