Protesters Decry War Escalation, Demand Peace Talks

Rev. Vernon Walker addresses Ukraine peace rally, Feb. 24, Boston. Photo: Jackie King/ MAPA
Rev. Vernon Walker addresses Ukraine peace rally, Feb. 24, Boston. Photo: Jackie King/ MAPA

(Boston) — About 50 peace protesters organized by Massachusetts Peace Action gathered in freezing weather at noon today at Downtown Crossing to call for a negotiated settlement of the Ukraine war. They denounced the Russian invasion of Ukraine but also criticized US/NATO expansion which provoked the Russian action.

“It’s so important that we gather here to stand for peace and diplomacy”, said Mike Connolly, State Representative from Cambridge and Somerville.  “Many experts believe we are closer to nuclear war than we have ever been. We should be promoting conversation and demanding diplomacy, not war.”

“We are demanding that our government support peace talks between the U.S. and Russia,” said Rev. Vernon Walker, director of Communities Responding to Extreme Weather.  “We need an end to this war.  The path to a peaceful resolution will not come through military might and through negotiation.  Our humanity is bound up in one another,” he commented.

In recent weeks the US has agreed to send tanks, armored vehicles, and a Patriot missile battery in hopes of bolstering Ukraine’s forces, and it was revealed last week that US intelligence is directing Ukraine’s HIMARS artillery strikes.  Both sides are expected to launch spring offensives as the crisis continues to escalate.

The group marched to the JFK Federal Building and delivered a petition to Shamin Garcia, staff to Sen. Ed Markey, and Caroline Freedman, who is with Sen. Elizabeth Warren.   Signed by over 250 Masschusetts voters, the petition calls for the Senators to lead in efforts to convene peace talks.

To view video of the rally and march, see

In Worcester, eleven people joined a stand-out despite a cold February wind on Shrewsbury Street in front of Rep. Jim McGovern’s office.  One participant had come all the way from New Hampshire. Many drivers honked in support of the message calling for an immediate ceasefire and a negotiated end to the war.

Rallies were also scheduled today for Springfield, Northampton, Ipswich, and Falmouth, and one is scheduled tomorrow in Greenfield.