Contact the WSWS to send in your statement on the conflict in Ukraine.
Workers throughout the United States continue to send in statements opposing both the invasion of Ukraine and the US–NATO war provocations against Russia. We publish below a selection of these comments:
Autoworker in the Midwest
“It’s clear that this new drive to World War III is a consequence of how the pandemic is tearing apart society. The world governments have no answer for the pandemic other than to attempt to unite the population under the banner of fighting an external enemy and distract the working class from their unwillingness to protect the population from the coronavirus.
“Saturday’s meeting [“Fight Covid! Save lives! Stop the drive to World War 3” sponsored by the World Socialist Web Site] warned that this war launched against Ukraine by Russia is rapidly going to escalate to include the rest of Europe and countries around the world. Not even the threat of ‘mutually assured destruction’ will stop this from growing into a conflict that threatens all of humanity. The working class of the world must intervene to save itself from the sociopathic machinations of the ruling class.”
Postal worker in the Twin Cities in Minnesota
“I think this is a great distraction and a scapegoat for the ruling class; it gives them a pseudo enemy to ‘unite’ against, while our true enemy makes our policies, controls most media, basically told us to go to work and die, and more recently is pretending like the pandemic magically disappeared. Our real enemy is our own government.”
Brian, a delivery driver
“This war must end immediately! The working class, especially in those nations directly and indirectly involved in the fighting, must mobilize and organize general strikes to grind their nations’ war machines to a halt and stop this conflict! Oppose Putin’s invasion and US–NATO warmongering!”
Melissa, a health care worker in Indiana
“This is my favorite line from Monday ’s perspective: ‘It is necessary to oppose imperialism without adapting to Russian nationalism, and to oppose Russian nationalism without adapting to imperialism.’ However, I do think that Putin could and should have chosen not to invade Ukraine, regardless of whether the United States influenced Ukraine into NATO expansion. This obviously put Russians in a very dangerous situation, as well as handed NATO this opportunity. It was definitely a major mistake on Putin’s part. Anyone who fuels war, imperialism and the suffering of innocent humans at the expense of their agendas are in the wrong. I think we can all agree on that.
“I do love the idea of uniting behind the working class to defeat predatory capitalism. I agree that capitalism has become a huge factor in so many human rights violations, even beyond war! It affects everyday livelihoods, and it’s a shame the innocent Russian working class will be hit hard by the United States sanctions. It’s tiresome to have to be used as pawns in these world leaders’ agendas and feel the effects of their terrible choices. I feel so bad for any innocent person affected by war and capitalism.”
Faurecia auto parts worker from Saline, Michigan
“They’re at war so they can force us to work. A lot of people are saying, ‘I want to earn my money. I want to work. But I want a quality of living. I want to be able to pay my car note, pay my bills, buy food and groceries, maybe, you know, go on a vacation, or something. Just enjoy my life and take care of my children.’ You just don’t know what to do.
“Six hundred people were laid off at my plant. So that’s 600 families being affected by Faurecia. Some people have children, grandchildren and grandmothers, and some people are taking care of their dad. So, it’s not just one person.”
“The rich are starting a war because people are angry about their quality of life. If they launch a nuclear war, we are all going to be wiped out.”
Marathon Petroleum worker in Texas City, Texas
“Growing up in the early 2000s, I remember watching the news and seeing them slowly build the justification for war in Iraq, gradually winning the support of a disappointingly large proportion of the population. My generation would ultimately pay for this conflict, with countless young men and women sacrificing their physical and mental well-being, or even their lives. Many joined the military, at least in part, because they would have their college education paid for. Some of these young men and women lost their lives fighting an unjust war for the opportunity to get a college degree without ending up in crippling debt like so many others.
“Watching the mainstream media bang the war drum at a steadily increasing tempo and volume these past several months has been eerily reminiscent of that period leading up to the invasion of Iraq.
“I realized when speaking to my own child, who is nearing the age at which many join the military, recently, that he had never lived during a time when his country was not at war. Looking back, I can almost say the same of my own life. The military-industrial complex and those who profit from it have too much to gain through war for us to be at peace for any considerable length of time. But after decades of sending our children overseas only to come home struggling with mental health issues brought on by the inhumane realities of war—if they were lucky enough to come home at all—there is very little appetite for another war among the working class. Whether the working class wants it or not, those in power can’t wait to get involved in a new military conflict—Raytheon and Lockheed Martin stocks are up 10 percent in the past week.
“As has already been proven through the COVID pandemic, the lives of the working class are of little value to the global elite. Whether it’s on the frontline as soldiers or as essential workers, we are sent to die by the ruling class to continue generating wealth for them.
“The growing unrest among the working class is clearly becoming frightening to those who extract value from their labor. Recent contract negotiations in several industries have seen the unions being pressured—by both the government and the corporations who control it—to keep their members in line and urge them to accept contracts that do nothing to improve their working conditions or standard of living. The oil workers currently involved in the NOBP negotiations with Marathon were warned early on by the United Steelworkers union that a strike was likely to attract government intervention in the name of ‘national security.’ The prospect of a major international military conflict is being used, just as it has in the past, to distract workers and reduce the threat of growing class consciousness.
“It is crucial that the working class show solidarity in opposing war. While the ruling class will accumulate even more wealth through a new war, the working class of every nation will only suffer.”