Long Beach: LBAPN Marches in Solidarity with Ukraine

10 Apr

About a dozen people, who were mostly self-identified members of the Long Beach Area Peace Network, marched in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach, California on Friday, April 8, in solidarity with Ukraine.

Some of the marchers carried little blue and yellow Ukrainian flags and other marchers passed out flyers, which stated LBAPN’s position on the Russian-Ukraine war to people passing them on the crowded sidewalk.

The marchers gathered near the corner of Corona Ave. and East Second St. One marcher near the corner was Naida Tushnet, a longtime LBAPN activist. Regarding the tension between unconditional support for self-determination for Ukraine and LBAPN’s opposition to a no-fly zone and to providing U.S. arms to the Ukrainians, Tushnet said she opposed the no-fly zone to avoid a nuclear war with Russia. Tushnet, who is also a longtime activist in the local Democratic Party, said, “We want to end the (U.S.) military-industrial complex is part of the issue that we (LBAPN) is trying to get at…in the statement.”

Naida Tushnet, longtime LBAPN and local Democratic Party activist, Friday, April 8, holds flyers to be passed out during the march;; Photo by Barry Saks.

A short while before marching, Dennis Korteuer, who taught history at Cal State University Long Beach and now a pro-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) activist, read the LBAPN position statement to the crowd. After Korteuer, Tushnet, spoke briefly explained they would march to Bayshore Ave. and East Second St., would cross Second St. and walk back on the other side of the street toward where they originally started.

LBAPN’s position states, “The Long Beach Area Peace Network … believes the current crisis in Ukraine will not be solved through military means but must be solved through diplomacy, including all parties equally. 

“We believe in the Ukrainian people’s right to self (-) determination.

“We recognize the dangers posed by the presence of multiple nuclear power plants in Ukraine and their vulnerability to military attacks. 

“We urge against creating a “no-fly zone.”  This will only draw the United States and NATO allies into what could quickly become World War III and lead to mass destruction on an international scale.

“We urge no support of the (U.S.) military-industrial complex through sales of U.S. arms to Ukraine.

“We call on the United States to divest financially from Russia.

“The United States must help rebuild Ukraine as soon as possible.”

“The United States and the United Nations must support the current medical, nutritional, shelter, and other needs of the Ukrainian people during the invasion of their land.

“We recognize the current and ongoing refugee crises in the world, frequently caused by U. S. actions and policies that involve people of color and the level of hypocrisy evident in the rush to support Ukrainian refugees while we deny the same rights to refugees of color. Support for refugees must mean support for ALL (sic) refugees.”

Barry Saks’s wife, Marlene Alvarado, is on the steering committee of LBAPN.

On April 16, the story was corrected by adding the words: “(U.S.) military-industrial” in the fifth paragraph of the LBAPN statement,

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