On February 25th, a protest was held in the German capital of Berlin. The gathering was organized in order to stop arms deliveries to Ukraine and support a negotiated solution to the conflict. Sahra Wagenknecht, Member of Parliament for the Left, and Alice Schwarzer, publisher, initiated the protest, at which 50 thousand people took part according to the organizing committee. The protest was titled “Rising up for Peace”.
Before the protests, both published a petition on change.org, outlining their position. Until today, 723.000 people have signed the text titled “Manifesto for Peace”.
Below we document the petition as translated into English.
Today, February 10th, 2023, is the 352nd day of the war in Ukraine. Over 200,000 soldiers and 50,000 civilians have been killed so far. Women were raped, children frightened and an entire people traumatized. If the fighting continues like this, Ukraine will soon be a depopulated, devastated country. And many people across Europe are also afraid of an escalation of the war. They fear for their and their children’s future.
The Ukrainian population brutally attacked by Russia needs our solidarity. But what would be solidarity now? How much longer will there be fighting and dying on the battlefield of Ukraine? And now, a year later, what is actually the goal of this war? The German Foreign Minister recently said that “we” are waging a “war against Russia”. Seriously?
President Zelenskyj makes no secret of his goal. After the promised tanks, he is now also demanding fighter jets, long-range missiles and warships – to defeat Russia across the board? The German chancellor still assures that he does not want to send fighter jets or “ground troops”. But how many “red lines” have already been crossed in recent months?
It is to be feared that Putin will launch a maximum counter-attack if Crimea is attacked at latest. Will we then inexorably slide towards world war and nuclear war? It wouldn’t be the first major war that started like this. But it might be the last.
Supported by the West, Ukraine can win individual battles. But it cannot win a war against the world’s largest nuclear power. That’s what the highest military in the United States, General Milley, says. He speaks of a stalemate, where neither side can win militarily and the war can only be ended at the negotiating table. Then why not now? Immediately!
Negotiating does not mean surrendering. Negotiating means making compromises on both sides. With the aim of preventing hundreds of thousands more deaths and worse. That’s what we think too, and that’s what half of the German population thinks. It’s time to listen to us!
We citizens of Germany cannot directly influence America and Russia or our European neighbors. But we can and must hold our government and the chancellor to account and remind him of his oath: “Revert damage to the German people”.
We call on the Chancellor to stop the escalation of arms deliveries. Immediately! He should lead a strong alliance for a ceasefire and peace negotiations at both German and European level. Immediately! Because every lost day costs up to 1,000 more human lives – and brings us closer to a 3rd World War.