Taking a walk in Boston to support Ukraine
Yesterday I took a walk with thousands of people from Boston in support of Ukraine as they fight Putin’s army. Sometimes I wonder if protesting actually does anything, but this, I felt was my way of expressing solidarity in a visible way to the people of Ukraine and of bearing witness publicly to let Putin and other authoritarians know that we are watching. Given the gravity of the situation, this is important.
While Putin has trigged a nuclear high alert, it’s clear that his attack on Ukraine was not well planned, and he was not prepared for the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people. Ukraine is still very poorly matched, but god, are they putting up a fight. I don’t believe in violence; I do believe in standing up to bullies.
President Zelensky, who, for those paying attention, Trump got impeached for trying to extort political dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for weapons with which to deter a Russian invasion, has risen to the challenge. I do not believe in making heroes out of politicians, but I definitely admire his courage.
I marched yesterday to honor the courage of Ukraine and to tell Putin to go f*ck himself, as well as to take a stand for democracy. This was my post-Covid protest (health concerns around Covid kept me from the BLM protests in 2020), and I was reminded of how much the power of coming together has to strengthen resolve. I made “protest friends” with an older woman who also got on the T at Porter, and we walked together.
I hope that it showed the Ukrainian leaders of the march and those in attendance (so many Ukrainian chants!) that they were not alone. Expats from other parts of the former Soviet bloc (I saw people from Lithuania) also came to rally for Ukraine.
Protest is not enough
Something that protesting runs the risk of doing for people like me is “checking a box,” as in, “Yep, I went and protested, so I’ve done something, and my work here is done.”
First, people in Ukraine need immediate help. If we have resources to do so, it’s important for us to help. Here are places to help:
- Timothy Snyder (Yale history professor and author of On Tyranny) put together this list of organizations, including local Ukrainian organizations, that accept credit cards.
- World Central Kitchen is feeding refugees
Second, we can’t forget them, especially if this carries on, as it likely will. I’ve been following Oskana Potapova on Facebook. She writes in English and had until two days ago been living in Kyiv (she’s now a refugee in Romania). There are others, of course, but, I have found her writing powerful. How absolutely terrifying and surreal to live such a thing.
Please share any resources you have in the comments.
This is obviously a different kind of Sundry Wonders post, but this is a different kind of time. Snaps below from the rally in the Boston Public Garden and Boston Common.