Selly Oak Quakers prayed for children, parents and grandparents in Ukraine and Russia during their worship on Sunday. They gathered behind a banner proclaiming “No War” in Russian and English to demonstrate their support for the brave Russian protesters in cities across Russia risking arrest by protesting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Other Quaker meetings in Central England have been holding in the Light those working for peace, and calling on those in power to seek an end to the conflict. If you would like to send a short message of support to the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement or to Russian peace activists, the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) can forward your message: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to donate to those providing humanitarian support, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) have an appeal. Local Central & Eastern European (CEE) groups have also been organising solidarity vigils, and have a fundraiser to support refugees arriving in the CEE region.
QPSW’s Daniel Jakopovich has outlined five things you can do to advocate peaceful approaches to the conflict.
Quakers are also deeply concerned about the Nationalities and Borders Bill currently in Parliament, which could severely restrict the rights of those fleeing from Ukraine, and other conflicts around the world, to seek sanctuary in the UK. Quaker Asylum & Refugee Network is supporting the Together With Refugees campaign to oppose this bill: Meetings can show support by displaying an Orange Heart in a public location.
Quakers in Britain Statement
Quakers in Britain strongly condemn the attack on Ukraine. It is a grave development for humanity, and a violation of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations.
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk to Britain Yearly Meeting said:
“We know war leads to unimaginable suffering. In particular, exposing children to violence can have lifelong damaging effects. All sides should commit to establishing and respecting humanitarian corridors allowing civilians to flee the fighting. We also appeal for conduct that avoids embedding grievances and injustices that will become the seeds of future violent conflict. Crucially, this means doing everything possible to avoid and resist the creation of enmity between peoples. It also means persevering with efforts to engage in dialogue and preparing the ground for the return of people to their homes.”
Peacemakers would also like to share with you this powerful and useful blog ‘What can peace education do on the eve of war?’ from their colleague Ellis Brooks, published by University College London.
And Coventry Quaker Andrew Rigby offers reflections on Unarmed Resistance to Occupation: Lessons for Ukraine for Rethinking Security.