As the anniversary of the war approaches, there is an increasing momentum in anti-war activities across the world

On the eve of the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, the world is no closer to peace. The war has had devastating consequences for the people of Ukraine but it has also had a major impact in Europe and beyond.

The mainstream political consensus in the UK, US and other NATO countries may be in favor of military escalation and war, but there is growing anti-war tendencies in the current debates over Ukraine and public opinion is slowly but steadfastly changing.

While support for lending military support to Ukraine prevails in most NATO countries, the worldwide support seems to be declining over the past year. A recent Ipsos survey found that majorities in every country surveyed continue to agree that their country should avoid getting involved militarily (71% on average). Furthermore, there is no country where a majority support sending troops to Ukraine.[1]

As the anniversary of the war approaches, there is an increasing momentum in anti-war activities across the world. With Zelensky urging the west to ramp up the war effort, anti-war protesting could hardly be more urgent. Hundreds of events are being organised to mark the anniversary of the Russian invasion, drive awareness about the consequences of war and calling for peace talks.

US & Canada

The United States has far outspent all other major Western powers in terms of military and financial aid to Ukraine, with over USD$100 billion spent on the war so far, and it is still unwilling to consider a negotiated solution.[2] Hundreds of protesters gathered in Washington DC last Sunday for the ‘March Against the War Machine’ rally, calling on the U.S. government to end its military support of Ukraine in favour of diplomacy, and slashing the Pentagon budget to address numerous domestic issues.

The anti-war protesters demanded NATO’s dissolution and peace negotiations with Russia.[3] More than a dozen anti-war events are taking place this weekend across the US including New York, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia and many more. They are all being organised by CODEPINK. Another march is planned in Washington DC on March 18, spearheaded by a number of anti-war organisations including the ANSWER Coalition, the People’s Forum and CODEPINK to mark the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq and against continued NATO aggression in Ukraine.[4]

The Canada-wide Peace and Justice Network will be organizing a weekend of actions to “Stop the War, Stop NATO” from February 23-26 in solidarity with other anti-war actions occurring around the world at the same time.[5]


There has been a surge in anti-war activities in Europe in recent months. Last week, around 10,000 protesters gathered in Munich opposing European politicians and security experts vowing to intensify military support for Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference. In southern France, workers and youth turned out in great numbers for the second nationwide union protest against President Macron’s pension cuts as well to their government’s support for the NATO war on Russia in Ukraine.[2]

The anti-war movement in Europe is gearing up for more anti-war activities this weekend. Coordinated by the Europe for Peace initiative, protests and demonstrations are being planned across hundreds of European cities, opposing the war, opposing NATO and calling for peace negotiations.

In Spain, several anti-war organisations/peace groups are organising demonstrations in multiple cities including Barcelona, Madrid, Ferrol, Cadiz, Alzira and many more. Dozens of Italian towns and cities, including Rome, Milan, Turin, Naples, Bari, Palermo, Cagliari, Florence, Bologna and more) are calling for peace negotiations this weekend too.  In Germany, 16 peace organisations are planning over 20 events this weekend including Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg. More than 15 events have been confirmed in France including Paris, Rennes, Libourne, Lorient, Besançon, La Rochelle and Avignon. A newly formed anti-war coalition Croatia is organizing an anti-war protest in Zagreb on Friday. In Portugal, demonstrations are taking place in several cities including one in Lisbon. Other mobilisations include peace demonstrations in Zurich, Vienna, Amsterdam and Brussels.

The No To NATO network and the International Peace Bureau are also urging their supporters across the world to organise and/or join peace actions between the 23-26 Feb against the war in Ukraine and to urgently demand peace negotiations.


A national demonstration will take place in central London on 25th Feb co-organised by Stop the War and CND. A vigil for Ukraine will also take place in Edinburgh on 24th Feb and a protest will take place in Glasgow on 1 March to demanding de-escalation by NATO and calling for peace talks.

The growing anti-war sentiment across the society is testimony to the fact despite the relentless attacks on the anti-war movement by the right-wing media and the pro war agenda of Western governments, extra parliamentary activity is the only way to change public opinion and gather solidarity. This is why it is important to stand against the warmongering tide if we really want our voices to heard and make way for peace.

If your area isn’t covered, please feel free to go for it and organise your own anti-war event. All protestors on the demonstrations and protests have been asked to tweet pictures and reports at #EuropeForPeace.






23 Feb 2023 by Sweta Choudhury

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