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EDITORIAL – Do rallies supporting Ukraine make any difference?

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

DO ANTI-WAR RALLIES accomplish anything, or do they just make us feel good?

In Kamloops on Saturday, rallies in support of Ukraine were held in front of the court house and at Riverside Park, about 60 people at one, some 300 at the other.

They carried placards that said Stand with Ukraine, Stop War, Make Peace Not War, Stop Putin and other slogans. Many waved or wore Ukrainian flags.

They made some speeches, chanted and marched. At the courthouse, drivers honked and waved as they went by. I heard one guy yell an anti-Putin vulgarity through his open car window.

But back to the question, do rallies make any difference? Kyiv, after all, is 8,432 km. from Kamloops.

Well, consider this. Rallies were also being held in Vancouver, Kelowna, Saint John’s, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, even the B.C. Legislature.

Around the world, in New York, Tokyo, Prague, Israel, Paris, Berlin, they turned up by the hundreds of thousands.

So how does this help Ukraine as it defends itself against guns, tanks, bombs and missiles in the hands of the second-most powerful military force in the world?

I wondered this myself, but then I came across this tweet posted with the StandWithUkraine hashtag. It says this:

“To the free people of the world. We feel your support. We see your demonstrations with our flags. We hear your chants. This helps us fight the horrific Russian evil. Ukraine holds the ground. We. Will. Not. Fail.”

It came among the hundreds of grisly tweets showing the devastation of war: destroyed convoys, bodies, defiant Ukrainian citizens standing up to Russian soldiers with nothing but their bare hands.

But somebody in Ukraine took the time to thank those who rally. All those rallies lift spirits and provide courage and resolve for those fighting for their country.

So, yes, rallying might seem a small thing to do, but it makes a big difference.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8893 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Do rallies supporting Ukraine make any difference?

  1. Sean McGuinness // March 1, 2022 at 5:47 AM // Reply

    Some protests do lead to real consequences, e.g. invoking the emergency measures act.

  2. Giving people hope, helping them understand they are not alone is always a good thing.

  3. Will rallying here and elsewhere, make a difference in the sense of connection that the Ukrainian people feel towards other citizens of the world? Will they know that the people of the world ‘have their back’? Absolutely, and they should continue for that reason alone.

    The problem is … that’s the only available reason.

    Will even a full 6 billion people marching and protest rallying throughout the world make the slightest difference to Putin, to the point of altering his decisions or game plans in the slightest? No … of course not.

    Will that large a public citizenry protest around the world, change the response by other world leaders and countries? Will their response move from sanctions and condemnations to direct military intervention? No, again … of course not.

    Putin has literally promised nuclear retaliation on any nation that steps into Ukraine militarily. All countries capable of such a response, have already backed down, under such threat.

    Because of all that, protests in Kamloops and Paris only ‘make us feel better’ and more importantly make Ukrainians feel better. They quite literally will not make the slightest change on the ground in Ukraine.

    Should protests and Ukrainian flag waving continue and grow? Absolutely. When govts of the world stagnate, all thats left are the people. That is not a trifle.

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