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"Stay Safe"

The whole world is in harms' way

May 11, 2022


This is not a dispatch, editorial, or an article, but a brief note.

On an almost daily basis, I hear from well-meaning comrades or acquaintances back in the West who urge me to “stay safe;” some even question whether I’ve been irresponsible in my decision to come to Donbas, given that I have children at home. Of course, anyone existing in a war zone ought to be prudent in their actions, and keep their eyes open at all times. This should go without saying.

But it occurs to me that there is a real disconnect in the imperial core, when it comes to the realities that billions of people on earth face every day, those under the yoke of imperialism, whether directly due to war and occupation, or indirectly, by way of sanctions, economic or political plunder.

Yes, myself and many of my comrades who are doing our best to shed a tiny ray of light on the true nature of the US-sponsored civil war in Ukraine are constantly surrounded by shelling; indeed, we may be under greater threat from our own governments, which are increasingly hostile to journalists and activists who dare push back against the prevailing narratives about Russia, Syria, “Israel,” China, and so forth.

But as we are whisked to and fro, often with heavy security or military escort, many donning protective gear which is more comprehensive than that of the common soldier, we are always returning to the relative safety of lodging outside of “red zones” like the Petrovsky or Kirovsky districts of Donetsk, or the hotbeds of Kherson, Gorlovka, Kirovsk, and other settlements along the front line. Most of us are here temporarily, and our job is only to see and to speak, while millions here have lived for years in thick of it.

This house, a small homestead for a family of 6, in the Petrovsky district of Donetsk, was hit with a Ukrainian rocket last week. Shells continued to land nearby as we spoke with this family yesterday, as they have very day for 8 years

Men (and some women) of fighting age are nearly all back and forth from the front, while their families carry on with life as usual: to work, to school, to sleep, under shelling, facing the long haul of a fight which is continuously extended by the arms our western taxes are shuttling to the vassal state in Kiev. Running water, especially hot water, cell service, internet and electricity are frequently out of service, and nowhere is truly safe. Ukrainian forces continue to kidnap civilians, use them as human shields, and block humanitarian corridors. Those within Ukrop-controlled areas who dare too resist are subjected to harassment, detainment, torture and execution. The poorest areas are the most affected, and the least noticed by the “humanitarian” outcries of the liberal West. Bono and Angelina Jolie have not come to Donetsk or Lugansk.

Yes, I have a family. Yes, I have plenty to lose, and so does every single human being here, every last one of whom lacks the resources to move with fluidity, to make a choice about whether or not to fight, with arms or with words, or to escape to a life safe from war, and free from exploitation.

In short, those of us who have any means to contribute to the international struggle of humanity against the great vampire that is the collective west, whether in Donbas, Palestine, Latin America, or Detroit, ought to do so tirelessly, and we ought to go far beyond petitions, posts and marches. This is the most responsible choice, until sovereignty, prosperity and peace is a reality for everyone on earth.

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