Yesterday, Monday, a public holiday in Valencia, at 7:15 pm, about eighty people gathered in the Plaza de la Virgen, called by the Popular Assembly Valencia against Wars. The aim of the demostration, according to the organizers, to keep alive the denunciation of the escalation of war and the growing militarism of Europe, increasingly subordinated to U.S. interests. Also to demand the immediate cessation of all military actions and the beginning of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine to stop the war.
The Popular Assembly València against Wars brings together twenty-one organizations and groups in the city: neighborhood associations, trade unions, feminist groups, environmentalists, solidarity with the countries of the South and migrants, pacifists and antimilitarists. It was constituted in May 2022 to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and to structure a movement against wars in the city of Valencia.
The convening organizations denounced the aggression of the Russian government in ordering the invasion of Ukraine, but also the responsibilities of the Western powers and NATO, which have been nurturing expansionist and confrontational policies with Russia for years. Also that the European Union is becoming a key player in the escalation of war, sending more weapons to the Ukrainian army and increasing the military budgets of its member countries, while discarding the path of negotiation and not giving the necessary impetus to effective measures to address the climate emergency and the growing social inequalities, which affect all of humanity.
It so happens that also yesterday, the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) made public its annual report, in which it is clear that Europe's military spending reached its highest level since the Cold War in 2022. European countries increased their military budgets by 13% on average, compared to 2021, the highest year-on-year increase in the last thirty years.
The people gathered also denounced that, while banks, the military industrial complex, billionaires and large corporations make extraordinary profits from war, the impoverished populations of the Global South suffer from food crises, the plundering of their raw materials, the disasters of wars and the criminal management of the control of their borders by European countries. The latter has turned the Mediterranean and the fences of Ceuta and Melilla into infamous cemeteries.
They recalled, in turn, that this war is added to the thirty or so armed conflicts the world is currently suffering and stated that they refuse to accept that conflicts should be dealt with by resorting to bombs, violence and massacres. They claimed the slogan: "War is a crime against humanity".
They ended the act with a minute of silence for the victims of all wars, followed by a call to all citizens' organizations, trade unions, social movements and ordinary people, to form an internationalist movement for peace, to stop the spiral of war.
Among the immediate actions of the Assembly, they contemplate the support to the deserters of the war in Russia, Ukraine and Byelorussia and the promotion of the campaign of fiscal objection to the military expenses in Spain.
Concentrations like yesterday's will be repeated in Valencia, on the 24th of each month, as long as the war in Ukraine does not cease.