As a social justice organization the United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO) unequivocally condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is a flagrant violation of international law and the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, Ukrainians have been fighting for their sovereignty, freedom and democracy. We have seen remarkable movements rise amongst the ranks of regular people of all ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds, especially since 2013. At a time like this we are seeing that the most important thing allies can do is to first of all understand what is happening, learn the history of the conflict unfolding in front of our eyes, and listen to those caught in the crossfire.
We stand in solidarity with all who have suffered in this horrific attack, those whose homes and livelihoods have been impacted, and who must make the difficult choice of taking up arms to defend their homeland. 1.5 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their country. Millions have been forced to seek shelter underground in subway stations and parking garages. We also stand in solidarity with the citizens of Russia, many of whom oppose the war and millions of whom will suffer the consequences of their government’s actions. Since February 24, nearly 10,000 Russian citizens have been arrested for protesting it, many have been arrested simply for posting anti-war messages online, and all independent media has been muzzled. We support the International Court of Justice’s investigation into potential war crimes committed in this war and call on it to end immediately.
The United Jewish People’s Order is an organization that dates from 1926, founded by Jews with their roots in Eastern Europe. We have a long history of supporting all who flee war and persecution. Today, as we become a more diverse organization, some of our members are watching the cities they were born in being bombed and the streets on which they grew up crushed under tanks. We watched with rage and horror how the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial was struck by a Russian shell. At a time like this it is our duty to focus on what we can do to support those fighting for their lives and those fleeing to safety. Below are some suggestions.
What You Can Do
Educate yourself — Countless books, articles, and documentaries give a good understanding of recent events in Ukraine and Putin’s justifications of his invasion. For shorter resources, here are three videos that can give you some context about the separation of the DPR & LPR from Ukraine, about the annexation of Crimea and about what sparked the current impasse. Russian opposition journalist Maxim Kats offers a look at this war from a Russian media perspective.
Join a demonstration — World Against War has been collecting a list of demonstrations happening in Canada.
Message your MP — The Conversation has listed how to get in touch with your MP to express your position on Ukraine.
Help Arriving Refugees — JIAS, which helps refugees and newcomers settle in Canada is looking for help.
Help those in crisis in Ukraine — The Jewish community set up an Emergency Hotline to help those in crisis.
March 7, 2022