In recent weeks, members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation have distributed 50,000 pamphlets across the country to campaign against a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine. This includes members of PSL San Diego, who have organized several local actions and distributed nearly a thousand pamphlets across the county since mid-March.
As the pamphlet points out, “a no-fly zone would force US warplanes and missile batteries to shoot down military aircraft.”
A no-fly zone would be a dangerous step on the escalation ladder and could lead to a global nuclear war between the US/NATO and Russia. No-fly zones have killed civilians in Iraq, Libya and Yugoslavia.
PSL San Diego members pleaded for a peaceful and diplomatic resolution rather than a dangerous escalation that could kill several thousand more Ukrainian civilians. Signs at a rally in the College Area neighborhood on April 8 read, “Hey Biden, bargain not escalate,” “No-Fly Zone = WW3,” and “Disband NATO. Bring the troops home!
Socialist congressional candidate for California’s 51st district, Jose Cortes, was present on the evening of April 8 and addressed the attendees. Cortes, who is a member of PSL, said: “[Around] 50% of our tax money goes directly to war. He’s not going to the schools – he’s not going to maintain the roads. He goes straight into… the war machine.
Cortes is running on a platform that demands the dissolution of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as well as an end to the new Cold War, which he calls a war against the workers of Russia, China, Iran, Cuba and other independent countries. Cortes’ campaign argues that the hundreds of billions of dollars that are diverted to the Pentagon and Ukrainian nationalist militias should instead be used to secure housing, healthcare, education and food for all.
Liberation News spoke with José Cortes. Cortes said, “The juxtaposition of billions of dollars worth of military hardware polluting our air and water while people are deprived of housing and health care serves as a clear demonstration of the inherent contradictions of this for-profit system of warfare.”
In particular, there are nine military bases in San Diego County.
Liberation News also spoke with David Zimmerman, a member of PSL San Diego who organized much of the branch’s initiative to campaign against a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Zimmerman thinks some people are misled by the language and framing of a no-fly zone: “I think a no-fly zone is supposed to look peaceful when in reality it’s an act of war. It’s time to negotiate peace, not escalate into World War III!
In addition to the April 8 rally, PSL members have held banner drops, canvassing days and other events to campaign against a no-fly zone over Ukraine. PSL San Diego is hosting a community forum at the San Diego Justice Center on the history and current role of the Nazis in Ukraine on April 29 at 7 p.m.
As long as there is an imperialist will to war, socialists and other anti-imperialists will fight for a world free of war and exploitation.