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Author draws protesters against her new book on Ukraine conflict

Outside the building on Columbia Street in Hudson, peace activist and author Medea Benjamin (l) talked to Susan Dubois (center) and Wendy Dwyer who were handing out fliers. Photo by David Lee

HUDSON – Peace activist Medea Benjamin has been in the area speaking in support of her new book, “War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict,” co-written with Nicholas J.S. Davies. The book argues for an end to military support of Ukraine in favor of negotiation. On Sunday, April 16, she spoke to a full room of about 40 people at the TSL Warehouse on Columbia Street.
Ms. Benjamin is one of the founding members of CODEPINK, a feminist grassroots organization working to end U.S. warfare and imperialism and instead dedicate resources to healthcare, education and green jobs. She makes no apologies for Vladimir Putin, but she builds a case for the many ways that western governments, particularly the U.S. and Great Britain, provoked the Russian invasion in February 2022. The book also describes how these nations have actively worked against efforts for negotiation.
But not all progressives agree with Ms. Benjamin’s point of view. Long-time peace activists Susan Dubois and Wendy Dwyer stood at the parking lot entry handing out fliers on behalf of the Ukraine Solidarity Capital District outlining points that contradict Ms. Benjamin’s book.
Before her talk, Ms. Benjamin came out to the parking lot where Ms. Dwyer was handing out fliers. Ms. Dwyer and Ms. Benjamin hugged and reminisced for a moment on the many times they shared the protest line.
“I am so sorry but I can not support you on this one,” said Ms. Dwyer. “This is painful for me, but I have to stand up for what is right.”
Certainly no hawk herself, Ms. Dwyer is a familiar face at any demonstration representing progressive and antiwar causes. She is a member of the group Peace Action New York State. The flier begins with the statement that while Ms. Benjamin “has previously done much useful work for peace, the picture she paints of the tragic war in Ukraine misrepresents the reality of the situation.”
The flier argues that there is no legitimate justification for the Russian invasion. “Overall, Medea Benjamin’s speeches and writings on Ukraine ignore or gloss over the facts” of Ukraine’s independence “and blame the Ukraine war on U.S. and Western aggression.”
Ukraine Solidarity Capital District spokesperson Susan Dubois said, “Many of the members of the Ukraine Solidarity Capital District have been peace activists, opposing any wars of aggression. I myself have been on the same side as CodePink. The bottom line is that the Russian Federation has to withdraw from Ukrainian land. How to make that happen is complicated.”

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