What will it take for more people of the world to get more involved in helping to end the war in Ukraine?
An American group is calling for support for Ukraine’s heroic effort to protect democracy under assault.
The group is involved with promoting understanding of the significance of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of American Independence in 2026.
Godfrey Harris, its Los Angeles-based co-president, notes that “the United States, with the world’s oldest, continually functioning democratically chosen government, needs to take the lead in recognizing the courageous fight for democracy that Ukrainians are mounting in face of Russia’s invasion.”
The Council wants “everyone to make March 31st of this year a ‘Thank You, Ukraine, Thursday,’ by refusing to purchase any fuel for their personal vehicles that day.”
The Council believes that the only potential beneficiary of this war are likely to be the petroleum producers.
The U.S. consumes about 380 million gallons [almost 2 billion litres] of petrol daily.
The average petrol price per gallon was US$3.53 at the start of the war one month ago.
This week the average price increased to US$4.24 per gallon. According to media reports, businesses in the fuel industry are making huge profits because of the economic and humanitarian suffering in Ukraine.
The Council said that the excess profits are running about US$250 million per day.
The Citizens Semiquincentennial Council said that this would be a significant contribution toward rebuilding the war-damaged buildings and roads of Ukraine.
“Although the one-day fuel boycott is symbolic in nature, it will send a strong signal to the world that the American people are appalled by the wanton destruction inflicted upon Ukraine and the needless suffering of its people,” said Godfrey Harris.
“We believe that the world’s democratic governments should do more.”
Harris, a public policy consultant of more than 50 years and a former U.S. Foreign Service officer, will urge U.S. lawmakers and American celebrities to support “Thank You, Ukraine, Thursday” on 31st March 2022 by honouring the petrol pause.
The U.S. Citizens Semiquincentennial Council has also appealed to citizens of African countries to conduct their own one-day fuel boycott campaign in support of an urgent peaceful solution to the war in Ukraine.
“Let people travel as far as the gas [fuel] in their tanks will take them on that day, use public transportation to get to their destinations or share rides with others if necessary,” said Harris.
As the world continues to watch Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, involving the use of weapons that move five times faster than the speed of sound [hypersonic missiles] – pain and despair have gripped people worldwide.
“We are Ukraine,” said a preacher at the Johannesburg-based Seventh Adventist Church last Sabbath.
“We are in Africa but we feel the same pain and despair the citizens of Ukraine are feeling when we watch scenes of dead and maimed human bodies, massive damage to property and infrastructure.”
*The writer Emmanuel Koro is a Johannesburg-based international award-winning independent environmental journalist who writes extensively on environment and development issues in Africa. The views expressed by the author of this article are not necessarily those of The Bulrushes.