SANTA MONICA (CNS) – A march seeking to “stop bloodshed” in Ukraine is planned for 2 p.m. today on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica one day after similar demonstrations in West Los Angeles, Hollywood and Studio City.
The march is organized by the Ukrainian Culture Center Los Angeles, which is demanding that the Biden administration support closure of the airspace over Ukraine, immediately provide military aid to Ukraine — especially air defense systems and heavy weaponry — as well as financial and humanitarian aid, immediately enact “hellish sanctions on Russia” and “isolate Russia in all possible formats on the world stage.”
A Pentagon spokesman announced Saturday that President Joe Biden has committed an additional $350 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-armor munitions, small arms and other equipment to help the former Soviet republic defend itself.
On Saturday, pro-Ukraine demonstrations in the Los Angeles area drew hundreds showing their support and demanding that Biden do more to assist the besieged country.
“Today We Are All Ukrainians,” read a sign held by a demonstrator Saturday at Santa Monica and Sepulveda boulevards in West Los Angeles, where Sen. Dianne Feinstein has an office. Other signs read: “Stop Russian Imperialism,” “Russia Go Home” and “Hands Off! Russia Take a Seat! End This Tyranny!”
Feinstein, D-California, issued a statement Thursday saying “it is incumbent on all nations to ensure that Putin and his government are met with severe consequences. Putin must understand that such aggression will not stand.”
Similar protests were held along Hollywood Boulevard and at Laurel Canyon and Ventura boulevards in Studio City.
Overnight, Los Angeles City Hall was illuminated in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukraine flag, a show of solidarity that has been repeated at numerous landmarks worldwide.
Many of those protesting Saturday told reporters that Ukraine was their homeland and expressed concern for friends and relatives still living there.
Gana Hovey, a U.S. citizen, told the Los Angeles Times that her parents live in Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine and one that had withstood a barrage of bombing by Russia.
“My parents have been staying in a bomb shelter for the past three days,” she said Saturday while demonstrating on Sepulveda Boulevard. “When they tell me things are quiet, I feel so relieved. All I want to hear is that things are quiet.”