The Platform

Pro-Ukraine rally in Munich, Germany.

Peace activists from Greece, Cyprus, Armenia, and Serbia are trying to spearhead a global grassroots peace movement.

“Though many people are talking or speculating about the next ‘great war,’ a few words in favour of peace may be permissible. Most seem to regard war as inevitable; while they desire peace, they look upon war as a wrong that must be endured.” Those words, while written in 1894, well before the First and Second World Wars killed millions of people, today acquire an intense relevance. People across the globe, who find themselves politically homeless as none of the existing sides of the political spectrum reflect and defend their views, and hopes for the future, are trying to plot their own destinies.

Women’s Initiative for Peace, a grassroots peace initiative spearheaded by women from Greece, Cyprus, Armenia, and Serbia, is asking for your support.

Their Facebook post declares the following:

We are told that our world is threatened by environmental destruction, resource depletion, economic crises, totalitarian regimes, and waves of refugees. They forget to tell us that at the root of all this are wars.

We are told that globalization can oppress and distort the life of the planet, but the “global village” ensures the dialogue of cultures and thus survival and peace. They forget to tell us that the interests that promote this globalization feed on wars.

Wars can bring global destruction and knock on our door every now and then, having women, children, and civilians as their privileged targets.

This is why we, women from Greece, Cyprus, Armenia, and Serbia, are starting an effort inside and outside our borders to say “No to War!” The one that sweeps Ukraine today, the one with which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan monotonously threatens Greece, and not only, all the wars that sprout up everywhere to poison people’s lives before taking them away.

We appeal to people of all genders, races, and religions, on the side of those who fight for peace, democracy, and for freedom, to co-sign our petition as one more step in our common struggle.

For peace, democracy, and freedom.

The war in Ukraine is still causing tremendous suffering and losses. Its consequences including the refugee, energy, food, environment, and, ultimately, moral and political crisis, have become part of our lives, in a planet where the eventuality of the use of atomic weapons has reemerged after several decades. The possibility to pass from rhetoric to action might lead to another world war.

At the same time, we are witnessing the escalating aggressiveness of Erdoğan’s Turkey, against Syria, Iraq, Armenia, Cyprus, and Greece as well as against citizens of Turkey, defending human and democratic rights.

This policy includes the incitement of new fundamentalism leading to the transformation of the Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, into a mosque, the effort to change the existing borders of the area in the name of neo-Ottomanism, the instrumentalization of migration, threats, air and sea space violation and military border encroachment. Such moves remind us of those promoted by fascism and Nazism in order to prepare for the Second World War.

We cannot remain apathetic. We, therefore, have decided to unite our voices in the defense of life, peace, democracy, and freedom on our planet, in an effort to put an end to such painful rhetoric and actions. We urgently need a movement able to raise barriers against war.

We, the women of [Greece, Cyprus, Armenia, and Serbia], and the whole world are appealing to people of any gender and nation, who believe in dialogue and tolerance and who refuse to yield to the blackmail of war and remember that, in the world of symbols as well as in the one of dire reality, women are leading the fight for peace, because they constitute the constant target of every violence.

To all those whose lives and actions serve as an example of inspiring courage. To all the conscious and active citizens of every country. To all those who suffer but refuse to yield, like the Iranian women fighting for freedom. What we live in is not a movie. We are not mere spectators, but the targets of propaganda, repression, and weapons. We ask you to sign this text, appealing for a common course against the destruction of life.

The first committee of the initiative in alphabetic order: Georgia Argyropoulou, Katia Gerou, Eleni Karasavvidou, Eytyxia Leontidou, Lila Leontidou, Quinn Minasian, Vaso Papali, Kornilia Poulopoulou, Pepi Rigopoulou, Iris Tzahili, and Nena Venetsanou.

You may send your signature to

Thank you for supporting us!

Editor’s note: The press release, originally in Greek, was translated via Google Translate and has been edited for grammar, punctuation, and readability.

Eleni Kapa-Karasavidou teaches Interculturality and Literature at the University of Ioannina, Greece. She studied Pedagogy and Mass Media at the Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki. Eleni was honoured with a scholarship by the University of Nottingham and received a Master's degree in Cultural Studies. She completed a second Master's degree in Intercultural Education and a Ph.D in Children's Literature. She was the organiser of the InterBalkan Network for Intercultural Education. She is a member of various cultural, social and scientific institutions. She has been published in various magazines and newspapers and has been honoured under the aegis of the Greek Ministry of Culture for her work.