On March 5, 2022, one person set out to bring the Jersey Shore community together to shine light on the calamity that is taking place in Ukraine. She is Masha Protopopova, and she succeeded, but she is not done — and she is not alone.
Today Protopopova is joined by a small, but growing group of concerned citizens who are walking for peace, for Ukraine, and everywhere.
Read here her letter to the world.
Like many of you, I watched with sadness and grave concern as news broke out announcing President Putin's war on Ukraine. What was thought to be unimaginable, happened.
My name is Marie (Masha) Protopopova. I stand with friends, family, colleagues, and the people of Ukraine. I am happy that you are here to join me.
I am also here because I am a Russian person. My friends, family, colleagues, are in Russia. And if it was up to them, they would be standing with me, loudly vocalizing their opposition to this war.
I am not a politician. This is not a political rally. We are not going to discuss American politics, Russian politics, Ukrainian politics.
We are going to discuss and publicize our united desire and request for peace.
What started as a small, personal initiative against military aggression has turned into a sizable gathering of like-minded people, and I am thrilled. In solidarity with my community, I am walking to create a place for people to come together and bring attention where it's needed.
Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine as they fight for their freedom, and to everyone with loved ones touched by this conflict. Our flyers will direct you to verified sources you can support and aid Ukrainian refugees, families, and military forces. We will continue to look for ways to help Ukrainians in need during this difficult time and will circulate information on any additional opportunities that arise.
There is another reason why I walk today. As a Russian person, I have the special opportunity to bring attention to what the rest of the world might not see. I witnessed first-hand the fear and scrutiny Russian people underwent when publicly attempting to protest this war.
People who think like me, fear like me, and care like me; Russian people who are against this was with every ounce of their body, are silenced by the regime.
Those people do not have a voice. I do. Their freedom to speak, to act, to defend their position is taken away. Mine is not. I am here to speak louder for them and represent the Russians who are against this war and demand all military aggression to end immediately.
We pray for peace and a day when every nation, and every person in that nation, is treated with dignity and has the right to determine their futures.
When we begin our walk, please stay on the sidewalk and do not block traffic. Our end destination is Langosta Lounge.
I would like to remind you, that this is not a political rally, and if you have questions, please direct your attention to reliable sources. Examples that I trust are listed on my site here. I encourage you to thoughtfully scout information. Make sure any information you consume, share, and take in has a real, reliable person behind it.
If you would like to support the cause, donate using the link below or here.
At this time, millions of people are misplaced. A lot of them are women, children, and the elderly. They grabbed what they had a fled their homes. It’s impossible to imagine the hardship their journey presents them.
CARE.org is a reliable organization where funds go directly towards aid, recovery, food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance — prioritizing women and girls, families, and the elderly. I believe it aligns with the mission of Walk For Peace, and I thank you for considering supporting this cause.