BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – As the war in Ukraine persists, a group of activists ask governmental officials to stop sending arms overseas and instead press for peace.

Conversations among federal legislators about how to respond to Russia’s war on Ukraine largely revolve around lending weapons to the Ukrainian military.

Today, members of various peace groups such as Veterans for Peace and Broome County Peace Action gathered outside the Federal Building in Binghamton.

They demanded that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer encourage his congressional colleagues to choose–as they say–“Negotiation not Annihilation.”

President of Broome County Peace Action, Jim Clune, said, “We need to get our government, those who are in the West to pull back and say ‘We can make peace with Russia. It is possible, it has to be possible–there’s too much at stake.”

Supporters of alternative initiatives believe that spending more of the United State’s budget on weapons for Ukraine is only escalating the crisis while ignoring the endless destruction it causes.

These local activists also say that defense technology suppliers profit from the continued provision of arms while private citizens are forced to pay the cost.

“We’re here now because we feel that people have to start getting into the streets, they have to start recognizing that they are being used by the arms makers, being used by the politicians who are very often in the pocket of the arms makers. We know that,” Said Events Coordinator for Veterans for Peace, Jack Gilroy. “I mean this is a situation that we know of but the people seem to be like so many fish in the sea just willing to accept whatever the leader tells them.”

Clune, Gilroy, and their team encourage others to reflect on how the war is affecting them and the future of America’s involvement.

If you are interested in participating in upcoming meetings, contact Jack Gilroy at 607-239-9605.