On March 11, New York City students held a protest in Washington Square against Putin’s war crimes.
By Adelaide Sutfin
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2022
On March 11, Teens For Press Freedom (TPF), in collaboration with Katia Chapin -- a student at the High School of American Studies -- protested Russia’s war crimes with New York City students.
Chapin spoke about the critical need for unbiased news during the war, saying, “The war is so politically and morally charged that having false information can actually cost people their lives.”
The protest was held in Union Square, Manhattan, after school. During the event, organizers made speeches and engaged the crowd in cheers and chants. Guest speakers included Dora Chomiak, President of Razom for Ukraine, and Nicole Krishtul, Ukrainian New Yorker and a Strategic Organizer for New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.
Christina Obertos and Anna Obertos, young Ukrainian activists and bloggers, also spoke.
During an interview with Chapin about the organization of the protest, she stressed how “protests are actually much simpler than people make them out to be.” She also emphasized that communication and sending out a clear message were vital to political organizing. In the days leading up to the demonstration, Instagram, other forms of social media, and posters were used to spread awareness. TPF members also reached out to their school communities individually.
New York City band Lunika, performed their viral cover of the song “ABCDEFU” about the war in Ukraine. Siblings Nika and Luca Nodjoumi sang with the crowd: “You’re shutting down all the news in your dictatorship… Putin, stop ruining your children’s reputation because not every Russian kid is a fascist.”
In a conversation with TPF, Joyce Sunmi-Lee, a freshman at HSAS who attended the protest, spoke about the importance of educating people about the war in Ukraine. She said, “The impacts of spreading credible information about an issue during protests is that more people are taught about the topic. Even during this protest, people who were walking in the streets came and listened to the speakers.”