In solidarity with Ukraine in Welwyn Garden City

In recent days, thousands of people around the world have joined together to show solidarity with Ukraine. Towns and cities particularly across Europe have seen expressions of horror at a new outbreak of war on the continent.


On Saturday 26 February, Michal Siewniak from Welwyn Garden City helped to bring together local residents, politicians and members of several international communities to call for peace in the wake of the Russian invasion. Around 150 participants gathered in the town centre, travelling from across Hertfordshire. Members of the Ukrainian community were joined by other local residents, local councillors, people from Belarus, Tunisia, Poland, Lithuania and Finland. They listened to the Ukrainian national anthem and observed a minute’s silence.

Michal explained the background to the event: “I often ask myself, is there anything tangible that I can do to help those in need? Being well informed, being on top of the news agenda is not nearly enough. Sometimes, the most spontaneous ideas can make a real a difference simple gathering organised “overnight” can simply bring together a few people to show that even if we live far away, we care, we are sad, angry, devastated and that we want to show our solidarity with our Ukrainian friends.”

At times participants were overcome with tears, but the protest felt all the more poignant in the knowledge that many ordinary Russians were risking their freedom by protesting against the invasion in their own country. Michal continued, “I would like so much to do more. I would like to stop the war. I would like to bring stability to Ukraine. I know that I can’t. However, we must remember that the whole global community suffers immensely because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and therefore it is still important to show our solidarity with members of the Ukrainian community.

Also, let’s keep listening to what we can do to help, no matter how small. It might be sending a donation, signing a petition, fighting the prejudice and hate crime in our communities, working for peace, and so much more. Local communities are joining together to support those fleeing Ukraine to neighbouring countries, and a massive humanitarian effort is under way both inside Ukraine and across its borders. What can we do to help? “Please email your MP,” said Michal, “Let’s put more pressure on our politicians to do more for Ukraine. Please donate; money and clothes. However, most importantly, let’s continue to look after each other.

Let’s continue to use every moment to bring peace. Let’s do our best, always, to remain committed to building bridges and not walls. We are all called to be Ambassadors of Unity.”