Thousands gathered on common at rally for Ukraine

“The reason we’re all here in solidarity today is to remind people that this is not a faceless war,” said U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

Demonstrators made their way from Trinity Church to Boston Common. Christopher Butler

Thousands gathered around the Parkman Bandstand in Boston Common Sunday afternoon for the Stand with Ukraine peace march to show their support for those impacted by the Russian invasion.

Several speakers, including U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Mayor Michelle Wu, addressed the large crowd dressed in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

“The reason we’re all here in solidarity today is to remind people that this is not a faceless war,” said Pressley amidst chants of “Ban Russian oil” and “Stop the war.”

The demonstration, which was organized by the Ukrainian Cultural Center of New England, began with a service at Trinity Church, which was lit with blue and yellow lights.

Following the church service, at least a thousand people marched down Boylston Street, many carrying posters and Ukrainian flags while chanting phrases like “Hands off Ukraine” and “Close the sky.”


“We’re living in the 21st century, I just don’t know how it is possible that someone could do this,” said Ukrainian American Olena Bethoney, who brought her mother, husband, and children to the rally. “This is just inhumane.”

Organizers of the rally said the goal was to spread awareness and information regarding the conflict across New England and urge local governments to set up aid policies for victims.

A student from MIT leads the long line of protestors from Trinity Church to the common. (Christopher Butler)

“My entire family came to this country from Ukraine during World War II …. We’re heartbroken this is happening now,” said Kzenia Olsen as she broke into tears. “We all have to do everything we can to support the brave people of Ukraine.”

Students from MIT and Berklee College of Music led demonstrators toward the common. Once the crowd arrived at the bandstand, local Ukrainian community leaders and several local religious leaders spoke to the crowd to show their support.

“This is a godless war,” said the Rev. Morgan S. Allen of Trinity Church in his speech.

Wu also spoke to the crowd, saying, “We will keep coming together as long as it takes to protest this senseless campaign of violence.”


Tables surrounding the bandstand sold T-shirts and baked goods to raise money for charities aiding Ukraine in the war.

The march was one of several demonstrations in Boston over the last three weeks to show support for Ukraine.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” said Boston resident Katie Albright, who said she’s “not a bit” Ukrainian. “They really need our support right now.”


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