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Opinion: This is a Time for Action, Not Just Talk

Editor’s note: All opinion pieces published in The Clerk represent the views and ideas of the author. To submit an opinion, contact us at

It is unconscionable to me that students at a Quaker institution are using the school
newspaper to attempt to justify an unprovoked invasion. While they claim to condemn
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in the same breath they voice several excuses for Putin’s
inexcusable actions.

I do not think it is appropriate to respond to the specific points made in this article as they
use tools of propaganda and disinformation that are antithetical to the values of this
college. Among many problematic arguments, the authors bizarrely claim that Russia was
a NATO member, an easily disprovable claim. In addition to patently false assertions, the
authors offensively dismiss Ukraine’s 2014 popular revolution as “a parliamentary coup
by US-backed leaders.”

In the Maidan Uprising, the citizens of Ukraine risked everything to end the rule of a
repressive dictator. Their revolutionary actions embody democratic values, unlike writing
in a school paper to justify wars of aggression by repressive oligarchies.

Haverford College has a history of providing support to victims of senseless violence. I
hope that we can take inspiration from our predecessors and provide material assistance
to the Ukrainian people.

In times of crisis, we need to go beyond just talk. I encourage my fellow students to make
sacrifices in order to help victims. Let’s put our money where our mouth is and donate to
help the Ukrainian people as they undergo an unimaginable tragedy. Acknowledging I
come from a place of privilege, I donated to the International Rescue Committee as they
are doing terrific work to help refugees. If you are able, I hope that you donate what you
can to them or one of the other terrific organizations below.

Mateo Zules

International Rescue Committee (Provides food, medical care, and emergency services to
refugees from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen):

CARE (Provides aid, food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance
to those in Ukraine):
Sirius (Funding Animal Shelters in Ukraine):

I would like to acknowledge the help of my friends, Jacob Gorenburg and Conor Harris in
writing this piece.

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