A Chicago peace activist is in Ukraine this week with a delegation of faith leaders and physicians.
They’re bringing much-needed medical supplies to the war-torn country.
Chicago social justice and non-violence activist Reverend Gregory Seal Livingston is in Kiev, Ukraine where there are symbols of both pain and perseverance displayed in the public square.
“We are in a war zone and there is no place here that is safe at all… I heard so many bombs going off it blew my mind,” he said. “They have these Russian vehicles, these Russian armored car vehicles that have been caught in fighting and they bring them here to let them know the Russians are not undefeatable.”
Livingston, the former Chief of Field Operations for Rainbow Push, is in the country with a delegation of American religious leaders and doctors. They’re meeting with diplomats, human rights advocates and wounded civilians and soldiers and delivering medical supplies, including portable ultrasound machines, bandages, and tourniquets.
“I’m here to fight for them in any way I can and bring any assets I have that I can bring to the fore,” he said.
Nearly half a million people have been killed in the 19 month conflict. The lack of rapid medical care and adequate supplies are a key reason the war has been so bloody.
Livingston’s group will take what they learn back to the U.S. to better coordinate relief efforts. Livingston calls Russia’s invasion unjust and immoral and says it’s a battle that American’s must be willing to help win.
“The only fights we don’t win are the ones that we don’t fight,” he said.
He’s appealing to our common humanity in a quest for understanding and peace across regions and races.
“I want to get all of our people together, black, white, brown, yellow, polka dot and green. I don’t want us to live based on color. I want us to live based on purpose and based on spirit,” he said. “Because blood may be thicker than water, but one thing I know is that sprit is thicker than blood. And we’re all bound together by that one great spirit. And if I can say this correctly Slave Ukraine! Glory to the Ukraine.”
The delegation started in Warsaw and has been traveling by train through Ukraine. They’ll will make a few more stops before returning to the United States on Saturday.