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Vigil for Ukraine


Bucks businessman organizing peaceful demonstration against Russian invasion of Ukraine Fred Baumgarten, a Bucks County businessman and the owner of The Grundy Commons in Bristol, has set a goal to seed dissidence in Russia against the country’s invasion of Ukraine, while providing support to the people of Ukraine by organizing a weekly demonstration in front of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation at 9 E. 91st St. in New York City. The plan is to begin these weekly “silent vigils” on Friday, April 29, from noon to 1 p.m., and then repeat the silent demonstrations Friday after Friday for as long as necessary. The plan is to have peaceful protesters hold open black umbrellas in front of the Permanent Mission building and other Russian agencies all over the world, encouraging people to “block no traffic and hold no signs,” with a simple message to stop the invasion of Ukraine and remove Russian forces now. The open black umbrellas recall the closed black umbrella demonstration held by British Prime Minister Chamberlin, who, on Sept. 30, 1938, held up a closed black umbrella upon his return from a meeting with Hitler, and foolishly announced “Peace in our time.” The black umbrellas represent a very different message: a call to action rather than acceptance. Baumgarten said he was inspired to launch this protest by the Ice Bucket Challenge, which caught on globally.