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Peace rally held in Scranton

Jack Gilroy wants a ceasefire to Russia's War on Ukraine.

"We want the negotiations, we want the end of ... sending weapons to Ukraine," he said.

Gilroy is one of the organizers of the Peace in Ukraine rally. On Saturday, he joined a coalition of peace groups near the entrance to the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant. Their mission, stop the War in Ukraine and declare peace.

The plant makes 155 mm artillery shells. The United States provides the ammunition to Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Gilroy believes that nuclear war is inevitable. He said Scranton is close to at least three manufacturers who work with the U.S. military.

"We're saying it's time to take this seriously," he said.

Gilroy called on President Joe Biden to work with NATO to negotiate with Russia to end the war. The group was also protesting Biden’s decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine.

The shells made at the Scranton Army Ammunition are not used for cluster munitions, according to Justine Barati, U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command spokesperson.

Nick Mottern stood next to a full-sized replica of the shells manufactured at the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant. His green t-shirt read: “The first casualty of war is truth. The rest are mostly civilians.”

"We decided to come here because this is where the war is," he said.

Mottern has worked with various peace organizations over the years. One of his current focuses is on ending drone warfare.

Martha Hennessy, a Catholic peace activist from Vermont, joined the rally Saturday.

"Let's all take hope from each other and continue the work," she said.

Kat Bolus is the community reporter for the newly-formed WVIA News Team. She is a former reporter and columnist at The Times-Tribune, a Scrantonian and cat mom.