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In conflict zones, people’s visceral needs eventually trump violence.

After weeks of violent clashes in their city and other parts of eastern Ukraine, thousands of steelworkers in Mariupol have said “enough is enough”.

(From AP wire today): “In Mariuplo, an eastern city that suffered fatal clashes this month between protesters and police, workers at a steel mill stopped their labor at noon … for a speech from the company’s chief, condemning the separatist movement known as Donetsk People’s Republic… ‘We are here because Mariupol needs a peaceful sky above. Tanks and guns have no place in our city,’ said mill worker Sergey Kulitsh.” 

The workers had demonstrated en masse last week against turmoil and apparent foreign incursion in the city and its region.

By implication, Mr. Kulitsh said it well: The de-escalation in eastern Ukraine, temporary or lasting, illustrates once more the visceral needs of people everywhere, but especially in conflict-affected regions: a secure, stable society generating an improved standard of living and quality of life wherein conflict is less likely to occur.

Granted that the thousands of the Mariupol demonstrating steel mill workers were “encouraged” a by their super-rich employer — and even that a lasting peace, threatened by long-standing geopolitical tensions in the region, is not yet assured — there is this general hope, articulated by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart in the “Business In Peace” video above:

“There are a lot of things [business] can do to build peace, to break down barriers between communities, religions … businesses contributing to the building of a stable society.”

In other words, responsible business, partnered with civil society and government, can help, in the iconic anthem,”Give Peace a Chance.”