Category Archives: North America

USA: Adding up the Cost of Our Never-Ending Wars


An analysis described by Mark Thompson for the Project on Government Oversight

Wars cost too much. That’s really not a surprise. The surprise is how much more they cost than we’ve been told.

It might help to think of the nation’s post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq like a pair of icebergs. The Pentagon has a web page that tells us how much we’ve each paid for the wars. But that only tells us how much of those icebergs we can see above the waves. While it includes totals for war fighting, it doesn’t track the Pentagon’s bigger war budget, interest paid on money we’ve borrowed to fight the wars, veterans’ care, and other ancillary costs. There’s a whole lot more hidden beneath the waves. The real issue isn’t whether the cost of war is high; the issue is why the U.S. government keeps under-estimating it, and why U.S. citizens and taxpayers keep tolerating it.

Direct spending by the Pentagon on the nation’s post-9/11 wars, shown in red, accounts for only 36 percent of their total cost. (Chart: United States Budgetary Costs and Obligations of Post-9/11 Wars through FY2020: $6.4 Trillion, page 6, by Neta C. Crawford for the Cost of War Project at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University)

The cost versus benefit of the nation’s post-9/11 wars was highlighted December 9 when the Washington Post began publishing a blockbuster series detailing how poorly the war in Afghanistan is going. The series is based on more than 400 internal government interviews that the Post largely pried from the congressionally created and independent Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction under the Freedom of Information Act. The stories show how U.S. government officials have misled the American public over the past 18 years by publicly declaring how well the war was going while privately acknowledging the opposite.

It echoes much of the analysis on Afghanistan we’ve done regularly here at the Military Industrial Circus (May 2017’s “What kind of military willingly walks onto a perpetual treadmill when the chance of prevailing is next to nil?”) about the rampant truth-fudging (August 2017’s “One can only take the constant spinning for so long before becoming dizzy and cynical over can-do officers who can’t-do.”), the hiding of key indicators about the war’s progress from the American people who are paying and dying for it (November 2017’s “When things are going well, there’s no shutting up the Pentagon.”), and the blindness of our national leaders through three administrations (last March’s “American hubris is always amazing to see, especially in hindsight.”).

For those too young to remember, the nation’s seemingly never-ending post-9/11 wars began as an invasion of Afghanistan. It was designed to crush its Taliban-run government for offering sanctuary to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda prior to the 9/11 attacks. But it quickly morphed into a “Global War on Terrorism” that has involved U.S. military action in about 80 nations. In 2003, the U.S. also invaded Iraq, arguing—wrongly as it turned out—that Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction and played a role in the 9/11 attacks.

The global war on terrorism has killed 7,028 Pentagon personnel, both military and civilian, since 9/11 (at least 7,800 others, employed by private U.S. contractors, have also died in Afghanistan and Iraq.) But its mission creep has also created a non-nuclear chain reaction: The U.S. repeatedly decided it needed more troops, which has led to more veterans. Many of those heroes thankfully have survived wounds that would have killed them in prior wars. But that will boost the cost of their care for decades to come. The Department of Homeland Security, which the government cobbled together from existing agencies in 2003, was padded out with its own bureaucracy. The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development got their own off-budget accounts too. And the federal government began borrowing money to pay for all this.

You might think, as a taxpayer, that you could just wander over to and look up the cost of those two wars. After all, they’ve been the Pentagon’s focus, fiscally and otherwise, for nearly 20 years. But you’d be wrong. The Pentagon, whether reporting on wars or weapons, is remarkably opaque when it comes to spelling out how much they cost. So outsiders have had to step in to make cents of how much our recent wars have cost.

Even more amazingly after nearly 20 years of war, keeping track of how much the U.S. is spending on the wars may be getting tougher. “In some instances, DOD, State Department and Department of Homeland Security Budgets are opaque,” notes a recent report by the Costs Of War Project, which consists of a team of about 50 experts. “Indeed, because of recent changes in budgetary labels and accounting at DOD, DHS, and the State Department, understanding the costs of the post-9/11 wars is potentially even more difficult than in the past.”

The U.S. has spent an estimated $5.4 trillion on its post-9/11 war on terror, with an additional $1 trillion due for veterans’ care in the future. (Table: United States Budgetary Costs and Obligations of Post-9/11 Wars through FY2020: $6.4 Trillion, page 3, by Neta C. Crawford for the Cost of War Project at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University)
Those interested in minimizing war’s costs will limit their ledger to what the Pentagon actually is spending on combat. A more complete accounting will add in additional military spending routinely ladled into Pentagon coffers during wartime. A still-fuller accounting will add veterans’ care, homeland security, and interest on the money we’ve borrowed to fight the war.

There’s a lot of wishful thinking involved when the U.S. is thinking of going to war. If the government were simply sloppy and slipshod, its estimates would be both low and high. But invariably, they are low, which suggests there’s a motive to the math: Low-balling the cost of war makes it more likely war will happen.

The bureaucratic imperative of how the Pentagon buys its wars and weapons is the “buy-in,” a rosy projection designed to show that the conflict or hardware is a relative bargain. Yet once the war or hardware has achieved escape velocity, its price begins escalating.

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Question for this article:

Does military spending lead to economic decline and collapse?

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The Pentagon argues the nation’s investment in any particular piece of shiny new weapon has grown so massive that abandoning the effort would send those sunk costs spinning down the drain. Likewise, war costs soar because of mission creep—rebuilding Afghanistan instead of simply ousting the Taliban following the attacks of September 11, 2001, for example—and concern that pulling out before achieving victory would mean the lives of those Americans already killed in the effort would have been wasted.

Of course, no one can predict the final cost of a war before it has begun. Yet before it begins the government tends to speak of a war’s monthly cost. In Iraq, for example, that led to an early claim that the war would cost $2 billion a month, totaling perhaps $50 billion. Those relatively low numbers, in Pentagon terms anyway, grease the skids to war.

But watch how they grow.

The litany of minimized post-9/11 war-cost estimates is long. It got off to an ignoble start when one White House official suggested the Iraq war might cost more than his finger-crossing political masters wanted to admit. In September 2002, White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey played the skunk at the Garden of Eden party (Iraq has several sites vying to be the biblical paradise) when he suggestedthe Iraq war’s cost to the U.S. could range between $100 billion and $200 billion. He tried to gussy up his then-exorbitant estimate: “The successful prosecution of the war,” he argued in the Wall Street Journal, “would be good for the economy.”

Nonetheless, Lindsey was unceremoniously combat-booted from the White House three months later. Mitch Daniels, the director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget at the time, said the war’s cost couldn’t be estimated. But he declaredLindsey’s estimate was “likely very, very high.”

By January 2003, two months before the invasion of Iraq, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld uncharacteristically deferred to Daniels’ bean counters when it came to projecting the war’s cost. “Well, the Office of Management and Budget has come up with a number that’s something under $50 billion for the cost,” saidRumsfeld, who seemingly rarely embraced others’ views when he believed strongly in his own.

In April 2003, just after the U.S. invaded Iraq, the Pentagon saidthe Iraq war would cost about $2 billion a month. But three months later, Rumsfeld raised lawmakers’ eyebrows when he doubledits estimated monthly cost to $3.9 billion (along with nearly $1 billion a month for Afghanistan).

The avarice avalanche had begun.

By July 2006, nearly five years after the 9/11 attacks, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) saidCongress “has appropriated about $430 billion to DOD and other government agencies for military and diplomatic efforts in support of GWOT [the Global War on Terrorism].” (You know you’ve reached the Big Time in Washington when your pet project rates its own acronym.) That translated into about $7.4 billion a month.

But the numbers were squishy. “GAO’s prior work found numerous problems with DOD’s processes for recording and reporting GWOT costs, including long-standing deficiencies in DOD’s financial management systems and business processes, the use of estimates instead of actual cost data, and the lack of adequate supporting documentation,” top U.S. Bean Counter David Walker (officially known as the Comptroller General of the United States, the position that runs the GAO), told a congressional panel. “As a result, neither DOD nor the Congress reliably know how much the war is costing.”

That’s quite a statement coming from the congressional Bookkeeper-in-Chief.

By 2014, the Congressional Research Service said that the U.S. had spent $1.6 trillion “for military operations, base support, weapons maintenance, training of Afghan and Iraq security forces, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the war operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks.” That worked out to about $10.3 billion a month.

But even that eye-watering sum misses the mark. The Costs of War Project has spent the past decade pawing through government documents to try to tote up the post-9/11 wars’ total cost. Its latest calculation, released in November, says the U.S. will have spent $5.4 trillion on the global war on terrorism by the end of the current 2020 fiscal year, along with an additional $1 trillion for veterans’ care beyond that. That’s about $20,000 per American.

“There are many hidden or unacknowledged costs of the United States’ decision to respond to the 9/11 attacks with military force,” the group, run out of Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, says on its website. “We aim to foster democratic discussion of these wars by providing the fullest possible account of their human, economic, and political costs, and to foster better informed public policies.” The group’s work is largely funded by the Carnegie Corporation, the Colombe Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, and Boston and Brown universities.

“We go to war with optimistic assumptions” of duration, cost, and casualties, says Neta Crawford, head of Boston University’s political science department and one of the Costs of War Project’s leaders and author of its latest study. “Most people believe that force is effective, but the history of war is that [winning] doesn’t happen at least half the time,” Crawford told POGO.

And it isn’t just fusty academics who feel that way. “No government-wide reporting consistently accounts for both DOD and non-DOD war costs,” advises an April reportfrom the Congressional Research Service. Not only hasn’t the government been able to win its post-9/11 wars; after nearly two decades it can’t tell us how much it has spent failing to do so.

Put that in your howitzer and light it.

The bottom line, so far: According to the Costs of War Project, we’re staring at a $5.4 trillion tab for the post-9/11 wars, through September 30, 2020, the final day of the current fiscal year.

That’s an average of $23.7 billion monthly for the past 228 months.

Something to keep in mind the next time the Pentagon predicts a war is going to cost $2 billion a month.

USA: Sanders and Khanna Introduce New Bill to ‘Stop Donald Trump From Illegally Taking Us to War Against Iran’


An article by Jake Johnson in Common Dreams (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License)

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ro Khanna Friday night unveiled new legislation that would bar any Pentagon funding for “military force in or against Iran” without congressional approval, an effort to forestall what many in the U.S., Middle East, and around the world fear is a march to war by the Trump administration.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)  and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)

“Today, we are seeing a dangerous escalation that brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East,” Khanna and Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said in a joint statement. “A war with Iran could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars and lead to even more deaths, more conflict, more displacement in that already highly volatile region of the world.”

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Sanders and Khanna criticized their fellow members of Congress for handing President Donald Trump a $738 billion military budget that did not include any safeguards against a war with Iran. An amendment sponsored by Khanna and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) was approved by the House last year, but the measure was stripped out of the final budget in bipartisan negotiations.

“Congress now has an opportunity to change course,” Sanders and Khanna said. “Our legislation blocks Pentagon funding for any unilateral actions this president takes to wage war against Iran without Congressional authorization.”

“We know that it will ultimately be the children of working-class families who will have to fight and die in a new Middle East conflict—not the children of the billionaire class,” the lawmakers added. “At a time when we face the urgent need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, to build the housing we desperately need, and to address the existential crisis of climate change, we as a nation must get our priorities right.”

In an interview on MSNBC Friday night, Khanna called on the House of Representatives to take up his and Sanders’ legislation as its first order of business when it returns from recess next week.

Sanders and Khanna’s legislation came just 24 hours after the U.S. assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike ordered by Trump.

Soleimani’s assassination sparked enormous protests in Iran and outrage from U.S. progressives, who warned the strike could result in a catastrophic regional—or even global—conflict.

“Right now is the moment to decide if you are pro-peace or not,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted Friday. “The cheerleaders of war, removed from its true cost, will gladly convince you that up is down—just as they did in Iraq in ’03. But war does not establish peace. War does not create security. War endangers us all.”

Pope Francis Calls Nuclear Weapons Immoral as Catholic Activists Face Jail For U.S. Nuke Base Action


An article from Democracy Now (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License).

Over the weekend, Pope Francis visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the United States dropped the first atomic bombs in 1945, killing more than 200,000 people. Pope Francis said, “A world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary.” The leader of the Cathoilc Church met with survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and declared the possession of nuclear weapons to be immoral. The Pope’s visit comes as a group of seven Catholic peace activists are awaiting sentencing for breaking into the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia on April 4, 2018. The activists, known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, were recently convicted of three felony counts and a misdemeanor charge for entering the base armed with hammers, crime scene tape and baby bottles containing their own blood.

Video of interview

We speak with Martha Hennessy, one of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. She is the granddaughter of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker movement. We are also joined by Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. His most recent book is titled, “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.” Daniel Ellsberg was blocked from testifying in the recent trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!. I’m Amy Goodman. “A world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary.” Those were the words of Pope Francis this weekend as he visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki where the U.S. dropped the first atomic bombs in the world.—it was 1945—killing over 200,000 people. Pope Francis met with survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and declared the possession of nuclear weapons to be immoral. In Hiroshima, Pope Francis spoke at the city’s Peace Memorial Park.

POPE FRANCIS: [translated] The use of atomic energy for the purpose of war is today more than ever a crime not only against the dignity of human beings, but against any possible future for our common home. The use of atomic energy for the purpose of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral, as I already said two years ago. We will be judged by this. Future generations will rise to condemn our failure if we spoke of peace but did not act to bring it about among the peoples of the earth. How can we speak of peace even as we build terrifying new weapons of war? How can we speak of peace even as we justify illegitimate actions by speeches filled with discrimination and hate?

AMY GOODMAN: The Pope’s visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki comes as a group of seven Catholic peace activists are awaiting sentencing for breaking into the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia. It was April 4th, 2018. The activists, known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, who broke in on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, were recently convicted of three felony counts and a misdemeanor charge for entering the base armed with hammers, crime scene tape and baby bottles containing their own blood. They also carried an indictment charging the U.S. government with crimes against peace. The Kings Bay Naval Base is home to at least six nuclear ballistic missile submarines, each of which carries 20 Trident thermonuclear weapons. The activists said they were following the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.”

We are joined now by two guests. Martha Hennessy is with us in New York, one of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, granddaughter of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. And joining us from Berkeley, California, Pentagon paper whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, his most recent book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Dan Ellsberg was blocked from testifying in the recent trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Martha, can you respond to Pope Francis going to Hiroshima, Nagasaki and saying that nuclear weapons are immoral?

MARTHA HENNESSY: Thank you, Amy. It’s good to be here. I think that we have before us a remarkable Pope, and he is certainly exhausting himself with this work of peacemaking and global solidarity-building. He is unequivocally speaking out against nuclear weapons. He does support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. My heart rejoices to hear his words and to see him. He is very purposefully going to places that—places of sin and sorrow and grief and pain. He calls it a sacramental act to go to the sites. I feel complete affirmation in what he is trying to do with regards to our own action of walking onto the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay.

AMY GOODMAN: Has he weighed in on your trial or your sentencing?

MARTHA HENNESSY: I don’t think so. Not publicly, verbally, but he knows what is happening.

AMY GOODMAN: So describe what you did very briefly. You have been on before and described it. But also the sentence that you face. You were found guilty.

MARTHA HENNESSY: Yes, we were convicted, found guilty on all counts, October 24th.

AMY GOODMAN: And those counts were?

MARTHA HENNESSY: Conspiracy, depredation of governmental property, destruction of Naval property and trespass. And we are awaiting sentencing. We are facing—the initial threat was 20 years in prison, and I believe that the prosecution is now calling for 18 to 24 months. The judge has a reputation of ruling perhaps in the middle of the road. But I expect that I will receive a minimum of one year in federal prison.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go back to Pope Francis Sunday holding a holy mass for over 30,000 Catholics at the Nagasaki Stadium in Japan.

POPE FRANCIS: [translated] In the belief that a world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary, I ask political leaders not to forget that these do not defend us from threats to national and international security of our time. We need to consider the catastrophic impact of their use from a humanitarian and environmental point of view, renouncing to strengthen a climate of fear, mistrust and hostility fueled by nuclear doctrines.

No one can be indifferent to the pain of millions of men and women who still today continue to affect our consciences. No one can be deaf to the cry of the brother who calls from his womb. No one can be blind to the ruins of a culture incapable of dialogue.

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Question related to this article:

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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AMY GOODMAN: That’s Pope Francis this weekend in Nagasaki, Japan. On August 9th, 1945, the U.S. dropped the second U.S. atomic bomb in the world on Nagasaki. Three days before, August 6, 1945, they dropped the first on Hiroshima. As you protest nuclear weapons, Martha Hennessy, at the Kings Bay Naval Base, you left a copy of Daniel Ellsberg’s book The Doomsday Machine on the site of your action. Why?

MARTHA HENNESSY: Daniel Ellsberg has brought us such critical information. The author of the Pentagon Papers releasing the scandal and the trauma of what the Vietnam War was and the other half of his story laid buried for many years regarding the nuclear arsenal. He was an insider who had to do research on understanding what the nuclear chain of command was for pressing the button, and he found out it was rather chaotic. It was unclear to the president. There were many people who actually had the capacity to press the nuclear button. And we felt the necessity of sharing his book and we wanted the people working at the base to read the book and to understand the history here.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Dan Ellsberg is joining us from the University of California, Berkeley, who wrote The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Can you respond to this historic trip of Pope Francis to Hiroshima, Nagasaki, calling nuclear weapons illegal? This was your world. This was your work, Dan Ellsberg, as a high-level Pentagon and RAND Corporation official. The Plowshares 7 left your book at the site at Kings Bay. You attempted to testify at their trial. You were blocked. What would you have said?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: I believe that actions like theirs are necessary to moving this world away from nuclear weapons, as the Pope has called for. Many other approaches have been tried in the last 50 years and they have essentially failed. There is a major reason that runs through that history, and that is that we are, on the one hand, obliged by treaty, the highest law of the land, a ratified treaty, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Article VI, to move in good-faith negotiations—in particular with what was in the Soviet Union, now Russia, but with all nuclear weapons states—for the effective elimination of all nuclear weapons. The U.S. has not considered negotiating for that goal for one minute of that half century. There has never been a minute of good faith, of intent to carry out Article Six.

So when the Pope Francis now, yesterday, makes this—puts—urges the same goal on the U.S. and all other countries, nuclear weapons states, it might seem redundant but it isn’t. He is saying that this should be taken seriously and he could not be more right. And of course, he’s a powerful voice in the world. I hope that—he has obviously undergone a considerable education on this, as have the people in Plowshares movement. And if he can pass that requirement on and its urgency to the bishops throughout the world, it will I am sure create conditions in which our own representatives will call on our executive branch at last to carry out what they are obliged to do in the treaty and what they have never done, and that is to negotiate seriously moving toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, a verifiable mutual elimination of nuclear weapons.

AMY GOODMAN: Martha, The New Yorker Magazine wrote a piece. The headline was The Pope and Catholic Radicals Come Together Against Nuclear Weapons.

MARTHA HENNESSY: Pretty significant. I would like to believe that Dorothy Day herself, my grandmother, very much influenced the U.S. Catholic Church in terms of holding on to the concept of peace and letting the U.S. bishops know how she felt about war. She opposed every war that occurred in her lifetime. It’s grand to see the Pope speaking out now. He is a Pope after the heart of Dorothy Day.
We can’t express our gratitude to people enough, to people like Dan Ellsberg and the many of those who have come before us—the Berrigan Brothers—all in their efforts—the Pope has said it’s not enough to simply speak out against nuclear weapons; we must act. We must walk. We walked onto that base. We need to raise a voice very clearly and even be willing to put our bodies on the line to help the world to understand that the malevolence, the secrecy, the lack of democracy from beginning to end with this nuclear arsenal, the production, the maintaining, the threat of using—it’s the greatest evil in the world that any of us can face in our lifetimes.

AMY GOODMAN: One of your sister protesters, Liz McAlister, the widow of Philip Berrigan, was one of the Plowshares 7. Last week, she just celebrated her 80th birthday. She, too, faces these charges and was in prison for a year and a half as she awaited the trial. Dan, what would you have said to the jury?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: What did I expect of the jury?

AMY GOODMAN: What would you have said? And why were you blocked?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: The judge refused to allow a defense of necessity or justification, a very old principle in English common law and American common law that an act under which under some circumstances or many circumstances would be illegal, like blocking a roadway, perhaps stealing a life preserver to throw it to somebody who was drowning, taking it from a nearby boat—an act like that that is meant as necessary to prevent an imminent greater evil, the death of someone, various things, would be legal. Not merely extenuating circumstances in a sense, but would actually be legal because it was the right thing to do under these circumstances. I am convinced from my own experience that that’s true of the acts here.

I would never have thought of risking prison for 115 years, which Nixon had in mind for me or indicted me for, in order to put out the Pentagon Papers, without the immediate example of people, all of whom had been influenced by Dorothy Day, among others, by the Berrigans, by Gandhi, by Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.
I was led by those people to study those works and then I saw people enacting that in their own lives, risking prison to make the strongest possible case—that there was an emergency, in this case; in that case, to end the Vietnam War—and that it took special acts of conscience to wake people up to that necessity and get them to join in the protest. I felt the power of that act on my own life.

And I would not have thought of doing an act, copying these papers and giving them to the newspapers, without that example. They put in my head the question, “What can I do to help end this war now that I’m ready to go to prison, as they were?” And the question that really needs to be asked much more generally is by people confronting climate change, confronting the nuclear emergency, confronting wrongful wars like Yemen is, “Am I doing enough? Am I doing all that I could, including considering acts that would involve personal cost for me or some risks to my career?” Very few people can answer that comfortably in the notion that there’s really nothing more they can do.

So acts like this have proven in the women’s right to vote, in the unionization of autoworkers, for example, and other workers, in civil rights and gay rights—all of these things were proved essential—part—not all, but part of the movement—to regain these rights and ensure them, that people were willing to challenge laws that were in the way of those rights.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Martha Hennessy, your grandmother Dorothy Day is in the process of beatification and canonization on the way to becoming a saint in the Catholic Church?


AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you both for being with us. Martha Hennessy, when is your sentencing?

MARTHA HENNESSY: We don’t even have a date yet. Sixty to 90 days is what she said to us, the judge said, on October 24th. And we’re processing—we’re doing some motion filing. And so it takes time. And meanwhile, we just don’t know.

USA: Exoneration of Scott Warren is a triumph for humanity


An article from Amnesty International

In response to the humanitarian volunteer Dr Scott Warren being found not guilty of the charges against him in a court in Arizona today, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

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Questions related to this article:

The post-election fightback for human rights, is it gathering force in the USA?

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“Sense has prevailed today with the jury exonerating Dr. Scott Warren for a simple reason: humanitarian aid is never a crime. The Trump administration is wrong to try to prosecute people who are only trying to save lives. By threatening Dr. Warren with a decade in prison, the US government sought to criminalize compassion and weaponize the deadly desert against people who make the perilous journey to the United States in search of safety.”

This was the second trial Dr Warren has faced on charges of “harbouring” two migrants, for providing them with humanitarian assistance in the town of Ajo, Arizona, where he lives. The first trial resulted in a mistrial on 2 July, when eight of 12 jurors sought to acquit him on all charges but could not reach a unanimous decision.

In July, Amnesty International issued a report  documenting the Trump administration’s misuse of the criminal justice system to threaten, intimidate, and punish those defending the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers on the US–Mexico border.

December Climate Strikes: Getting Started


An article from The Sunrise Movement

On December 6th, young people across America will join a national #ClimateStrike to take the September strike’s momentum to our elected officials’ doorsteps.

When we striked in September, many politicians shared nice words of encouragement. But we need more than just kind words–we need clear commitments to action.

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Question for this article:

The youth climate strikes: Are they effective?

Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

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Getting ready to organize a Dec 6 strike in your town is easy as 1, 2, 3:

Step 1: Register for this call!

Step 2: Find 3 friends who are excited to strike and down to watch the call with you!

Step 3: Watch the call together in one place — and have everyone bring a phone or laptop!

On the call, you’ll get to learn from people who organized Sept 20th strikes, and you’ll leave with a concrete plan to strike for a Green New Deal in your community!


USA: We Are Each a Precious Entity: The Activist Life of Caroline Bridgman-Rees


A tribute written by PJ Deak for the Unitarian Society of New Haven, reprinted by PAR New Haven

Caroline was born on New Year’s Eve, 1922 and grew up on Staten Island. Her father, a Yale graduate, was a history professor at NYU for 29 years. A decorated war veteran, he came home from WWI in 1918 traumatized by the horrors of war, its barbarism, death, and destruction.

As a result of her father’s experiences, Caroline became very aware of the toll and folly of war – and of the importance of working for peace.

In 1945, Caroline, 22, a Phi Beta Kappa and recent graduate of Smith College, joined the Red Cross. She sailed on a ship to the Philippines where she worked with the Red Cross until 1946 when she went to Korea. Why did she do it? To see the world and “to see life with the soldiers.”

She remembered the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with horror and condemnation – a bombing that in her words “was totally against moral and international law and which began a frightful new era that threatened all life on earth.”

In the 1960s, Caroline began her teaching career at Bradford College in Massachusetts – teaching Asian History and Philosophy. Caroline became increasingly concerned about the conflict between the US and both the Vietnamese liberation forces and all of Indochina.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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She joined a number of prominent peace organizations: The American Friends Service Committee; Sane/Freeze – later known as Peace Action; The Women’s International League for Peace And Freedom; The War Resisters League; Mobilization for Survival; and because of her service in the Red Cross, Veterans Against The War.

“I felt then, as I do now, that non-violent direct action is a citizen’s responsibility when the government is committing major war crimes against humanity!”

In 1972 Caroline was one of 171 American peace leaders chosen to attend the Paris Peace Talks. Also in 1972, she was part of a team of women who traveled to India and conducted interviews with Indian women about the role of women in the world – Caroline even had the privilege to interview Ms. Ghandi. In 1973, Caroline, her husband and 10-year-old son traveled through India, Burma, Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Caroline became involved with the United Nations as an NGO representative, and also was active with the Greater New Haven Peace Council. In 1991-1992 she spent a year in England giving 45 separate lectures on Nuclear Disarmament and attended an international peace conference in the Netherlands.

When the first Iraq War began, Caroline was active as the anti-war movement surged anew – seeking avenues for mediation and diplomacy rather than violence.

Caroline attended meetings to discuss and take action on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, spoke out about the size of the US military budget, the number of US military bases around the world (over 1,000) and the pollution they are allowed to create. She wrote letters to the editor that were published in the New Haven Register and participated in the New Haven Peace Council and the Unitarian Society of New Haven Peace Task Force.

“We need community, not guns. We must create a world with love, and caring and cooperation.”

Read Caroline Bridgman-Rees’ obituary on

Gandhi 150: The Legacy of Peace


An event from Choose Chicago

18th October 2019 – The Field Museum [Chicago] 6:30-9:00 PM
bringing the descendants of history’s greatest peace leaders to celebrate the 150the annivesry of Mahatma Gandhi

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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2019 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate 150 years since the birth of “Mahatma” (great soul) Gandhi. Gandhi changed the course of human history. His non-violent protest for freedom inspired civil-rights movements across the globe. The Gandhian philosophy influenced and changed the course of movements led by civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in the United States of America, Nelson Mandela in South Africa and that of Cesar Chavez, a labor leader and Latino American civil rights activist who founded the United Farm Workers Union.

WBEZ’s Worldview, along with Gandhi Commemorative Stamp Initiative, India Development Service (IDS) and United for Peace (U4P) will bring together academicians and descendants of some of history’s greatest peace leaders who acknowledged Gandhi’s influence on their lives and social actions. Chicago welcomes Ela Gandhi granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Anthony Chavez grandson of Cesar Chavez, MLK III son of Martin Luther King Jr.,  Maki Mandela daughter of Nelson Mandela, Prof. Carlson, and Dr. Prasad. For the first time in history, these individuals will be sharing the same platform to talk about non-violence, the need for peace, collaboration and how it influenced their parents’ fight for a just society.

Ashland peace conference affirms “city of peace” kinesis


An article from the Ashland Tidings

The Sept. 21, 2019, “Ashland Global Peace Conference” was, in this writer’s mind, one that embodied not only the value and legitimacy of the culture of Ashland, but indeed, the more expansive and even global urgency of the message that was expressed. As a Rotarian (who happens to reside in the northern part of the state), I was quite moved by the commonalities of Rotary International and the City of Ashland that became so evident as the conference progressed throughout the day.

During the year (2011-2012) that I served as Rotary District Governor for the northern part of Oregon, our Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee hailed from the state of Gujarat in India. I found it both very interesting as well as comforting that there was such a similar message that was given by the keynote speaker Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations and founder of the Global Movement of the Culture of Peace, who also happens to hail from India. That message was three-fold:

* First, to really be a disciple of peace, it is necessary to develop a culture of peace within one’s self. Then and only then can a person effectively build on this culture with his or her family, neighborhood, community, region and in the world

* Second, it is critical that this culture be introduced and nurtured in our youth, as it is so important to inculcate it into those who will ultimately be the generation to bring this culture to fruition

* Third, we need to work toward empowering women and bring them to the forefront of this movement if we truly hope to realize a true expansion of a culture of peace

The Ashland Global Peace Conference not only had this message throughout the day, but the participants they chose to engage the attendees were indeed a microcosm of this message.

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Questions for this article:

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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Ambassador Chowdhury eloquently spoke of how we need to first discover Peace within ourselves. This message was further emphasized in a presentation by Dr. David Yang, a Vice President at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C.

Finally, Ashland High School freshman Finley Taylor, completed the circle when talking about his role the previous year in middle school when he and his classmates were chosen to be “Flame Keepers for the Peace Flame,” which resides in Ashland on the campus of Southern Oregon University.

Taylor stated that perhaps the biggest impression made on him during this year was at an encounter with Ashland Culture of Peace Commission members David Wick and Irene Kai who told him that “peace starts with me.”

The entire conference and its overriding message flowed naturally and seemingly effortlessly and, as a Rotarian, the clarity of this overriding message followed closely and intimately with Rotary International’s message of “Service Above Self.” It also mirrors its new strategic plan which states: “Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.”

Normally, daylong conferences tend to somewhat drag out as the day progresses and the afternoon wanes. The Ashland Global Peace Conference, however, strongly defied this tradition.

The afternoon sessions strengthened and built upon what was introduced in the morning by bringing in leaders from religious communities, the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, the media, law enforcement, educators, medical personnel and community support members who shared their visions of peace and gave examples of how their own lives have been enriched by their participation in their organizations as well as by members of their local communities and beyond.

In short, the conference was inspirational, educational, and provided many practical examples of how building a Culture of Peace continues to transform the community of Ashland and its environs into a more livable, cooperative, thriving and peaceful community.

Hopefully, several other communities in Oregon, around the country and around the world will learn from those dedicated leaders in the Southern Oregon communities who continue to point out the great benefits to be derived from developing a Culture of Peace.

Mike Caruso is a member of The Rotary Club of Newberg, Oregon, and served as Rotary District Governor for District 5100 during the 2011-12 Rotary year and is the founder of Rotary Peacebuilder Clubs. He and his wife Amy live in Dundee, Oregon.

Ajamu Baraka Awarded 2019 US Peace Prize


An announcement from US Peace Memorial

The Board of Directors of the US Peace Memorial Foundation has voted unanimously to award the 2019 US Peace Prize to The Honorable Ajamu Baraka, “whose bold antiwar actions, writings, speeches, and leadership provide an inspiring voice against militarism.”

Michael Knox, Chair of the Foundation, presented the award on September 23 during the forum “A Path to International Peace: Realizing the Vision of the United Nations Charter,” which was held at the Community Church of New York.

In his remarks, Knox said, “Thank you, Ajamu, for your outstanding domestic and international activism to end wars and militarism. We applaud your long and distinguished record of working for social justice, human rights, civil rights, and peace. Many antiwar organizations have benefitted from your innovative leadership and consultation. You are a force in revitalizing the Black antiwar tradition. I believe that Black Alliance for Peace could be the most important new antiwar organization established this century. We want you to know that your efforts are greatly appreciated here and around the world. Thank you for your service.”

In his acceptance, Ajamu said, “I want to thank the US Peace Memorial Foundation, Dr. Michael Knox and the Board of Directors for this great honor and for your faith in me and my work. I accept this award this evening with great honor and humility. I accept not as an individual but as a member of a collective of peace and antiwar activists, many of whom are in this room tonight, who paved the way with their sacrifice, courage and unwavering dedication to the idea that we can live in a world without war. We envision a world where human beings can be free to live liberated from brutality, the madness of state and non-state violence in all forms, from direct military engagements to the war of sanctions. We believe that there is in fact an alternative to the irrationality that we call “modernity” built on conquest, slavery, economic exploitation and ongoing colonial domination. So, I accept this on behalf of those visionaries, on behalf of the Black Alliance for Peace, on behalf of all those who are committed to peace but who understand that there can be no peace without justice, and for justice – we have to struggle to achieve it.”

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Ajamu Baraka, a Vietnam-era war veteran, is a social justice and human and civil rights activist who was the Green Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States in 2016. In 1997, he was one of the 300 human rights defenders from around the world who were honored in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations’ signing of the United Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. In addition to being the national organizer and spokesperson for Black Alliance for Peace, Baraka is also an administrative committee member for the United National Antiwar Coalition and an executive board member of the U.S. Peace Council. For years he has been a force in revitalizing the Black antiwar tradition, an influence on domestic and international education, and an outspoken advocate against the U.S. foreign policy of “humanitarian” intervention and U.S. military presence in other countries. His numerous contributions include giving speeches and interviews, writing articles, providing consultation and leadership, and taking part in delegations and panels.

In addition to receiving the US Peace Prize, our highest honor, Mr. Baraka has been designated a Founding Member of the US Peace Memorial Foundation. He joins previous US Peace Prize recipients David Swanson, Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace, Kathy Kelly, CODEPINK Women for Peace, Chelsea Manning, Medea Benjamin, Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, and Cindy Sheehan. Nominees considered by the Board in 2019 included Erica Chenoweth, Stephen D. Clemens, Thomas C. Fox, Bruce K. Gagnon, Jewish Voice for Peace, National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, Sally-Alice Thompson, Women’s March on the Pentagon and World BEYOND War. You can read about the antiwar/peace activities of the recipients and all nominees in our publication, the US Peace Registry.

The US Peace Memorial Foundation directs a nationwide effort to honor Americans who stand for peace by publishing the US Peace Registry, awarding an annual US Peace Prize, and planning for the US Peace Memorial in Washington, DC. These projects help move the United States toward a culture of peace by honoring thoughtful and courageous Americans and U.S. organizations that have taken a public stand against one or more U.S. wars or who have devoted their time, energy, and other resources to finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts. We celebrate these role models to inspire other Americans to speak out against war and to work for peace.

United States and Canada: International Day of Peace


A survey by CPNN

Here are 269 actions for the International Day of Peace located in all the United States as well as 11 actions in Canada in six provinces. In order to save space, one is described in detail for each state and province and internet links are provided for the others.
The actions were listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 under the key words “International Day of Peace” and “Journée Internationale de la Paix” or were listed on the following websites:
Campaign Nonviolence
International Cities of Peace Facebook
Event map for the International Day of Peace.

In addition to the above, there were several hundred singing events listed on the websites of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but it was not possible to distinguish events from 2019 from events in previous years.

Many celebrations took up the official United Nations theme for the day, Climate Action for Peace.
Here are excerpts from the articles.

*** CANADA ***


CALGARY : Ahead of Saturday’s UN International Day of Peace, the John de Chastelain Peace Studies Initiative at Mount Royal University announced the recipient of the 2020 Calgary Peace Prize. Stephanie Nolen is a veteran foreign correspondent who has reported from more than 80 countries around the world. She is a seven-time winner of the National Newspaper Award and a six-time winner of the Amnesty International Media Award for her coverage. She is the author of 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa, which won the PEN Courage Prize, and Promised the Moon: The Untold Story of the First Women in the Space Race. She served as bureau chief for the Globe and Mail in South Asia, Africa and Latin America.


SUMMERLAND : A community event to celebrate and share the importance of PEACE we will have a performance, art installation, music, and moments of meditation.



WINNIPEG : The Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Builder Committee and Rotary 5550 World Peace Partners is celebrating 10 years of waging peace by inspiring, facilitating and nurturing positive peace, goodwill, and understanding with no sign of slowing down. As in years past, the Peace Days Festival has brought together a number of committed Venue Participants who are doing their part to raise awareness and making a commitment to act all in the name of promoting positive peace. This year’s Peace Days Festival will start with a multi-faith Meditation for Peace event that will guide participants through a moment of meditation and unity dedicated to the promotion of peace and the creation of a non-violent society hosted by Bishop emeritus Noel Delaquis. . . Events throughout the city will continue to create the momentum needed to ensure everyone can experience peace regardless of who they are and where they come from. Through the Winnipeg Connector Partnership and the engagement of newcomers in peace, the Peace Days Festival and Peace Days 365 will help us achieve an equitable, accepting and just society, nation and world. The Peace Days Festival is about:“Bringing people from all nations together to create a culture of Peace and building self-confidence for equal opportunity, justice and PEACE.


MONCTON : Join us at the RCMP Memorial at Riverfront Park to walk downtown in support of Peace in our community. This event is FREE and open to rotarians and non-rotarians including kids and pets. We ask Rotarians to proudly wear the Rotary Logo and all others to please wear something that represents peace to you. Did you know that Rotary helped write the charter for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Saturday September 21st is International Peace Day and so we will walk in support of continued peace education and initiative


MISSISSAUGA : On the International Day of Peace and also celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Peace Stone here in Richard’s Memorial Park and the 40th anniversary of the mundialization of the City of Mississauga, the 2019 World Citizenship in Action Award will be presented to the founder of Peace Magazine, Science for Peace and Project Save the World, Metta Spencer, and messages of peace and inspiring music will be shared by The Rev Elvis, Angela Turone, Christina Melanie, Kinder Kids International Preschool, the Raging Grannies and others. Please join Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Registrar of World Citizens in Canada, Dorothea Sheasby as we also raise the Earth Flag beside the Peace Stone for the first time.



SAINT-LAURENT : The traditional ceremony for the International Day of Peace was held in Saint-Laurent on September 19 at Parc Beaudet, also called the “Parc de la Paix”, with the participation about fifty students from Émile-Legault High School and the International School of Learners. The audience was also made up of some 20 key players in the borough, including Mayor Alan DeSousa and Council members. Organized in partnership with the Committee of Social Organizations of Saint-Laurent and the Baha’i community of Montreal, the event was placed under the theme of climate action, decreed by the United Nations. At the end of this ceremony where the testimonies followed each other, each participant made the commitment to take concrete action to fight against climate change.



HOMER : We Rotary celebrated the International Day of Peace


SELMA : 20 Million Women Strong is leading a Lift Every Voice March highlighting the International Day of Peace with a focus on the Earth, Women, Children and Families. We will gather at noon and March across the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma at 1pm on September 21st.



LITTLE ROCK : Peace Week was celebrated in Little Rock.


TUCSON : Jam2Grow and the Drum-Up for Peace project are organizing a Drum Festival on International Day of Peace 2019. Please Join us to feel the drum rhythms with a dedicated group of percussionists and peace lovers. All skills level are welcome to join us. Children allowed to participate with their family.


RIVERSIDE : Taking action on climate change will be the theme of a celebration of the International Day of Peace to be held at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, on the Ben Franklin stage near Riverside City Hall, 3900 Main St.
The Inland Communities Fellowship of Reconciliation has organized the free event, which will feature the Riverside Resistance Revival Chorus and speakers Benny Nielsen and Mohammad Hoda, who are connecting climate to unrest in the world, according to a press release.
Students from Norte Vista High School will participate, and Margie Akin, a member of the Inland Communities Fellowship of Reconciliation, will also speak at the event.
“We wanted to acknowledge how connected climate is to peace,” said Marilyn Sequoia, one of the organizers, in the press release. “Drought can create a shortage of food, sparking mass migrations and wars between people. So solving the climate crisis is quite connected to peace.”
A coalition of other organizations will be part of the annual event, including Glocally Connected, Brady United, the Riverside Interfaith Council, 350 Riverside, the Sahaba Initiative and California Interfaith Power and Light.

ENCINITAS – Hands of Peace
LOS ANGELES – Pax Christi
LOS ANGELES – Dance for Peace
OAKLAND – Ogawa Plaza
OAKLAND – Asian Center
SAN DIEGO – Franciscan Peace Connection
SAN DIEGO – Peace Resource Center
SAN DIEGO – Pax Christi
SAN FRANCISCO- Mindful Littles
SAN FRANCISCO – Balboa Avenue
SAN RAFAEL – Mill Valley Seniors
SAN RAFAEL – concert by Indie B


EVERGREEN : The 2019 theme draws attention to the importance of combating climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world. We will circle the labyrinth, share thoughts of and music about peace, and observe five minutes of silence. Bring a flashlight and dress warmly. Camp chairs and finger food snacks are welcome



MILFORD : Milford Speaks Out (MSO), in partnership with the Milford Public Library, will host a World Peace Day event on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 at 2 pm at Lisman Landing, 37 Helwig Street in Milford. This day is observed by nations across the world for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. Milford will join in this world-wide event by re-dedicating a peace pole that was donated to the city a number of years ago by the Montessori School.



WILMINGTON : On Sept. 21, International Peace Day, join us at AIDS Walk Delaware. Walk at Dravo Plaza, Riverfront Wilmington. Register a team or start your own page to raise funds for statewide HIV/AIDS services. Channel your ‘peace qi’ to advance HIV awareness, reduce stigma, and endorse HIV-informed community health for all Delawareans.


WASHINGTON : Hostelling International (HI) USA will host its 9th Annual DC Peace Conference on September 21 from 10:30 am to 2 pm at Friends Meeting of Washington DC. A celebration of UN International Peace Day and HI USA Sleep for Peace Campaign, the event aims to raise awareness about food insecurity in DC and to inspire attendees to be part of the solution. Our highly knowledgeable speakers will lead panel discussions and Q&A sessions about these topics: food apartheid, short-term and long-term solutions to food insecurity, food system changes in DC, food justice advocacy, and urban farming.

WASHINGTON – Alliance for Peacebuilding
WASHINGTON – Rally at Capitol
WASHINGTON – White House vigil


BRADENTON : The Louise R. Johnson K-8 School of International Studies is taking part in their first Peace Day celebration Friday, ahead of the International Day of Peace observed worldwide on September 21st. Students and staff started out the morning in the courtyard singing and reading student written essays. “Peace day for me resembles a world of peace where everyone can live happy and together,” said Yeriel Rodriguez who is in eighth grade. The students have recently been studying peace in the classroom. “It’s about spreading that peace and joy throughout our school and if we can get it through our school, then that leads out to our community so it’s about bringing that peace and joy,” said Principal Anthony Losada.

FORT MYERS, FL – billboard
FORT MYERS, FL – school
ORLANDO – film festival
ORLANDO – global peace week
SARASOTA – Mindful Choice
SARASOTA – Peace Center


ATLANTA : AMIS’s 42nd Annual International Student and Scholar Welcome Concert and Reception will be held from 2-4pm on the International Day of Peace, Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Spelman College. Performance by the Morehouse Glee Club with a reception to follow. This annual event welcomes all international college/graduate students and scholars in the greater Atlanta area and introduces them to AMIS (Atlanta Ministry with International Students) programs and events for the year. AMIS is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote cultural understanding through friendship and hospitality with international students.

ATLANTA – concert


KAUAI : The man with the flowing white beard and big smile was one of about 100 people at the International Day of Peace rally put on by the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai at Lydgate Park. It included song, poetry and dance as people united to express their hopes for a world without war, without hate, without prejudice.



BOISE : Glocal Partners and the Idaho Peace Coaltion are planning events in Boise for the Campaign Nonviolence 2019,


CHICAGO : Join us for the 41st Anniversary Celebration of Peace Day in Chicago, taking place in Daley Plaza Monday September 23rd noon-1pm, free public event.

CHICAGO – Daley Plaza
CHICAGO – DePaul University
CHICAGO – Neighborhood Peace Circle
CHICAGO – University of St Francis


SOUTH BEND : At the Crest Manor Church of the Brethren, we have a peace pole at our church building, and a second at the First Baptist side of the building. We’re replacing these worm-out poles and dedicating new peace poles with prayer, song and other worship for the Campaign Nonviolence.



CLINTON : For the Campaign Nonviolence 2019, the  Franciscan Peace Center is sponsoring “Which Way to Peace and Justice: A Dialogue About Race, Racism and the Work of Repair” – a presentation by the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey, Professor of Religion at Drake University. Tuesday, September 24 at 7:00 PM at Clinton Community College, 1000 Lincoln Blvd., Clinton, IA

DAVENPORT – Muslim Community
DAVENPORT – Argrow’s House of Healing and Hope


CONCORDIA : Climate Action for Peace Day event on Sunday, September 22, 2019 from 2-4PM – includes prayer, education awareness and fellowship

KANSAS CITY – Buchanon Institute
KANSAS CITY – Peaceworks


LOUISVILLE : At the Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion, our 5th annual 12 Days Toward Peace 2019 begins with an International Day of Peace event on Saturday, September 21st and ends with our International Day of Nonviolence event on Gandhi’s birthday, October 2nd.

OWENSBORO – music and speakers


LAFAYETTE : On Friday, students at Myrtle Place Elementary in Lafayette gathered on campus for a ceremony where they observed International Day of Peace.This is the second year the French immersion school celebrated the day also known as World Peace Day.The entire student body, 350 pre-K to 5th grade students, gathered on the lawn to create a heart with the French word paix, or peace, written inside.The school choir performed the song “Lean on Me” and students raised a flag to commemorate the day, which is officially celebrated on Sept. 21.

LAFAYETTE – Compassionate Communication


CAMDEN : Children’s House Montessori School teachers, students and families celebrated the International Day of Peace Sept. 20 with a hike at Beech Hill Preserve in Rockport. The day was officially celebrated Sept. 21 this year. They sang songs of peace, learned about the significance of the International Day of Peace and of peace education as part of the Montessori curriculum, and released a monarch butterfly, one of a number hatched in school classrooms. Upon returning to school, students continued to recognize the International Day of Peace by ringing the school bell. This is a tradition that began last year in tribute to the Japanese Peace Bell that is housed at UN Headquarters in New York.



SANDY SPRING : To honor International Day of Peace, our school has come up with an entire week of peace-themed activities!
Monday, Sept. 16 – Remember the giant Peace Chain we made for last year’s Peace Day? It will be put on display in the Dining Hall to kick off our Peace Week activities.
Tuesday, Sept. 17 – The Lower School will present a peace-themed musical performance.
Wednesday, Sept. 18 – Rock the Chalk/Chalk the Walk for Peace: there will be sidewalk chalk available during recess for anyone that wants to write a message for peace on the sidewalk.
Thursday, Sept. 19 – Wear Peace/Share Peace: this is your chance to wear your peace-themed clothing and accessories.
Friday, Sept. 20 – The culminating event for Peace Week will be the installation of an all-school art project in the Dining Hall – a paper peace dove entitled “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers.” To create this dove, every member of the SSFS community is asked to contribute a hope for peace written on a paper feather


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Question related to this article:

What has happened this year (2019) for the International Day of Peace?

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BOSTON : For the Tenth Annual celebration of the UN International Day of Peace in Boston, we will gather on the Boston Common (near the Park Street mbta station) from 2 to 4 pm on Sunday 22nd September. We will feature speeches by local peacemakers, dances, music, songs, and children’s activities – many on the “climate action for peace” theme. One song, written nearly thirty years ago, asks how long we can wait to take action on our climate. We will conclude with the reading of the list of violent deaths in the past year and a walk to the nearby garden of peace. Visit our website ( for further information.



TRAVERSE CITY : Veterans for Peace Chapter 50 will meet with the community for a sunrise ceremony on the 21st, followed by the Mayor reading a peace proclamation at our government center, and planting a peace pole at a local park. On the 22nd, we will have a celebration in downtown Traverse City, which will include music and speakers, followed by our 8th annual peace march through and around downtown.

GRAND RAPIDS – Month of Peace


MOORHEAD : The 24 hours of the International Day of Peace are meant to remind us all what binds us together instead of what breaks us apart. That’s why a diverse group of people, including new Americans from across the valley, came together at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead. The day is hosted by Chira Global Development Organization. It provided cultural foods, videos for people to watch and speakers who talked about the current climate of the world.



JACKSON : Reading and peace lesson with pre-school student,


SPRINGFIELD : Every fall we gather to celebrate International Peace Day. Our school joins thousands of Montessori schools in singing “Light a Candle for Peace” for 24 hours. Each school sings this song for several minutes between 10 – 11 local time. On September 20, we invite you to celebrate Peace Day with us. Children will gather at 10:30 am in the school library. Parents are invited to join us.  After singing we will go outside and create a collaborative art piece. If your child does not attend school on Friday, we invite you to bring your child and join us to celebrate. Children and parents should wear white shirts.


UN International Day of Peace
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019,2-4pm, 501 S. 29th St.
-Rivers to the Sea, Peace Rocks, Music,
-Peace Starts With Me and More



GRAND ISLAND : The Central Nebraska Peace Workers scheduled an event for saturday, september 21 (international day of peace) in afternoon


CONCORD : NH Building a Culture of Peace Forum and NH Peace Action, September 19th. Witness: Family Separation. 7pm at UU Church.

CONCORD – Pizza for Peace


ROCKAWAY : Join New Jersey climate activist and State Assembly candidate Christine Clarke and her team at the Parks Lake Gazebo in Rockaway Township, NJ for a special #LD26Weekends canvass and action launch to commemorate Peace Day! We’ll hear from our candidate and guests, enjoy lunch together (provided) and observe the moment of silence at noon before starting outreach activities to let voters know about her climate-focused campaign for public office. Learn more about her work at



TAOS : Taos, has a full week of climate strike actions and events planned. If you cannot go to the Santa Fe Capital Convergence, join us locally for a rally from 12-6pm, and an action starting at 11am to protest climate injustice and handout fliers for the week of events. We will have signs and Earth flags. Some of us will maintain the public demonstration while others pass out fliers to the local businesses and passersby. Everyone is welcome. This event is nonviolent and held in conjunction with the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions, and the Global Climate Strikes.



LAS VEGAS : SHOOTING FOR PEACE is a program for the International Day of Peace spearheaded by global ambassador & former NBA player Jerome “JYD” Williams and NBA Legends. The 12- 3 PM event will include digital educational services, HBCU scholarships, Q & A panel, poetry and essay contests. Also, a Celebrity Basketball Game for an afternoon of entertainment, music and amazing skills. Bringing Communities Together, Promoting Education & Encouraging Young people To Engage In Peaceful Activities.

LAS VEGAS – Peace Vigil


NEW YORK : Peace Walk 2019. Please join the Peace Project, Inc and the Middle Schools Alliance on Saturday, September 21st as we celebrate International Peace Day from 3pm to 4.30pm. Students from all 13 independent schools in the MSA are invited to come together and walk across the Ward’s Island Bridge to Randall’s Island, taking steps and building bridges for peace together. Siblings are welcome – bring the whole family to reconnect with friends and get in step for the coming year!
Schedule of Events:
3-3.10pm: Please meet at East 102nd Street between First Ave and the FDR Drive and look for the flags. We will leave the meeting place by 3.10pm to walk towards Randall’s Island.
3.15pm: Walk as a group towards Randall’s Island in celebration of International Peace Day.
4.15pm: Return back to Manhattan via the same route on the footbridge. Everything will conclude by 4.30pm

NEW YORK – UNITED NATIONS :Peace Day celebrations will take place at the United Nations Headquarters on Friday, 20 September 2019, The Secretary-General will commence the celebration at 9:00am in the Peace Garden by ringing the Peace Bell and observing a minute of silence followed by a Student Observance from 9:30 a.m. till noon organized by the Education Outreach Section of the Department of Global Communications. Approximately 700 high school and college students will have an opportunity to interact with UN Messengers of Peace, along with youth participating via videoconference from the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).



ASHEVILLE : In recognition of the UN sponsored International Day of Peace on Sept. 21st, Peace Is Possible NC will be hosting Strategy For Peace, Friday evening, Sept. 20th, from 7- 8:30pm, at the North Asheville Public Library at 1030 Merrimon Avenue in North Asheville.
Please join us to learn more about The Prem Rawat Foundation’s Peace Education Program and other ongoing efforts to promote personal peace. The event will feature video presentations focused on local and worldwide efforts being made to help all of us get back in touch with our humanity

ASHEVILLE – Rainbow Community Center


FARGO : The children of Nativity Catholic School, classes from Kindergarten to Grade 5, will hear a brief presentation on the background of our Peace Pole, discuss ways in which they can be peace makers, and then finish with prayer at the site of our Peace Pole.


BOWLING GREEN : Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. We celebrate this day annually at the Montessori School of Bowling Green and invite you to celebrate as well. As a school community, we will be observing the International Day of Peace on Friday, September 20th this year.”

CINCINNATI – Women Writing for Change


OKLAHOMA CITY : Please join people of all ages who are coming together to participate in the Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019. This Oklahoma City Climate Strike event will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on the East Lawn of the City Hall Municipal Building in Oklahoma City at 200 North Walker Avenue.


ASHLAND : To honor the strides Ashland has made in the past year to cultivate a culture of peace, the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission is organizing a Global Peace Conference for the International Day of Peace, Saturday, Sept. 21. It’s also ACPC’s fourth anniversary. The conference will feature a variety of local, state, national and international speakers, including keynote speaker Anwarul Chowdhury, the former Under Secretary General and High Representative of the United Nations, and founder of the Global Movement of the Culture of Peace. The theme of the event is “You Are the Flame,” in honor of the first anniversary of the world peace flame in Ashland.

PORTLAND – Hosteling
PORTLAND – Peace Team
PORTLAND – Voices from the Margin


BETHLEHEM : For the International Day of Peace, help us plant an American Dogwood tree and learn about Wangari Maathai as we read Jeanette Winter’s Wangari’s Trees of Peace.



KINGSTON : The Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies at URI will hold a day of peace activities including; a human peace sign, peace flag making, Inner Peace for International Peace lecture, and a candlelight vigil for joy and peace with Othok Rinpoche.



CHARLESTON: Men Against Domestic Violence USA for Campaign Nonviolence. A Conversation We’ve Neglected: Unmasking Domestic Violence Annual Conference. This conference will bring together domestic violence and law enforcement personel, prosecutors, victim advocates, judges, parole and probation officers, rape crisis workers, researchers, educators and more.


SIOUX FALLS : As part of Campaign Nonviolence the “Just” Peace Group, Spirit of Peace UCC will show the movie “Dallas Buyers Club” for our “Just” Flicks movie night on Sept. 20.


JOHNSON CITY : On Friday, the International Day of Peace was celebrated in the Quad alongside the Native American Festival to spread unity and diversity. “ETSU has a lot of diversity on campus,” Tedra Bennett, assistant to the director of programming and outreach at the Multicultural Center said. “And you know each year the theme differs for international day of peace, but the whole point of it is to create a sense of unity between all of the different ethnicities, cultures and races.” Bennett said that the International Day of Peace has been happening at ETSU for the past five years, and that this year’s theme centered around the topic of climate change. . . . During the day, there was tabling from different organizations across campus that had displays centered around peace. One of the organizations was the ETSU Gospel Choir, and their activity involved students choosing a word associated with peace written on a box and writing what that word meant to them. . . Along with a tabling of different organizations during the day, International Day of Peace also hosted a balloon release and candlelight vigil at Borchuck Plaza later in the evening, with different students from various organizations speaking about what peace meant to them.

MEMPHIS – Campaign Nonviolence
MEMPHIS – Veterans for Peace


AUSTIN : The Austin Chapter of the United Nations Association together with Baha’i Faith Austin are hosting the 3rd annual Pathway to Peace: Feast for Peace event on September 21, 5-8pm. Food and beverages from various cultural origins plus activities and performances for the whole family are all available free with an RSVP.

AUSTIN – Bamboo Festival
AUSTIN – Nonviolent Austin


SALT LAKE CITY : The Gandhi Alliance for Peace will hold an event for Campaign Nonviolence.


BENNINGTON : The Greater Bennington Peace and Justice Center invites the public to join us on Saturday, Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace, at 5:15 pm in front of the Bennington Town Hall, next to the Peace Park. We will begin with a few moments of silence for all victims of war. This will be followed by readings of quotes and short passages from old and new peace activists- from Gandhi to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Come share in these important reflections; if you wish, bring a short reading of your choosing. Following the gathering, we will walk to the Unitarian Meetinghouse on School St. for light refreshments & a 6:30 pm screening of the documentary film, A Bold Peace. The film will be introduced by Dr. Joseph Olejak of the Old Chatham (NY) Quaker Meeting. Admission is free and open to the public.



KILMARNOCK : The Bay Center invites you and your friends and family to celebrate the International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”), which is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Kids will be able to “take a bit of peace home” as we’re offering fun activities for children such as peace rocks, pinwheels for peace, recyclables as art, origami doves, and writing peace wishes. Kids and adults will be invited to participate in a drumming circle and labyrinth walk. Peaceful artwork from Lancaster Middle School art students will be on display.



SEATTLE : A peace vigil will be held on Seattle’s Capitol Hill on Sun., Sept. 22nd from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. sponsored by Lutheran Peace Fellowship. We’ll meet in the lobby of the Parish Hall at Central Lutheran Church, 1710 11th Ave, Seattle (across from Cal Anderson Park). We’ll gather, introduce ourselves, share a little, and walk to the Park, Broadway or Pine St to hold our vigil. Join us!



EAU CLAIRE : Saturday marked the international day of peace as declared by the United Nations, but one area group made the day local. The community coalition for non-violence in Eau Claire hosted the event at the Eau Claire children’s theatre. Several local activist groups were there to speak with visitors about issues facing the area. Organizer, Rev. Kathy Walker, says the event aims to promote inclusiveness in the community. “We’ve been working in the community,” Walker said. “We got a proclamation from the city council declaring this international day of peace here in Eau Claire so it is part of who we are and we want to spread the word that peace is possible.” Over one hundred people attended the event which included a performance of music and poetry about peace. Organizers say they hope to continue the event in the future.

MADISON – vigil
MADISON – Interfaith Peace Group
MILWAUKEE – Center for Peacemaking
MILWAUKEE – Peace Action
MILWAUKEE – Marquette University


HUNTINGTON : Brown Dog Yoga: Restorative Yoga for peace of the mind, body, and spirit.



CASPER : Thanks to The Table and Casper UU: Unitarian Universalist Community of Casper, local kids and adults will share their thoughts on creating a climate of peace with the Earth, ourselves, and each other. Plus, get an update on how the community is coming together, to using art with The Casper Mural Project and Casper Art Walk to heal, a short Qigong practice, a labyrinth walk and more. To demonstrate new efforts of creating peace with our environment, Range Solar and Wind provide the renewable energy to power the event. Join us on the river, at The Bart Rea Learning Circle within Amoco Park on The Platte River Trails. Sept 21, 1-3.