Category Archives: North America

USA: Fearing Trump, Congress Holds First Hearing in Decades on President’s Nuclear Authority


An article by Jessica Corbett in Common Dreams (reprinted according to provisions of Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License)

Despite Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-Tenn.) insistence that the congressional hearing on Tuesday about the authority to use nuclear weapons “is not specific to anybody,” it is the first hearing on this topic in decades, and comes at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump seems to have made a sport out of taunting North Korea’s leader as his nation advances its nuclear abilities.

Youtube video of Congressional hearings

Even before Trump took office and started threatening North Korea with “fire and fury,” the Pentagon had developed a $1.7 trillion plan > under Barack Obama “to build a new generation of nuclear-armed bombers, submarines, and missiles, as well as new generations of warheads to go with them”—even though, as William Hartung describes in an excerpt from his new book about nuclear weapons, “in every sense of the term, the U.S. nuclear arsenal already represents overkill on an almost unimaginable scale.”

Trump’s behavior throughout his campaign and presidency has heightened concerns about the threat of nuclear annihilation and has, for months, provoked global demands that the U.S. Congress strip Trump of his nuclear authority. “A tough-guy attitude on nuclear weapons, when combined with an apparent ignorance about their world-ending potential,” writes Hartung, “adds up to a toxic brew.”

Thus, advocates of nuclear disarmament welcomed the decision by Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to hold the first nuclear authority hearing since 1976. Several groups and individuals offered real-time analyses and critiques of the testimonies, tweeting with the hashtag #NoRedButton.

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Question for this article:

Are we more than ever in danger of perishing in a nuclear war?

(See responses below)

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A key takeaway seemed to be the president’s sweeping authority over whether the U.S. ever uses its nuclear weapons—and, as Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione put it, “If a crazy president orders a legal nuclear strike from one of the already vetted war plans, there is no one that can stop him.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said members of Congress are concerned the president “is so unstable, is so volatile” that under the current authorization process, “he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests.”

As Bloomberg News outlined—with help from Global Zero co-founder and nuclear expert Bruce G. Blair—earlier this year, despite brief consultation with military and civilian advisers, the commander-in-chief “has the sole authority to use nuclear weapons.”

“About five minutes may elapse from the president’s decision until intercontinental ballistic missiles blast out of their silos, and about fifteen minutes until submarine missiles shoot out of their tubes,” Bloomberg notes. “Once fired, the missiles and their warheads cannot be called back.”

“Trump can use the nuclear codes just as easily as he can use his Twitter account,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) quipped during the hearing.

“There may be plans in place, right now, at the White House, to launch a preemptive war with North Korea using nuclear weapons—without consulting Congress,” Markey added. “No one human being should ever have the power.”

Earlier this year, Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would prevent the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaraton of war by Congress, with Markey saying at the time that “neither President Trump, nor any other president, should be allowed to use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack.”

Although the bill has been praised as fears continue to mount in the U.S. and beyond, many critics of nuclear weapons point to it as merely, in the words of Global Zero executive director Derek Johnson, “an important first step to reining in this autocratic system and making the world safer from a nuclear catastrophe.”

USA: Sign The People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea


An article from United for Peace and Justice

Alarmed by the threat of a nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea, UFPJ and other concerned U.S. peace groups have come together to send an open message to Washington and Pyongyang that we are strongly opposed to any resumption of the horrific Korean War. What we want is a peace treaty to finally end the lingering Korean War!

Inspired by the Vietnam-era People’s Peace Treaty, we have initiated a People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea, to raise awareness about the past U.S. policy toward North Korea, and to send a clear message that we, the people of the U.S., do not want another war with North Korea. This is not an actual treaty, but rather a declaration of peace from the people of the United States.

Our goal is to collect many thousands of signatures by the end of 2017, and to publicize the People’s Peace Treaty in conjunction with nationally coordinated peace actions on Armistice Day (aka Veterans Day), November 11. The People’s Peace Treaty will be sent to the governments and peoples of Korea, as well as to the U.S. Government. Please add your voice for peace by signing the People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea. Add your name today.





Deeply concerned with the increasing danger of the current military tensions and threats between the Governments of the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the DPRK, North Korea), which may re-ignite the horrendous fighting in the Korean War by design, mistake or accident;

Recalling that the United States currently possesses about 6,800 nuclear weapons, and has threatened the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea in the past, including the most recent threat made by the U.S. President in his terrifying speech to the United Nations (“totally destroy North Korea”);

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Question for this article:

The peace movement in the United States, What are its strengths and weaknesses?

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Regretting that the U.S. Government has so far refused to negotiate a peace treaty to replace the temporary Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953, although such a peace treaty has been proposed by the DPRK many times from 1974 on;

Convinced that ending the Korean War officially is an urgent, essential step for the establishment of enduring peace and mutual respect between the U.S. and the DPRK, as well as for the North Korean people’s full enjoyment of their basic human rights to life, peace and development – ending their long sufferings from the harsh economic sanctions imposed on them by the U.S. Government since 1950.

NOW, THEREFORE, as a Concerned Person of the United States of America (or on behalf of a civil society organization), I hereby sign this People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea, dated November 11, 2017, Armistice Day (also Veterans Day in the U.S.), and

1) Declare to the world that the Korean War is over as far as I am concerned, and that I will live in “permanent peace and friendship” with the North Korean people (as promised in the 1882 U.S.-Korea Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation that opened the diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Korea for the first time);

2) Express my deep apology to the North Korean people for the U.S. Government’s long, cruel and unjust hostility against them, including the near total destruction of North Korea due to the heavy U.S. bombings during the Korean War;

3) Urge Washington and Pyongyang to immediately stop their preemptive (or preventive) conventional/nuclear attack threats against each other and to sign the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons;

4) Call upon the U.S. Government to stop its large-scale, joint war drills with the armed forces of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan, and commence a gradual withdrawal of the U.S. troops and weapons from South Korea;

5) Call upon the U.S. Government to officially end the lingering and costly Korean War by concluding a peace treaty with the DPRK without further delay, to lift all sanctions against the country, and to join the 164 nations that have normal diplomatic relations with the DPRK;

6) Pledge that I will do my best to end the Korean War, and to reach out to the North Korean people – in order to foster greater understanding, reconciliation and friendship.

Gainesville, Florida, USA: Nancy Hardt: Reducing abuse, improving health go hand in hand


An article by Nancy Hardt for the Gainesville Sun (reprinted according to terms of Creative Commons)

Our local peace-building efforts were highlighted at the United Nations in September. After using data and maps to identify neighborhoods with health inequities, we brought services that within four years resulted in a reduction in unintended pregnancies, a reduction in premature births, and a stunning 45 percent reduction in cases of child abuse and neglect.

caption: A patient gets looked over by a physician assistant and University of Florida medical student in the UF Mobile Outreach Clinic in 2016. [Alan Youngblood/Staff photographer)

We did this by reducing stress. Stressed people have bad, sad or scary things happening in their lives.

Three interventions included health care; provision of concrete family supports such as food, clothing and shelter; and links to services for victims of domestic violence.

Health professionals staffed a free clinic on wheels that visited identified neighborhoods on a regular schedule. Many women requested pregnancy testing. If their tests were negative, our nurse asked each woman whether she was happy or sad with that result.

We learned that vulnerable women did not always have the luxury of choosing the day or time for sex, or even the partner for sex, so they were relieved to hear they were not pregnant. We offered them long-acting reversible contraception free of charge.

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Question related to this article:

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

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When the sheriff looked at our map for health, she noticed that her hot spot for service requests overlapped with ours. Review of call data showed that the most common call was for domestic violence.

New training for sheriff’s deputies included asking questions such as, “Has your partner ever threatened to kill you? Do you think your partner is capable of killing you? Does your partner have a gun? Has your partner ever threatened to commit suicide? Has your partner ever choked you? Has your partner ever harmed your pet?”

Victims who answered yes to three or more of the questions learned they were at risk of being murdered by their partner. Victims were offered a phone to speak to Peaceful Paths, our domestic violence service provider. Further, a team of law enforcement, victim’s advocates and child advocates reviewed the high risk cases, providing well-being checks and looking out for victims should they wind up in court.

The third intervention was Partnership for Strong Families’ neighborhood resource centers, providing concrete family supports. The bad, sad or scary things that stress families may include not having enough food, having the electricity turned off, being evicted by a landlord, or needing clothing for a job interview or cold weather.

Peace4Gainesville and the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding are collaborating. Brain research tells us that resilience to stress can be developed at any stage of life, and these efforts pay big dividends when children and their young parents benefit. No expensive equipment is needed to learn breathing techniques, mindfulness skills and other ways to control our internal emotional state — which, when uncontrolled, leads to violent behavior.

In order to make peace, we must start here, at home. We all have a part to play in sowing seeds of peace.

Dr. Nancy Hardt is a professor emerita in the University of Florida College of Medicine who lives in Gainesville. She was invited to address the United Nations High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace on Sept. 7 to describe practical steps taken to reduce inter-generational violence in Alachua County.

Remembering the US soldiers who refused orders to murder Native Americans at Sand Creek


An article by Billy J. Stratton in The Convesation

Every Thanksgiving weekend for the past 17 years, Arapaho and Cheyenne youth lead a 180-mile relay from the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site to Denver.

The annual Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run opens at the site of the Sand Creek Massacre near Eads, Colorado, with a sunrise ceremony honoring some 200 Arapaho and Cheyenne people who lost their lives in the infamous massacre. This brutal assault was carried out by Colonel John Chivington on Nov. 29, 1864.

Members and supporters of the Arapaho and Cheyenne Native American tribes, 2014.

While the Sand Creek massacre has been the subject of numerous books< , much less attention has been given to a href="">two heroes of this horrific event: U.S. soldiers Captain Silas Soule and Lt. Joseph Cramer.

These were men who rejected the violence and genocide inherent in the “conquest of the West.” They did so by personally refusing to take part in the murder of peaceful people, while ordering the men under their command to stand down. Their example breaks the conventional frontier narrative that has come to define the clash between Colonial settlers and Native peoples as one of civilization versus savagery.

This is a theme I’ve previously addressed as a scholar in the fields of American Indian studies and Colonial history, both in my book on the Indian captivity narrative genre, “Buried in Shades of Night,” and more recently in writings on Sand Creek.

The letters of Soule and Cramer

Soule’s noble act of compassion at Sand Creek is humbly conveyed in a letter to his mother included in the Denver Public Library Western History Collections: “I was present at a Massacre of three hundred Indians mostly women and children… It was a horrable scene and I would not let my Company fire.”

Refusing to participate, Soule and the men of Company D of the First Colorado, along with Cramer of Company K, bore witness to the incomprehensible. Chivington’s attack soon descended into a frenzy of killing and mutilation, with soldiers taking scalps and other grisly trophies from the bodies of the dead. Soule was a devoted abolitionist and one dedicated to the rights of all people.

He stayed true to his convictions in the face of insults and even a threat of hanging from Chivington the night before at Fort Lyon.

In the following weeks, Soule and Cramer wrote letters to Major Edward “Ned” Wyncoop, the previous commander at Fort Lyon who had dealt fairly with the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Both harshly condemned the massacre and the soldiers who carried it out. Soule’s letter details a meeting among officers on the eve of the attack in which he fervently condemned Chivington’s plans asserting “that any man who would take part in the murders, knowing the circumstances as we did, was a low lived cowardly son of a bitch.”

Describing the attack to Wynkoop, Soule wrote, “I refused to fire and swore that none but a coward would.” His letter goes on to describe the soldiers as “a perfect mob.”

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Question for this article:

“Put down the gun and take up the pen”, What are some other examples?

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This account is verified by Cramer’s letter. Detailing his own objections to Chivington, whom he describes as coming “like a thief in the dark,” Cramer had stated that he “thought it murder to jump them friendly Indians.” To this charge, Chivington had replied, “Damn any man or men who are in sympathy with them.”

In Soule’s account, he writes, “I tell you Ned it was hard to see little children on their knees have their brains beat out by men professing to be civilized.”

While few Americans – especially those living outside of Colorado – may know their names, Soule and Cramer are honored and revered by the descendants of the people they tried to save. According to David F. Halaas, former Colorado state historian and current historical consultant to the Northern Cheyenne, without their courage in disobeying Chivington’s orders and keeping their men from the massacre, “the descendants probably wouldn’t be around today,” and there would be no one to tell the stories.

The horrific descriptions of Soule and Cramer prompted several official inquiries into the atrocity. Both men also testified before an Army commission in Colorado as witnesses. While the officers and soldiers responsible escaped punishment, their testimony brought widespread condemnation upon Chivington, who defended the massacre for the rest of his life.

These investigations also ended the political career of the Colorado territorial governor, John Evans, who had issued two proclamations calling for violence against Native people of the plains, and for organizing the 3rd Colorado Cavalry Regiment in which Chivington was placed in command.

Sites of reverence and healing

The Cheyenne and Arapaho will return to Denver this year to honor their ancestors and remember Soule’s and Cramer’s conscience and humanity. This will be done through an offering of prayers and blessings, along with the performance of honor songs.

On the third and final day of the healing run, they will gather for a sunrise ceremony at Soule’s flower-adorned grave at Denver’s Riverside Cemetery. The participants will then continue on to 15th and Lawrence Street in downtown Denver. There, a plaque is mounted on the side of an office building at the place where Soule was murdered on April 23, 1865. His death, for which no one was ever brought to justice, occurred only two months after he testified against Chivington before the Army commission.

Over the last few decades, Soule’s grave and place of death have been transformed into sacred sites of remembrance within a violent and traumatic frontier past.

The catastrophe of the Sand Creek Massacre is recognized by historians as among the most infamous events in the annals of the American West. Even now, it is the only massacre of Native people recognized as such by the U.S. government, with the land itself preserved as a national historic site for learning and reflection.

In Cheyenne and Arapaho stories, this event remains an ever-present trauma and persists as part of their cultural memory. In addition, it encapsulates the stark moment of betrayal against their ancestors and the theft of their lands.

The story of Soule’s and Cramer’s actions and their courage to say “no” to the killing of peaceful people at Sand Creek is an important chapter of U.S. history. I maintain that it is people like Soule and Cramer who truly deserve to be remembered through monuments and memorials, and can be a source for a different kind of historical understanding: one based not on abstract notions of justice and right, but upon the courage and integrity it takes to breathe life into those virtues.

On the 152nd anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre, as we honor the memory of those who died at Sand Creek, may we also be inspired by the heroic actions of these two American soldiers.

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article)

USA/Ecuador: Film festival to present story of roots, nature


An article from Red Rock News

“The Roots Awaken” is a hopeful story about how indigenous communities — despite their differences in traditions — are connected to each other through their sacred relationship with nature.

The Sedona International Film Festival presents a free film screening of “The Roots Awaken,” featuring an introduction and Q-and-A with the film’s director, Kumiko Hayashi. This one-time-only screening will be held at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 4 p.m. Free tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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“The Roots Awaken” is a documentary film that reveals how diverse indigenous communities from the Andes mountains to the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador are united at heart through their prayer to protect their land and maintain their culture in a globalized world. The film is a hopeful story about how indigenous communities — despite their differences in traditions — are connected to each other through their sacred relationship with nature.

Told through the narration of a young woman, the film begins as people from South to North America gather together at the Kumbre Konciencia Global, which takes place on an ancient pyramid located on 0’0”, Cochasqui, Ecuador.

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Question for discussion

The understanding of indigenous peoples, Can it help us cultivate a culture of peace?

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This gathering was an assembly to create a culture of peace surrounding the topics of ancestral medicine, technology and nature. From the gathering, we follow the ceremonies of each community as they pray to maintain their culture and sacred traditions in the face of globalization and to resist big companies in protection of their territory.

In this increasingly fast-paced world, how do the elders pass on their ancient wisdom to the youth? From Ayahuasca ceremonies in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, to protests using music in the streets of Quito, the film explores the importance of prayer in the presence of culture.

“The Roots Awaken” was made in collaboration with 12 indigenous communities in the country of Ecuador through a process of community cinema, where the individuals in the film participated in the production. The aim of the film is to support the indigenous communities that co-created the film and their movement to maintain their ancestral lands and cultures through new collaborative initiatives.

Part of the proceeds from the film will go directly to building an educational center in the Amazon rainforest for international guests to come and learn about medicinal plants and ancestral cultures.

Join us for a special free premiere of “The Roots Awaken” and a Q-and-A with Hayashi. This free screening was made possible with the generous support of Adele Sands.

“The Roots Awaken” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 4 p.m. All tickets are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are available in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office; by calling 282-1177; or online at The theater and film festival office are located at 2030 W. SR 89A in West Sedona.

USA: Ashland Culture of Peace Commission – A small town can play a big role


An article by David Wick for the Ashland Daily Tidings

From its inception, the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission (ACPC) has been a local–global initiative. Some people refer to this as, “think globally and act locally,” or vise versa. In the case of ACPC and the city of Ashland, the Culture of Peace model we are developing is of interest far beyond Southern Oregon and does have an impact on national and international levels.

For many months Bob Morse of ACPC has written articles which were developed through conducting interviews with people representing various sectors of our local community. Each article provided a different view of a Culture of Peace and hinted at a new emerging model. This has been informative and generated dynamic conversations and new thinking with article titles ranging from, “Nourishing our children and ourselves” and “Peace through feeding the hungry” to “Bringing peace to healing”.

Over the next several months ACPC will begin a new series of articles which focus on the national and international evolution of a Culture of Peace and the important role Ashland and ACPC play in this vital global initiative. The variety of authors have made important contributions toward shifting mindsets and behaviors in their spheres of influence. These leaders are also very aware of the developing peacebuilding activities taking place in Ashland and will reflect upon the importance of what we are doing from their perspective.

The authors currently include: Bangladeshi Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, the United Nations; David Adams, Culture of Peace News Network; Dot Maver, National Peace Academy; Avon Mattison and Tezikiah Gabriel, Pathways To Peace; Fred Arment, International Cities of Peace; and David Hazen, Eugene Peace Team.
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Question related to this article:

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

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On May 16, 2017 the Ashland City Council joined the International Cities of Peace and proclaimed Ashland a City of Peace. This created a focus to work toward that goal. In part the proclamation states, “Official recognition of

Ashland as an International City of Peace will provide inspiration for all citizens to create an emerging, evolving, living model for thriving together as fellow humans. NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council and Mayor, on behalf of the citizens of Ashland, do proclaim that the City of Ashland, Oregon, is a City of Peace in perpetuity and encourage city and community leaders to work with concerned citizens to develop policies and procedures that promote a culture of peace in our region.”

What does this matter, one may ask; we have real problems at home, why look outside of Ashland? In the April 10, 2016 Daily Tidings article titled “Ashland Culture of Peace Commission: Does Ashland matter globally?” Fred Arment, executive director of the international Cities of Peace answered this question directly.

“I want to emphasize that Ashland is ahead of the curve. I have a lot of communication with cities around the world, and you guys are definitely ahead of the curve on all of this!” declared Arment. “You have basically made a very sophisticated approach involving political with grassroots organizations and done it in a way that has integrity and promise, unity and purpose. You guys are leading the pack, and I’m really interested in doing a case study of your city and your approach for the rest of the world to see.”
Arment continued, “Just the idea of your being in the United States — and for peace — gives encouragement and support to other cities around the world. So it’s not just Ashland that you are dealing with. When Ashland proclaims that it is a City of Peace, other cities in war-torn areas see that as a way forward. So it’s very powerful!”

Dedicated people, time, energy and money will be required to walk the pathway to co-creating a Culture of Peace in Ashland and elsewhere. We are not talking about a few changes here and there. We are talking about new models. In large part Buckminster Fuller identified our pathway when he said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Ashland does matter globally. ACPC is planning to install the World Peace Flame in Ashland in 2018, and convene a global peace conference here in 2019. Let us be clear: There are positive leadership and economic implications for Ashland as our reputation grows as an innovative International City of Peace. Most important, a Culture of Peace is a living legacy which our children, grandchildren and future generations can build upon. Please join us!

— David Wick is executive director of the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission. Email comments and questions to The ACPC website is; like the commission on Facebook at; follow on Twitter. All are welcome to join the ACPC’s Talking Circle at 11 a.m. each Tuesday and Community Meeting at 4 p.m. each Wednesday, both at the ACPC oice, 33 First St., Suite 1, diagonally across Lithia Way from the Ashland Post Oice.

USA: Campaign Nonviolence Organizes over 1,600 events for Week of Actions


An article by Maria Benevento for the National Catholic Reporter Online

A grassroots movement to bring nonviolence into the mainstream has been quietly but exponentially growing, resulting in 1,600 nonviolent actions in all 50 U.S. states and 16 other countries during the week of Sept. 16-24.

A March for Peace in Wilmington, Delaware on Sept. 23. Organizers in Delaware held over 60 events during Campaign Nonviolence’s Week of Actions. (Courtesy of Pace e Bene)

For the fourth year in a row, Pace e Bene, an organization founded by Franciscan Friars in 1989 and dedicated to promoting peace, justice and well-being for all, sponsored the Week of Actions as part of Campaign Nonviolence, a long-term movement to build a culture of peace.

“We have started this with the hope to get people to ‘connect the dots’ on issues of violence,” said Fr. John Dear, nonviolence outreach coordinator for Pace e Bene, “but also to promote the vision of a new culture of nonviolence, to try to get the movement moving.”

Campaign Nonviolence asked local event organizers to take a holistic approach, drawing attention to the interconnection of four main issues — poverty, racism, war and environmental destruction — as forms of violence and promoting a positive vision of a culture of nonviolence.

Common events included vigils, marches, public lectures, teach-ins, nonviolence trainings and prayer services.

In Cincinnati, the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center worked with Dear to launch “Nonviolent Cincinnati” as part of the Nonviolent Cities Project.

Charity Sr. Andrea Koverman, a program manager at the center who helped initiate and organize the launch, said the first goal of the project is to promote awareness that violence is “a really pervasive and critical problem,” then show people there are alternatives to solving problems with violence or failing to respond.

The growing “Nonviolent Cincinnati” coalition currently has about 35 groups and individual members, including religious orders, schools and community organizations. Several elected officials also attended the launch.

“We’re trying to make it very inclusive and cross-sectional, so we want people at the grassroots all the way up to elected officials,” Koverman said.

Meanwhile, organizers of Arkansas Peace Week planned a total of 60 events such as daily activities for elementary school students, an art contest, a peace fest, lectures, movie showings, a food drive and events commemorating the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.

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Question for this article:

The peace movement in the United States, What are its strengths and weaknesses?

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Other notable actions included Peace Week Delaware, which put on over 60 events; an interfaith prayer service outside the civil rights museum in Memphis and events in Huntington, Indiana, where Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters held a peace march and the mayor proclaimed a day of peace.

Campaign Nonviolence organizers see this year’s actions as only the early stage of a decades-long movement.

“We have been so immersed in the vision and belief system of violence, we’ve been formed and trained in it, and it’s obviously something where that unlearning is going to take a long time,” said Ken Butigan, a professor at DePaul University and a strategist and consultant for Campaign Nonviolence.

“We would love to see the question: ‘What is the nonviolent option?’ on the lips of the media, members of Congress and the larger movement for change,” Butigan said.

As the campaign prepares for its fifth Week of Actions, which will take place a few weeks before the November 2018 congressional elections, Butigan said they plan to sharpen the focus, encouraging “people all over the country to find creative ways to pose that question.”

This year, organizers were most focused on getting large numbers of people involved in events and giving new activists the opportunity to gain experience.

“These are not long-time activists, generally speaking,” said Dear. “These are people who have stepped up to the plate. They have been so energized by the response locally that they have kept at it.”

Campaign Nonviolence organizers also hoped the week would give local groups a chance to get acquainted and find ways to collaborate and form coalitions throughout the year.

This was definitely true in Little Rock, where Cheryl Simon, president of the city’s new Pax Christi chapter, said she met more people from other organizations at the peace fest than she would otherwise have met in a year.

“I really believe meeting those people in only the first step,” Simon said. “I really hope that we’ll keep working together throughout the year. Now that we know one another I want those relationships to deepen. … The more people that can do the work, the broader our scope can be.”

Butigan certainly hopes the movement keeps growing.

Activists need to mobilize and train about 3.5 percent of the population, 11 million people in the case of the U.S., in order to effect change, he said, citing research by international relations experts Erika Chenoweth and Maria Stephan in their book Why Civil Resistance Works.

“In the next few years, say in the next five years, we envision helping to build a movement of millions of people who want an alternative to violence that’s neither violent nor passive,” said Butigan.

This could help people respond to specific manifestations of violence, he said, “but also help a growing number of people see that there is an alternative and that we can actually build a society and institutions that put the message and vision of nonviolence into practice.”

Maine, USA: Reclaiming a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence


An article from the University of Maine

University of Maine Peace and Reconciliation Studies Fall Conference and the 14th annualESTIA conference present “Reclaiming a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence”

Monday, October 16, 10:00am-5:00pm, Buchanan Alumni House

10:00am-12:00pm — ESTIA Presenters

ESTIA (Eco-peace, Sustainability, Training, International Affiliations), the International EcoPeace Community, is a Maine-based nonprofit founded in 2004. ESTIA promotes and facilitates sustainability and peace through education, and has been instrumental in organizing conferences and permaculture training sessions over the course of the past 14 years. ESTIA has an long-standing af liation with UMaine, and several board members are part of the Peace and Reconciliation faculty.

Darren Ranco — George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research and Native American Programs, Member of the Penobscot Indian Nation

Hawk Henries — Member, Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuck

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Question related to this article:

University campus peace centers, What is happening on your campus?

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Noon — Light lunch served

1:00-5:00pm — Peace and Reconciliation Studies Presenters

Religion and the Conflict in Northern Ireland — Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?
Gladys Ganiel, Research Fellow, Sen. George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland

Peace, Conflict and War: The Role of Language and Languages – Timothy G. Reagan, Dean, College of Education and Human Development University of Maine

A Buddhist & Celtic Interpretation of Animal Ethics – Hugh Curran, Peace and Reconciliation Studies University of Maine

How Mahatma Ghandi Challenges Us to Rethink our Approach to Nonviolence, Peace and Reconciliation – Douglas Allen, Department of Philosophy University of Maine

Mentioning the Unmentionable: Talking About -isms in the Classroom – Judith Josiah-Martin and Alison Smith Mitchell, School of Social Work University of Maine

Waging Peace Through Music—A Look at Historical Highlights – Laura Artesani, Associate Professor in Music Education, School of Performing Arts University of Maine

It’s Mine! Promoting Conflict Negotiation with Young Children – Susan Bennett-Armistead, Associate Professor in Literacy, College of Education and Human Development University of Maine

United States and Canada: International Day of Peace


A survey by CPNN

We found events in all except one of the states of the United States and all but three Canadian provinces by consulting “Google News” during the week of September 21-28 under the key words “International day of peace”, and “journée internationale de la paix”. In addition, there were many events listed on the following websites, and a few of these events are also listed below in order to cover as many states and provinces as possible.
Global Feast for Peace,
UN event map for the International Day of Peace.
Campaign Nonviolence

To save space, we provide some detail for an event in only one town or city in each state and province, with links to other events in the state concerned.



Edmonton : Participants will write PEACE with harmless chalk on the sidewalk before their homes, Sept 21.


Surrey : The Global Peace Alliance, Surrey Society (GPA) is pleased to announce its 2017 ‘GIVE PEACE A CHANCE’ (GPAC) SURREY FESTIVAL. This is the second in a series of annual GPAC festivals to commemorate “International Day of Peace” set by the United Nations. We celebrate our cultural mosaic and eliminate cultural misconceptions and intolerance that can lead to conflicts and violence. People come together to enjoy exotic music, songs and dances as well as to look at exhibits of varied cultures around British Columbia, and beyond. Many supporting organizations will be on hand with information and display booths.


Winnepeg : At Miles Macdonell Collegiate peace day, we have a school wide event where students will be listening to variety of speakers and engaging in hands on workshops that pertain to promoting peace at a local, national and global level.

NEW BRUNSWICK (nothing found in google)

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR (nothing found in google)


Halifax : Hosted by the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre, Peace Halifax is about rediscovering the magic and practical expression of peace and taking it home with you. Similar events are organized annually in England and the United States. This is the second year for the event in Canada!


Hamilton : On September 21 throughout the day the University is hosting activities for the campus and general community in support of peace, including a peace walk, peace meditation, and postcards for peace.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (nothing found in google)


Montreal : The Mayor of Montreal, Mr. Denis Coderre, accompanied by Mr. Dimitrios (Jim) Beis, responsible for procurement, sports and recreation and communities of diverse origins on the Executive Committee of the City of Montréal and Mr. Brian Bronfman, President of the Brian Bronfman Family Foundation and co-founder of the Peace Donor Network and the Peace Tools Network, hosted representatives of peace organizations at a dinner today the City Hall on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, whose theme this year in Montreal is My Commitment to Peace.


Regina : To mark the United Nations International Day of Peace, Regina City Hall rose the Peace Flag Thursday morning in front of city hall. The flag will fly until Monday. Also to mark the occasion Mayor Michael Fougere issued a peace proclamation.

* * * *UNITED STATES * * * *


Mobile : Students at Mary B. Austin Elementary will be displaying paper pinwheels in an effort to spread a message of peace to all passers by.


Ketchikan : Ketchikan High School is pleased to announce Kings for Peace, a celebration of International Peace Day on Thursday, September 21, 2017 in the Kayhi Auditorium. At the ceremony, students and community members will join together for the dedication of Kayhi’s peace pole. “May Peace Prevail on Earth” printed on the pole in six languages reflective of Ketchikan’s traditional and contemporary culture will be a visual reminder of the importance of global understanding.


Peoria : Centennial High School held a special ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 21, at the Peace Pole, located outside of the school gym, to commemorate the International Day of Peace. The Peace Pole was donated by the Peoria Rotary Club in 2016 and offers a place of solace where students and staff can go to reflect and relax.


Hot Springs : 8th Annual Seeds of Peace, Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail. Welcome aboard the starship of peace! It’s time to celebrate our 8th Annual Seeds of Peace a community festival commemorating the International Day of Peace. Sponsored by REGARD- Recognizing Everyone’s Gifts & Rting area on campus.


San Diego : International Day of Peace in La Mesa. Festivities include music, activities, interaction, discussions, and outreach opportunities. Over twenty peace promoting groups will be presented. Representatives of various faith traditions will give testimony to a commitment to promote peace, support diversity, non-discrimination, and the acceptance of people of all faiths and cultures. Sponsored by The Interfaith Council of La Mesa.
Los Angeles
Los Angeles


Pueblo : International day of peace flotilla The 23 annual Peace Flotilla is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo. . . .The flotilla is open to students, who may bring 6 foot by 6 foot floats designed with messages of peace for launching in the Arkansas River.
Steamboat Springs


Guilford : The Guilford First Congregational Church sponsored the United Nations International Day of Peace Observance on Sept. 21, which took place on the Guilford Green. Dozens turned out for a short march followed by speakers and song.


Wilmington : 4th Annual March for a Culture of Peace . Let’s bring everyone together—city and suburban; black, brown and white; Anglo, African, and Hispanic; native-born and immigrant, advantaged and disadvantaged; Christian, Muslim and Jew; young and old; people of all political views—to show that we are one community opposed to violence, murder, poverty, racism, and exclusion. This is our fourth annual March for a Culture of Peace.
Where: March begins and ends in Wilmington’s Rodney Square, 10th & Market, Wilmington, DE, 19801,followed by A Day of Peace (event described below)
What: A peace march through Wilmington’s West side/Hilltop neighborhood, ending in a rally.
When: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, followed by Day of Peace (below)


Cape Coral – Organizers are proud to present the 10th annual Peace Day in the Park in beautiful Alliance for the Arts Center. This grassroots community event has grown stronger and more vibrant every year with featured musicians, artists, performance groups and vendors all sharing with you their personal vision and expression of peace. In honor of the International Day of Peace and in collaboration with the organization Peace One Day, the intent is to think peace, cultivate peace and help it grow.


Atlanta : Sunday, Sept 17th the UUCA’s youth is hosting a Posts for Peace: International Day of Peace event with music, readings, and performances. We’ll have a table for folks to create peace flags, which will be displayed in the classrooms. The youth will organize a donation table to collect funds for hurricane Relief (Harvey & Irma).


Honokaa : Honokaa’s 11th Annual Peace Day Parade featured hula halau, the Honokaa High School marching band, magic, Taiko drumming, the jazz band, bon dancers, belly dancers, circus performers and thousands of origami cranes collected for Peace Memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The free, family friendly event is a tradition in the former sugarcane plantation town, and lets people of all ages give peace a chance. . . . Hawaii is still the only state with a permanent Peace Day that coincides with the United Nations International Day of Peace.


Boise : At JUMP. Celebrate what’s right with the world at this free community event! A group mediation will be guided by Ashalome Lynne in our outdoor Celebration Circle along 9th St. Let’s gather, unite and cultivate, acceptance and community through meditation and togetherness. All ages with parent.


Macomb : An International Day of Peace Celebration will be held at Western Illinois University at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, in the University Union Lamoine Room. This year’s University theme is “Cultivating Peace at Home and Abroad: Our Social Responsibility,” which poses the proposition that together, we as people can take on big and meaningful projects that allow us to live more peacefully. Riad Ismat, an award-winning playwright, director and author from Syria, who has taught at Northwestern University, will join the conversation, as well as share some of his writing from his own experiences living in a war-torn country, as described in his lecture “Living Dangerously.”


Elkhardt : Hundreds of local students took a page from the 1960’s and dressed up like hippies. It was part of International Day of Peace– which included efforts to deal with bullying. More than 700 students from Pinewood Elementary took to the streets Monday. Many dressed in colorful tie-dye shirts, carrying signs, and chanting. But it was all part of celebrating the International Day of Peace. A day when staff talked with students about why bullying is wrong and friendship is important. The school dubbed the day Hippie Peace Day.


Grinnell : International Day of Peace on the Grinnell Campus. The Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) Committee marked the International Day of Peace yesterday with a screening of “Nilob’s Story, a film by Grinnell students Misha Gelnarova and Matt McCarthy. “We thought this was pretty relevant, especially with the recent travel ban,” said Ala Akkad ’19, a member of the PACS committee who helped organize the event. “I think it’s something that will interest more Grinnell students because it’s something that’s more real when you think about the context of a student who’s gone through it.” . . . .Gelnarova, who is from the Czech Republic, was inspired to document a story of the refugee crisis in Eastern Europe as a response to increasingly violent anti-refugee rhetoric on the Czech public and political stage.


Topeka : At the Lawrence Arts Center Thursday evening, guests will come together to recognize an international day of peace. And cellos. Without the background behind it, this pairing may seem unrelated, but there is a distinct connection. Fifty-four years ago, Spanish cellist Pablo Casals, was awarded the U.N. Peace Medal by president John F. Kennedy. So on Sept. 21, the international day of peace, the LAC will commemorate Casals and his commitment to peace, justice and freedom.


Louisville : International Day of Peace at the University of Louisville;
1) Creating a Peace Pole: “What Does Peace Mean to Me?” at bottom of SAC ramp, all day;
2) Peace and Ethnic Relations Psychology: Students studying this highly pertinent topic are creating art and showing unity. Aid them in creating art through short activities;
3) Peace Expressions: an inclusive and diverse selections of Registered Student Organizations, individual students, faculty and staff present “What Peace Means to Me.” Red Barn, 6 pm-8pm


Roseland : On Sept. 21, Roseland Montessori celebrated International Day of Peace. Maria Montessori believed peace education was key to a peaceful world and that it begins with the child. The school was asked to participate in a sing peace around the world international event. More information and to see the school feature can be found at [Editor’s note: the world map for this is as densely populated as the map for all celebrations of peace day !! ]


Belfast : Students and staff at Cornerspring Montessori School celebrated the International Day of Peace Sept. 21 at their new school on Congress Street. . . . This year’s event featured singing, wishes for world peace and a parade.


Frostburg : For the International Day of Peace, Frostburg State University and Allegany College of Maryland will highlight the importance of peace globally, in our communities and within ourselves through the following series of events, all of which are free and open to the public. At 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, following the tree dedication at FSU, students from FSU and ACM will participate in “Planting Seeds of Peace,” an interactive public presentation by Srimati Karuna, director of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Center in Washington, D.C. “Planting Seeds of Peace” will explore Gandhi’s enduring message of peace, his philosophies and his life’s work, as well as ways people can practice the concept of peace in their lives.

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Question for this article

What has happened this year (2017) for the International Day of Peace?

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Beverly Farms : The Glen Urquhart School celebrated both the International Day of Peace and the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. Head of School David Liebmann led our community of students and teachers in embracing peace within oneself by sharing a moment of mindful silence. We followed this reflective moment by singing and signing John Lennon’s iconic peace anthem “Imagine.” Throughout this past week, students created pinwheels for peace. Led by upper school teacher Christine Draper, GUS students decorated and assembled the pinwheels and wrote their thoughts about war and peace, tolerance, and living in harmony with others. Yesterday, the students “planted” these expressions of hope in the lower school courtyard as they gathered for the celebration.


Troy : The Know Your Neighbor Initiative invites the community to attend the International Day of Peace observance at the Troy Public Library’s Peace Garden, 510 W. Big Beaver Road, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21. The KYN Initiative is a joint effort of many civic, government and school representatives. The program will feature community leaders’ reflections on peace, several musical selections from the Troy High School Orchestra and a dedication of hand-crafted shawls and coloring pages of peaceful images that will be shared at local women’s shelters and veterans’ facilities.


Northfield : Community members of all ages rallied together Thursday evening Bridge Square to celebrate International Day of Peace and to show their support for a peaceful future across the globe. Students led the rally as speakers and performers, communicating the significance of the international holiday and why the next generation needs to step up to shape their future, Sunny Leonard, sixth-grader and rally organizer, made the closing speech before the march to Carleton College’s Weitz Center of Creativity. She said youth are the future and it’s they who needs to decide how that future will look. 
St Paul


Jackson : Judah Christian Fellowship: Two events planned: 1. Peace Activity in Head Start classroom, 2. Prayers for Peace on International Day of Peace


Timberland : Members of the Timberland High School Art Club planted over 1,200 pinwheels around the exterior of their school on September 21st in recognition of International Day of Peace. The pinwheels were created by Timberland students, staff and families in conjunction with “Pinwheels for Peace,” a project that was initiated in 2005 by two art teachers in Florida as a way for students to express how they felt about what was going on in the world around them. Last year, Pinwheels for Peace organizers estimate over 4.5 million pinwheels were displayed world-wide on the same day in multiple countries. “In today’s world, peace needs to be more than just a word,” is the motto shared on the project webpage,


Poison: Meditations for peace


Omaha :
Celebration of the diversity here in Omaha and the richness added to our community by people from other countries and cultures.
Listen to peoples stories as refugees.
Interfaith Prayers for Peace
Food and fellowship


Las Vegas International Peace Days celebrated September 21-24.
September 21: Global Peace Meditation and Candle Light Peace Walk
September 22: Breath of Joy, Breath of Peace
September 23: Play for Peace • Compassion Games
September. 24 : Meditation and Peace Labyrinth Walk & Talk


Middletown : Thirty Mater Dei Prep students were honored to attend and present their Educational Tool Kit Project to the United Nations at the International Day of Peace Conference last Friday, Sept. 15. present the Emerging Global Leaders service project to the United Nations General Assembly. It was one of ten projects selected worldwide to present to the United Nations. The “Education Tool Kit” will primarily benefit refugees forced into migration around the world.


Brookdale : Brookdale Community College. Members of the Brookdale Educational Opportunity Fund’s (EOF) Rising Leaders Academy joined with representatives from the Asia Society and Gateway to Japan on Sept. 21 to hold a college-wide rally for peace in the Student Life Center. The event, held on this year’s International Day of Peace, featured a wide range of activities, information booths and prize raffles designed to educate community members about ongoing global peace initiatives and enlist them in a world-wide effort to enact social change.


Albuquerque : You and your family are invited to celebrate the UN International Day of Peace and Campaign Nonviolence Week of Direct Actions at the Peace Day Block Party, Saturday, Sept. 23 from 3-7pm at the Albuquerque Center for Peace & Justice, . . . There will be music, poetry,dances, food trucks, social justice tables and more.


New York : On Thursday, September 21st from 11am to 12:30pm a Peace Day Party will happened in Times Square’s Duffy Park right in front of TKTS Bleachers. Paul Sladkis and the Good News Corporation will create the largest Human Peace sign. Participants can sing, dance, Hugg-A-Planets and more. At 12 noon a moment of silence will be held. On the Clear Channel billboard at 1567 Broadway, right off 47th street Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Michael Douglas, Dr Jane Goodall, Dr. Mahmet Oz, Ed Asner, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Leonardo DiCaprio, Stevie Wonder, Shikira singing Imagine, and more will appear. If you can not make the event you can watch on www.PeaceChannel.TV ,www.goodnewsplanet.TV ,, Bonbon Live Facebook,, 3D Broadcast & 1,000’s of channels.
New York
New York


Asheville : Join PEACE DAY ASHEVILLE in celebrating the
International Day of Peace with a DOUBLE BLAST OF PEACE. We will have 2 screenings as part of the event starting at 6:30PM. INSIDE PEACE and TOGETHER FOR PEACE
INSIDE PEACE – Four years in the making, Inside Peace is a feature documentary that focuses on four men incarcerated at the Dominguez State Jail in San Antonio, Texas, who embark on a journey of self-discovery. With lives marked by generations of violence, addiction, and poor social conditions, they attend a Peace Class and begin the struggle to discover their humanity and rebuild their lives from the inside out. TOGETHER FOR PEACE: The 2017 Peace Day Global Broadcast combines music from the planet’s leading artists, messages from peace leaders and inspired individuals, and news about communities finding ways to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. More than a broadcast, it’s a journey – an experience of what its like to live in a world of peace and positive action.


Bakken : The Williston Herald stopped by for International Day of Peace at Bakken as well! We’re proud to be the only people in the state of North Dakota registered and celebrating International Day of Peace.


Urbana : Urbana University a branch campus of Franklin University, the City of Urbana and Champaign County community members will gather in their homes, parks, churches, community centers, offices and schools for a “Feast for Peace.” Community members will share a meal and join in conversations about “peace” and what it means to live a life of peace in the midst of challenging and tumultuous times. This event will begin at 6 a.m. and continue until 10 p.m


Oklahoma City : The United Nations Association of Oklahoma City (UNAOKC) hosted a rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol building on Thursday in honor of U.N. International Peace Day.An estimated crowd of 40 gathered at the at the steps of the Capitol at 6 pm for a casual rally before the special session began Monday.


Ashland : Ashland Culture of Peace Commission is hosting various concerts, labyrinths, vigils, talking circles for the 11 Days for Peace. 9/11 is the beginning of 11 Days for Peace culminating on 9/21 the International Day of Peace. . . . .A vigil will be held each day on the Ashland Plaza throughout the 11 Days for Peace where challenges to peace are explored. . . ..A talking circle will be held daily from 11 am to noon at the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission office, 33 First St. Suite 1, Ashland, to explore qualities that help create peace solutions. Our daily focus includes: Forgiveness, Inclusivity, Accountability, Compassion, Respect, Gratitude, Embracing Change, Love, Empathy, and Peace. We invite you to explore,experience, share and participate in creating a Culture of Peace within – and in our beloved city.


West Chester The Chester County Peace Movement’s commemoration in West Chester focused on “hate has no home here” with guest speakers and musical performances. We came together to celebrate our common humanity! – Chris Barr, CCPM President, gave the introduction and presented the speakers: Dan Schatz Musician and Speaker; Akbar Hossain Speaker; State Senator Andy Dinniman, 19th District; Dolly Wideman-Scott from the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County. Music was provided by Concordia Choral Arts. State Representative Carolyn Comitta, 156th Districread a proclamation from the State Legislature. Jordan Norley, West Chester Mayor, presented a proclamation from the Borough. We finished with lighting of the Candles in Remembrance and Singing of “Let there be Peace on Earth”
South Lebanon
University Park


Kingston : The University of Rhode Island celebrated its 9th Peace Day on the Quad on September 21, 2017, on International Day of Peace. . .. The Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies was joined in sponsorship this year by Violence Prevention & Advocacy Services, the Women’s Center, and Public Safety Department.Thousands of students dropped by to create and hang a peace flag, get a “Hug for Peace,” and to form the Human Peace Sign.


Columbia : Brockman Elementary School had their 16th Annual International Day of Peace celebration Thursday. The school partakes in this celebration because the founder of the school believed that promoting peace throughout the world starts with the children. During the celebration there are several different musical performances, speeches, and the Dove Peace Award is given to a member of the community that best reflects what it is like to be a peacemaker. This year’s recipient is Kassy Alia . . .. who lost her husband, Greg [a policeman], in the line of duty in 2015. Since then she has turned tragedy into positivity and peace. She has started many community organizations dedicated to building better relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.


Sioux Falls : Gather for Peace in our World! Help celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace.


Memphis : Whitehaven youth came together Thursday to hold an anti-violence walk in honor of International Day of Peace.
The goal of the walk is to equip teens to fight not only violence, but bullying and other issues without using guns or fists. The Hooks Job Corps Center held the “Youth 2 Youth” walk, which went from the center on McAlister Drive to Shelby Drive and back to the center. Enita Jacobs-Simmons, the national director of more than 130 Job Corps Centers around the nation, also led a peace walk in Washington, D.C. with one representative from each center.


Laredo, : Texas A&M International University held its International Day of Peace celebration, hosted as a joint effort between the Officer of International Engagement and the Rotary of Laredo. The campus installed a “Peace Pole” along with “Peace Rocks” which are meant to be symbols of unity, humanity and a common wish for world peace. The United Nations International Day of Peace is observed around the world each year on September 21st. Peace Day Provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences.


Orem : Utah valley University Interreligious Engagement Initiative celebrates the U.N. International Day of Peace with an open house celebration in the Reflection Center!


Newbury : Students and staff from Newbury Elementary School walk on a trail to the top of Tucker Mountain on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Newbury, Vt. Newbury and Bradford Elementary Schools met at the top of the mountain to celebrate World Peace Day.


Lexington : Today is the United Nation’s International Day of Peace. And in Lexington, they’ve been marking it with prayer services, yoga, and other gatherings around the town with “Rockbridge Together for Peace.” “I’ve known about it for several years. I’ve always wanted to do something because there are lots of places around the globe that are connecting to each other with the international day of peace,” says Karen Stanley, an organizer of the events. “So it was exciting just to add our little town into that mix and do something for peace.”


Spokane, Bellingham, Seattle and Vancouver : Today, cities across Washington state are celebrating the International Day of Peace. In Spokane, people are gathering at Gonzaga University to celebrate with the World Peace Flag Ceremony, where each of the world’s 194 national flags are presented and blessed. . . .Cities across the Evergreen State have been celebrating Campaign Nonviolence Week, which ends Sunday, September 24. The campaign, which is sponsoring the flag ceremony, is a grassroots movement where people gather at marches, rallies and vigils to celebrate peace, justice and sustainability. Events are planned in Bellingham, Seattle and Vancouver. This Peace Day comes at a time of increased hostility toward refugee and immigrant communities across the country. Joan’s husband Hank Broeckling, also co-director of One Peace Many Paths, said the point of the flag ceremony is to soothe the current political climate and celebrate humanity’s oneness.

WEST VIRGINIA (nothing for International Day of Peace found on google)


Manitowoc : Manitowoc Lincoln High School International Baccalaureate (IB) students hosted other Wisconsin IB schools for an International Day of Peace planning workshop. Students brainstormed ways they could work together to make their communities better.
La Crosse


Casper : The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” Help build a culture of peace in Casper with Campaign Nonviolence of Wyoming. Come celebrate and support you and your neighbors working together to create a safe and respectful community for all.

In addition to the events notes above, the Campaign Nonviolence mobilized an enormous number of events, as they say, “During this year’s Campaign Nonviolence Week, September 16-24, 2017 our goal was 1000+ marches, vigils, rallies and more for a culture of peace and nonviolence in cities and towns in all 50 states and in nations around the world. We reached over 1600 in 2017, thank you! Together we marched against violence and for a world of peace, justice and sustainability. We connected the dots between war, poverty, racism, climate change, and the epidemic of violence — and joined forces for a culture of peace.” Click here for a list of these actions.

USA: Labor Unions Are Stepping Up To Fight Deportations


An article from the Huffington Post (reprinted according to the principle of “fair use”)

Organized labor is finding creative ways to protect immigrant members and families vulnerable in the Trump era.

Yahaira Burgos was fearing the worst when her husband, Juan Vivares, reported to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in lower Manhattan in March. Vivares, who fled Colombia and entered the U.S. illegally in 2011, had recently been given a deportation order. Rather than hide, he showed up at the ICE office with Burgos and his lawyer to continue to press his case for asylum.

UNITE HERE 631 out in force in Phoenix demanding that Motel 6 stop cooperating with ICE

Vivares, 29, was detained for deportation. That’s when Burgos’ union sprang into action.

Prepared for Vivares’ detention, members of the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ gathered for a rally outside the ICE office that afternoon, demanding his release. Union leadership appealed to New York’s congressional delegation, enlisting Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) to reach out to ICE leadership. The union president even disseminated the name and phone number for the ICE officer handling Vivares’ deportation and urged allies to call him directly.

“I was very lucky to have a union,” said Burgos, a 39-year-old native of the Dominican Republic who works as a doorwoman on the Upper East Side. “They moved very fast. They moved every politician and every union member. … If it were not for the union he would be deported.”

Vivares is now at home with Burgos and their 19-month-old son, having been granted a stay of deportation as the court considers his motion to reopen his asylum case. Although he’s far from being in the clear, his lawyer, Rebecca Press, says the union’s quick response was critical to keeping Vivares in the U.S. for now. “I do believe that their being able to reach the upper echelons of Congress gave us a window of time,” she said.

Vivares’ case provides a vivid example of the gritty work unions are doing to protect immigrant members and their families vulnerable to deportation in the Trump era.

Their efforts show the ways in which many unions ― particularly those in the low-wage service sector ― have become de facto immigrants rights groups advocating for their members. They also show how much organized labor on the whole has evolved on immigration issues. It wasn’t so long ago that unions generally viewed undocumented workers as competitors who undercut wages (in fairness, some unions still see them that way).

In recent months unions around the country have been hosting “know your rights” workshops to teach workers how to handle encounters with ICE agents and where to turn when someone is detained. They’ve provided legal assistance to and rallied around members and their families who have wound up in deportation proceedings. And they have made a concerted push to win language in union contracts aimed at avoiding deportations and helping workers who run into problems with their immigration papers.

“We’re trying to make people realize that part of the power of being organized at work is you really do have the ability to get additional binding protections if you have the strength to win them at the bargaining table,” said Shannon Lederer, the director of immigration policy at the AFL-CIO, a federation of 56 unions.

Some unions have gotten employers to agree to notify a shop steward whenever ICE or the Department of Homeland Security reaches out to the company about employees’ status. They have also succeeded in getting companies to agree not to allow immigration officials onto the worksite unless they have a warrant. In some contracts, employers have vowed not to conduct “self audits” of their employees’ immigration paperwork unless the feds force them to.

While these tactics predated Trump’s election, unions are now making them a priority. The AFL-CIO recently distributed a nearly 200-page toolkit to its member unions that included contract language they could push for with respect to immigration. In many cases, companies and unions have a mutual self-interest in enacting the protections: Employers do not want to lose trained workers, and unions do not want their members deported.

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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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Ron Herrera, the secretary-treasurer at Teamsters Local 396 in Los Angeles, said it was a point of pride for his union to secure clauses in their sanitation contracts guaranteeing workers a grace period for dealing with any snags that come up with their work papers. The contract assures that, so long as they can eventually clear up the problem, the workers won’t lose their jobs or their seniority while they deal with immigration officials.

Herrera said he has received two phone calls in the past week from alarmed members who are working under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was created by President Barack Obama. The program granted legal work status to an estimated 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who’d come to the U.S. as children. Last week Trump said he would rescind DACA in six months, leaving it to Congress to pass legislation authorizing such a program.

Herrera’s union is a good example of the changing demographics of many labor groups. As a Latino, Herrera said, he was an affirmative action hire at UPS in the 1970s. Now, many of the workplaces his union represents are predominantly Latino. “Even if somebody has legal residence, a lot of times there’s a family member that doesn’t,” he said. “We need to step up and understand that this social issue is actually a work issue, too.”

One of the most powerful things a union can do for an undocumented worker or family member is intervene politically on his or her behalf. Not all cases turn out like that of Juan Vivares. Eber Garcia Vasquez, a Long Island sanitation worker and father of three U.S.-born children, was detained by ICE last month. He had left Guatemala and entered the U.S. illegally 27 years ago. His union, Teamsters Local 813, rallied in lower Manhatta after he was detained, and the union’s Washington lobbyists took his case directly to the Trump administration.

Garcia Vasquez was nonetheless sent back to Guatemala last week, according to the Daily News. He hadn’t been back since he left more than a quarter-century ago.

Many unions have launched training programs aimed at helping members navigate run-ins with immigration agents. In Seattle, an immigrant rights group taught members of SEIU Local 775 how to run such workshops; the union’s members in turn were able to fan out and teach colleagues.

“It’s stuff that we’ve always had on our radar but we kicked into high gear,” said Heather Villanueva, one of the union’s organizers. “The tone changed from generally talking about it to literally trying to protect families once Trump was elected.”

In Austin, Texas, the teachers union has been doling out Fifth Amendment rights cards and packets to help students’ families plan for immigration raids. Many teachers sought out rights training from the union after seeing how frightened their students’ families had become, according to Montserrat Garibay, the vice president of Education Austin. They have been partnering with pro bono immigration attorneys to host presentations for families after school hours.

“We feel this is a crisis that the Latino immigrant community is going through right now,” Garibay said. “As teachers we feel an ethical and moral responsibility.”

The hotel and hospitality union Unite Here, which is heavily immigrant, went so far as to create a ringtone in Spanish called “Nada Nada,” with lyrics enumerating one’s rights when la migra comes knocking: “If immigration comes to arrest you, keep calm / You have the right to not sign anything and not say anything.”

Maria Elena Durazo, Unite Here’s general vice president, said the union redoubled its efforts on immigrant rights once it saw Trump’s cabinet taking shape, with nominees such as Jeff Sessions, now attorney general, making clear that the deportation talk was more than campaign bluster. The union wants to insert more immigration safeguards into new contracts moving forward, like having employers contribute to assistance funds for undocumented workers who lose their jobs, she said.

Part of the challenge unions face, Durazo said, is making all their members see the value of such investments, particularly those who have little sympathy for undocumented immigrants.

“The main thing is to understand the union as an organization of their fellow workers, that we’re all in this together,” she said. “In some places, that could be more difficult: Why are we doing this if they’re here undocumented? It takes a lot of work to build that kind of clarity and solidarity.”