Campaign Nonviolence: United States
an article by John Dear, posted by Pax Christi
The following remarks were delivered on September 18 at the
National Press Club in Washington, D.C. as part of the launch of
Campaign Nonviolence’s week of actions.
click on photo to enlarge
Today we are pleased to announce the launch of Campaign
Nonviolence, a growing grassroots movement that begins this
Sunday, September 21st, International Peace Day, with a week of
over 225 protests, marches and rallies across the country in every
state against war, military spending, poverty, the epidemic of
violence and catastrophic climate change.
I want to welcome my friends here, Ken Butigan, director of
Campaign Nonviolence, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, of the HipHop
Caucus who is on our board and who also works with 350.org, my
friend Marie Dennis a long time peace activist with Pax Christi, and
chair of Pax Christi International, and my friend Congressman
Dennis Kucinich, a long time advocate for peace and justice. I thank
Aric Caplan and Caplan Communications for helping us spread the
word about Campaign Nonviolence.
What we are doing this week is historic. As you know, change only
happens from the bottom up, from grassroots movement building,
from movements that grow and won’t go away. That’s what we
learn from the Abolitionists, the Suffragists, the Labor movement,
the Civil Rights movement and the anti-Vietnam war movement.
This week, with Campaign Nonviolence, people across the country
are coming together and, for the first time in decades, connecting
the dots, making the links between the pressing issues of our time,
taking to the streets in a groundswell of coalitions, demanding
change on all fronts.
With these 225 marches, rallies, and public events, thousands of
ordinary Americans are speaking out in over 150 cities against war,
and poverty and environmental destruction, and also calling for the
visionary nonviolence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a way forward
for our country and the world, saying that we want a new culture of
peace with justice, a new culture of nonviolence.
As part of the Campaign Nonviolence, we published my book, “The
Nonviolent Life,” and earlier this year, I toured the country for four
months, and visited 35 cities where events will take place. I met
with thousands of people who will be taking to the streets, and I
heard for myself that people are fed up. They are sick and tired of
this epidemic of violence, of our permanent war economy, of our
ignoring catastrophic climate change, of poverty, and racism and
killing, and serving the one percent and their oil companies and
So in Salt Lake City, they’re gathering to rally for nuclear
disarmament and the use of those funds for environmental cleanup.
In Sarasota, they’re marching for immigrants, low-wage workers,
and an end to U.S. war-making. In Chicago and Wilmington, they’re
marching against gun violence in our inner cities. In Bangor, Maine,
they’re hosting an “End the Violence” rally.
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In Santa Fe, a thousand people will march against climate change and for new just environmental policies. In Wisconsin, they’ll be vigiling against U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen. Peace vigils will be held from Honolulu to Boise to Buffalo to Little Rock to Washington, D.C. demanding an end to our war-making and the waste of billions of dollars for weapons instead of human needs. I urge every to visit our website: www.campaignnonviolence.org, to see the lists of actions and events.
With these marches, thousands of Americans are saying our government is broken, our leaders are failing us, and it’s time for a change. What do we want? Drastic cuts in the bloated U.S. military budget; the abolition of nuclear weapons and drones; the reallocation of those enormous funds–trillions of dollars–for food, housing, jobs, healthcare, schools and environmental cleanup. . ...more.