Category Archives: North America

In memoriam: Betty Reardon (1929-2023)


An article from the Global Campaign for Peace Education

Betty A. Reardon, internationally celebrated as a founder of the field of peace education and feminist peace scholar, passed away on November 3, 2023. She was the co-founder of the Global Campaign for Peace Education.

The child of Julia Florence Reardon (Burke) and Michael Augustus Reardon, she was born on June 12, 1929 and brought up in Rye, New York where she attended Rye Grammar School and then Rye High School. She spent her adult life as a resident of New York City.  She held a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University, a master’s degree in history from New York University, and a B.A. in history from Wheaton College, Norton, MA.  She is survived by nieces Noël Menadier, Christie Menadier, Coley Menadier-Fisher and husband Rick Fisher, great nephew Adam Fisher and wife Whitney Timmons, great nephew Grayson Fisher, nephew Mark Menadier and great nephew Burke Menadier and great niece Kalani Menadier, niece Dani Menadier Thorn and great nieces Sabrina Thorn and Savannah Thorn.

She began her teaching career at Rye Country Day School, and then in 1963 she began her work in peace education as Director of the Schools Program with the Institute of World Order. What intrigued and drove her was an interest in war, not as an isolated eruption in human affairs, but as a social system justified by particular ways of thinking. She had a hunch that not only the structures of society, but the structures of consciousness as well, could, and should be, transformed through a comprehensive education for and about peace. Betty Reardon’s life-long endeavor has been informed and shaped by this perspective and these formative experiences.

She held prominent roles in the establishment and work of key institutions that define the field of peace studies and peace education, including the founder and long-time director of the Peace Education Center and Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, the founder and director of the International Institute on Peace Education, the General Coordinator, of the Feminist Scholar Activist Network on Demilitarization, Coordinator International Network of Peace Education Centers, the founding Academic Coordinator of the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education,  the Director of the Peacemaking in Education Program, United Ministries in Education, Executive Secretary of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction, the School Program Director, Institute for World Order, New York, NY, the Associate Director of Leadership and World Society (LAWS), and a founder of the Peace Education Commission of the International Peace Research Association.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Dr. Reardon also held a number of prestigious visiting professorships, including the Savage Chair, Distinguished Visiting professor of International Relations and Peace, University of Oregon, the A. Lindsay O’Connor Chair in American Institutions, Colgate University, Visiting Professor of Peace, Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Visiting Professor, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba, Japan, Visiting Professor, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan, Visiting Professor, Department of International Relations, Ritsumeikan Unviersity, Kyoto, Japan.

In addition, Dr. Reardon was an accomplished scholar of peace studies and peace education.  She published numerous articles, books, book chapters, and reports, and has presented scholarly papers at numerous scholarly meetings. Her essential works include:

° Comprehensive Peace Education (Teachers College Press, 1988);
° Educating for Global Responsibility (Teachers College Press, 1988);
° Women and Peace: Feminist Visions of Global Security (State University of New York Press, 1993);
° Educating for Human Dignity (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994);
° Sexism and the War System (Syracuse University Press, 1996);
° Tolerance: The Threshold of Peace (UNESCO,1998);
° Passport to Dignity: The Human Rights of Women (PDHRE, 2001); and
Education for a Culture of Peace in a Gender Perspective (UNESCO, 2001).
° The Gender Imperative: Human Security vs. State Security. (Routledge, 2010).
Betty A. Reardon: A Pioneer in Education for Peace and Human Rights. (Springer Press, 2015)
° Betty A. Reardon: Key Texts in Gender and Peace. (Springer Press, 2015)

Her many prestigious awards include:
° the Pomerance Award for contributions to disarmament efforts within the UN system,
° Nomination and honorable mention for UNESCO Peace Education Prize by ICAE, IPRA, WCCI,
° the American Association of University Women (AAUW) New York State Peace Award,
° Golden Balloon Award for Peace Education from World Children’s Association (presented at the United Nations),
° the 1986 Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing for Sexism and the War System,
° the 1994 Peace Studies Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association,
° the 2000 Jane Adams Peace Activist Award,
° Distinguished Alumna Award from Teachers College Columbia University, 2004,
° Volvo Heroes nomination 2006,
° Nomination for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize (among 1000 women nominated as a group).
° Nomination for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize by the International Peace Bureau (Norway).
° The 2010 Sean McBride Peace (International Peace Bureau).
° The 2013 El-Hibri Peace Education Prize (The El-Hibri Foundation)

World War II, and then later, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and the Feminist movement were formative in the development of her worldview. In the face of the horrors of world war, she believed, as early as the fifth grade, that there must be an alternative to war, and in the face of racism and sexism she pondered early on the limits and possibilities of justice.  In these formative experiences were the seeds of her fundamental approach to peace, as both the elimination of violence and the establishment of justice.  She chose to be a teacher, believing that education was the key to a peaceful and just world.
Betty Reardon was a tireless student, exponent, and advocate of peace, justice, and peace education. She mentored and inspired generations of educators, scholars, and activists through her teaching and scholarship.

Israeli War on Gaza Sparks ‘Largest Mass Mobilization of Jews in American History’


An article by Brett Wilkins from Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaims in genocidal undertones  his army’s “holy mission” to invade Gaza, Jewish American peace activists are ramping up their nationwide effort to bring about a cease-fire in the three-week war.

Jewish Voice for Peace: Thousands are sitting in at Grand Central Station demanding a #CeasefireNOW

“We’re watching a genocide unfold in real-time. In just three weeks, the Israeli military has killed over 8,000 Palestinians in Gaza, among them over 3,000 children,” Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) said early Monday. “That’s more than the annual number of children killed  in conflicts across the globe since 2019.”

“Jewish people all throughout the United States are protesting in unprecedented numbers against Israel’s destruction of Gaza and the United States’ unwavering support,” JVP noted, with Liv Kunins-Berkowitz, the group’s media coordinator, calling the movement “the largest mass mobilization of Jews in American history.”

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Questions related to this article:
Can International Pressure Stop the War in Gaza?

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“We will not sit by as a genocide is waged in our name.”
JVP, along with Jewish-led groups—mainly IfNotNow—and allies have held demonstrations large and small across the United States since October 7, when Israeli forces launched their latest war on Gaza following the Hamas-led attacks on southern Israel that killed 1,400 people.

“From Albuquerque to Minneapolis, Seattle to Miami, Washington D.C. to Detroit, students, elders, faith leaders, and activists… are organizing sit-ins in congressional offices and blocking streets as they demand an immediate cease-fire in Gaza,” the group continued, adding that demonstrations have also been held in cities including Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

On Friday evening, thousands of JVP members and allies took over  Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan, where more than 400 people were arrested while holding a sit-in and hanging banners that read, “Cease-fire Now,” “Never Again for Anyone,” “Palestine Should Be Free,” and “Mourn the Dead and Fight Like Hell for the Living.”

“For decades, Jewish Americans have criticized the Israeli occupation of Palestine. American Jews are no longer willing to be silent—they are speaking up louder than ever before and taking to the streets to demand an immediate cease-fire,” Kunnis-Berkowitz asserted on Monday. “We will not sit by as a genocide is waged in our name.”

While the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has thwarted international efforts to bring about a cessation in hostilities, a group of 18 congressional Democrats led by Rep. Cori Bush  (D-Mo.) has introduced a resolution urging the administration to push Israel for an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Gaza.

Some co-sponsors of the resolution—especially Muslim Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who is Palestinian—have faced bipartisan indignation, right-wing death threats, and in the case of Tlaib, a censure motion brought by far-right Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Critics have noted the irony of Greene—who once suggested that a "Jewish space laser" started a California wildfire—baselessly accusing Tlaib of antisemitism.

“There can be no business as usual while our tax dollars are used to fund a genocide in Palestine,” JVP insisted. “From congressional offices, to the halls of the Capitol, to the center of New York City, we will do everything in our power to demand an end to U.S. support for genocide and apartheid,” referencing the billions in annual U.S. military aid to Israel.

ABC News Report Claims No Past Mass Shooters Have Been Veterans; At Least 31% Have Been


A blog by David Swanson

A report from ABC 3 WEAR, reports:

“Chris Lambert is a decorated Vietnam veteran whose battled PTSD for more than 40 years. Lambert’s a three-time Purple Heart recipient, all before his 20th birthday. He says after hearing reports that the suspected gunman in the Maine shooting was treated and released from a facility only weeks later, it’s clear that more long-term care for veterans is needed. However, he feels the shooting suspect’s mental health issues during his service in the military is overplayed. ‘How many people have we watched in these mass shootings and none of them are veterans,’ Lambert said. Stillm, Lambert acknowledged the suspect’s service potentially played a major role in the high number of fatalities. ‘Being a firearms instructor, how accurate he could be, I don’t care if you’re 100-50 yards and you’re jerking a little bit, you’re missing that target. But if he’s instructed and he knows how to breathe, he can take down a lot of people, and that’s tragic,’ Lambert said.”

This is a remarkable report in that, it quotes a supposed expert falsely informing us that the lastest mass shooter is the first military veteran mass shooter, when in fact mass shooters have always been very disproportionately military veterans. It is also remarkable in that it is the only report I have found about any of these veteran mass shooters that bothers to comment at all on the relevance of their training.

In the United States, only a very small percentage of men under 60 are military veterans.

In the United States, at least 31% of male mass shooters under 60 (which is almost all mass shooters) are military veterans.

That’s 40 out of 127 mass shooters in Mother Jones’ database whom I’ve been able to identify as U.S. military veterans, with no help from Mother Jones and darn little help from any media outlets at all. It is very likely that more than those 40 have actually been military veterans.

We now have reports of a U.S. Army reservist who trained others in shooting guns having committed the worst mass shooting in some time.

There is much we do not know about the latest mass shooting in the United States, but of these two things we can be certain:
The U.S. Congress will do nothing to make U.S. gun laws resemble those of a normal nation.
Media outlets will focus on mental health, rightwing politics, and anything other than military experience. There will be a hunt for “motive,” but little interest in ability.

As I reported in June, a University of Maryland report touching on this topic was virtually ignored by media outlets.

But here are the facts:

Looking at males, aged 18-59, veterans are well over twice, maybe over three times as likely to be mass shooters compared with the group as a whole. And they shoot somewhat more fatally. Counting this latest shooting as having 16 fatalities, though that actually went up to 18, I calculated that the veteran shooters on this list have killed on average 8.3 people and those who have not been identified as veterans have killed on average 7.2 people.

The numbers have changed slightly since I began writing about this:

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Question related to this article:

Do you think handguns should be banned?, Why or why not?

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° May 10, 2023: At Least 32% of U.S. Mass Shooters Were Trained to Shoot by the U.S. Military

° March 23, 2021: At Least 36% of Mass Shooters Have Been Trained By the U.S. Military

° June 4, 2019: Updated Data: Mass Shooters Still Disproportionately Veterans

(At this point it was 35%)

November 4, 2018: Mass Shooters’ Histories in the U.S. Military Most Amazing Coincidence

(At this point it was 35%)

November 14, 2017: U.S. Mass Shooters Are Disproportionately Veterans

(At this point it was 34%)

The rise from 34% to 36% and then drop to 31% is not large, and not as large as the decrease in the percentage of veterans in the overall population.

All sorts of correlations are carefully examined when it comes to mass shooters. But the fact that the largest institution in the United States has trained many of them to shoot is scrupulously avoided.

Those mass shooters who are not actually military veterans tend to dress and speak as if they were. Some of them are veterans of police forces with military-sounding titles, or have been prison guards or security guards. Counting those who’ve been in either the U.S. military or a police force or a prison or worked as an armed guard of any kind would give us an even larger percentage. The factor of having been trained and employed to shoot is larger than just the military veterans, yet carefully ignored because so many of those professionally trained to shoot have been trained by the U.S. military.

Some of the non-military mass-shooters have worked as civilians for the military. Some have tried to join the military and been rejected. The whole phenomenon of mass-shootings has skyrocketed during the post-2001 endless wars. The militarism of mass-shootings may be too big to see, but the avoidance of the topic is stunning.

Needless to say, out of a country of over 330 million people a database of 127 mass shooters is a very, very small group. Needless to say, statistically, virtually all veterans are not mass shooters. But that can hardly be the reason for not a single news article ever mentioning that mass shooters are very disproportinately likely to be veterans. After all, statistically, virtually all males, mentally ill people, domestic abusers, Nazi-sympathizers, loners, and gun-purchasers are also not mass-shooters. Yet articles on those topics proliferate like NRA campaign bribes.

There seem to me to be two key reasons that a sane communications system would not censor this topic. First, our public dollars and elected officials are training and conditioning huge numbers of people to kill, sending them abroad to kill, thanking them for the “service,” praising and rewarding them for killing, and then some of them are killing where it is not acceptable. This is not a chance correlation, but a factor with a clear connection.

Second, by devoting so much of our government to organized killing, and even allowing the military to train in schools, and to develop video games and Hollywood movies, we’ve created a culture in which people imagine that militarism is praiseworthy, that violence solves problems, and that revenge is one of the highest values. Virtually every mass shooter has used military weaponry. Most of those whose dress we are aware of dressed as if in the military. Those who’ve left behind writings that have been made public have tended to write as if they were taking part in a war. So, while it might surprise many people to find out how many mass shooters are veterans of the military, it might be hard to find mass shooters (actual veterans or not) who did not themselves think they were soldiers.

There seems to me to be one most likely reason that it’s difficult to find out which shooters have been in the military (meaning that some additional shooters probably have been, about whom I’ve been unable to learn that fact). We’ve developed a culture dedicated to praising and glorifying participation in war. It need not even be a conscious decision, but a journalist convinced that militarism is laudable would assume it was irrelevant to a report on a mass shooter and, in addition, assume that it was distasteful to mention that the man was a veteran. That sort of widespread self-censorship is the only possible explanation for the complete whiting out of this story.

The phenomenon of shutting down this story does not exactly require a “motive,” and I would like to recommend to reporters on mass shootings that they, too, devote a bit less energy to the often meaningless hunt for “a motive,” and a tad more to considering whether the fact that a shooter lived and breathed in an institution dedicated to mass shooting might be relevant.

US State Department Official Resigns Over ‘Destructive, Unjust’ Arms Transfers to Israel


An article by Jake Johnson from Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

A U.S. State Department official announced his resignation Wednesday over the Biden administration’s decision to send more arms to Israel as it carries out a massive assault on the occupied Gaza Strip, killing more than 3,400 people, decimating the enclave’s civilian infrastructure, and strangling the population with an unlawful blockade.

Photo from Josh Paul Linked-in

“I cannot work in support of a set of major policy decisions, including rushing more arms to one side of the conflict, that I believe to be shortsighted, destructive, unjust, and contradictory to the very values that we publicly espouse, and which I wholeheartedly endorse: a world built around a rules-based order, a world that advances both equality and equity, and a world whose arc of history bends towards the promise of liberty, and of justice, for all,” Josh Paul, who spent 11 years as director of congressional and public affairs for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, wrote in his resignation letter.

Paul helped oversee the transfer of U.S. weaponry to allies, a position that he acknowledged “was not without its moral complexity and moral compromises.”

“I made myself a promise that I would stay for as long as I felt the harm I might do could be outweighed by the good I could do,” Paul wrote. “In my 11 years I have made more moral compromises than I can recall, each heavily, but each with my promise to myself in mind, and intact. I am leaving today because I believe that in our current course with regards to the continued—indeed, expanded and expedited—provision of lethal arms to Israel—I have reached the end of that bargain.”

Paul’s resignation came hours after U.S. President Joe Biden embraced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv and “reiterated his steadfast support for Israel” even as United Nations experts, human rights organizations, and international law scholars accuse the country of committing egregious war crimes—including genocide.

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Questions related to this article:
The courage of Mordecai Vanunu and other whistle-blowers, How can we emulate it in our lives?

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The U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and Israel, said in a report  released earlier this week that “the damage and casualties caused by Israeli attacks” on Gaza “were not proportionate to the military advantage and so the actions constitute a war crime.”

The commission added that “the prevention of entry of food and medical supplies into Gaza is a violation of international humanitarian law.”

While the Biden administration helped negotiate a deal to allow limited humanitarian aid to enter Gaza through its border with Egypt, U.S. leaders have thus far refused to call for a cease-fire and pledged to continue arming the Israeli military as it prepares for a ground invasion.

HuffPost reported  last week that the U.S. State Department has instructed American diplomats not to use the word “cease-fire” in press materials, and some administration staffers have expressed concern  about retaliation if they question U.S. support for Israel’s attack on Gaza.

In recent days, U.S. shipments of ammunition, so-called “smart bombs,” and other weaponry have arrived in Israel, which was already the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance. The Biden administration is reportedly preparing to ask Congress to approve a new $100 billion military aid package  for Israel and Ukraine.

The Associated Press reported  that the Biden administration is “also getting U.S. defense companies to expedite weapons orders by Israel that were already on the books.” Without imposing restrictions on the use of American weaponry, U.S. officials are at risk of being complicit in Israeli war crimes, human rights advocates have warned.

In his resignation letter, Paul argued that the administration’s response to the deadly violence in Israel and Gaza “is an impulsive reaction built on confirmation bias, political convenience, intellectual bankruptcy, and bureaucratic inertia.”

“Decades of the same approach have shown that security for peace leads to neither security, nor to peace,” Paul wrote. “The fact is, blind support for one side is destructive in the long-term to the interest of the people on both sides. I fear we are repeating the same mistakes we have made these past decades, and I decline to be a part of it for longer.”

2023 US Peace Prize: National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth


Excerpts from the website of the US Peace Prize

The 2023 US Peace Prize was awarded to the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY) “For National Efforts to Stop U.S. Military Influence on Young People, Saving Lives Here and Abroad.” NNOMY was selected unanimously by the Board of Directors of the US Peace Memorial Foundation.

The US Peace Prize was presented on September 19, 2023, at the Peace Resource Center of San Diego by Michael Knox, Chair and Founder of the US Peace Memorial Foundation. In his remarks, Dr. Knox said, “National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth shields young lives from some of the strongest influences of militarism. Your work not only saves U.S. lives by dissuading young people from joining the military – it also saves the lives of people in distant countries who they could harm once they were part of the U.S. war machine. NNOMY positively impacts countless young adults, and its nationwide efforts involve the contributions of many stellar antiwar figures and organizations. The US Peace Prize is a prestigious honor that will help call attention to and reinforce your important work for peace.”

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Questions related to this article:
The peace movement in the United States, What are its strengths and weaknesses?

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The award was accepted by Rick Jahnkow, the organization’s Steering Committee Representative, and several network members. Pictured above are Kendall Brown of On Earth Peace, Gary Ghirardi of NNOMY, Michael Knox, and Rick Jahnkow and Cassy Hernandez of Project YANO.

Rick Jahnkow responded, “NNOMY is grateful for receiving this award and the recognition it will, hopefully, bring to the urgent need to counter the militarization of young people. Protesting war once it begins is never enough; if we are ever going to have a truly effective peace movement, it must include proactively reaching out to and engaging with younger generations in order to groom them to become activists for peace, instead of war. It is this long-term vision that NNOMY brings to the peace movement.”
NNOMY is an organization that brings together national, regional, and local groups to oppose the military’s growing intrusion into young people’s lives, focusing on trying to slow the process of militarization in schools by Pentagon programs designed to promote recruitment into military service. By training and sending antiwar counter-recruiters to speak with high school students, NNOMY attempts to change the minds of young adults considering joining the U.S. military. NNOMY also offers alternatives to entering the military and its wars, focusing on communities significantly affected by military recruiting and the violence of militarism.
Other US Peace Prize nominees in 2023 were Gerry Condon, Francesco Da Vinci, Daniel Ellsberg, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Abby Martin, and Jill Stein. Read about the antiwar/peace activities of all recipients and nominees in the US Peace Registry.

Two-Thirds of American Voters Want US to Back Cease-Fire in Gaza


An article by Jake Johnson on October 20, 2023 in Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Most members of the U.S. Congress have thus far refused to support a cease-fire in Gaza as Israel's siege and airstrikes inflict horrific damage on the occupied territory.

But according to a Data for Progress survey released Friday, the tiny fraction of Congress that has backed a cease-fire is more in line with the views of U.S. voters than the overwhelming majority of lawmakers in the House and Senate—and President Joe Biden.

Click on image to enlarge

The poll shows that 66% of likely voters agree that "the U.S. should call for a cease-fire and deescalation of violence in Gaza" and "leverage its close diplomatic relationship with Israel to prevent further violence and civilian deaths."

IfNotNow, a Jewish-American group that has helped organize major demonstrations in support of a cease-fire this week, said in response to the survey that "it's past time for our political leaders to listen to their constituents and put a stop to this violence.

On Monday, a group of 13 House progressives led by Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) introduced a resolution urging the Biden administration to support a cease-fire in order to "save Israeli and Palestinian lives."

Several additional Democrats, including Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), have signed onto the resolution since its introduction, bringing the total number of backers to 18.

But support for a cease-fire remains marginal in Congress, something that activists and a growing number of Capitol Hill staffers are working to change. More than 400 Muslim, Jewish, and allied congressional staffers have signed an open letter calling on their bosses to "join calls for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas."

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Question related to this article:

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

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On Thursday, more than 260 former staffers from Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) 2020 presidential campaign released an open letter imploring the senator to "demand an immediate cease-fire in Palestine and the return of Israeli hostages, and take concrete steps to end Israeli occupation."

"In its attacks against Palestinians in Gaza, Israel has demonstrated a brazen disregard for human life—with some officials going as far as to make their genocidal intent public—and has broken international law repeatedly," the letter reads. "Major humanitarian organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch agree: the two million people in Gaza—half of whom are children—are experiencing collective punishment, and all people of conscience must call loudly and vociferously for a ceasefire."

"Our government enabling this violence and these blatant war crimes is a failure."

As of this writing, just one U.S. senator has publicly expressed support for a cease-fire and some, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), have dismissed the idea outright. Schumer pledged Friday to "move expeditiously" to approve Biden's request for $14 billion in additional military aid for Israel.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Senate's leading progressive, has accused Israel of violating international law and urged the country's military to exercise "restraint" in Gaza. In a statement on Tuesday, Sanders said that "the bombs and missiles from both sides must end, massive humanitarian aid must be rushed to Gaza, and the hostages must be returned to their families."

Sanders also joined his Senate colleagues on Thursday in unanimously approving a resolution that affirms the chamber's readiness to "assist Israel with emergency resupply or other security, diplomatic, and intelligence support needs, both during the immediate crisis and in the near future, including by accelerating delivery of defense articles and systems."

The resolution does not mention the catastrophic impact that Israel's assault has had on civilians in Gaza, where Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 4,000 people in just two weeks. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said Thursday that "over a quarter of the area of Gaza City and northern Gaza has been affected by the destruction" and "20% of the houses there are no longer fit for habitation."

In a statement to The Hill on Friday, Bush said that she is "disturbed by our government's willingness to immediately cave to calls for unconditional support and write a blank check for the Israeli military while blatantly ignoring the violence and dehumanization of Palestinian civilians"

"Our government enabling this violence and these blatant war crimes is a failure," said Bush.

United States and Canada: International Day of Peace


A survey by CPNN

Here are 257 actions for the International Day of Peace located in 43 of the 50 United States, as well as 19 events in Canada in 6 provinces. In order to save space, only one event is given in detail for each state of the USA while internet links are provided for the others.

The events were listed in Google during the weeks of September 17-28 this year under the key words “International Day of Peace,” “peaceday” or “Journée Internationale de la Paix” or were listed on the following websites:
Campaign Nonviolence
International Cities of Peace Facebook

In addition to the above events, 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 of 2023 from events in previous years, except for those Montessori schools that were new this year, as listed below.


Here are excerpts from the articles.

* * * CANADA * * *


“To be lasting, peace requires effort, ambition and dedication on the part of those who wish to leave a better future for future generations. Today, on the International Day of Peace , we highlight the importance of promoting a more peaceful and inclusive world and we renew our commitment to working with a range of partners around the world to build it. . . . In the face of significant global challenges, such as Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine and its far-reaching repercussions, we continue to stand up for peace, democracy, human rights and of the rule of law. . . In accordance with our Feminist International Assistance Policy , we also continue to promote the full participation of women in peace and security operations, for example through the Elsie Initiative , led by Canada . On this International Day of Peace, I encourage Canadians and our friends around the world to reflect on our shared values ​​of tolerance, compassion and cooperation. Only by working together now can we deliver a peaceful future to the world tomorrow.”


WESTMAN: The annual event will showcase an amazing line-up of activities, one of which is Kites for Peace. . . . “This year it’s really highlighted by a few things including Kites for Peace. It’s an initiative that goes world-wide. We were at the Boissevain Streetfest this past weekend and we were helping kids build their kites that they can fly at the Garden on Saturday afternoon from 1:00-4:00 pm. For those who haven’t made their kites yet, decorating starts at 11:00 am here at the Peace Garden.”


LONDON: On International Day of Peace, Fanshawe students are invited to guided yoga sessions with discussion of the importance of slowing down/meditation. There will also be free snacks.

MIDLAND: We invite you to join us to celebrate the International Day of Peace, bringing your thoughts and ideas to share. Let’s be part of the solution. Actions for Peace, presented by Ed Milewski, Thursday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m., Midland Public Library, 320 King St., Midland.

ST. CATHERINES: The lives of those who resisted Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany will take centre stage at an upcoming public lecture hosted by Brock University. It will feature esteemed scholar Kristin Semmens, Associate Professor of History at the University of Victoria and author of Under the Swastika in Nazi Germany.
The event coincides with the United Nations International Day of Peace.

THUNDER BAY: VIDEO: International Day of Peace Ceremony takes place at Waverly Park

TIMMINS: Peace Day Reception, Thursday, Sept. 21, noon, Schumacher International Peace Park. Celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace in the park located near the McIntyre Community Centre. This year’s theme is actions for peace. Lunch will be served and all are welcome.

WATERLOO: We invite you to be in community with us during #PeaceWeek2023, which runs from the international Day of Peace on September 21st to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. Be sure to check back regularly to see which events you might want to attend and help promote:
The Urgency of Social Justice Event
Transformative Mediation Training
Speak Your Peace
Grebel Gallery Exhibit: Trinity Atomic Bomb Test


NDG stories
Peaceful and fun booklet
Comic book on Peace and Harmonious Relationships
Everyday Non-Violence: Participatory Theater
Pensees et Splendeurs de la Colombie Autochone
Queer Futurism
L’Egalite et la Paix
Le Dialogue Interconfessionnel

Montreal Centre de Services de Justice Reparatrice: The CSJR will organize two activities:
A workshop After violence, is it possible to find peace? offered by Geneviève Chenard.
A workshop for Truth-Reconciliation Day Miro Pimatisiwin – Wishing each other a good life with Atikamekw artist Marie-Claude Nequado and in collaboration with the McCord Steward Museum

Consulate of Colombia in Montreal: Sign up for the painting workshop to commemorate the International Day of PEACE. The Consulate of Colombia in Montreal invites, within the framework of the International Day of PEACE to be celebrated next Thursday, September 21, to register for the act of dignity, called: “Canvas of Resilience” to experience the healing power of painting as victims of the armed conflict and builders of peace. The activity will be led by the Colombian artist Camilo Arias.

* * * UNITED STATES * * *


TROY: TROY students will gather at Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor on the Troy Campus at 6:30 p.m. and, beginning at 7 p.m., will march, bearing international flags, to the Peace Dove statue, created by the artist Nall, on the Daniel Foundation of Alabama Plaza, located behind the International Arts Center. The march will be followed by a program, featuring student speakers and music.



MESA: In recognition of International Peace Day and in celebration of the first anniversary of the City of Mesa becoming an International City of Peace, a Peace Pole Rededication Ceremony is being held in the Mesa Community College Rose Garden. Sponsors include Mesa Community College, the City of Mesa, Rotary International, City of Mesa Police Department, The Children’s Benefit Foundation Inc. and St. Matthew United Methodist Church. . . . The finale will be “May peace prevail on Earth” communicated in Sign Language by Karen Palmieri, Chinese by Dr. Ruth Tan Lim, Hebrew by Dr. Mittman, Spanish by Zarco Guerrero, Greek by Christos Chronis, German and Luganda by Dame Precious Namazzi, and Arabic by Aeda Alkindi. All will join in the statement in English to close the ceremony.



LITTLE ROCK: On Sept 18th, 375 students at Washington Magnet Elementary School assembled in the schoolyard. Holding aloft peace art they created, they marched for peace through the neighborhood as part of Arkansas Peace Week. Ms. Aleta Posey, school principal, led the students in a chant: P-E-A-C-E, Wildcats Walk for Peace! Community groups like Pax Christi Little Rock joined in solidarity.



TIBURON: United Nations Association, Marin Chapter invites you to join us in celebrating the UN International Day of Peace. “An Evening with Peace Leaders.” Community Congregational Church of Tiburon
Be inspired, hear from everyday peacebuilders. Learn how we can model, support, and expand peacebuilding.
Honored Speakers
Tezikiah Gabriel, Executive Director, Pathways To Peace, Entrepreneur, Ordained Minister
RJ Jennings, Social Justice Advocate, Peace Alliance Board member, Executive Coach
Matthew Albrecht, Former Executive Director, The Peace Alliance, Author
Kimberly Weichel, Peacebuilder, Educator, Author, Non-profit leader/advisor (Moderator)



TOWAOC: The 15th annual Week of Unity and Peace will be held from Sept. 16 – 24 with a kickoff Community Drum Circle event on Saturday, Sept. 16. Culture Fest happens on Saturday, Sept. 23, sponsored by the Hispanic Project and the Ute Indian Museum on the museum grounds. A Peace Gathering at the Peace Pole in Ute Indian Park will be held at noon during Culture Fest with a Flags of All Nations ceremony to pray for peace around the world. . . The Western Colorado Friends of the Himalayas are sponsoring the Annual Peace Dinner again this year. The buffet dinner will be held at Guru’s Restaurant, 438 Main St., with the 2023 peace awards given out, followed by a program. Saturday, Sept. 23, Culture Fest begins at 10 a.m. celebrating our cultural diversity, with booths, food, music, dance, and displays until 4 p.m. This event is at the Ute Indian Museum.



NEW HAVEN: A new symbol of peace is taking root at the Sound School. To celebrate International Day of Peace on Thursday, the school held a ceremony next to a newly planted tree and peace plaque, featuring remarks by an “atomic veteran” who grew up in New Haven. . . . To commemorate the day, the City of New Haven Peace Commission plants a peace tree in a different neighborhood every year. . . . The event comes as the city has experienced several high-profile instances of violent crime. Goode said the commission is not naive about what planting a tree will do, but he thinks it’s a step toward creating a culture of peace.



Peace Week Delaware 2023 will run from October 7–15. This will be our eighth year of organizing this statewide series of events. Event organizers can create their own web listings and attendees may register for individual events and receive reminders as the week unfolds.



ARMS BAZAAR PROTEST: Art Laffin of Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, DC reports: Tuesday September 12 from Noon-1:00 PM, members of the DDCW, Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and other peacemakers, held a prayer service and nonviolent witness outside the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD which once again is hosting the annual Air Force Association (AFA) “Air-Space-Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition,” what we call an “Arms Bazaar.” There are some 180 exhibitor booths at this year’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, which began on September 11th and ended on September 13th. This witness was organized by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.



SARASOTA: The United Nations designated September 21 as International Day of Peace. In Nuestra Musica, we are celebrating it with Latinx Singers and Songwriters who dedicated their artistry to the causes of Peace and Social Justice. The songs presented are not necessarily protest songs, even though, some are. But the singers and songwriters are artist who struggled and fought with poetry, music and actions against totalitarian regimes, and some pay the high price of been censored, exiled and death. We are presenting songs from Argentina, Urugay, Chile, Spain, Brazil, Puerto Rico, US, Nicaragua and Cuba. Horacio Guarany, Pedro y Pablo, Leon Gieco, Joan Manuel Serrat, Rolando Alarcon, Jairo, Juan Carlos Baglietto, Chico Buarque, Patxi Andion, Paco Ibanez, Daniel Biglietti, Mercedes Sosa, Roy Brown, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Piero, Cuarteto Zupay, Jose Alfonso, Duo Guardabarranco and Pablo Milanes.

FT MYERS Peace Day Block Party (announcement since removed)


SANDY SPRINGS PAX CHRISTI: On September 24 at the main family mass at St. Jude the Apostle Church in Atlanta, we will start a monthly prayer vigil. We will pray for an end to gun violence and lift up the souls of those killed in mass shootings in the month as well as lifting up the names of the shooters. After all, like Cain they are our brothers and Jesus told us to forgive our brothers and especially these who are disordered or misguided.


HONOKA: Peace Day Parade & Festival with six days of peace-themed events. These include the Peace Day Parade and Festival (back after a three year pandemic pause), Honoka’a Business Association’s Peace Out Saturday street fair, and Katsu Goto Legacy Week in honor of the 19th Century “Hāmakuā Hero” and martyred Labor leader. The Parade will step off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 23, with an eclectic and colorful fusion of bands and dancers, street performers, floats and more. . . . Following the Parade, the Festival kicks off in the park’s football “oval,” with more music on stage, vendor booths, and peace displays. Proclamation, certificates and other activities begin at 12:30 p.m. Meanwhile, back on Mamane Street, “Peace Out Saturday” is happening, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as people come to town dressed in their best tie dye and love beads. Throughout the day, peaceniks will find food trucks, pop-up vendors, music and groovy things to do for the keiki, like origami and giant bubbles.



CHICAGO Hundreds gathered at Daley Plaza on Monday for an afternoon of music and dancing as part of the 45th annual Peace Day Chicago celebration. . . . “As we continue to witness war and strife in places like Ukraine, and so many other nations, we need to be reminded that we play a part in our global communities,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said at Monday’s celebration. The free event included live music and performances along with a call-and-response for peace in every country of the world.

BATAVIA Second Annual Peace Day Celebration (announcement since removed)
LAKE ZURICH Ela Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony (announcement since removed)


NOTRE DAME: Join the Kroc Institute for lunch and various responses to the United Nations’ new agenda for peace. This event will take place in person, with a recording to be posted following the event to the Kroc Institute’s YouTube page.



DUBUQUE: Loras College Alumni Campus Center. “Making Peace in Our Polarized Society” presented by International Day of Peace Speaker, Dr. Peter Coleman. This year’s Peace Festival invites us to explore constructive conflict resolution and sustainable peace. We will learn how families, companies, communities and nations have found resolution beyond their once polarized viewpoints. Sponsored by the Dubuque International Day of Peace Committee



WIND HILLS: International Day of Peace, Thursday, Sept 21, Tibetan Buddhist prayer and readings from peacemakers to set us on a solid path.
Morning Practice for Nonviolence, Daily from 7:30-8am – Set a ground for awareness of nonharm with these morning meditations led by local peacemakers.
Peacemaker Conversation – Join us for a conversation with nationally known author, catalyst, and activist, Rivera Sun.
Monday, Sept 25, Noon, via Zoom and Facebook LIVE. Join us for a conversation with author Roxy Manning to explore a lived application of the Beloved Community.



LAFAYETTE: Lafayette Compassion Center.
September 21: International Peace Day Event
Sept. 23: We will have a labyrinth walk for International Peace Days of Action.


MADAWASKA: Skylandia Organic Farm in Northern Maine will engage in mutual aid with seniors, community members, and the Little Free Pantry at our local library


FREDERICK Peace Through Action USA will discuss how its capstone Calvert Peace Project works to build and nourish a culture of peace through an emphasis on social and civic engagements



BOSTON: This year’s event features a unique program of Music, Song, Arts & Peace Education led by emcee Dawn Duncan, including brief presentations by peacemakers such a Nichol Brewer-Lowry, Rev. Cindy Davidson, Isabella Fuentes, Dr. Ira Helmand, Dr. Jonathan King, David Shane Lowry, and Rev. Vernon Walker about their work. There will be art activities for children as well as musical performances by Miranda Henne, Toussaint Liberator, Alastair Moock, and Split Feather Singers. The day will conclude with the reading of a list of recent local victims of violence. We will walk to the nearby Garden of Peace to pray for peace among stones engraved with the names of these victims.

WESTON Council on Aging and Weston Public Library (announcement since removed)

Question for this article

What has happened this year (2023) for the International Day of Peace?

Students from Brooklyn visit the United Nations

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SOUTHFIELD: The city of Southfield, in collaboration with May Peace Prevail on Earth International™ Foundation, will host an International Day of Peace on Thursday, September 21 from 5–6 p.m. at the City’s Peace Poles located in front of City Hall.The event will begin with a presentation of colors by the Southfield Police and Fire Honor Guard followed by opening remarks from Councilman Lloyd Crews and a reading of the City’s International Day of Peace Joint Resolution by Mayor Siver. The event will also include presentation of the United Nation’s 2023 Theme for the International Day of Peace “Act Now!” by President of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force Faira Glenn followed by a rendition of “Let there be Peace on Earth” by MLK Task Force International Relations Committee Co-Chair Barbara Seldon. The event will conclude with a Call for Peace in All Nations led by Hope United Methodist Church Youth Representative Remington DeVaull.



SUPERIOR: Superior recognized the United Nations International Day of Peace on Thursday. Community members gathered at Superior’s Sister City Park where Superior Mayor Jim Paine issued a proclamation in observance of Peace Day. The event also served to honor and remember Jan Provost of Superior. She was a local peace activist and founded Northland Grandmothers for Peace in 1983. Provost served as president of Northland Grandmothers for Peace until her passing in April 2020. The mission of Grandmothers for Peace is to work for peace and social justice and strive to eliminate the nuclear threat.



KANSAS CITY: September 23 – 24. PeaceWorks will be holding its annual Art Fair for artists local to Kansas City. Beginning artists and diverse artists are encouraged to apply. We also are inviting many local peace and Justice organizations to have booths. We will have a tent for these organizations to give a short presentation about the issues they address and also for poets, musicians, singers and street theater pieces. Location: Theis Park.


GRAND ISLAND: Nebraskans For Peace Focus on DEI & Sustainability: Holding their event at the Hub Cafe, Nebraskans For Peace had great turnout for their Community Conversation on Food and Sustainability, featuring guest speakers who are farmers, cafe owners, and sustainability coordinators. Nebraskans For Peace also held their first in-person board meeting since before the pandemic, using some of the time together to work through a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training with Dr. Stephanie Bondi. On Sept 24, NFP board member Tom Genung was among those honored for their work over 15 years in a sustained nonviolent resistance to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. The ceremony was part of the 10th annual harvest of the Ponca Sacred Corn and took place on Ponca Nation land.


RENO: Life, Peace & Justice Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Reno, September 23 – We will hold our 3rd annual Day of Reflection. This year the title is Day of Reflection: “Why so Many Immigrants?” Moving from Sympathy to Empathy.


PRINCETON: Celebrate Peace Day with the West Windsor Human Relations Council. Theme: Actions for Peace – Peace starts with ME. It is a call to action that recognizes our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace



SANTA FE: StopForeverWIPP (our website)
1.Nuclear Disarmament Now! Join Us For Our Weekly Picket Fridays @ Noon To 1pm (Corners Of Guadalupe & Alameda St.)
2.New Mexico Environment Department
In-Person And Virtual Listening Session On Wipp’s Permit. September 22 2023 @ 5:00 PM-7:00 PM. Larrazolo Auditorium. Harold Runnels Bldg.


BROOKLYN PROSPECT PARK: In celebration of International Day of Peace, join Prospect Park Alliance and The Peace Studio for a book reading and signing of The First Day of Peace, a new children’s picture book by two of The Peace Studio’s co-founders, Maya Soetoro-Ng and Todd Shuster with illustration by Tatiana Gardel. The book offers a moving and modern take on the wondrous power of kindness and sharing.The event will include a reading of the book by Maya and Todd, alongside discussion and a fun peace-focused craft activity for kids and adults as well as a kids illustration workshop led by Tatiana. A light reception and the opportunity for book purchasing and signing will follow the reading.



MESSAGE OF SECRETARY-GENERAL GUTTERES: As we mark this International Day of Peace, people and our planet are in crisis.
Conflicts driving record numbers of people from their homes.
Deadly fires, raging floods and soaring temperatures.
Poverty, inequalities and injustices.
Mistrust, division and prejudice.
This year’s theme reminds us that peace is not automatic.
Peace is the result of action.
Action to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and ensure that no one is left behind.
Action to end the war on our planet and its natural gifts.
Action to uphold and protect the human rights and dignity of every person — especially as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Action to use the timeless tools of diplomacy, dialogue and collaboration to defuse tensions and end conflict.
And action for those millions of people living through the horrors of war.
Peace is not only a noble vision for humanity.
Peace is a call to action.
Let us commit to build, drive and sustain peace for all.

YOUTH PROGRAM: Video of Youth Event Programme, 14 September 2023, UN Headquarters



William Peace University (WPU) will celebrate its shared name and values with a series of on-campus events to mark the International Day of Peace. The day will start out with a gathering on the main lawn of the university at 3:20, featuring student art and an open-mic event. At 4 p.m. in Kenan Hall, a guest panel will participate in a live podcast discussing peacebuilding both internationally and locally. The panelists are worship leader, writer, and justice activist Angie Hong; development professional and peace activist Mustafa Rezaie; and cultural heritage and museum professional Alex Rose.



AKRON: Join the North Hill Community Development Corporation to celebrate the third annual International Day of Peace. Walk for Little Amal. Little Amal is a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl who has traveled across 13 countries meeting more than a million people. This fall, between 7 September and 5 November 2023, she will journey 6,000 miles across the United States in one of the largest free public festivals ever created. Amal Walks Across America comes to Akron on September 23rd, starting at Waters Park and proceeding to People’s Park on North Main Street.



TULSA: The Mother Earth String Band and Choir will perform Thursday, September 21 (International Day of Peace) at Park Grove Creative Community, 4241 S. 37th West Avenue, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. After performing at Earth Day observances on Guthrie Green last year, McCulloch got the idea of forming the band with some of the many talented women she’s worked with, or wanted to work with, over the years. Music, she says, is the tool that can help unite us in these divisive times, and reduce the stress and anger which divide us. “When you sing with people, and you remind them of how it feels to sing together – and the songs they heard when they were younger that they know – some of that falls away,” she said. “We’re trying to just sort of soothe the waters with music, because music heals. Music unites.”



PORTLAND: Join CODEPINK and other anti-war, anti-imperialist and peace organizations in marking International Peace Day in Portland! Hear from anti-war speakers and performers, talk with like-minded peace-wagers and build connections for future organizin



PHILADELPHIA PEACE DAY: Now in its 13th year, Peace Day Philly is helping to organize more than a dozen activities, some of which, including a meditation session and a workshop on grief, were held this past weekend. Hundreds of students are expected to participate in “Footballs Not Firearms,” a march and rally taking place Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Fairhill Square. PDP is collaborating with the Philadelphia Police Department on the event, and the Eagles are donating 150 footballs to give away to young people. Food, music and an art activity are also included. On Thursday, the day itself, PDP is organizing speakers and bringing drummers to the north side of City Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. At noon, attendees will participate in a worldwide minute of silence. Among the other activities planned for the week are an immigrant and refugee job fair from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday at 801 Market St.; a communication workshop at the Peace Center in Langhorne; and a virtual panel discussion about water access beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday. For more information, visit



SOUTH KINGSTOWN; Sunday, Sept 24, 2023 – We welcome you to our 2nd Annual Intention Fest celebrating peace and wellness with over 50 peace makers and healing practitioners, meditation tent, drum circles, yoga, reflexology, massage sanctuary, peace rocks and peace flags. FREE EVENT



ABERDEEN: Each year the International Day of Peace (IDP) is observed around the world on September 21. The International Presentation Association works collaboratively with other groups to realize our priority Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Achieving the SDGs will create a culture of peace for all. Please join the Presentation Sisters and others around the world at Noon local time to observe a minute of silence and then to pray for peace.


MEMPHIS: Campaign Nonviolence Memphis. Join us on Thursday, September 21, 8 PM Eastern, for our quarterly PAX Mass, celebrated on the International Day of Peace and the first day of the Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action.


AUSTIN: The Second Annual Austin Peace Fest will take place Sunday, Oct. 1, from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 2505 Princeton Dr., Austin, TX 78741.
Please invite your friends to bring a lawn chair, their refreshment of choice, and an eclectic musical taste.Donations support Nonviolent Austin. Other community partners include Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry, Texas Poor People’s Campaign, and Indivisible Austin.



SALT LAKE CITY: Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. September 27, 6pm, Walk (as part of Defuse Nuclear War) from the Federal Building, 100 South and State Street, to Washington Square, 400 South and State Street, and then back to the Federal Building. We will carry our banner, “Nuclear Weapons are Illegal” and pass out flyers.


LINCOLN: Sunray Meditation Society. September 21, 2023: UN International Day of Peace Celebration -October 1 & 14, 2023: Join us for two online workshops nurturing Mother Earth this fall. On October 1st, Dr. Orest Pelechaty will offer teachings on bio-Dynamics. Then October 14th, Jose Rodriguez and Yulia Klimento bring their permaculture wisdom to the Sunray Peace Village.


CHARLOTTESVILLE: World Beyond War & Just World Educational. Time for a Ceasefire in Ukraine? – A public discussion featuring Medea Benjamin, Helena Cobban, Ray McGovern, and David Swanson.


LOPEZ ISLAND: Join us for the Lopez Library 2nd annual International Day of Peace sing-in. Each year, around the world in a consecutive time zone, thousands of children gather to “Sing for Peace” in their respective groups and share a peaceful story. Imagine, children singing a unified song for a 24 hour period! It’s simple AND Powerful!


MILWAUKEE: September 21, 2023. Peace Action Wisconsin Teach-In. We’ll discuss how to achieve peace in the time of heightened global conflict and tension. ​We’re part of the Global ​Week of ​Action to ​End the ​War in Ukraine Sept. 30-October 8, 2023. September 30 — Stand for Peace at Noon At 12:30 PM we will gather on the grassy spot kitty-corner from Collectivo for a rally


***** MONTESSORI *****

In addition to the events listed above, there were 107 new events in North America to celebrate the International Day of Peace on the website of the Montessori Schools, i.e. events that were not listed last year:

Alberta: High River
Arizona: Flagstaff, Litchfield Park, Phoenix (4), Sedona
British Columbia: Courtney, Lantzville,
California: Antioch, Carmel Huntington Beach, Oceanside, Valencia
Colorado: Aurora (2), Littleton
Connecticut: Avon, West Hartford
District of Columbia, Acton Academy
Florida: Fernandina Beach (2), Gainsville, Jupliter, Kissimmee, Miami, Middleburg, Naples, Palm Bay, Plantation, Rockledge, Stuart, Wellington
Georgia: Atlanta, Marietta
Hawaii: Kihei
Illinois: Chicago (2), Elburn, Elmhurst, Kildeer, Wheaton
Kansas: Lawrence
Maine: Auburn, Kingfield
Massachusetts: Newton, Quincy, Shrewbury
Michigan: Detroit
Minnesota: Lakeville, Prior Lake
Missouri: Jefferson City
New Hampshire: Manchester
New Jersey: Cherry Hill, Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Moorestown
New York: Cold Spring, Copenhagen, East Aurora, Glen Spey, Southampton
North Carolina: Charlotte, Henderson, Holly Springs, Old Fort, Pinehurst, Washington, Winterville
Ontario: Aurora, Caledon, Cambridge, Innisfil, Milton
Oregon: Newport, Portland
Pennsylvania: Bethlehem, Merion Station, State College, West Chester
South Carolina: Elgin, Fort Mill
Tennessee: Cordova, Knoxville (2)
Texas: Houston, Plano, Prosper, Round Rock, San Antonio, Sugar Land
Utah: Mantua, Riverton, Salt Lake City, Santa Clara, South Jordan
Virginia: Alexandria, Lexington, Lynchburg, Sterling, Virginia Beach, Woodbridge
Washington: Issaquah, Mountlake Terrace, Northbend, Spokane Valley, Seattle
Wisconsin: Racine

American Anthropological Association Endorses Academic Boycott of Israeli ‘Apartheid Regime’


An article by Brett Wilkins from Common Dreams (reprinted according to license of Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

The American Anthropological Association on Monday became the largest U.S. academic association to endorse a Palestinian call to boycott Israeli universities and other institutions complicit in what the group called Israel’s “apartheid regime.”

In a major victory for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian human rights, more than 7 in 10 of the 37% of American Anthropological Association (AAA) members who participated in the monthlong referendum voted in favor  of a motion  to back the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

With 12,000 members, the AAA is the largest U.S. scholarly group to support BDS’ boycott call. The motion applies only to institutions, not individual anthropologists.

“This was indeed a contentious issue, and our differences may have sparked fierce debate, but we have made a collective decision and it is now our duty to forge ahead, united in our commitment to advancing scholarly knowledge, finding solutions to human and social problems, and serving as a guardian of human rights,” AAA president Ramona Pérez said in a statement.

“AAA’s referendum policies and procedures have been followed closely and without exception, and the outcome will carry the full weight of authorization by AAA’s membership,” Pérez added.

The AAA motion, drafted in March, notes that ever since the Nakba, the 1947-49 dispossession and expulsion of more than 700,000 Arabs by Zionist Jews establishing the modern state of Israel, “Palestinians—including activists, artists, intellectuals, human rights organizations, and others—have documented and circulated knowledge of the Israeli state’s apartheid system and ethnic cleansing.”

“The Israeli state operates an apartheid regime from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, including the internationally recognized state of Israel, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank,” the motion asserts, adding that “Israeli academic institutions are complicit in the Israeli state’s regime of oppression against Palestinians… including by providing research and development of military and surveillance technologies used against Palestinians.”

(continued in right column)

Question related to this article:

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

Israel/Palestine, is the situation like South Africa?

(continued from left column)

“Israeli academic institutions do not provide protections for academic freedom, campus speech in support of Palestinian human and political rights, nor for the freedom of association of Palestinian students on their campuses,” the document continues. “Israeli academic institutions have failed to support the right to education and academic freedom at Palestinian universities, obstructing Palestinian academic exchanges with academic institutions in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

In a statement, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) said, “We thank the many AAA members who worked tirelessly to ensure the association was on record as refusing ties with Israeli universities complicit in Israel’s crimes against us. We thank those who took the time to learn from and listen to indigenous Palestinian voices.”

“The AAA membership vote to boycott complicit Israeli universities is wholly consistent with the association’s stated commitment to anti-racism, equality, human rights, and social justice and furthers the drive to decolonize anthropology and academia in general,” PACBI added.

The motion notes that a United Nations special rapporteur and groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and B'Tselem—an Israeli organization—"have confirmed that Israeli authorities are committing apartheid against the Palestinian people, and have documented the institutionalization of systematic racial oppression and discrimination."

Others who have condemned Israeli apartheid include former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and South African cleric and activist Desmond Tutu—both of whom were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize—and multiple cabinet-level former Israeli government officials.

Focusing on its field of expertise, AAA’s motion claims “anthropological frameworks and methods, ethnographic and archaeological, are actively used by the Israeli state to further its system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing,” and that the organization’s 1999 Declaration on Anthropology and Human Rights  states that “anthropology as a profession is committed to the promotion and protection of the right of people and peoples everywhere to the full realization of their humanity.”

Therefore, according to AAA, anthropologists have an “ethical responsibility to protest and oppose” human rights crimes, and “the discipline of anthropology, as the study of humanity, bears a distinct and urgent responsibility to stand against all forms of racism and racist practices.”

AAA also highlights U.S. financial, military, and diplomatic support for Israel, which the group calls “decisive” in “enabling and sustaining” Israeli apartheid, including the 56-year illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the unlawful construction and expansion of Jewish-only settler colonies there, and the “ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip.”

Last year, the Middle East Studies Association, the leading learned organization dedicated to study of the region, voted 768-167  to join the BDS movement, which counts more than 350 academic departments, programs, centers, unions, and societies worldwide among its supporters.

US prelates lead ‘Pilgrimage of Peace’ to Japan seeking abolition of nuclear weapons


An article by John Lavenburg in Crux

A “Pilgrimage of Peace” to Japan led by two U.S. archbishops will soon depart, with advocacy for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide and for the creation of a peaceful global environment chief among their priorities.

Led by Archbishops John Wester of Santa Fe and Paul Etienne of Seattle, and joined by organizations and archdiocesan officials dedicated to nuclear disarmament advocacy, the delegation also hopes to strengthen ties with the bishops of Japan.

John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, speaking at a recent forum held by Department of Energy officials at the Santa Fe Convention Center. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

“During this Pilgrimage of Peace to Japan, I hope to encourage conversation about universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament and walk together towards a new future of peace, a new promised land of peace, a new culture of peace and nonviolence where we all might learn to live in peace as sisters and brothers on this beautiful planet, our common home,” Wester said in a statement.

Etienne, in a statement of his own, added that to build a community where humanity can flourish, it’s important to “keep educating ourselves, praying for peace, and appealing for verifiable nuclear disarmament, which reflects Catholic teaching and is the path for the common good.”

The delegation will depart for the pilgrimage on July 31, with an itinerary that includes stops in Tokyo, Akita, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. They will return to the States on August 12. The trip is funded by grants and personal contributions; according to organizers, no diocesan funds were used.

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Question related to this article:
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

Religion: a barrier or a way to peace?, What makes it one or the other?

(Continued from left column)

The trip follows a May open letter from Wester, Etienne, Archbishop Peter Michiaki Nakamura of Nagasaki and Bishop Alexis Mitsuru Shirahama of Nagasaki, where they implored leaders of the Group of Seven countries to take concrete steps towards nuclear disarmament.

The letter came as G7 leaders met in Japan from May 19-21. Out of that meeting leaders from the G7 countries committed to working towards a world absent of nuclear weapons, and called on Russia, Iran, China and North Korea to cease nuclear escalation. Beyond the joint statement in support of nuclear disarmament, G7 leaders took no concrete steps towards that goal.

As of 2022, Russia and the United States have far and away the largest nuclear arsenals. According to data published in March by the Federation of American Scientists, Russia and the United States have 5,899 and 5,244 nuclear warheads, respectively. Third on the list is China with 410, followed by France (290), the United Kingdom (225), Pakistan (170), and India (164). No other country has an arsenal of more than 90 nuclear warheads, the data shows.

Both the Santa Fe and Seattle archdioceses, led by Wester and Etienne, have ties to nuclear weapons. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is the U.S. diocese with the most spending on nuclear weapons per capita, and contains two weapons laboratories and the nation’s largest nuclear weapons depository. The Archdiocese of Seattle is the U.S. diocese that has deployed the most strategic weapons.

Meanwhile, two of the dioceses the delegation will visit on the pilgrimage, the Dioceses of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are the only two dioceses in the world that have suffered from atomic attacks when the United States bombed both cities during World War II.

As part of the pilgrimage to Japan, the delegation will pray a novena for peace from August 1 to August 9, the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki in 1945.

Wester has been especially outspoken about the need for nuclear disarmament in recent years, prompted both by a 2017 trip he took to Japan, and the reality of his diocese’s involvement in the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal. In his statement on the upcoming pilgrimage, he said he holds out hope that one day nuclear threats can be a thing of the past.

“I hope one day, we will stop building these weapons, disarm our state and our world, and embark on a new future without the fear and terror of the nuclear threat,” Wester said.

‘A Terrible Mistake’: Key Dems in US Oppose Biden’s Move to Send Cluster Munitions to Ukraine


An article by Kenny Stancil in Common Dreams (reprinted under license Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Several high-ranking House Democrats have joined human rights groups in expressing dismay over President Joe Biden's decision to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions—weapons that more than 120 countries have banned due to their devastating and long-lasting impacts on civilians.

Biden on Friday defended his move to send cluster bombs to Ukraine as part of a new $800 million weapons package, tellingCNN it was "a very difficult decision" made because "Ukrainians are running out of ammunition" needed to stave off Russia's invasion.

Biden's comments came after top Democrats on the House Rules Committee and the panels that fund the Pentagon and State Department denounced the White House in rare statements broadcasting discord within the president's party.

"The decision by the Biden administration to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine is unnecessary and a terrible mistake," said Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. "The legacy of cluster bombs is misery, death, and expensive cleanup generations after their use."

"These weapons should be eliminated from our stockpiles, not dumped in Ukraine," she added.

"The Biden administration will probably think twice when the pictures start coming back of children who have been harmed by American-made cluster munitions."

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), ranking member of the House Rules Committee, said that he continues "to strongly support helping Ukraine stand up to Russia's brutal war of aggression."

"But cluster munitions won't help," he stressed. "They are indiscriminate weapons that disperse hundreds of bomblets which can travel far beyond military targets and injure, maim, and kill civilians—often long after a conflict is over. I urge President Biden to listen to our NATO allies, such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain, who oppose sending cluster munitions to Ukraine for the same reasons."

One hundred twenty-three nations—including 23 of NATO's 31 members—have joined the United Nations Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits all production, stockpiling, transfer, and use of the weapons. The treaty entered force nearly 13 years ago, but the U.S., Russia, and Ukraine have yet to sign it.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday published a report detailing the catastrophic effects that cluster bombs with exceptionally high bomblet failure rates used by both Russian and Ukrainian forces since the start of the war last year have already had and will have in the years ahead. Mary Wareham, the organization's acting arms director, said that "both sides should immediately stop using them and not try to get more."

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, said Thursday that she was "alarmed" Biden was even "considering sending cluster bombs to Ukraine." She pointed out that more than three dozen human rights and anti-war organizations had urged Biden in June to "remain steadfast" in opposing any transfer of the widely condemned weapons despite growing calls from congressional Republicans and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to send them to Kyiv.

U.S.-made cluster munitions have been used around the world for decades—including during Washington's wars on Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—unleashing widespread destruction and littering landscapes with unexploded ordnance that still endangers unsuspecting civilians and hinders socioeconomic development generations later. HRW has documented how U.S.-made cluster bombs continue to cause grievous harm in various countries, including Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen.

The subcommittee Lee previously chaired has long blocked the transfer of cluster munitions, which were last exported from the U.S. in 2015. Although the U.S. destroyed roughly 3.7 million cluster bombs from 2008 to 2017 and they are no longer produced by any U.S. companies, the Pentagon is estimated to still possess about 3.7 million "obsolete" cluster bombs containing over 300 million submunitions.

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Questions for this article:

Can cluster bombs be abolished?

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As Arms Control Association executive director Daryl Kimball explained Thursday: "In 2008, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued an order to phase out by 2018 cluster munitions with an unexploded ordnance rate of greater than 1%… [and] in 2011, the Obama administration affirmed this policy."

"The Pentagon has, unfortunately, dragged its feet and in 2017 the Trump administration announced the 2018 deadline for phasing out non-compliant cluster munitions would not be met," said Kimball. "No new deadline for meeting that goal was set by the Trump administration or the Biden administration."

In December, Lee and McGovern were among the 11 Democratic members of Congress who wrote in a letter to Biden that the U.S. "should be leading the global effort to rid the world of these weapons, not continuing to stockpile them."

Congress has passed legislation forbidding the export of cluster bombs that leave behind more than 1% of their submunitions as "duds." However, Biden is using a rarely invoked provision of the Foreign Assistance Act to bypass the restriction on so-called "national security" grounds, increasing the chances that Ukrainian neighborhoods and farms will be polluted with de facto landmines. Ukraine is already facing a multibillion-dollar cleanup effort, de-mining experts say.

According toThe Washington Post:

The principal weapon under consideration, an M864 artillery shell first produced in 1987, is fired from the 155mm howitzers the United States and other Western countries have provided Ukraine. In its last publicly available estimate, more than 20 years ago, the Pentagon assessed that artillery shell to have a “dud” rate of 6%, meaning that at least four of each of the 72 submunitions each shell carries would remain unexploded across an area of approximately 22,500 square meters—roughly the size of 4½ football fields. . . . The Pentagon now says it has new assessments, based on testing as recent as 2020, with failure rates no higher than 2.35%. While that exceeds the limit of 1% mandated by Congress every year since 2017, officials are ‘carefully selecting’ munitions with the 2.35% dud rate or below for transfer to Ukraine, Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said Thursday.

"It's dismaying to see the long-established 1% unexploded ordnance standard for cluster munitions rolled back as this will result in more duds, which means an even greater threat to civilians, including de-miners," Wareham told the newspaper.

"The lack of transparency on how this number was reached is disappointing and seems unprecedented," she added.

As Politico reported:

Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon official and military adviser at PAX Protection of Civilians, a Dutch NGO, noted that the actual dud rates in the field are much higher than those recorded during tests “conducted under perfect and unrealistic conditions.”

Comments from U.S. officials defending the decision do not allay the fears of many in the community, Garlasco said, expressing skepticism about the Pentagon’s latest test data showing lower dud rates.

Arms control advocates who were on a call with administration officials on Friday said that despite claims the cluster munitions being sent would have lower dud rates, there were no details about the types and sources of the cluster munitions the U.S. plans to send.

Congressional Democrats' December letter urging Biden to join the majority of the world's countries in outlawing cluster bombs was also signed by Reps. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

On Thursday, Jacobs and Omar introduced an amendment to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act recently approved by the House Armed Services Committee that would prevent the sale or transfer of cluster munitions.

Jacobs, Lee, McGovern, and Omar are all members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. But even some hawkish Democrats such as Rep. Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania are not hiding their disgust with Biden's about-face.

"There are some who will say that these weapons are necessary to level the battlefield given Russia's reported use of them," said Houlahan, co-chair of the bipartisan Unexploded Ordnance and Demining Caucus.

"I challenge the notion that we should employ the same tactics Russia is using, blurring the lines of moral high ground," she continued. "And I challenge all of us to remember that this war will end, and the broken pieces of Ukraine will need to be rebuilt."

Biden's move was praised by John Bolton, a notorious warmonger who has served in every GOP-led White House since the Reagan administration. It was also welcomed by some congressional Republicans, including far-right Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.), whose only complaint was that "it took too long."

Sarah Yager, HRW's Washington director, toldThe Hill that those "legislators, policymakers, and the Biden administration will probably think twice when the pictures start coming back of children who have been harmed by American-made cluster munitions.