Category Archives: North America

USA: Statement from Faith Organizations and Leaders  Calling for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

A petition from Code Pink

SIGN ON STATEMENT:

As people of faith and conscience, believing in the sanctity of all life on this planet, we call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine. In the spirit of the truce that occurred in 1914 during the First World War, we urge our government to take a leadership role in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end through supporting calls for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement, before the conflict results in a nuclear war that could devastate the world’s ecosystems and annihilate all of God’s creation.  

Initiated by Fellowship of Reconciliation-USA, CODEPINK, and the National Council of Elders

Background and Context:

As the war in Ukraine rages on, the toll of death and destruction continues to mount and the potential for escalation and the use of nuclear weapons grows. The direct catastrophic impact the war has already had on the people of Ukraine is still unknown but countless thousands of civilians have already died and 14 million have been displaced. The war’s impact is multiplied outside of Ukraine’s borders as rising prices for wheat, fertilizer and fuel are creating growing crises in global hunger and poverty. 

Whether it’s Christians around the world preparing for Christmas or Jews awaiting the Festival of Lights holiday of Hanukkah all of the Abrahamic faiths embrace the prophetic voice of Isaiah who exhorted us to transform swords into plowshares. In this winter holiday season of peace, we ask our government’s leaders to recall another murderous conflict between nations that took place on the European continent over a century ago. In 1914, roughly 100,000 German and British soldiers along the Western Front in World War I declared an unofficial Christmas Truce and ceased hostilities for a short period. 

It was a moment so shocking to our usual expectations that it continues to reverberate in our collective imaginations over 100 years later. Another Christmas Truce could save lives and pave the way for critical peace talks. 

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Questions related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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The way out of the war in Ukraine will not be a military solution. The path toward peace in Ukraine requires powers of a different sort: negotiation and imagination.

As leaders of a diverse group of faith communities, we sign onto the petition below and pray that our leaders have the courage and conscience to use those powers instead.

Initial signers include:

Bishop William J. Barber, President Repairers of the Breach
Dr. Cornel West, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary
Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Liz Theoharis, Poor People’s Campaign co-chair
Reverend Graylan Scott Hagler, FOR-USA Advisor, Racial and economic justice advocate
Dr. Zoharah Simmons, civil rights movement veteran, National Council of Elders
Reverend Dorsey, Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, National Council of Elders
Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America
Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, President, Sojourners
Rev. Janet Wolf,  National Council of Elders
Jim Wallis, Georgetown University
Bridget Moix, General Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation
Rev. William Lamar, IV, Metropolitan AME Church, Washington, DC
Rev. Freeman Palmer, Conference Minister, Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC
Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake, Presiding Minister, The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, National Council of Elders
Imam Abu Nahidian, Manassas Mosque
Sư Cô Thích Nữ Chân Không, Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism
Thầy Thích Chân Pháp Ấn, Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism
Pastor Bob Roberts, Church in Keller, Texas
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, Executive Minister & President, United Church of Christ
Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, President, Unitarian Universalist Association
Nicholas Sooy, director of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship
Imam Mujahid Abdul Malik, President, Sound Vision Foundation
Rabbi Phyllis Berman, ALEPH Ordination Program’s Hashpa’ah Program
Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, Executive Director, Religions for Peace USA
Ariel Gold, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation USA
Rev. Michael McBride, Pastor, The Way Christian Center; Director of Urban Strategies, Faith in Action
Dr. Daisy Khan, Executive Director & Founder, Women’s Islamic Initiative for Spirituality & Equality
Rev. Terrence Moran, Director of Peace, Justice, & Ecological Integrity Office, Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth
Dr. James Zogby, President Arab American Institute, Professor, Author
Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili, Metropolitan Bishop, Peace Cathedral

If you are not a lay or ordained faith leader, please take this to your faith community/congregation and ask them to sign on.

Say NO to U.S. wars! Actions took place in more than 70 areas across the US and Canada

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement

During the past week (as of October 23, 2022), antiwar actions were held in more than 70 areas.  The actions took place mostly in the United States in answer to a call from the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), but we were joined by a coalition of antiwar groups from Canada and also by some European countries.  We did not expect such an overwhelming response from our movement, but we learned people are ready to hit the streets and build a strong unified antiwar movement.


Understanding that the 2 main parties in the US are both imperialist and pro-war, the actions were called right before the US midterm elections.  Although the US and NATO are neck deep in their war with Russia in Ukraine and we may be closer to nuclear war than at any time in the past, there was no debate about war during this election period.  This despite that fact that the sanctions on Russia along with the US destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines has led to an economic crisis in the US and especially in Europe that is causing great hardship to the working people in North America and Europe.

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Question for this article:

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

Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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The Ukraine war is also exposing deep cracks in the US empire that will change the world.  After the humiliating defeat of the US and NATO in Afghanistan, the looming defeat of the US and NATO in Ukraine along with the economic crisis is moving countries out of the orbit of the US as power is shifting to the East.  Few countries, especially in the Global South have gone along with the US sanctions on Russia.  We have also seen cracks in NATO and the European Union as the US uses the crisis to try and move Europe away from its trade relationships with Russian and China in order to bring more profit to US corporations at the expense of Europe.

So, it is extremely important that our actions took place and it is extremely important that they continue.  In Canada, a coalition was developed to build the actions that has the potential of strengthen their movement and, in the US, we must do the same.  Although, the major news media ignored our actions, we were in the streets and visible and are stronger for it.

If your group is not a member of UNAC, it is more important than ever that it joins.  In unity, there is strength.  To have your peace or social justice group join UNAC,  please go here.

UNAC demands:
Stop Washington’s war moves toward Russia and China
Stop endless wars: Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, everywhere

Guest Opinion: Why become an International City of Peace?

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article by Frank Thacker from The Westerly Sun

In early 2018 the Westerly Area Peace and Justice Group learned about the International Cities of Peace. After some discussion we decided to submit an applicate to become an ICP.

Why? As you can surmise there were more than a few reasons, but the major motivation was rooted in the well-known slogan “Think globally, act locally.” ICP is a global association of cities acting locally, and since Westerly Area Peace and Justice is a group acting locally and thinking globally, it seemed like good fit.

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Question related to this article:
 
How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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Even before BEOC was formed, Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess, whose We were also very much aligned with their foundational vision of ensuring everyone’s right to safety, prosperity and quality, with their essential mission of building a scalable network of “in situ” teams committed to peace-building in cities around the world, and their essential goal of certifying and recommending thousands of self-organized municipalities as Cities of Peace in order to put in motion a tipping force for global peace.

In addition to the deep-rooted common values that motivated us to become an International City of Peace, there is an almost infinite array of resources available for members of ICP. These range from information of “how to” materials, to education including access to exhibits and teaching tools, to online learning via videos and documents. In addition, ICP provides a free website page for our community as well as a blog presence.

While the above is important and we are grateful for all the benefits of Westerly-Pawcatuck being an International City of Peace over the years, we have learned that the greatest benefit of being a member of ICP is the sense of hope and inspiration we have received as we learn about all the powerful work being done by hundreds of cities around the globe to create a culture of peace.

The writer is a resident of Westerly and a member of the Westerly Peace and Justice Group.

Fresno, California: Community commemorates Sudarshan Kapoor during 33rd annual Gandhi celebration

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article from Collegian CSU Fresno

Fresno State hosted the annual celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 153rd birthday while also honoring the work of Sudarshan Kapoor on Oct. 4 at the Fresno State Peace Garden.

The celebration, which served to spread the message of “Stop the Hate, Stop the Gun Violence, Build a Culture of Peace,” commemorated Kapoor’s efforts in spreading peace and anti-violence rhetoric. He was the founder and first director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and also served on Fresno’s Human Relations Commission for 12 years. 

To this, he said change was needed to achieve for development and added that Kapoor is currently a philosophy professor at Fresno State and founded the Peace Gardens project to fund the Peace Garden where the event was held.

The event featured speeches from guests such as Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval and Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer, who emphasized the importance of building a culture and community of peace in Fresno.

“Our students and faculty come from all backgrounds and corners of the world, and it’s especially important that we promote Gandhi’s legacy of nonviolence,” Jiménez-Sandoval said. “Indeed, Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of social concern and care for human dignity are more relevant today than ever.”

Kapoor is currently a philosophy professor at Fresno State and founded the Peace Gardens project to fund the Peace Garden where the event was held.

The event featured speeches from guests such as Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval and Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer, who emphasized the importance of building a culture and community of peace in Fresno.

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Questions for this article:

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?

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“Our students and faculty come from all backgrounds and corners of the world, and it’s especially important that we promote Gandhi’s legacy of nonviolence,” Jiménez-Sandoval said. “Indeed, Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of social concern and care for human dignity are more relevant today than ever.”

Dyer reiterated the necessity of a united community. 

“We have a vision today of being an inclusive, prosperous, beautiful city where people take pride in their neighborhood and their community,” Dyer said. “[We need] the message of nonviolence, peace, oneness and unity.”

Dyer announced that Oct. 4 would be recognized as Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Day in Fresno, presenting Kapoor with a plaque of the city’s proclamation to recognize the professor’s service to the community.

Kapoor was also awarded the Community Service Excellence Award by the Central California Society of India (CCSI).

Deepika Shiroy, the current president of the CCSI, presented Kapoor with the award and commending his devoted work in Fresno. 

“Community work sometimes can be [a] disheartening, back-breaking affair,” Shiroy said. “Every community needs a pioneer that inspires us to continue the good work day in and day out.”

During the event, Kapoor spoke about the hardships he experienced in his life. Having moved from India across the continent and then across the world to the U.S., he came to the San Joaquin Valley in 1967. 

“[My family and I] love Fresno. We have raised our children here,” Kapoor said. “ I belong to Fresno State, and Fresno State belongs to me. That’s the kind of relationship I have with this university.”

Songs and dances were performed during the celebration, including a performance by Fresno Unified School District students of “Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram,” a prayer song popularized by Ghandi. The event also featured a performance by the Raging Grannies, an activist group composed of older women who sing songs promoting social justice and peace.The celebration was part of a larger event known as “The Highway to Healing: Understanding the Ocean of Oneness.” The two-day program featured talks about Gandhian principles and Jain/Hindu Dharma traditions, discussing how they can help people find peace during times of disorder.

United States and Canada: International Day of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

A survey by CPNN

Here are 196 events for the International Day of Peace located in 44 of the 50 United States, as well as 13 events in Canada in seven of the ten provinces. In order to save space, only one event is given in detail for each state and province 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 2022 from events in previous years, except for those Montessori schools that were new this year, as listed below.


Students at Montclair High School in New Jersey on the International Day of Peace

Here are excerpts from the articles.

* * * CANADA * * *

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER

OTTAWA : Today, on the International Day of Peace, we reflect on the efforts we have made to make peace a reality around the world. In the face of rising violence, authoritarianism, and threats to democracy globally, more work needs to be done to build a stable world for everyone. According to the United Nations (UN), our planet is witnessing the largest number of violent conflicts in over 75 years. . . Canada has long been a leader in international efforts to advance peace, and continues to be a strong voice for human rights. Along with liked-minded partners in the UN, we are working to promote the rule of law, build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels, and provide access to justice as part of our ongoing commitment to fulfill the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). As Co-Chair of the UN SDG Advocates group, I will continue to work closely with our global partners to address the world’s biggest challenges and help create a more peaceful and prosperous future for people in Canada and around the world. . . . On this International Day of Peace, we recommit to building a better, more stable world for all.”
.

ALBERTA

CALGARY : Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Come Peace. We will have SAIT’s portable Labyrinth on hand for you to walk through and our SAIT Chaplains will be available for you to engage with as we discuss this year’s theme, “End Racism, Build Peace.” We will also have plenty of artisan “Peace cookies”, coffee and tea for you to enjoy as you enjoy taking a moment for Peace.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

KOOTENAY : September 21, 2022, is the International Day of Peace and the 15th anniversary of the official opening of the Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College. Please join us . . . We will unveil and celebrate the newly refurbished Conversation Bench, in the presence of the artists who both created and restored it. We look forward to seeing you there!

MANITOBA

WINNEPEG : Official proclamation of the Province of Manitoba: Peace Days September 15-21, 2022

NOVA SCOTIA

ANTIGONISH : We are chocolate makers located in Antigonish Nova Scotia. Originally from Damascus Syria. Today is the 2022 United Nations Day of Peace. We are taking a concrete step towards a world that is more peaceful. Our new strategic partnership with the Institute for Economics & Peace will create 100 new voices for peace by facilitatiing 5 positive peace workshops in prioritized countries.

ONTARIO

WATERLOO : University of Waterloo: On September 21, 2014, the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement opened its doors for the first time in celebration of the International Day of Peace. . . .After a two years of online opportunities and small gatherings, the Centre for Peace Advancement is once again marking Peace Week by hosting a public community calendar of events and activities.We invite you to be in community with us during #PeaceWeek2022.

SAUGEEN SHORES

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

CHARLOTTETOWN : A day-long series of events in Charlottetown will mark International Day of Peace on September 21. The highlights will include a sunrise sing-along, song and dance celebrating Mi’kmaq culture, John Lennon’s peace songs, an origami peace crane giveaway, yoga for wellness, and a panel on human rights, liveable income, education, inclusive diversity, and pillars of peace.

QUEBEC

MONTREAL : The eighth edition of Peace Days , an initiative of the Network for Peace and Social Harmony, will be held from September 21 to October 2. The event kicks off with the International Day of Peace and concludes with the International Day of Non-Violence, both declared by the United Nations. . . . For 12 days, the theme Acting for equality: ending racism, building peace is available in more than forty activities, proposed by some fifty partners from the community, cultural, educational and philanthropic sectors. Gathered under four main categories (Learning, Arts and culture, Community, In dialogue), the most varied program is aimed at all audiences: workshops, artistic events, exhibitions, round tables, picnics, storytelling, conferences, documentaries , public concert… The program offers online and face-to-face activities — mostly in Montreal, but also on its outskirts — and the vast majority of these are free, although registration is required for some.

SAINT LAURENT
SHERBROOKE
TROIS RIVIERES

* * * UNITED STATES * * * *

ALABAMA

OPELIKA : On September 24th, community organizers and civic groups in Opelika, Alabama held a March Against Violence/Gun Violence. This was the 5th Annual MLK Jr. Youth Nonviolence Peace March And Rally Against Violence & Gun Violence, honoring loving memories of the late Otis Gray, Sr. (Pastor Morton’s father). Mayor Gary Fuller issued a proclamation declaring a day of peace and calling for an end to violence. Pastor Carolyn Morton received an Achievement Award for her work to end gun violence. Auburn Moms Demand Action was honored with an MLK Jr. Social Justice Award during a celebration of International Day of Peace at Christian Care Ministries. Opelika Councilman George Allen was a special guest at the celebration. Other participants included the CEO of Lee County Community Outreach Stop The Violence Activists Group, Samford Stop the Violence Group, Opelika & Auburn Moms Demand Action Local Chapter Group, and Opelika Fire Department.

ARIZONA

KINGMAN : Kingman’s event is scheduled to be held at Locomotive Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.   Planned activities include guest speaker Jack Ehrhardt who will speak on climate change, making and displaying of past peace flags, a group discuss ion on the meaning of peace, a smudging ceremony, and of course the traditional bell ringing ceremony at noon.  Bring your own lawn chair, peace sign, liquid refreshment …. and your passion for peace!!

PRESCOTT
SEDONA
TUCSON

ARKANSAS

LITTLE ROCK : Join us for Arkansas Peace Week! Each year Arkansas Peace Week includes numerous events, hosted by dozens of organizations throughout our state. These events feature education, service and outreach activities promoting peacemaking, non-violence, social justice, ecological stewardship, and community building

CALIFORNIA

SAN DIEGO : Peace Week San Diego is a project of the Peace Resource Center in collaboration with the Campaign NonViolence Week of Actions. San Diego collaborations: American Friends Service Committee, activist Andrea St. Julian, artist/activist Antonia Davis, Climate Mobilization Coalition, Veterans For Peace, Women Occupy San Diego, Treat M.I./Don’t Mistreat M.I., Mothers Against Torture, Cop Watch. . . . 9/17 – Peace Week Kicks off with the Kale Festival at the Peace Garden . . . 9/18, Author Francesco da Vinci reads from his book, I Refuse to Kill – about his work in peace activism in San Diego during the tumultuous 60s. . . . 9/20, Tuesday, No MAS w/ San Diego Veterans For Peace, Carroll Canyon Overpass, Miramar Base. A protest against the Miramar Air Show. . . .Wednesday, 9/21, noon, County Court House – A birthday cake for Geo with a side of Justice. Geo is in prison, living with mental illness and no treatment. . . . Wednesday, 9/21, 4 PM – Kids 4 Peace International Day of Peace Rally

CASTRO VALLEY
MANHATTAN BEACH
MONTEREY
MORGAN HILL
MORRO BAY
ORANGE
SAN FRANCISCO
SANTA CLARITA
SANTA CRUZ
SEBASTOPOL
STANISLAUS
VISALIA

COLORADO

GREENWOOD VILLAGE : Pinwheels and pledges mark World Peace Day at Timberline Elementary School. “This year we implemented social-emotional time in the morning, and our teachers have taken that time to talk about how we can lead a peaceful life and also have peace within ourselves,” Bowens said. Teachers and students have also discussed ending racism, which is the theme of this year’s international celebration. “We’ve been talking about cultural differences and how we respect and accept each other and learn to love and care and be kind to one another.” To mark World Peace Day, every student wrote a “peace pledge” that highlighted the ways they will try to foster peace at school, at home and in their community.

CONNECTICUT

NORWICH : On Wednesday, members of the Norwich community marked the International Day of Peace with a rededication of the peace poles. . . . This year’s dedication was the first one since the pandemic. Highlights of the ceremony included Norwich middle school students reading essays about peace, reading the peace pole by people who speak some of the non-English languages, and Jennifer Hubbard, president of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, donating local plants from the sanctuary’s pollinator garden to help create a pollinator garden at the poles. . . .
Norwich is also part of the International Cities of Peace, which represents cities around the world that are committed to working on peace.

DELAWARE

WILMINGTON : From October 8-16, 2022, peace-loving people across our state will celebrate Peace Week Delaware—a statewide series of events and actions raising awareness and hope for peace in our communities, nation, and world. . . . We will also commemorate International Peace Day (Sept. 21) and the efforts of the United Nations to achieve international harmony.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

WASHINGTON, D.C. : The United States Institute for Peace (USIP)! will open its doors for an open house on September 21, featuring guided tours and informative exhibits. There will also be interactive stations for visitors of all ages, including a live wall painting led by the renowned Afghan art collective, ArtLords, and activities to participate in the USIP #PeaceDayChallenge directly from the USIP headquarters!

FLORIDA

FORT MYERS : SWFL Peace Day Celebration continues to be a community favorite event where the community comes together to celebrate all that’s right in the world, experiencing a single day of peace in SW Florida. . . .Peace Day is at Wa-Ke-Hatchee Park in Fort Myers on Sunday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. . . . The day will include kids’ activities, rides, local vendors, unique artisans, live art, blood drive and live entertainment.

CORAL SPRINGS
DUNEDIN
GAINESVILLE
MIAMI BEACH
WELLINGTON
WINTER PARK

GEORGIA

SAVANNAH : On Sunday Sept. 25 from 12 to 4 p.m., local nonprofit the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire will host the first annual Savannah Day of Peace at Daffin Park. . . .The Savannah Day of Peace is an intentional peacebuilding event designed to help bridge gaps and unite the community. The event arose from a need recognized by the Mediation Center team members, a need that became particularly prominent during the onset of the pandemic. “During that time, we learned a lot and we also saw that our community is more in need than ever for conflict resolution skills,” said Jill Cheeks, executive director of the Mediation Center.

HAWAII

WAIANAE : The Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center and Towers of Kuhio Park created a Zone of Peace and Nonviolence in Waianae, Hawai’i. On September 21st, the International Day of Peace, they put up a sign at the entrance of the community and established a focus of peace and nonviolence in the neighborhood. Children, youth, elders, parents, and community members rallied and carried banners, including for Campaign Nonviolence Hawaii. 

HONOLULU

IDAHO

BOISE : The Boiser Peace Quilt Project plans an action on September 21 for the International Day of Peace

ILLINOIS

CHICAGO : Hundreds of people will gather in Daley Plaza to International Day of Peace. It is the 44th year Chicago has celebrated the holiday. More than 1,000 students are expected to carry flags of all of the world’s nations and share signs promoting peace. The event is free and begins at 11:45 a.m.

BATAVIA
ELGIN
JOLIET
NORMAL

INDIANA

FORT WAYNE : Actions for the International Day of Peace partnering with the Franciscan Action Network

IOWA

IOWA CITY : Veterans for Peace, University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Office of Equity & Human Rights, Peace Iowa, and Johnson County United Nations Association will mark International Day of Peace with a program at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, at Mercer Park, Shelter #1.

CLINTON
DES MOINES
MUSCATINE

KANSAS

MANHATTAN : This year, in conjunction with Peace Day 2022, the K-State conflict resolution program is inviting K-Staters to join them in a celebration of peace on Sept. 20 over the lunch hour. Students, faculty and staff are invited to gather in the front lobby of Justin Hall at noon. Starting at 12:15 p.m. a peace walk will begin. Participants will be encouraged to link up with other walkers and have discussions on peace using provided prompts and questions. The walk will end on Anderson lawn where a photo of the group will be taken in the shape of a peace sign. Following the photo, conflict resolution program staff will encourage discussion among attendees with additional prompts and questions around the topic of peace.

KENTUCKY

LOUISVILLE : Students at Louisville’s Presentation Academy are practicing peace by participating in several activities with “International Peace Day.”  Students at Presentation Academy are sharing simple but strong messages of peace, statements of affirmation and positivity they are displaying for anyone passing by their school. “We are making tags for what we need to see in the world for peace,” Freshman Bryce Jackson tells Spectrum News 1. Their messages are written on paper cards and tied to leaves on a campus tree.

LEXINGTON

LOUISIANA

LAFAYETTE : Actions for the International Day of Peace by Compassionate Communication of Lafayette, LA Citizens Climate Lobby, Lafayette Chapter

MARYLAND

NATIONAL HARBOR : On the eve of the International Day of Peace, and in solidarity with all who are participating in the coming days in Campaign Nonviolence and the Catholic Days of Action, Mike Walli, Bob Cooke, Jack McHale, Scott Wright and Art Laffin vigiled outside the annual Air Force Association (AFA) “Air-Space-Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition.” The peace activists call this an “Arms Bazaar” and made their presence felt by weapons contractors and military personnel. During this faith-based event, they held banners and signs.

Question for this article

What has happened this year (2022) for the International Day of Peace?

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MASSACHUSETTS

BOSTON : Once again this year, local peace activists and faith groups will be on Boston Common to commemorate the International Day of Peace. This year a major focus is on local youth alternatives to gangs. Ian Harrington, co-chair for International Day of Peace Boston, said the event will include music, dance, poetry and song as well as spoken presentations from local peacemakers. This is our eighth year,” he said. “(We) like to use our event to bring together people who work in various types of peace; and especially people who, peace is international, together with people who the peace they seek is on the local streets.” Harrington said some of the local groups that provide activities aimed at diversion from gangs will participate. The event begins at 1 p.m. Sunday on Boston Common.

BRIDGEWATER
CHELMSFORD
FOXBORO
MEDFORD
SPRINGFIELD

MICHIGAN

SAGINAW :  The Mridha International Institute of Peace & Happiness (MIIPH) is hosting a Saginaw Peace Walk on Wednesday, September 21, International Peace Day. The walk will be preceded by a Partners in Peace Expo with 16 other Saginaw-based non-profit organizations. The event begins at 4:00pm and will be held at the historic Montague Inn Bed & Breakfast, 1581 S. Washington Ave. Saginaw Mayor Brenda Moore will issue a proclamation recognizing MIIPH’s efforts to promote peace in the community through events and the development of its online peace education platform, which will debut in 2023. Food trucks, live music, and local nonprofit activities and information will be featured.

ANN ARBOR
DETROIT
HOUGHTON AND HANCOCK
LANSING
MIDLAND
NEWAYGO
OXFORD

MINNESOTA

ST. PAUL : International Peace Day, Dinner at St. Paul UU Church. . . Come learn about how the Golden Rule sailboat helped stop nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and how she continues to fight the possibility of nuclear war today.On this International Peace Day, Golden Rule Project Manager Helen Jaccard and congregant Mike McDonald invite us into the Golden Rule’s work for peace!

MISSOURI

CAPE GIRARDEAU : Members with the Cape Girardeau County Rotary Club came together at Peace Park in Cape Girardeau to help out another organization on World Peace Day. A check for $1,000 was given to the Feed My Starving Children organization. Rotary International has designated September 21st as World Peace Day and Rotarians are challenged to imagine what it would be like if world peace were to be achieved in our lifetime. We talked with club President Rick Fischer who says they want to keep making efforts to make a difference in helping others. “At the local community level, start there and hope that good will will propagate and actually from a local level to a county level, to a city level, to a state level,” Fischer said. “Then, before we know it, have a national campaign to accomplish world peace in our lifetime.”

HANNIBAL
ROLLA
ST.LOUIS
STE.GENEVIEVE

NEW JERSEY

MONTCLAIR

At Edgemont Montessori, students, staff and families celebrated International Day of Peace with their annual Peace Parade. They started with a mindful minute, discussed International Day of Peace and the theme, listened to student speakers share reflections (in English and Spanish), and then finished with the Peace Parade celebration.  . . . . Montclair High School’s Center for Social Justice (CSJ) planned and participated in observing the International Day of Peace. Students recognized this day by learning its history, signing a pledge and sharing words of hope while surrounding the CSJ/MHS Peace Pole. CSJ students encourage all people to “Say It, Do It, Share It”: Say what peace means to you, do something that demonstrates your commitment to peace, and share it on social media with #CSJPeaceDayChallenge and inspire others to do the same.

CAMDEN
PRINCETON
WESTFIELD

NEW MEXICO

SANTE FE : The combined sponsorship of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Veterans for Peace, and Nonviolent Santa Fe, present to the County Commission of Santa Fe, New Mexico, A Resolution Recognizing September 21, 2022, as The International Day of Peace and Urging the United States Congress to Reduce Funding to the United States Department of Defense and Reallocate Those Funds to Domestic Needs.

NEW YORK – UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS : The International Day of Peace was observed on 16 September 2022 at United Nations Headquarters. The programme began with the traditional Peace Bell Ceremony in the Peace Garden at 9:00 a.m. EDT. At that event, the Secretary-General and President of the General Assembly rang the Peace Bell. Following that, a Youth Observance was held in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber at 9:30 a.m. EDT, in which more than 500 students interacted with the Secretary-General and high-profile artists and activists. Young people presented projects that illustrated the action they had taken to combat racism and thereby foster peace. Watch the Youth Observance at https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace?gclid=CjwKCAjw4c-ZBhAEEiwAZ105RRDRMQLlv40Eaqhy2HZZDdijXtcI-hoJdnTbk5XqtGVV_L8nBNB-CBoCxqsQAvD_BwE See the Youth Observance’s programme here:
https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/intl-day-of-peace-2022_event-programme.pdf

NEW YORK

SARATOGA SPRINGS : Saratoga’s Peace Week coincides with international Peace Week events, with Sept. 21 commemorated as the United Nations International Day of Peace.  The Spa City’s Peace Week was started 15 years ago by Elizabeth Meehan as a one-day event, but has since expanded.  “It continues to grow as more organizations get involved,” she said. Now the week-long event is held at different venues and features a variety of programs, including international speakers, musicians, yoga, and art and museum exhibits.

ALBANY INTERFAITH PROGRAM
ALBANY SCHOOLS
AMITYVILLE
NEW YORK CITY

NORTH CAROLINA

ASHEVILLE : We’ll have Declaration of Peace from the Western North Carolina People of Peace read at our gathering at the Ekder and Sage Community Garden in Downtown Asheville. We will recognize our Peacemaker of the Year Ponkho Bermejo of Beloved Asheville. We will also begin a Peace Day Honor Roll this year recognizing those who have given decades to non-violence in WNC. After that, we will chalk sidewalks with peace messages downtown.

ASHEVILLE SCHOOL
CHARLOTTE
HILLSBOROUGH

OHIO

TOLEDO : Peace March in Toledo, Ohio, September 21, noon-1 p.m. – Peace Walk around the Courthouse for the UN International Day of Peace. Wednesday, September 21, 2022, noon to 1 p.m. Lucas County Courthouse, Toledo, Ohio. We’ll gather at the statue in front of the Lucas County Courthouse and follow the peace pole around the block with song and prayer. All are welcome: the event is inclusive, multi-faith, non-violent, and non-partisan. Organized by Social Justice Advocates.

BRUNSWICK
CINCINNATI INTERCOMMUNITY PEACE AND JUSTICE CENTER
CINCINNATI XAVIER UNIVERSITY
CLEVELAND
FINDLAY
LOVELAND
PUT-IN-BAY

OKLAHOMA

OKLAHOMA CITY : On Wednesday, September 21, Oklahoma City organizations will come together to celebrate the International Day of Peace with a free event hosted by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization of Oklahoma.. . . . The event will take place at Dr. Doug Baker Auditorium at the OSU-OKC University Learning Resource Center (LRC100), 900 N Portland Avenue and begins at 6:30 p.m. . . . Participating groups include: United Nations Association of Oklahoma City, Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma, Hindu Temple of OKC, First Unitarian Church of OKC, Respect Diversity Foundation, Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, Baháʼí Faith, Sikh Gurdwara of Oklahoma, Shirdi Sai Temple of OKC , and the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization.

OREGON

HILLSBORO : Working with Habitat For Humanity, the Oregon Peace Builders will be planting and dedicating a Peace Pole at Alder Commons homesites Saturday Sept. 24 10am, in front of a new Habitat site. Location: 13th St and Alder Ct in Hillsboro OR. Also on 09/25/22 we will hold a church service dedicated to nonviolence

EUGENE
PORTLAND
SALEM

PENNSYLVANIA

PHILADELPHIA : Peace Day Philly 2022. September 21. Philadelphia will join with groups and organizations around the world to make this global day of local opportunity. The global Peace Day theme, set by the United Nations, is End Racism. Build Peace. Guests will speak to this theme and we will share in the global act of observing one minute of silence at 12 noon. Live music, poetry and artmaking will also be a part of this event. Special speakers will include: – Romana Lee-Akiyama, MSS, MLSP, Director – Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement – Kia Ghee, Esq., Executive Director- Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Performers will include – L’Tajh Carter – Poetry – Marcy Francis and Jan Jeffries – Drumming – Hugh Taft-Morales – guitar and singing Artmaking: We welcome people to “Chalk 4 Peace” by sharing words and images of peace with sidewalk chalk. Creating peace buttons (thanks to Artwell) and mini murals (hanks o Mural Arts)

ALTOONA
CHELTENHAM
CRANBERRY
GERMANTOWN
HAVERFORD
LANCASTER
MONROEVILLE
PHILADELPHIA GRANNIES
TARENTUM

RHODE ISLAND

KINGSTON : The University of Rhode Island, Kingston Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies invites you to celebrate the  International Day of Peace in Memorial Student Union 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. You are welcome to explore, exchange, express, sing, practice, learn, and enjoy the peace!

PROVIDENCE
SOUTH KINGSTOWN

SOUTH CAROLINA

CHARLESTON : Photos of children celebrating the International Day of Peace at the Murray-LaSaine Montessori School.

SOUTH DAKOTA

RAPID CITY : Alan Sutton: Rolling Protest – The “Nonviolence Means” Posters that I got from Pace e Bene are on both sides of the camper on the back of my truck. It’s a continuous action in pursuit of a culture of nonviolence. The truck pulls my tiny house which is where I live, currently in Rapid City SD; heading further west for winter warmth in November.

TENNESSEE

JACKSON : The Community Montessori School and Arlington Elementary met each other halfway Wednesday in a walk of peace. “Today we made the decision so happily to join Arlington, our neighbors,” said Community Montessori Principal Dr. Melinda Harris. “We had a peace walk and joined the students of Arlington, sang songs together, talked about peace education and what it means to love and care for each other.” Students from both schools sang songs of peace, and CMS students performed their school song. . . . The school principals say they hope to continue a walk of peace each year.

CHATTANOOGAJEFFERSON CITY
JOHNSON CITY
KNOXVILLE
MEMPHIS

TEXAS

EL PASO : A celebration of International Day of Peace hosted by Unity Through Creativity Foundation and the Interfaith Alliance of the Southwest was held on September 21, 2022. Nine speakers/performers and 18 vendors welcomed people to Keystone Heritage Botanical Garden. Around 83 people of all ages participated. Attendees added to “The Nectarine Singing Tree Mural of Peace”, the 111th mural in a project that invites the whole world to make a painting together. . . . The celebration went on all day long. Television and radio broadcaster Monica Gomez emceed the day. Grandma Beatriz Villegas opened the day with a ceremony. Neema Soratgar, the first woman to drive in Afghanistan in 2001 when the Taliban fell who carried the Afghanistan flag in the Olympics in 2004, spoke about her experience narrowly escaping with her children in 2021.  She is a guest Scholar in Women Studies at University of Texas in El Paso.  

AUSTINHOUSTON
SAN ANTONIO

UTAH

PARK CITY : Park City Library. Throughout the week the Library will be observing International Peace Day and Voter Registration day. These two events help promote and strengthen the ideals of peace, both within and among nations and people by  encouraging active civic participation and voting. At this event, register to vote or make sure your voting information is correct and celebrate International Peace Day. You will be able to make a desktop peace pole to bring home.

VERMONT

LINCOLN : Please join us for the Global 40TH Anniversary of the celebration of the International Day of Peace with these distinguished speakers discussing “End Racism. Build Peace through Bioresonance.” Tuesday, September 21; . . . .Sunray is also honored to join with many global Peacebuilders with this on the Equinox as part of the Fall Peace Week included in the 99 Days of Peace —which started on June 18 with the beginning of World Unity Week, and will end on Saturday September 24. We are doing many prayers and meditation actions as part of this.

VIRGINIA

SUFFOLK : Pause at 12 noon with the Suffolk Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.for the International Day of Peace.

NORFOLK

WASHINGTON

WEST SEATTLE : The newest Peace Pole planted by the Rotary Club of West Seattle now stands in front of C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) after a dedication ceremony this morning. Keith Hughes  from the Rotary explained that this dedication is special because it was arranged to happen on the United Nations International Day of Peace. . . . Each pole is decorated and inscribed differently; this one carries its message of peace in Hawaiian, Japanese, Lushootseed, and English – and a solar-powered light on top. The Rotary has at least five more to install around West Seattle; the next scheduled dedication will be in November along Fauntleroy Creek. .

KITSAP
SEATTLE

WEST VIRGINIA

MORGANTOWN : The West Virginia University Native American Studies Program will hold its annual Peace Tree Ceremony Wednesday, September 21 at 12 p.m. at the WVU Peace Tree located between Martin and Elizabeth Moore Halls. . . . This year’s ceremony marks the 30th anniversary of the planting of WVU’s first peace tree by Chief Leon Shenandoah, Tadodaho of the Grand Council of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy.

WISCONSIN

RACINE : The Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice continuing its participation in the yearly Peace Day Celebration at Jefferson Lighthouse. The Future appears be looking up! (with photo)

***** MONTESSORI *****

In addition to the events listed above, there were 55 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:
Arizona : Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa
California: Bakersfield, Berkeley, Carmichael, Garden Grove, Moraga, San Diego
Colorado: Parker
Florida: Oviedo
Georgia: Atlanta, Chattahoochee, Decatur, Sandy Springs
Hawaii: Hanamaulu
Idaho: Spirt Lake
Illinois: Chicago
Indiana: Angola, Indianapolis (2)
Kansas: Stilwell
Louisiana:Abita Springs
Maine: Fryeburg, Nobleboro
Massachusets,:Beverly, North Chelmsford, Rowley
Michigan: Rochester
Minnesota: Pinckney ,Minneapolis
New Jersey: Berkeley Heights, Metuchen, Morris Plains, Union City, Warren
New Mexico: Albuquerque
New York: Ithaca, West Hqrrison
North Carolina: Asheville, Mebane
Oklahoma: Tulsa
Ontario: Blenheim, Burlington
Pennsylvania: Allison Park
South Carolina: Greenwood
South Dakota: Aberdeen
Tennessee: Nashville, Pasquo,
Texas: Cedar Hill, Georgetown, Richmond
Virginia: Arlington, Danville, Hampton, Springfield

USA: House Dems Voice ‘Grave and Urgent Concerns’ Over Chilean Plebiscite Misinformation

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

An article from Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.)

U.S. House Democrats on Friday shared their “grave and urgent concerns” to leading social media companies over right-wing misinformation about this weekend’s Chilean constitutional plebiscite being shared on their platforms.

In a letter  to Mark Zuckerberg, Parag Agrawal, and Shou Zi Chew—the respective CEOs of Facebook parent company Meta, Twitter, and TikTok—the lawmakers “strongly implore” the social media companies to “act with urgency to combat corrupt disinformation campaigns that undermine a fair and democratic process” in Chile.


Thousands of people take part in a closing rally for the “I approve” option to change the Chilean constitution in Santiago on September 1, 2022. (Photo: Lucas Aguayo Araos/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“This Sunday, Chileans will decide whether to approve a new constitution or default to the existing version written by the Pinochet dictatorship’s military junta,” states the letter, which is signed by Reps. Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Jesús “Chuy” García, Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), and James McGovern (D-Mass).

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Question related to this article:

Is the media an arm of the culture of war?

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The lawmakers were referring to the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who seized power in a 1973 coup supported by then-President Richard Nixon and successive administrations as well as  U.S. business interests.

“In the context of such an important and sensitive democratic process, we believe that technology corporations like yours have an obligation to ensure that their platforms do not serve to disseminate hate, lies, and disinformation across the electorate,” the letter continues. “Yet just this week Reuters reported that inaccurate information about Chile’s new constitution is widespread.”

As Common Dreams noted  Wednesday, a far-right misinformation campaign—replete with lies that the new constitution would change Chile’s flag, national anthem, and even the country’s name—could imperil its approval.

The lawmakers’ letter laments that “thousands of Twitter profiles regularly circulate patently false claims regarding the new constitution” in “an attempt to delegitimize and discredit” the proposed document.

“Even more troubling, these attacks often use hate speech to target women and Indigenous leaders,” the Democrats noted.

“We urge you to act swiftly against the spread of disinformation,” they added. “Continued inaction could abet interference in this historic referendum.”

“Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come”

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

“Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.” – Carl Sandburg, The People, Yes, 1936.

A press survey by CPNN

In recent weeks the press in the United States is filled with news about the difficulty to recruit into the military.

Bloomberg; “Military Recruitment Woes Endanger National Security.”

Fox News: “Lawmakers sound alarm over US military recruitment crisis”.

New York Times: “With Few Able and Fewer Willing, U.S. Military Can’t Find Recruits.”

Washington Post: “the Defense Department faces dramatic shortfalls bringing in new troops.”

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Question related to this article:
 
Can we see an increase in anti-war consciousness?

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At the same time there are also press reports about a problem of military recruitment in Russia

New York Times: “Russian forces desperately need new soldiers. Already, the government is using what some analysts call a “stealth mobilization” to bring in new recruits without resorting to a politically risky national draft. “Russia has a problem with recruitment and mobilization,” said Kamil Galeev, an analyst specializing in Russia. “It is basically desperate to get more men using any means possible.””

Newsweek: “The Center for Countering Disinformation suggested that these thousands of vacancies indicate the losses of the Russian army, and “the general problem with the recruitment of military personnel.”

Radio Free Europe: (for the war in the Ukraine) “Russia is facing a systemic manpower issue, and they are using multiple ad-hoc methods to fill in the gaps with volunteers, mercenaries, prison battalions, and personnel from other parts of the government like the national guard.”

Deutsche Welle: “Personnel shortages may be forcing Russia to turn to “non-traditional recruitment,” according to the UK intelligence update. “This includes recruiting personnel from Russian prisons for the Wagner Private Military Company. If true, this move likely indicates difficulties in replacing the significant numbers of Russian casualties.”

The problem of military recruitment in Russia is compounded by attacks on recruitment stations. According to the Moscw Times in May there had already been eight such attacks by means of Molotov cocktails.

United States: Statement by the National Council Of Elders

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from The Progressive Magazine

We are veterans of a long struggle for social justice in our nation and peace in the world. We are the National Council of Elders (NCOE) and stand alongside legions of elders who work to resist oppression and build dreams of new worlds. Our commitment is to accompany younger twenty-first-century leaders in their effort to bring a greater measure of justice, equality, and peace to our country and world. Individual members of the NCOE who are signing this statement are listed at its end. For more information about the NCOE, see www.nationalcouncilofelders.org.


February One is the name of the 2002 monument dedicated to Ezell Blair Jr., Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond who were collectively known as the Greensboro Four. On February 1, 1960 they staged a sit-in at the Woolworth Department store in Greensboro, NC. All were students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in their freshman year. Shortly afterwards sit-ins began across the South. James Barnhill, sculptor

We are offering this out of our deep concern for the future. We are appalled at the brutality of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the killing and uprooting of thousands, and the destruction of their homeland.

Yet we have questions about our own country’s role in the lead-up to the war and the decision to supply Ukraine with weapons and intelligence information while failing to work for de-escalation of the conflict and for peace between Russia and Ukraine. Though Ukrainians are valiant, we must support them by insisting that there be negotiations toward peace before their country is utterly destroyed. We recognize the longing for peace within Russia, as many Russians risk their lives to denounce the invasion of Ukraine.

Our government has proven to be able to turn global crises into opportunities to extend its domination of other people and to gain control of resources. It must be stopped from waging a proxy war against Russia to maintain world domination, initiating the Cold War all over again. In committing billions of dollars to Ukraine for weaponry, our Congress seems oblivious to the danger that escalation might lead to nuclear war, putting all life at risk. It has refused to provide the same pressures toward a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the conflict.

The U.S. capitalist system rests upon a power that is secured by violence and the threat of violence. Hence violence pervades all aspects of our lives here in the United States, corroding our most essential connections to each other. Our government is ready to spend trillions on war, but will not legislate to provide money to feed the hungry, house the homeless, or provide a good education for our children or health care for all.

Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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

A deepening sense of grief has settled over many as we witness the outrage of war in Ukraine and the egregious gun violence here at home, in the neighborhoods of Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, and elsewhere. Any violent death by noose, knee, gun, drone, missile, howitzer, or bomb is a dramatic symptom, not the disease.

The mounting bloodshed at home and abroad engulfs us all. Domestic gun violence has broken our hearts and greatly wounded our lives. It has destabilized our society by inducing wide-scale fear, distrust, and loss of faith in the laws of civility.

Most egregiously, gun violence has killed or injured more than 34,500 children, 6,500 of whom are under the age of 12. Guns are the number one cause of death for teenagers, some of whom have been targeted by a “toy” industry that inures them to violence and the preciousness of life.

The profits from the arms industry, from handguns to missiles, are skyrocketing. Many members of Congress and gun manufacturers are so heavily invested in the sale of guns, and the culture of violence and war that they try to deflect attention from the horrors we are witnessing—and which we are responsible to stop—by insisting that mental health problems and the failure of school safety measures are to blame for the loss of so many innocent lives.

We know the profound hypocrisy of their message. We must not allow legislators whose objective is U.S. global dominance and who have been corrupted by bribes from the gun lobbyists to sacrifice the lives of our children and the people’s peace to their own arrogance, greed, and inhumanity.

At the international level, we call for:
● Intensification of demands for peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
● A pledge that the United States will never again use nuclear weapons. 
● Re-engagement in nuclear arms reduction by all nations.

At home, we call for:
● A ban on the sale of weapons of war.
● Demilitarization of local police forces and an end to racist police violence,
● Increased funding of programs that ensure essential social and economic resources to communities, and cultivate the critical and creative capacities of our children.

Our society is drowning in more than 400 million guns. By all means at our disposal, and with all measures that will restore our spirituality and our respect for our neighbors, we will work toward a culture of peace. We call on everyone to become actively involved in the local and national efforts that are focused on keeping our communities free of weapons of war. Foremost, we must commit ourselves to protecting the children and helping them see the possibilities of a world where life is valued, protected, and cherished.

Signers:
Rachele Agoyo ~ Dorothy Aldridge ~ Judy Baca ~ Dorsey Blake ~ Lewis Brandon III ~ Candi Carawan ~ Mandy Carter ~ Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz ~ Marian Wright Edelman ~ John Fife  ~ Aljosie Aldrich Harding  ~ David Hartsough ~ Gloria Aneb House ~ Shea Howell ~ Dolores Huerta ~ Phil Hutchins ~ Joyce Hobson Johnson ~ Nelson Johnson ~ Frank Joyce ~ James Lawson Jr. ~ Philip Lawson ~ Sherri Maurin ~ Catherine Meeks Eugene ~ Ed Nakawatase ~ Eugene “Gus” Newport ~ Myrna Pagán ~ Suzanne Pharr ~ Lyn Pyle ~ Bernice Johson Reagon ~ Frances Reid ~ Loretta Ross ~ Kathy “Wan Povi” Sanchez ~ Charles Sherrod ~ Shirley Sherrod ~ G. Zoharah Simmons ~ Louie Vitale ~ Hollis Watkins ~ Arthur Waskow ~ Junius Williams ~ Bob Wing ~ Janet Wolf.

USA: At March for Our Lives, A Call for a Nationwide Strike of Schools

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

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

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in over 450 protests across the country Saturday demanding lawmakers take action on gun control laws in the wake of recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. March for Our Lives, the youth-led organization created by students who survived the mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, organized Saturday’s rallies.


An aerial view of large crowds are seen during the ‘March For Our Lives’ protest as they march on Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, United States on June 11, 2022. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun via Getty Images)

“Avoid attending school if your leaders fail to do the job and keep us safe from gun violence.”

Patricia and Manuel Oliver, whose son, Joaquin, was among those killed in Parkland, addressed the Washington, DC crowd announcing a new campaign called I Will Avoid.  “Our elected officials have betrayed us and avoid the responsibility to end gun violence…Today we announce a new call to action, because I think it’s time to bring a consequence to their inaction.”

Manuel said, “If lawmakers who have the power to keep us safe from gun violence are going to avoid taking action,” then he’s calling for a nationwide strike of schools, from elementary to college.

“Avoid attending school if your leaders fail … to keep us safe,” he said. “Avoid going back to school if President Biden fails to open a White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention so that we can finally give this issue the attention that it deserves.”

He added, “If lawmakers who have the power to keep us safe from gun violence are going to avoid taking action that will save our lives, then young people across this country, everyone else who can hear my voice should also avoid. Avoid attending school if your leaders fail to do the job and keep us safe from gun violence.”

Manuel echoed a call published last month in The Atlantic magazine “Students Should Refuse to Go Back to School” as reported by Common Dreams.

“What I say here today is mostly directed at Congress…I have reached my fucking limit! – X Gonzalez”

Parkland shooting survivor and activist X Gonzalez also spoke at the Washington rally: “What I say here today is mostly directed at Congress. I’ve spent these past four years doing my best to keep my rage in check, to keep my profanity at a minimum so that everyone can understand and appreciate the arguments I’m trying to make, but I have reached my fucking limit!”

Gonzalez drew loud cheers from the crowd. “We are being murdered. Cursing will not rob us of our innocence. You say that children are the future, and you never fucking listen to what we say once we’re old enough to disagree with you, you decaying degenerates! You really want to protect children? Pass some fucking gun laws!”

In Portland, Maine, hundreds rallied in a park outside the courthouse before they marched through the Old Port and gathered outside of City Hall. As they marched, they chanted, “Hey, hey, hey, NRA, how many kids have to die today.”


Washington, D.C . – Photo from @noahmitchell0


Portland, Maine – photo from @souelette


Nashville, Tennessee – photo from @memangrum

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Question related to this article:

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

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

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Wilmington, North Carolina – photo from @SharonMahony


Oakland, California – photo from @MSCuriel


Boston, Massachusetts – photo from @Rmwarren53Bob


Oxford, Michigan – photo from @jean2rector


Denver, Colorado – photo from @CraigHebrink


Minneapolis, Minnesota – photo from @olivstev

U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Sweeping Resolution: “Forging a Path to Peace and Common Security”

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Peace Action

At the close of its 90th Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada, on June 6, 2022, the final business plenary of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) unanimously adopted a sweeping new resolution, titled “Forging a Path to Peace and Common Security.”  This is the seventeenth consecutive year that the USCM has adopted resolutions submitted by U.S. members of Mayors for Peace.


Image from the report,  Common Security 2022; For Our Shared Future

Warning that, “Russia’s unprovoked illegal war on Ukraine, which could eventually draw the militaries of the United States, its NATO allies and Russia into direct conflict, and Russia’s repeated threats to use nuclear weapons, have raised the specter of nuclear war to the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis,” the USCM “calls on the President and Congress to exercise restraint in U.S. military engagement in Ukraine while maximizing diplomatic efforts to end the war as soon as possible by working with Ukraine and Russia to reach an immediate ceasefire and negotiate with mutual concessions in conformity with the United Nations Charter, knowing that the risks of wider war grow the longer the war continues.”

Observing that “the immense nuclear arsenal of the United States, even when combined with the nuclear forces of its European allies France and the United Kingdom, failed to deter Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” and that “since the pandemic began, the U.S. has spent 7.5 times more money on nuclear weapons than on global vaccine donations,” the USCM resolution opens with a stark quote from a recent report:

WHEREAS, a new report, Common Security 2022; For Our Shared Future, sponsored by the Olof Palme Memorial Fund, finds that: “In 2022, humanity faces the existential threats of nuclear war, climate change and pandemics. This is compounded by a toxic mix of inequality, extremism, nationalism, gender violence, and shrinking democratic space. How humanity responds to these threats will decide our very survival.”

Noting that “over the next 30 years, the U.S. plans to spend some $1.7 trillion to replace its entire nuclear weapons infrastructure and upgrade or replace its nuclear bombs and warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines that deliver them,” and that “the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which entered into force in 1970, requires the U.S., Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China to negotiate ‘in good faith’ the end of the nuclear arms race ‘at an early date’ and the elimination of their nuclear arsenals,” in the new resolution, the USCM

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

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“calls on the U.S. and the other nuclear-armed states parties to the NPT, at the August 2022 10th Review Conference of the Treaty, to implement their disarmament obligations by committing to a process leading to the adoption no later than 2030 of a timebound plan for the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045, the 100th anniversary of their first use, and the 100th anniversary of the United Nations;” and

“calls on the Administration and Congress to rein in annual budgeted military and nuclear weapons spending, and to redirect funds to support safe and resilient cities and meet human needs, including by providing accessible and affordable health care for all, housing and food security, measures to assure reliable funding for municipalities and states throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and future disasters for which they are the first line of defense, green sustainable energy, and environmental protection and mitigation; and to increase investment in international diplomacy, humanitarian assistance and development, and international cooperation to address the climate crisis.”

As recognized in the resolution, “Mayors for Peace, founded in 1982 by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with 8,174 members in 166 countries and regions, including 220 U.S. members, is working for a world without nuclear weapons, safe and resilient cities, and a culture of peace, as essential measures for the realization of lasting world peace.

Noting that, “The United States Conference of Mayors has unanimously adopted Mayors for Peace resolutions for sixteen consecutive years,” the USCM “urges all of its members to join Mayors for Peace to help reach the goal of 10,000 member cities.”

The 2021 USCM resolution was sponsored by Mayors for Peace U.S. Vice-President Frank Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa, and co-sponsored by Mayor Tishaura O. Jones of St. Louis, Missouri; Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn of College Park, Maryland; Mayor Jesse Arreguin of Berkeley, California; Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, California; Mayor Joy Cooper of Hallandale Beach, Florida; Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, Wisconsin; Mayor J. Christian Bollwage of Elizabeth, New Jersey; Mayor Quentin Hart of Waterloo, Iowa; Mayor

Greg Fisher of Louisville, Kentucky; Mayor Frank C. Ortis of Pembroke Pines, Florida; Mayor Jorge O. Elorza of Providence, Rhode Island; Mayor Farrah Khan of Irvine, California; Mayor Tom Butt of Richmond, California; Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter of San Leandro, California; and Mayor Kenneth Miyagishima of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The United States Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan association of more than 1,400 American cities with populations over 30,000. Resolutions adopted at its annual meetings become USCM official policy that will guide the organization’s advocacy efforts for the coming year.