‘We Refuse to Go On Like This’: US Students Walk Out to Demand Gun Control

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

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

Students across the United States walked out of their classrooms Thursday to protest gun violence and years of inaction in Washington, D.C. they blame for allowing mass shootings to continue, like the one that killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School this week.

At 12:00 p.m. Eastern time, students and teachers at more than 80 elementary, middle, and high schools took part in the nationwide demonstration organized by Students Demand Action, a branch of Everytown for Gun Safety.

“We refuse to go on like this,” tweeted the organization.

“We plan to host a walkout in protest of gun violence in schools and inaction regarding gun laws this Thursday at 11 a.m. in accordance with the nationwide walkout,” wrote  students in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. “We believe it is very important that our community recognizes the voices of students regarding mass shootings in schools as we are the group most affected by this new reality, yet have the least say in changing the laws and statutes that impact us so much.”

Northwood High School students in Irvine, California condemned “the ‘thoughts and prayers’ of our so-called leaders” and called gun violence and mass shootings, which have taken place at 27 U.S. schools  so far this year, “a symptom of a larger disease of white supremacy, toxic masculinity, and antisemitism that often motivates deranged shooters to carry out these horrors.”

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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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“We strongly believe in the right of Americans, especially students in light of recent shootings in Texas, to lead a free, prosperous, and secure life in the wealthiest nation on Earth,” they wrote. “We are walking out because we refuse to accept a country where gunfire can ring out at any moment, whether it’s while grocery shopping at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, at a party in San Bernardino, or at graduations across the country. Enough is enough. No more thoughts and prayers.”

The walkouts are being held as representatives of Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, and Everytown join Democratic lawmakers at a rally in Washington, D.C. to demand passage of gun control laws  such as the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R. 8), which would expand background checks for all gun purchases and transfers, and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R. 1446), which would close a loophole that allows gun sales without a background check if three businesses days have passed.

“We ask our senators: WHO do you work for?” said  Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action. “Do you work for the 90% of Americans who support common-sense gun safety laws? Or do you work for gun manufacturers who pad their pockets and protect their power while over 110 Americans are shot and killed every day?”

Mia Tretta, a survivor of the Saugus High School shooting in Santa Clarita, California that killed two of her classmates in November 2019, organized a walkout at her school, tweeting, “I’m sorry I couldn’t do my homework, I was planning a life-saving revolution.”

David Hogg, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida in February 2018 and co-founder of March for Our Lives, called on  communities across the U.S. to hold vigils at their local elementary schools Thursday evening and suggested students hold regular walkouts until legislative action is taken.

“Legislators need to keep in mind that if we can’t vote now, they need to listen because we will be able to vote eventually,” Maddie Ahmadi, a 17-year-old advisory board member for Students Demand Action, told  Bloomberg. “And if they are not hearing us and they are not passing common sense gun legislation, we are going to vote them out of office.”

Australia: On our “frightening” future: how this election shows young people are taking back their voice

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Rose Mary Petrass from The Fifth Estate

This election, young people turned out to vote in record numbers to address the issues they care about most: climate change, housing affordability and the rising cost of living.


Greens candidate Max Chandler-Mather unseated Labor in the Queensland electorate of Griffith

You may or may not have heard the news: young people felt ignored in this election.

They felt there was no plan put forward to address the issues that affect them the most: namely, the climate crisis, housing affordability and cost of living. 

Against a backdrop of unprecedented social upheaval, economic uncertainty and collective trauma, young people feel that the future is uncertain. 

They felt that politicians were short-sighted and with selective hearing; that they were prioritising the short-term over the long-term.

So young people turned up in record numbers to let their voices be heard.

A record number of more than 700,000 enrolment applications were received by the Australian Electoral Commission in the span of just one week. 

In fact, 18 April set a record as the biggest single-day enrollment in Australian history, in what was described by the electoral commission as a “modern-day democratic miracle”.

The AEC said about 80,000 18-24 year olds enrolled to vote in the lead up to the election. That means 97 per cent of the eligible population is now enrolled.

“The majority of people who have enrolled to vote since the election was announced are young Australians aged 18 to 24,” Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said.

According to the AEC, young people make up 26 per cent of enrolled Australians; 55 years and older make up around 40 per cent. 

Yet only two per cent of 18-29 year olds believe that politicians are working in the best interests of young Australians, a recent Triple J survey found.

What’s more, a Plan International report in early May revealed that most young women don’t think politics is an equal space for women and people of colour.

Young people are feeling left out of the political discussions, but have proven to be more politically engaged than ever

The unprecedented wins for The Greens, teal independents, women of colour and Indigenous candidates  demonstrate just how powerful that vote really is. 

Let’s take a look at why this election saw such a turnout

In the ABC’s Vote Compass survey, climate change, cost of living and the economy were ranked as the most important issues to Australians this election, with the cost of living seen as more important to voters in 2022 than in the past two elections.
 
Young people are often quickly labelled as being self-absorbed and narcissistic, but it was 18-29 year olds that most commonly put climate action on the top of their wishlists. 

They are seeing climate change as the massive existential threat that it really is, and also seeing the lack of action from those in leadership as a serious red flag.

The climate crisis, like the pandemic and the housing crisis, is also inextricably linked to a mental health crisis, with one study last year finding that young people feel abandoned by their governments and by older generations. Inadequate action by those in power has, according to the study, led to feelings of betrayal, abandonment and “moral injury”.

The results of the study were harrowing. Over half the respondents said they believed “humanity is doomed”.

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Question for this article:

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

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

(Article continued from the left column)

Among young people surveyed 84 per cent were “at least moderately worried,” nearly 60 per cent were “very or extremely worried,” and 75 per cent felt that the future was “frightening”. 

Seventy five per cent. 

Let that sink in for a moment.

Yet there was largely radio science from the major parties on climate in this election. No wonder the younger demographic turned out in higher numbers than ever before to vote Green.

The “greenslide” is made mostly of wins for seats that have the highest population of young people. 

Electorates that turned Green (Brisbane, Griffith, and Ryan) have the highest proportion of youth voters in the country.

For example, Greens candidate Max Chandler-Mather unseated Labor in the Queensland electorate of Griffith after knocking on 90,000 doors. 

He lives in a sharehouse with his partner and two friends. He represents the majority of youth today who are living in similar circumstances. And his party has had climate at the top of its agenda since the beginning. 

Chandler-Mather says that people have “lost faith in a political system that puts the interests of a few big corporations ahead of the rest of us”. 

Griffith has the third-highest proportion of voters under 30 in the country, at 24.7 per cent.

A similar number of young people live in Melbourne (25.7 per cent), where Adam Bandt held strong. 

“People have delivered a mandate for action on climate and inequality,” Greens leader Adam Bandt said. 

Only 1 per cent of young people believe politicians are working in the best interests of our planet.

This election dragged into the daylight how much those in power treat our high-stakes future like a game, offering what last week we called “show bags stuffed with a few self-interested goodies” against large-scale existential threats to the survival of humanity.

Young Australians simply didn’t have many options on the ballot paper.

For example, much of the election focused on cost of living, without much in the way of housing affordability. 

Young people have been actively encouraged to tap into their superannuation in recent years, and steal from their future in order to afford a roof over their head. 

Australia is staring down the barrel of a housing affordability crisis. This year, house prices have jumped by 22.4 per cent, the biggest price increase since 1989. Rental prices in capital cities rose by up to 21.2 per cent in the 12 months to April.

With the average house in Sydney and Melbourne selling for over $1 million, many young adults are forced to keep living at home with their families or renting homes with friends or strangers well into their 30s.

Meanwhile, the rate of annual wage growth has stagnated over the past decade, with wages growing by 2.4 per cent – less than half the rate of inflation. 

In the Reserve Bank’s quarterly statement on monetary policy  released this month, Australians’ real wages are set to shrink by 3 per cent in 2022 as salaries lag behind inflation.

New PM Anthony Albanese’s plans to address the cost of living include a “Help to Buy” scheme that would only be available for up to 10,000 homes a year. 

That’s a drop in the ocean compared to the estimated two-thirds (roughly 2.6 million people) of young Australians who said last year that they would never be able to afford a home

Young people are looking for some kind of beacon in the darkness of an increasingly uncertain future. 

The “Greenslide”, the “teal independants”, and unprecedented success of women of colour on Saturday night should not have come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the increasingly politically engaged young people around them. 

For many young people, it was the first time that they saw an election win that showed positive signs for the future. 

Berta Cáceres has been declared a national heroine by the National Congress of Honduras

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article from La Prensa Honduras (translation by CPNN)

The Honduran National Congress, in plenary session this Wednesday, approved raising Berta Cáceres to the category of national heroine. The environmentalist was murdered in 2016.

The legislative proposal would put the face of Cáceres, whose assassination echoed internationally, on bills of the Honduran currency issued by the Central Bank of Honduras.


Cáceres was one of the most emblematic environmentalists in the Latin American region.

Also, Cáceres would give her name to the highest environmental award granted by the Honduran Legislative Power. The latter was celebrated by one of Cáceres’s daughters, Olivia Zúniga, a former congresswoman for Intibucá.

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(Click here for the Spanish version)

Questions related to this article:
 
Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

(article continued from left column)

The crime against Berta Cáceres occurred on March 3, 2016. International and local condemnation led to arrests related to it. For her murder, Roberto David Castillo , a businessman with interests in the Intibucá region, was found guilty.

EMBLEMATIC CRIME

Cáceres was shot dead in her house in La Esperanza, in western Honduras, despite having precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the fact that she had reported multiple death threats.

The environmentalist opposed the construction of Agua Zarca, on the Gualcarque River, considering that it caused damage to the environment, mainly to the communities of the Lenca ethnic group.

After learning of the new date for the reading of David Castillo’s sentence, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (Copinh), of which Cáceres was coordinator and co-founder, said today that the sentencing court has “the obligation” to incorporate in the ruling all the information collected in the trial and dictate a “certain sentence”.

The environmentalist was murdered in her house in the western city of La Esperanza. In December 2019, a Honduran court sentenced four of eight defendants to 34 years in prison for the murder of Cáceres and 16 for the attempted murder of Mexican Gustavo Castro, who was the environmentalist’s guest on the day of the crime. Three others were sentenced to 30 years in prison as co-authors of the murder.

Women of the World Call for Peace

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from Scheerpost

Presented on May 10th, 2022, by Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy, a coalition of the women leaders and activists from around the world call for peace in Ukraine and and an end to the threat of nuclear war. 


Video of their videoconference

Born out of an American-Russian Women’s Dialogue and Peacebuilding Initiative founded just over a year ago, the group started with the goal of improving US-Russia relations, reducing tensions, averting a nuclear war, and working together for the disarmament and elimination of nuclear weapons.

Over the last year, they wrote multiple open letters published in both countries calling for peace. Their most recent open letter, published a week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine link stood with Ukraine calling for peace. They have issued an appeal for peace in Ukraine calling for an immediate ceasefire “to stop the killing, bloodshed, and immense human suffering.”

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

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

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SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES:

Mairead Corrigan Maguire is a Nobel Peace Laureate and Co-founder of Peace People, Northern Ireland. Mairead was the aunt of three Maguire children who died as a result of being hit by an Irish Republican Army getaway car after its driver was shot by a British soldier. She responded to the violence facing her family and community by organizing massive peace demonstrations appealing for an end to the bloodshed and a nonviolent solution to the conflict. Mairead was awarded the l976 Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous efforts in co-founding a movement to help bring about peace and end the violence arising out of the ethnic political conflict in Northern Ireland. Since receiving the award, she has dedicated her life to promoting peace and disarmament, both in Northern Ireland and around the world.  

Dr. Paula Garb is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Peacemaking Practice at George Mason University. For the past twenty-eight years, Dr. Garb has facilitated citizen dialogues and taught peaceful problem-solving skills in conflict zones of the South Caucasus and to gang intervention workers in Southern California. She also taught mediation and conflict resolution at the University of California, Irvine for twenty-five years.  Dr. Garb serves on the board of UCI’s Center for Citizen Peacebuilding which she co-founded and co-directed for twenty years. She has also published numerous books and journal articles on peacebuilding. 

Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez is a diplomat and academic who previously served as the Ambassador from Costa Rica to the United Nations in Geneva. In 2017, Ambassador Whyte presided over the UN Conference that negotiated and adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  Facing extraordinary time pressure, and, at times, contentious debate, Ambassador Whyte facilitated the adoption of this landmark agreement by a vote of 122 nations in favor, one against, and one abstention. Among her many accomplishments, she is also the first woman and the youngest person ever to serve as vice minister of Foreign Affairs in Costa Rica. 

Cynthia Lazaroff is the Senior Creative Producer for US-Russia Relations: The Quest for Stability, a seven-part multimedia documentary produced with philanthropic support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Over the past forty years, Cynthia has been engaged in Track II and 1.5 diplomacy with Russia and the former Soviet Union. Cynthia is the Founder & Director of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy  & NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth.

France: “Desertons”: young engineers call for refusing “destructive jobs”

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article from Reporterre (translation by CPNN)

During a speech delivered at the AgroParisTech graduation ceremony on May 10, eight students said they refused to perform “destructive jobs” and called on their comrades to join the ecological struggles and to work with their hands.

The large bright screen announced the end-of-year speech of a young graduate. But at the podium, they arrived as eight instead of one. In turn, they described the role that their training and their profession play in the ecological and social disaster and called on their colleagues to “take another path”.


A frame from the from video of their speeches
(click on the image to watch the video)

The 2022 graduates are now meeting for the last time after three or four years at AgroParisTech. Many of us do not want to pretend to be proud and deserving of obtaining this diploma at the end of a training which globally pushes to participate in the social and ecological devastations in progress.

We do not see ourselves as “the talents of a sustainable planet”.

We do not see ecological and social devastation as “issues” or “challenges” to which we should find solutions as engineers.

We do not believe that we need “all agricultures”. Rather, we see that agribusiness is waging a war on the living and on the peasantry everywhere on Earth.

We do not see science and technology as neutral and apolitical.

We believe that technological innovation or start-ups will save nothing but capitalism.

We do not believe in “sustainable development”, nor in “green growth”, nor in “ecological transition”, an expression which implies that society can become sustainable without getting rid of the dominant social order. .

AgroParisTech trains hundreds of students every year to work for the industry in various ways: tampering with plants in the lab for multinationals that reinforce the enslavement of farmers; designing prepared meals and then chemotherapy to treat the diseases caused; inventing good conscience labels to allow managers to believe themselves heroic by eating better than others; developing “green energies” which make it possible to accelerate the digitization of society while polluting and exploiting on the other side of the world; producing CSR [corporate social responsibility] reports that are all the longer and more delirious because the crimes they hide are scandalous; or even counting frogs and butterflies so that concrete workers can make them disappear legally.

“We speak to those who doubt”

These jobs are destructive, and to choose them is to harm… by serving the interests of the few.

Yet these are the opportunities that were presented to us throughout our studies at AgroParisTech. On the other hand, we have never been told about graduates who consider that these professions are more part of the problems than of the solutions and who have chosen to desert.

We speak to those who doubt. Whether this doubt is daily — or fleeting.

To you, who accepted a job because “you need a first experience”.

To you, whose loved ones work to perpetuate the system, and who feel the weight of their gaze on your professional choices.

To you, who, seated behind a desk, look out the window dreaming of space and freedom.

To you who take the TGV every weekend in search of a well-being never found.

To you who feel uneasiness rising without being able to name it, who often find that this world is crazy, who want to do something but don’t really know what, or who hoped to “change things from the inside” and don’t believe it already.

We wanted to let you know that you’re not the only ones who think there’s something wrong. Because there really is something wrong.

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(Click here for the original article in French

Question for this article:

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

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

(Article continued from the left column)

We too have doubted, and sometimes we still doubt.

And we refuse to serve this system, we have decided to look for other ways, to build our own paths.

How did it start?

We met people who were struggling, and we followed them on their battlefields. They made us see the other side of the projects that we could have carried out as engineers. I think of Christina and Emmanuel who see the concrete flowing on their land on the Saclay plateau. I think of this dry hole, a derisory compensation for a pond full of newts. Or to Nico who sees from his tower block the popular gardens of his childhood razed for the construction of an eco-district.

Here and there, we have met people who are experimenting with other ways of life, who are reclaiming knowledge and know-how so as to no longer depend on the monopolies of polluting industries.

People who understand their territory to live from it without exhausting it. Who actively fight harmful projects. Who practice a popular, decolonial and feminist ecology on a daily basis. Who find the time to live well and take care of each other. All these encounters have inspired us to imagine our own paths.

… I have been living for two years at the zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes where I do collective and subsistence farming, among other things.

… I am in the process of setting up in beekeeping in the Dauphiné.

… I joined the Les Uprisings of the Earth movement to fight against the grabbing of agricultural land and its concrete everywhere in France.

… I live in the mountains, I have a seasonal job and I start drawing.

… We settle in a collective in the Tarn on a Terre de Liens farm with a peasant baker, brewers and arboriculturists.

… I am committed against nuclear power near Bure.

… I train today to settle tomorrow and work with my hands.

We consider these ways of living to be more than necessary and we know that they will make us stronger and happier.

Worried about stepping aside because it wouldn’t “do well” on your resume?

To distance yourself from your family and your network?

To deprive you of the recognition that a career as an agricultural engineer would bring you?

But what life do we want? A cynical boss? A salary that allows you to fly? A thirty-year loan for a pavilion? Not even five weeks a year to breathe in an “unusual lodge”? An electric SUV, a Fairphone and a Biocoop loyalty card?

And then a burnout at 40?

“Let’s not wait for the 12ᵉ IPCC report”

Let’s not waste our time. But above all, let’s not lose this energy that is boiling somewhere in us.

Let’s not give up when we are stuck with financial obligations.

Let’s not wait for our kids to ask us for money to go shopping in the Metaverse because we ran out of time to make them dream of something else.

Let’s not wait to be incapable of anything other than a pseudo-reconversion in the same job, but repainted in green.

Let’s not wait for the 12th IPCC report, which will demonstrate that states and multinationals have never done anything but make the problems worse, and which will place its last hopes in popular uprisings and revolts.

You can fork now.

Start training as a farmer-baker. Leave for a few months of woofing. Participate in a construction site on a zad or elsewhere. Engage with those in need. Get involved in a self-managed bike workshop or join a weekend of struggle with the Earth Uprisings.

It can start like this.

It’s up to you to find your ways to take another path.

Position of World’s Governments on Ukraine Considered Insane Pacifism in U.S.

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

A blog by David Swanson, World BEYOND War

The stance taken on Ukraine by many of the governments of the world is outside acceptable debate in the United States.

The Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres has proposed a ceasefire, urged a negotiated settlement, and met with the President of Russia despite opposition in the West to doing so. Pope Francis has urged a ceasefire and negotiations, declared that no war can be justified, and encouraged workers to block weapons shipments. China’s Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun has urged nations’ governments to pursue a ceasefire and offered China’s assistance.

The President of Italy Sergio Mattarella, speaking to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, has urged pursuit of a ceasefire and negotiated settlement. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio have even proposed a draft agreement. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged a ceasefire and peace talks. The President of France Emanuel Macron has proposed a ceasefire, negotiations, and the creation of new non-military alliances.

Brazil’s ambassador to the United Nations Ronaldo Costa Filho has urged an immediate ceasefire. The President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz have urged a ceasefire and negotiations. Chair of the African Union President of Senegal Macky Sall has called for a ceasefire. South Africa’s ambassador to the United Nations Jerry Matjila and Deputy President David Mabuza have called for a ceasefire and negotiations.

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

Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

(Continued from left column)

On its face, or if we were talking about any war other than Ukraine, this might all seem sensible, even inevitable. A war must eventually be ended, either through negotiation or by putting an end to us all via nuclear apocalypse. The belief by both sides that ending it later will be better is almost always catastrophically wrong. The unwillingness to end wars is driven largely by hatred, resentment, and the corrupt influences that create wars in the first place. So, a negotiated settlement must come, and the sooner the better. A ceasefire, of course, need not wait for a resolution of all issues, only for a credible commitment to negotiate by all sides.

But we are talking about Ukraine here, and U.S. media has persuaded much of the U.S. public that nothing short of the destruction or elimination of the Russian government is morally worthy of consideration, even if it risks nuclear holocaust for the planet.

This might be an occasion to consider how the United States differs from the rest of the world on other matters military. The U.S. spends vastly more money on militarism than any other government, about as much as the next 10 nations put together, 8 of those 10 being U.S. weapons customers pressured by the U.S. to spend more.

Below those top 11 military spenders, do you know how many nations it takes to add up to the same level of spending as the U.S. engages in? It’s a trick question. You can add up the spending of the next 142 countries and not come anywhere close.

U.S. weapons exports are more than those of the next five countries.
The U.S. holds well over 90% of the world’s foreign military bases, that is bases that are in someone else’s country. The U.S. is the only country with nuclear weapons in someone else’s country; it has nukes in Turkey, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany — and is now putting them in the UK.

It’s possible that, in fact, the world’s governments have been taken over by deranged Putin-loving pacifistic lunatics. But it’s a fact that U.S. culture has been saturated for decades in pro-war infotainment, and that the world’s biggest booster of militarism is the U.S. government. It’s possible that this had had some effect on the ability of the U.S. public to consider sensible alternatives to war.

Culture of Peace Foundation: We join the Global Days of Action to Reduce Military Expenditure and to demand a budget for peace

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article from Fundación Cultura de Paz

The Culture of Peace Foundation has joined the call of the Global Days of Action for the Reduction of Military Spending (GDAMS) that calls for a budget for peace policies. As noted in the appeal, that You can read here, “The $1.98 trillion spent on armies in 2020 did not provide us with true security, rather bloated budgets for weapons and war left us mired in a cycle of violence. It is time for us to come together and call on governments around the world to cut military spending and instead invest in common and human security. It is time to give peace a budget.”


We are seeing today, with the military invasion of Ukraine, that both political leaders and the media “continue to push solutions focused on military power projection and deterrence” and seem to advocate increasing already bloated military budgets. But it is clear that militarism has not brought us more security.

(Article continued in right column)

(Click here for a Spanish version of this article.)

Question related to this article:

Does military spending lead to economic decline and collapse?

(Article continued from left column)

As noted in the appeal, “The collective military spending of NATO members, which is 18 times that of Russia, did not prevent President Putin from invading Ukraine. Even so, its Member States have reaffirmed their commitment to spend 2% of their GDP on military spending in response to Russia’s war of aggression. By now it should be obvious that some countries trying to outspend others on weapons of all sizes is not an adequate defense and security strategy. It hasn’t worked in the past and it never will.”

On the other hand, the member organizations point out, “the global commitment to militarization also destroys trust and undermines cooperation efforts between countries.” Governments must invest in cooperation and multilateralism, “putting more options on the table than the threat of war and annihilation.” We suffer from many threats, such as the climate crisis or growing social inequality, in the face of which hardly any funds are allocated to face them compared to military spending, so that “the collective action necessary to face the global emergencies of our time remains in the background”.

Military spending does not guarantee our security “and prevents the global collaboration that is essential for human well-being.” For this reason, the adhering organizations call on “civil society and the media to press for large reductions in military spending, instead of the increases announced in many countries.”

“We demand that governments reduce their military spending and instead allocate funds to common and human security, investing in the true needs of people and the planet to build a just and sustainable peace.

If we want to give peace a chance, we have to give it a budget.”

Ibarra, Ecuador: Culture of peace, the way towards a good coexistence

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article in Diario El Norte (translation by CPNN)

Ibarra. “For us, a culture of peace is to see from another point of view how we can solve problems,” said Jesús León, a young man who dreams of living in a safer parish and city; and a culture of peace may be the key.

Jesús is part of The Warriors collective, a group made up of adolescents and young people between 14 and 22 years of age. The great challenge of this group of young people is, through a true culture of peace, to change the image of the Guayaquil de Alpachaca parish, one of the most populous sectors of the capital of Imbabura.


Months ago, several of these adolescents and young people participated in training and workshops supported by international organizations and carried out by the Social Group Ecuadorian Fund Populorum Progressio.

(Article continued in right column)

(Click here for the article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

How important is community development for a culture of peace?

(Article continued from left column)

The youth prepared themselves on various themes. For example: in cultural issues and community journalism. Omar Becerra is an expert in this type of area and has worked in various provinces of Ecuador. In an interview with Diario EL NORTE he explained: “In the past the culture of peace was seen as only values ​​and ethics. But we believe it should also include cultural actions, organization and civil participation as well”.

For this reason, Jesús and his companions have participated in meetings that have been held in his parish to discuss the issue of safety and good coexistence.

They have also participated in youth agendas.

León also explained that they hold meetings to define in which neighborhoods of the Alpachaca parish they will later work. These sectors include: Vista al Lago, Mirador de Alpachaca, Miravalle, Primero de Enero and Santa Teresita.

Jesús León also took the opportunity to call on institutions and NGOs to provide them with help and to continue strengthening the issue of a culture of peace.

Adolescents and young people from Alpachaca and from other Ibarra parishes have participated in several fairs that have been held in different sectors of the city.

For example, Yadira Ulcuango, who plans to be a peacemaker, lives in the La Dolorosa parish of El Priorato. Ella ulcuango explained that she is part of this project, she has made them see life differently and to solve problems and resolve conflicts.

Mexico: UAEM and PJEM will coordinate activities in the “Week of Access to the Culture of Peace”

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article from Diario Portal (translation by CPNN)

Cybersecurity, Builders of Peace, Digital Culture and Emotional Reengineering, are some of the topics addressed in the “Week of Access to the Culture of Peace” that takes place from May 16 to 20, organized by the Judiciary of the State of Mexico and the Autonomous University of the Mexico (UAEMéx).

(Click here for the Spanish original. . )

Questions for this article:

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?

The meeting brings together specialists from the Cloister of Sor Juana, the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, the EJEM Judicial Research Center, the Electoral Judicial School, the UAEMéx and the Anahuac University.

Among the activities are two Film-Debates with the Films: Hotel Rwanda and Little Voices; the book “A transitional justice for Mexico. Experiences and realities”; a 5km or 2.5km Walk for Peace, at the Alberto “Chivo”; Córdoba, from University City; and the prizes of the First Culture of Peace Poster Contest.

The week includes the Inauguration of the “Memory and Tolerance Tunnel”, Exhibition of the Museum of Memory and Tolerance; the Monologue “The culture of peace in the words of a superhero”; the Workshop for teachers of the Upper Secondary Level “What do I do with the emotions of my students?”.

A dialogue table and five conferences, among them, “Builders of Peace” will be given by Paolo Pagliai, Director of the College of Human Rights and Peace Management, and Law of the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana.

The inauguration by Judge Ricardo Sodi Cuellar, head of the Judicial Power of the State of Mexico and Doctor Carlos Barrera Díaz, Rector of the UAEMéx, is on Monday, May 16, in the Aula Magna “Lic. Adolfo López Mateos” of the Historical Building of the Rectory and the closing on Friday 20 in the Aula Magna “Mgdo. Lic. Gustavo A. Barrera Graf” of the Judicial School of the State of Mexico.

Querétero, México; What is the culture of peace?

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An editorial by Rodrigo Mancera in the Tribuna de Querétero (translation by CPNN)

With the aim of promoting a series of values, attitudes and behaviors that reject violence and prevent conflicts, the Culture of Peace aims to learn and teach to engage in dialogue, reflection and consensus, as well as to solve problems through respect for human rights. It is not the absence of violence, but a refocus that guarantees learning from conflict and the positive development of people and their communities.

Approved by the United Nations Organization (UN) on October 6, 1999, in the document Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace, the General Assembly emphasizes the Charter of the United Nations, the constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It recognizes that peace is not only the absence of conflict, but also a process aimed at a solution.

Made up of nine articles, it includes a Program of Action with Objectives, strategies and main agents and a consolidation of the measures to be adopted by all peace agents, relevant at the national, regional and international levels, in which measures are discussed to promote a Culture of Peace mainly through education. It calls on all (individuals, groups, associations, educational communities, companies and institutions) to bring to their daily activities a consistent commitment based on respect for all lives, solidarity, generosity, understanding, environmental preservation and rejection of violence.

According to the Manifesto for a culture of peace and non-violence of the year 2000, this movement seeks a fairer, more supportive, freer, dignified and harmonious world, as well as prosperity for all. It urges countries to maintain a world free of wars, without conflicts and corruption. Its four axes include rejecting violence, practicing active non-violence and rejecting physical, sexual, psychological, economic and social violence in all its aspects, particularly towards the weakest, such as children and adolescents.

The Manifesto calls for generosity through actions, sharing time and material and psychological resources with the people who most need it and giving them the privilege of having an opportunity; Contribute to the development of the community, promoting the full participation of women and respect for democratic principles, in order to create together new forms of solidarity; And preserve the planet, by promoting responsible consumption and taking into account the importance of life and the balance of the natural resources of the planet on which we live.

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

How can we promote a human rights, peace based education?

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

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By October 2006, the movement for a culture of peace had more than 700 organizations, which participated in a report on the advances in this culture in 2005. As well as the culture of non-violent resistance, it became a form of protest related to civil disobedience that advocates the achievement of political, social and cultural change without the need to use violence as a political weapon. Symbolic protests and acts of non-cooperation in the political and economic areas are used in this practice.

Currently, the culture of peace is formed in a long-term process of action based on moral and ethical principles of personal recognition in the relationship of people with people. It continues the search to sow the values ​​of peace in the minds of human beings.

As Elsa Rojas Bonilla, a teacher in Social Sciences in Colombia, points out, educating for a culture of peace and citizenship education is a challenge for the community. Its different components are a way to transform the society to allow human beings to find solutions that allow conflicts to be faced without violence, with the necessary strength to reach solutions in a convulsed society so thateveryone is a winner,

In her article “The culture of peace and its importance in the process of citizen training”, Rojas Bonilla points out that the objective is to search for a new type of citizen, capable of relating to other people, respecting the rules of coexistence, knowing their rights, fulfilling their duties, and inserting themselves constructively in the new society. The pedagogical processes that allow the creation of a culture of peace must promote the process of appropriation of knowledge related to the territory, culture, the economic and social context and historical memory, with the purpose of reconstructing the social fabric, promoting general prosperity and guarantee the effectiveness of the principles, rights and duties.

In the Mexican context, although the culture of peace has few investigations and lacks applications to a great extent, there are organizations that seek the same goal as that previously stated by the UN. Mexico suffers from an internal war between the authorities and organized crime, the processes and acts of corruption, as well as statements with hate speech by both local and state leaders as well as the head of the executive, which makes the country a candidate for the process and the necessary practice of the culture of peace and non-violence.

In fact, speeches like “I want to address you, criminal; I don’t care where you are or where you’re hiding” by Mauricio Kuri, Governor of the State of Querétaro, and the various threats made by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador himself against the opposition and the national press, these cases, among others, create a context that discourages peace in our country. As the UN manifesto reminds us, one of the challenges is to transform the perspective, traditions and imposed cultures that were created based on violence, racism and corruption, because : “only in societies that live in equity, freedom, equality and solidarity, can there be peace”.

Click here to see how these principles are put into action for education at the Autonomous University of Querétaro.