Planning for a Day of Peace

A few years back, prior to the International Day of Peace on September 21st, a school board member here in Virginia said that he would back a resolution marking that day as long as everyone understood that in doing so he was not opposing any wars.

Wars for peace, like sex for virginity, appear contradictory to some. But what about militarism for peace? What about war preparations and peace? A so-called “defense” department that arms the world; can that be compatible with peace?

We need our governments to begin planning for a day of peace. Instead of investing everything in planning for war, preparing for war, and proliferating enough weapons to fuel plenty of wars, governments could invest in alternatives to war, nonviolent means of conflict resolution, moves toward justice that reduce conflict, international standards of law that make negotiations and diplomacy effective.

One of the tools that we can use to move our cultures and our governments toward planning for a day of peace is to ourselves plan for a day celebrating peace — peace understood precisely as the elimination of war.  September 21st, the International Day of Peace, is one such day.  WorldBeyondWar.org is organizing events here.  And here is a list of events in the U.S. arranged on a map by Campaign Nonviolence.

Groups and individuals interested in planning events this September can work with Campaign Nonviolence and Global Movement for the Culture of Peace and Peace One Day and A Year Without War.  Advocates of peace and environmental sanity who grasp the connections between the two may want to participate in a People’s Climate March in New York City, September 20-21, and bring this flyer: PDF.

Some resources that can be used to create events of various types are here:

Screen and discuss the World Beyond War video.

Bring speakers from this Speakers Bureau.

Use this Prezi (similar to a Power Point) to present at a public forum. (Here’s the same presentation as a PDF. Here’s all the info to help you in a PDF.)

Here’s a Power Point created by Russ Faure-Brac. (Also in older version of Power Point.)

And a Power Point by Coleen Rowley. (Also in older version of Power Point.)

Wear sky blue scarves and bracelets.

Use these flyers, sign-up cards, sign-up sheets.

Wear the message on shirts, stickers, cups, etc.

Listen to this music.

Videos, Articles, Books, etc.

At some events already planned for September 21, 2014, people will begin marking 100 years since the Christmas Truces of World War I.  You can find great information on World War I at 100 on NoGlory.org

You may want to screen Joyeux Noel: a film about the 1914 Christmas truce.  Or use this script for reenactment of a Christmas Truce: PDF. Here’s more Christmas Truce information and videos. And if you’re in the Northeast U.S. or the U.K. you might be able to attend or even set up a production of The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth: Info in PDF.

Peace deserves more than empty platitudes compatible with the preservation of war as our largest public project.  Sometimes bringing truth back from propaganda is so jarring as to be humorous. “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work,” said Woody Allen.  “I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment.” We should not want peace only in our hearts or in the press releases of the Pentagon; we should want peace through the ending of war and the abolition of the institutions that continue to plan and create more wars even while they pretend to a sight degree of outrage that each new war has been successfully created.

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  • We should have two days of Peace to start with.

    The international one and the November 4th, federal election day.

    If a peace “activist’s” representative’s record is not anti wars of “imperial” aggression – US specialty – said person should feel morally compelled to withhold consent from their putative “representative.”

    Militarism and banksterism, throughout history, yields the answer to the question, “cui bono.”

    On November 4th, in the US, opposing both legacy parties will be an act of self liberation for those who will no longer be cowered by fear spread by the sociopathic .01% – constituting a global, MIC/FIRE and political class in power – lightyears removed from our own reality.

    Main Street economy is driven, and being buried, by Wall Street, the Fed, Treasury and the Washington status quo consensus. The melding of neoliberalism and neoconservatism (on a global scale) is plain-fucking-insanely-dangerous to life on earth as we’ve known it.

    How else does one boycott the Military Industrial Complex, or the Wall Street casino in which 90% of the working public do not participate directly?

    • Veri1138

      Americans are too busy trying to survive… in America.

  • not authorized

    I plan to Celebrate this day this year.