American Friends Service Committee
Patrica Watson, Editor
Sara Burke, Assistant Editor
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.
Nobel Laureates on War, Poverty, and Global Warming
This statement was signed by 100 Nobel laureates. Complete list of signatories, their fields, and year of award, on request.
The most profound danger to world peace in the coming years will stem not from the irrational acts of states or individuals but from the legitimate demands of the world's dispossessed. Of these poor and disenfranchised, the majority live a marginal existence in equatorial climates. Global warming, not of their making but originating with the wealthy few, will affect their fragile ecologies most. Their situation will be desperate and manifestly unjust.
It cannot be expected, therefore, that in all cases they will be content to await the beneficence of the rich. If then we permit the devastating power of modern weaponry to spread through this combustible human landscape, we invite a conflagration that can engulf both rich and poor. The only hope for the future lies in co-operative international action, legitimized by democracy.
It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek to shelter behind walls. Instead, we must persist in the quest for united action to counter both global warming and a weaponized world.
These twin goals will constitute vital components of stability as we move toward the wider degree of social justice that alone gives hope of peace.
Some of the needed legal instruments are already at hand, such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Convention on Climate Change, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. As concerned citizens, we urge all governments to commit to these goals that constitute steps on the way to replacement of war by law.
To survive in the world we have transformed, we must learn to think in a new way. As never before, the future of each depends on the good of all.
--Toronto Globe and Mail, Friday, December 7, 2001
Excerpts from a large ad in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Jan. 25, signed by 53 reserve combat soldiers and officers in the Israeli army.
"We, combat officers and soldiers...who have performed reserve duty throughout the territories and have been issued orders and instructions that have nothing to do with the security of our country, orders whose sole purpose was to perpetuate domination over the Palestinian people; we, who have personally witnessed the terrible bloodshed on both sides of the conflict; who have seen that the orders we were issued undermine all the values we were taught in this country;
"We hereby declare that we will not go on fighting a war for the peace of the settlements.We will not go on fighting beyond the 'green line' for the purposes of domination, expulsion, starvation, and humiliation of an entire people. We hereby declare that we shall continue to serve the Israel Defense Forces in any mission that serves the defense of the State of Israel. The mission of occupation and repression does not serve this goal and we refuse to participate in it."
Fifty-five people were arrested Jan. 22 on the steps of the US Mission to the United Nations as they called for a change in US foreign policy that would continue the legacy of peacemaking begun by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Joining the group on Tuesday morning were Amber and Ryan Amundson, widow and brother of Craig Scott Amundson, who was killed on September 11 in the attack on the Pentagon. "Bush has said that the 'war on terrorism' requires sacrifice from the American people. The nonviolent protest in front of the US Mission to the UN is really a frontline battle of the war on terrorism, and the people who were arrested are showing the sacrifices needed to lead to a true victory against all forms of terror," said Amundson.
In the spirit of King's anti-war stance, the men and women occupied the steps of the mission demanding an end to the war in Afghanistan and renouncing any expansion of the war. Tuesday's act of nonviolent civil disobedience was the culmination of a four-day series of presentations and training reflecting on the life of Dr. King. "Dr. King's dream of a just society has yet to be realized. As King said, 'The greatest purveyor of violence is my own country,' said Ceylon Mooney of Memphis, TN, one of those arrested today. "As I and many others have seen, this is still true, and our collective conscience calls us to confront not only the violence committed on behalf of Americans, but also the institutions committing those acts."
The protest was sponsored by War Resisters League, Voices in the Wilderness, and Kairos Community/ALC.
--From the New Zealand Herald. January 15, 2002; see also www.commondreams.org