Peace Day - September 21, 2008 - 73
Today there is legislation introduced in Congress to establish a United States Department of Peace and Nonviolence. All 50 of the United States currently have offices working to move that bill forward and seventy congressional representatives have endorsed it (approx. one third of those needed to pass it). With the help of people like you, more will come onboard until a Department of Peace and NonViolence is established. A Department of Peace is a far stronger strategy for national security than is a Department of War. Conflict most often arises in weak and desperate societies that are easily exploited and who use extreme measure to attempt getting their needs met. “To achieve effective national security, we need to reverse the proliferation of failing and failed societies, the known breeding ground for terrorism, crime, pandemics and human desperation. Vibrant and healthy societies provide opportunities for people to fulfill their human needs, the bedrock of peace.” Howard Rosenberg says in his white paper, ‘A Strategy for the U.S. Department of Peace to Enhance Our National Security’. As we build strong and healthy societies within our own borders and assist others to do the same, a global culture of peace will begin to emerge. There are many things you can do to support the US Department of Peace movement: 1 Write letters/postcards to our Congressional representatives asking them to sponsor the HR 808 legislation; write your Senators asking them to introduce the legislation in the Senate. If you aren’t sure of your district, go to www.congress.org to find out. 2 Request appointments with your elected officials, with all civic and educational and religious groups; we will assist you in any way to obtain a face-to-face meeting. 3 Talk with local Democrat & Republican elected officials to work on introducing DOP resolutions into our various government levels. 4 Spread the word to everyone you meet. (I wear my DOP pin every where I go, and people constantly ask me what the DOP is a perfect invitation for me to explain this legislation.) 5 Write letters to the editor of any and all newspapers and magazines. 6 Attend your local DOP party/ meetings. 7 Host your own DOP parties. 8 Donate to your local DOP campaign, and/or to the national DOP campaign. Why a Department of Peace? Says Dot Maver of The Peace Alliance, “There is currently no organized approach by the U.S. government that aims at creating nonviolent solutions to domestic and international conflict. A violent response to violence should always be our last resort, which is difficult in the absence of a sophisticated, well-funded strategy for peace. While certain applications of brute force – from prisons to war – are arguably necessary, as a nation we should still be actively involved in a search for their ultimate end.” Within our homeland, a Department of Peace would search out and research methods of violence prevention and resolution that are already working. The DOP would evaluate and trial these methods and duplicate them in our cities, our schools, our streets – and develop programs for ongoing support, that our communities can become safe and healthy places to live in. There are already hundreds of organizations working to develop these methods and practices, and a DOP could utilize and expand upon their work, spreading them into other areas where they are needed. Internationally, a DOP would do the same, becoming an expert on international conflict prevention and resolution. Our president and cabinet are in dire need of advisors who help prevent war, to aid in the protection of our people, our budget and our international relationships. The DOP would fill this need, always providing a first resort, giving measure before the “last resort” of military intervention. A National Peace Academy would conduct these studies and provide much needed information and strategies to our leaders. Walks for Peace This Peace Day, there will be Walks for Peace in many US cities, to bring awareness to the legislation and to help more people understand its meaning and impact. Each local group will plan its own activities which may include speakers, music, marches, or other activities. Find out about events near you at www.thepeacealliance.org 9 BE the PEACE that we exemplify, everyday in every way. Letter Writing Basics: 1 State that you are a constituent, and that you vote. 2 Share something personal that speaks to your own interest in the department of peace. 3 Keep it simple. www.thepeacealliance.org www.worldpeaceemerging.com 73
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