- 10 May 2013
- Irish Times
- By Gerry Moriarty
Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have set a target of 2023 to bring down all of Northern Ireland’s 60 so-called peace walls.
At Stormont yesterday the First Minister and Deputy First Minister outlined a range of measures to tackle sectarianism and division including toppling the North’s interface structures within 10 years.
Some peace walls of brick and steel stand up to 18ft high and may be miles long through housing areas. They were intended to protect people from violence during the troubles but remain in place 15 years after the Belfast Agreement. They were built in areas of sectarian tension in Belfast, Derry and Portadown, as well as through the playground of one primary school in north Belfast.
- 16 April 2013
- Four stone benches quietly pay tribute to the service of conscientious objectors in the second world war
- By Martin Wainwright
In the first year of the second world war a tribunal heard evidence about a “fine young man”, a Methodist Sunday school teacher and Cambridge graduate, whose conscience forbade him to take up arms.
He was my father, Richard Wainwright, and the hearing’s ruling in his favour led to six years’ work with the Quaker-run Friends’ Ambulance Unit (FAU), from cleaning hospital bedpans in Gloucester to saving German families and refugees from reprisals after the allied victory.
His pacifist war service will be recognised this weekend with that of more than 1,300 colleagues in the FAU, 17 of them killed in action, and their counterparts in the Friends Relief Service (FRS) which helped civilian victims of war, first in the 1940-41 blitz and then overseas in the wake of the fighting.
- 4 April 2013
- compiled by George Stromboulopoulos
On April 4, 1968, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot while delivering a speech from the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
It’s been 45 years since that night. To pay tribute to King and his legacy, here are some photographs from his remarkable life, along with some of the powerful things he said over the years.
- 3 February 2013
- By John Dodge
Dressed in black, they stand in silence — straight-backed, dignified and opposed to violence in its many brutish forms.
And after 60 minutes of quiet reflection, they hold hands, voice their first names, say “peace,” and walk away.
Drive down Fourth Avenue in downtown Olympia between 5 and 6 p.m. Fridays and you will see them lined up facing north toward Budd Inlet from near the Heritage Park fountain. There were more than 70 women there on the eve of the war in Iraq in March 2003, far fewer after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.
They are the Women in Black, Olympia’s contribution to a world-wide network of women committed to peace in a world wracked by violence.
- 21 January 2013
- Waging Nonviolence
- By George Lakey
Some people feel inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., to do service projects. But the U.S. civil rights movement that he led was not about days of service, it was about days of confrontational action. Think about the hundreds of action groups that grew in the North as well as the South, many winning campaigns against racial discrimination. They mobilized and radicalized people; that movement gave me my first experience of civil disobedience.
Some of those early groups, of course, flourished, and some fell apart quickly. Since then we’ve learned a lot about how to start action groups in a way that increases their chance to thrive, wage a campaign, learn from it and grow. To celebrate King’s holiday, I’ll share some of the wisdom that has accumulated, often through trial and error.
The steps for beginning a group are not really as simple as a food recipe, but I’ll take the risk of writing this in a recipe-kind-of-way. Remember that every situation is always unique. You’ll need to think with friends through each step, adapting to your circumstances.
- speech delivered 3 April 1968 (23 minutes)
- Great Speeches, volume 6th, published by EVG (Educational Video Group)
- Dr. King was assassinated the next day, on April 4, 1968
- By Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King, Jr: “Mountaintop” speech full length from Filip Goc on Vimeo.
- 28 December 2012
- Peace & Collaborative Development Network
- By Craig Zelizer
I wanted to put together a list of 12 possible recommendations to help make the world more peaceful and encourage others to contribute their own lists as we move into 2013.
- originally published 20 September 2012
- Nobel Women's Initiative
- “The bloody cycle in which I live…is a vicious circle that is sustained by the choice of both sides to engage in violence. I refuse to take part in this choice.”
“The bloody cycle in which I live…is a vicious circle that is sustained by the choice of both sides to engage in violence. I refuse to take part in this choice.”
Meet Sahar Vardi. Sahar is an outspoken peace activist from Jerusalem who bravely started protesting against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people at a very young age.
- 23 December 2012
- By Rowan Williams
A week after the horrific killings of the schoolchildren of Sandy Hook in Connecticut, most of us are still struggling to get our minds around such a nightmare. And how do we say and sing the words of this joyful season while we think of lives cut so brutally short and of the unimaginable loss and trauma suffered by parents?
Nearly 6,000 children and teenagers were killed by firearms in the USA in just two years. And we’d better not be complacent about the issues of gun and knife crime affecting young people in our own cities here. In the UK, the question is how we push back against gang culture by giving young people the acceptance and respect they deserve, so that they don’t look for it in destructive places. In the US, the question is, of course, about gun laws, one of the most polarising issues in American politics.
And there is one thing often said by defenders of the American gun laws that ought to make us think about wider questions. ‘It’s not guns that kill, it’s people.’ Well, yes, in a sense. But it makes a difference to people what weapons are at hand for them to use – and, even more, what happens to people in a climate where fear is rampant and the default response to frightening or unsettling situations or personal tensions is violence and the threat of violence. If all you have is a hammer, it’s sometimes said, everything looks like a nail. If all you have is a gun, everything looks like a target.
People use guns. But in a sense guns use people, too…
- 17 December 2012
- Huffington Post
- What must we as a nation learn from this? What must we change, both personally and in our decisions about the public arenas of our society where this terrible tragedy occurred? How can we make our children safer?
- By Jim Wallis
Our deepest question now is whether what happed on Friday — and what has focused the attention of the entire nation — will touch the nation’s soul or just make headlines for a few days.
I think that will be up to us as parents to respond as parents. The brutal shooting of 20 six- and seven-year-old school children in their own classrooms touches all of us, and as the father of two young boys I’m especially struck by how it touches parents. From the heartbreak of the parents in Newtown to the tears in the eyes of Barack Obama as he responded — not just as the president, but also as the father of two daughters — to the faces of the first responders and reporters who are parents. I have felt the pain and seen the look on the face of every parent I have talked with since this horrendous event occurred. Virtually every mother and father in America this weekend has turned their grieving gaze on their own children, realizing how easily this could have happened to them. The emotions we’ve seen from the Newtown parents whose children survived and the feelings of utter grief for those parents whose children didn’t, have reached directly to me.
Saturday, the day after the Connecticut massacre, Joy and I went to our son Jack’s basketball game. The kids on the court were all the same ages as the children who were killed on Friday. I kept looking at them one by one, feeling how fragile their lives are.
Our first response to what happened in Newtown must be toward our own children. To be so thankful for the gift and grace they are to us. To be ever more conscious of them and what they need from us. To just enjoy them and be reminded to slowly and attentively take the time and the space to just be with them. To honor the grief of those mothers and fathers in Connecticut who have so painfully just lost their children, we must love and attend to ours in an even deeper way.
- 9 December 2012
- By Sam Masters
For a man used to spending time in solitary confinement, Terry Waite could be forgiven for feeling very alone as he was shuttled to a secret location in Beirut for talks with the group thought to be responsible for his kidnapping 25 years ago.
When the author and humanitarian last visited the city’s southern suburbs he was forced to spend 1,760 days locked in a cramped cell, being subjected to mock executions and beatings while chained to a radiator.
But under the cover of darkness on Monday last week, he returned to Lebanon offering forgiveness and reconciliation to his captors, a quarter of a century after he was kidnapped and tortured by associates of the militant group Hezbollah.
- 16 October 2012
- Huffington Post
- By Wanjira Maathai and Jamie Bechtel
Eight years ago, Dr. Wangari Maathai became the first African woman to win the [Nobel Peace Prize] for her work demonstrating the intricate links between the environment, democracy and peace through Kenya’s Green Belt Movement. As the world honors the new recipient of the Peace Prize, we would like to pause and reflect on the many brave women of Africa, and around the world, who work every day to preserve and foster peace.
They do this in a way that does not, at first blush, seem to have anything to do with peace because they are the stewards of our world’s natural resources. For so many of us, environmental stewardship is a luxury. But for millions of people around the world, the environment provides the basics of survival including food, water, energy and medicine. When natural resources are lost through climate change and poor resource use, war and conflict increase dramatically.
The Nobel Prize committee understood this, and bestowed one of the world’s most prestigious prizes on Wangari Maathai for planting seeds of peace. Those seeds led to environment, economic and political stability, which translates directly into conflict mitigation because when people have food, water, and a safe, warm home – they don’t have to fight to survive. In short, Dr. Maathai was able to show that environmental protection is a two way street: the loss of natural resource drives war and conflict, but the restoration of natural resources drives peace and security.
- 16 October 2012
- Today | MSN
- By Lizzie Stark
Can the Arab-Israeli conflict be resolved through a few good meals? Probably not, but reveling in the similarities of each other’s cuisine is certainly a delicious starting point.
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, authors of the new cookbook, “Jerusalem,” explain that whether it’s called an “Israeli salad” or an “Arab salad,” the simple combination of chopped tomato and cucumber that appears on tables all over the city shows that Jerusalemites share tastes that cross religious and sectarian boundaries.
- 11 October 2012
- The Sentinel | Carlisle P
- By Stacy Brown
Every Wednesday afternoon a group of volunteers meets in Carlisle to do what they can to both feed the hungry and reduce the amount of wasted food.
The volunteers are members of the Carlisle chapter of Food not Bombs, a collection of individuals who feed the hungry and tackle food waste while promoting world peace. They meet at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Square in Carlisle to share a bit of food and a bit of ideology on America’s tendency to waste good food.
- 15 October 2012
- THE IRRAWADDY
- By SAW YAN NAING
David Taw, 65, a top leader of the Karen National Union (KNU), passed away in Rangoon yesterday after several months of illness, according to family members…
David Taw was regarded as a pragmatic politician who was not afraid to publicly highlight the weaknesses of the KNU. Though widely respected, he was also disliked by some other members of the KNU leadership for his outspokenness.
On Oct. 2, he and two other influential KNU leaders—Gen Mutu Say Poe and Roger Khin—from the KNU’s central committee were dismissed from the group for allegedly violating its protocols after they opened a new liaison office in Pa-an, capital of Karen State, without informing the central committee.
David Taw was active in advocating peace and development in Karen State.
- 10 October 2012
- Ottawa Citizen
- By Balazs Koranyi, Reuters
OSLO – Russian dissidents and religious leaders working for Muslim-Christian reconciliation are among the favourites to win the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize when the result is announced on Friday.
The year has brought few notable peace breakthroughs, leaving an unusually large selection of names in circulation and perhaps increasing the chance of a surprise winner.
- 9 October 2012
- NBC News
- By Amna Nawaz and Mushtaq Yusufzai
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari ordered Tuesday that the young Pakistani activist who was seriously injured in a shooting by the Pakistani Taliban be sent abroad for medical treatment, the website for Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported.
Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani activist who won international acclaim for her work promoting peace, and two other young girls were shot and seriously injured Tuesday, police and hospital officials said…
Malala was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011 for a blog she wrote under a pseudonym for the BBC. She also won the National Peace Prize in Pakistan, was honored with a school named after her, and quickly became an outspoken critic of the Taliban in Pakistan and a public advocate for peace.
Liberia’s president has not done enough to tackle corruption, says her fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee.
Ms Gbowee, a peace activist, shared last year’s prize with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Yemen’s Tawakul Karman.
She asked why Mrs Sirleaf’s sons had been given lucrative jobs and said she was resigning from the reconciliation commission.
Mrs Sirleaf became Africa’s first female elected head of state in 2006.
She was re-elected last year – just days after being awarded the Nobel prize.
“I’ve been through a process of really thinking and reflecting and saying to myself ‘you’re as bad as being an accomplice for things that are happening in the country if you don’t speak up,’” Ms Gbowee told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.
“And when tomorrow history is judging us all let it be known that we spoke up and we didn’t just sit down,” she said.
- 2 October 2012
- Yes! Magazine
- Alice Walker spoke to YES! about the challenges of working for change, and the possibility of living with awareness—and joy.
- By Valerie Schloredt
Alice Walker is a poet, essayist, and commentator, but she’s best known for her prodigious accomplishments as a writer of literary fiction. Her novel The Color Purple won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in 1983 and quickly became a classic of world literature. Set in an African-American community in the rural South during the decades before World War II, the novel is told in letters written by Celie, a woman who survives oppression and abuse with her spirit not only intact, but transcendent.
Walker’s writing is characterized by an ever-present awareness of injustice and inequality. But whether describing political struggle—as in Meridian, which deals with the civil rights movement—or meditating on the human relationship to nature and animals, as in her latest book, The Chicken Chronicles, her work conveys the possibility of change. In Walker’s vision, grace is available through love and a deep connection to the beauty of the world.
Walker was born in the segregated South, the eighth child in a family who made their living as sharecroppers in Georgia. She came of age during the civil rights movement, and emerged early in her career as a defining voice in feminism and an advocate for African-American women writers. She is a prominent activist who has worked, marched, traveled, and spoken out to support the causes of justice, peace, and the welfare of the earth.