June 30, 2009

We have been too kind to those people who are destroying the planet. We have been inexcusably, insanely, unforgivably kind

Nikki Craft, Derrick Jensen and Lierre Keith have collaborated on a music video warning of catastrophic climate change, the perils of arctic animals and calling on activists to discuss and seriously consider militant tactics and direct action in defence of all life on this planet. http://resistdonotcomply.org/


Essential viewing: Joaquin Phoenix narrates this thought-provoking documentary, exposing humankind's unnecessary and cruel dependence on animals for food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment. Earthlings is the most comprehensive documentary yet produced on the connection between human economic interests and the welfare of animals. Using hidden cameras, Earthlings chronicles the day-to-day practices of some of the largest animal-dependent industries in the world. If you have a decent broadband connection you can watch by clicking here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6361872964130308142 Music by Moby

Message from the Hopi Elders

A lot of us have great respect for the messages from the Hopi Indians. They class people like us as Rainbow Warriors. The Greenpeace ship took its name – Rainbow Warrior- from their teachings. Their messages are straightforward and wise. Here is a recent message:

Rainbow Warriors feel the call to perform the required tasks. For those recently awoken these tasks include:
• Sharing information and experiences that may help awake any still slumbering brethren
• Peacefully bringing down the corrupt regimes holding sway over our beautiful mother earth.
• Freeing us from the yoke of financial enslavement by ending the central banking system.
• Eradication of the mass marketing of perpetual materialism.
• End obsolescence by design and return to the ‘built to last’ mentality.
• Bring an end to any wholly unnecessary slaughter of innocent creatures of the air, sea and land
• Prevent any further devastation of the few remaining tropical rainforests and ancient woodlands.
• Provide time and opportunity for each being to explore self-contemplation, self-development and spiritual leanings in line wit their own core voice. Certainly as vital to health and happiness as time for education or time to forge a career.
Rainbow warriors, the future lies within your hands.

There is a very beautiful HOPI message at http://open.salon.com/blog/dynomyte/2009/03/03/a_message_from_the_hopi_elders

The 'J' word

This week, Barak Obama used the word ‘Justice’ in his televised comment on the demonstrations in Iran (Jun 22). Apparently use of the word ‘Justice’ was debated for days in the White House because although Mr Obama wanted to use the ‘J’ word, the opposition wanted to use ‘freedom and democracy’.

It seems that recent western foreign policy has been chasing freedom and democracy and forgetting about Justice… as if we hadn’t noticed.

At the close of World War 11, Japan understood all too well the folly of aggressive empire-building and the bitter futility and tragedy of war. Since 1947 Japan has not committed a single atrocity against the people of another nation. Instead it has used its resources to transform itself into the second largest economy in the world.

Article 9
“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”

Imagine then the worldwide benefits of taking Article 9 to the global level. The immense financial and human resources unleashed by disarmament could be immediately applied to developing practical solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, focusing on green technologies and green energy, education, solving poverty and health issues, implementing strategies against global warming and desertification, cleaning up toxic waste, converting weapons factories, and the disposal of nuclear weapons. http://imaginepeace.com/news/archives/7257

June 25, 2009

Don't raise your voice - improve your argument

There is a lot of activity going on in the academic world regarding research into aspects of Peace and Conflict. A lot of it is good stuff, though I fear there may be repetition as each country seems intent on doing their own thing. Most of them would welcome new members, so if you are interested get in touch.

Here is a selection of Peace Institutes worldwide. There may be more and I would be grateful if you could forward me details if you are aware of any.

Flanders: www.flemishpeaceinstitute.eu
Catalonia: www.gencat.cat/index_eng.htm
Oslo, Norway: www.prio.noƅland, Finland:www.peace.ax/index.php?lang=en
Ireland: www.irishpeaceinstitute.org
Frankfurt, Germany: www.prif.org
Bonn, Germany: www.bicc.de
Stockholm, Sweden: www.sipri.org
Tampere, Finland: www.uta.fi/tapri/eindex.html
Slovenia: www2.mirovni-institut.sieindex.htm
Bradford, England: www.brad.ac.uk/acad/peace/
Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, India:www.ipcs.org
Oregon, USA: www.orpeace.us
California, USA: www.praxispeace.org
Washington, USA: www.fundforpeace.org
Einstein, USA: www.aeinstein.org
Institute of Peace, USA: www.usip.org
Hiroshima: http://serv.peace.hiroshima-cu.ac.jp
Toda Institute, Japan: www.toda.org
International Peace Institute:www.ipacademy.org

There are open meetings at the the ministry for peace in the UK. It has cross party political support and is working towards the creation of a Ministry of Peace within government. They have had a huge amount of success, but they’re not there yet. Help is still needed, so maybe you could take a look at their website and join up www.ministryforpeace.org The mfp was started by an ordinary person, Diana Basterfield. They are dedicated to transforming violence in all its forms and need ordinary people like us to help move the ‘Make Violence History’ message upwards and outwards.

June 21, 2009

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. Thoreau

One sixth of the world is suffering unrelenting hunger, yet 2% of the world’s richest adults own more than half the world’s wealth. The richest 10% own more than 85% of the world’s wealth. And it’s getting worse. Why? Because the richest 2% own all the politics, print all the money and make all the rules.

No one is going to change this wholly unequal state of affairs unless people like us take a moment of solitude and think it through – because we have choices. There is the ‘do nothing’ option, or the ‘do something’ option.

COEXISTers choose to live by choice and not by chance; we will have the conversations, join the groups, we will blog and campaign and lobby and join up with others. We are individuals and will make our individual choices.

If you haven't already done it youcould sign up at the Statement of Shared Vision at the Centre for Economic and Social Justice www.cesj.org/about/programs/declarations/sharedvision.htm The remarkable and dedicated Norman Kurland – President of the Campaign for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) has kindly offered to assist COEXIST members with any questions they might have regarding the Shared Vision Statement or indeed any of the topics on the CESJ website. Please forward any questions to us at the address below and we will do our best to publish the answers in future mailings.

Some members may like to study the 198 methods of Non-Violent Action at the Albert Einstein Institution www.aeinstein.org/organizations103a.html. They are not all legal in every country so check before acting. For example it is forbidden to fly the Tibetan flag in Tibet.

The ministry for peace is an organisation with cross party support working in the UK for the creation of a Ministry of Peace within government. They have had a huge amount of success, but they’re not there yet. Help is still needed, so maybe you could take a look at their website and join up www.ministryforpeace.org The mfp was started by an ordinary person, Diana Basterfield. They are dedicated to transforming violence in all its forms and need ordinary people like us to help move the ‘Make Violence History’ message upwards and outwards.

If you fancy a couple of days under canvas, the Peace News Summer Camp is from 23rd until 27th July . There will be about 40 different courses ranging from Chomsky’s Politics to Anti Arms Trade campaigning in a field 8 miles from Swindon, UK. http://peacenewscamp.wordpress.com. The whole thing will cost £15 - £50 depending on what you feel you can afford. Food costs will be £8 a day for three wholesome meals. It would be folly to leave the wellies behind.

September 21st is the International Day of Peace. One day in the year is not great, but it’s a start, so please put that date in your diary because we will be planning some actions on the preceding weekend. If you have any ideas for ‘Making Peace Happen’ there is still time to include them.

June 17, 2009

It is the mark of an intelligent mind to entertain an idea without accepting it

And in this spirit of open-mindedness we offer you some ideas.

Governments put precious little resource into Peace Development – possibly because it might catch on. A Peace pandemic would rock the status quo. But the status quo has cracked. Into those cracks are pouring new ideas.

Much work has been done to construct a fairer form of economic existence. How about no-interest loans for example; or debt free money? There is a brave book which makes compelling reading - Seven Steps to Justice by Rodney Shakespeare and Peter Challen. ISBN 1-872410-27-8. The book is easy enough to read, and its main point is to debunk the way world economies are currently structured with the thoughtful development of a whole new economic theory. It written with ordinary people in mind, so if you are interested (and you don’t even need to be able to count to understand it), buy it. Under £10 new. www.globaljusticemovement.net/home/seven-steps.htm

In the UK there is a General Election brewing. It is a perfect moment for Peace and Justice organisations to put forward their thoughts and ideas for a more sustainable future. Research is required, but the general thrust of ideas from at least three COEXISTing organisations revolves around determining the costs of military expenditure and applying them to the benefit of humanity and the environment. Without doubt we will see that it is entirely within our means to abolish child poverty and invest properly in sustainable living for starters – and we certainly wouldn’t need to take a cut in our standard of living! We will bring you more news for sensible actions and meetings in the coming weeks.

Code Pink is strong in the US with more than 200,000 members. Their message is strong: ‘Global weapons sales topped 1 trillion dollars last year, with the U.S. accounting for a whopping $603 billion in military spending in 2008. Can you imagine what $603 billion dollars could do towards eradicating hunger, immunizing children, fixing broken infrastructure, creating sustainable jobs and providing quality education and housing?’ www.codepinkalert.org

Wonderful news from a fellow COEXISTer, the amazing Leap organisation has just won the UK Charity Awards. Please go and take a look at their brilliant work at www.leapconfrontingconflict.org.uk Congratulations to Jenny and the team from all at COEXIST.

June 14, 2009

MP for Cardiff North Julie Morgan has announced that she will take plans by COEXIST for Violence Transformation Education to be taught in schools, to Parliament.

· 40% of UK schools report pupils bringing weapons into the playground or classroom

· One British child dies every week at the hands of a parent or carer

· I in 3 women are beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by people they know.

It is against this background that Julie Morgan, MP for Cardiff North and well known human rights defender announced that she is firmly behind plans to teach non-violent conflict resolution in schools.

She said, ‘I strongly believe that if young people are given the tools to reduce conflict in their lives we can start to transform violence in our schools, in our homes and on our streets. I shall be asking for the teaching of non-violent conflict resolution to be placed firmly on the National Curriculum and will be raising this in Parliament at the earliest opportunity.’

Julie Morgan MP met COEXIST founder Pippa Bartolotti at the Peace Bed-in at the Big Sleep Hotel in Cardiff to celebrate 40 years since John Lennon and Yoko Ono dedicated their honeymoon to Peace awareness.

Several Peace organisations were also present including the ministry for peace, Women Opposing War, Amnesty International, COEXIST and the Centre for Economic and Social Justice.

Said Pippa Bartolotti of Newport based COEXIST ‘Julie Morgan’s announcement was exactly the step forward we were hoping for. If we teach our children to resolve conflict before it escalates into violence, we will lay the foundations for a more peaceful, tolerant and less violent world. In a land where 2 women die every week at the hands of their partner, the need to teach non-violent conflict resolution in schools has never been greater. Julie Morgan is championing the cause to Make Violence History.’