Over the weekend, John Dear was interviewed on the RT-UK TV show Going Underground about his friendship with Fr. In his April 30 opinion piece, Rabbi Richard Litvak names the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.” In so doing he asks us to agree that the intent of BDS is to destroy or end Israel. At the conference at Peace United Church of Christ in Santa Cruz that has caused Rabbi Litvak and his colleagues such distress I heard incisive, urgent, rights-based criticism of Israel, and it is well-deserved. Rabbi Litvak maintains that the return of Palestinians expelled in 1948 would “result in extinguishing Israel as the world’s only Jewish state.” But, we must ask, what kind of a Jewish state?
It is a tragic irony that those now responsible for Palestinian suffering are the leaders of a Jewish state. He was a man with a strong moral compass.  An activist in the civil rights and anti war movements, he marched with Martin Luther King Jr.
When I was in high school in the 60’s, Dad was arrested during a sit-in, protesting racial discrimination in hiring practices on famed Auto Row, Van Ness Ave., in San Francisco. Many of you probably know that Dad and his best friend, Bill Poole, terrified but committed, joined Dr. Dad and I walked with Cesar Chavez on a long, hot, 4 day protest through Central CA, during the grape boycott, staying with braceros who offered us rice and beans, a place on their floor to sleep, and an outhouse. Good afternoon, everybody.  I thought I might share some fragments that came to mind as I was pondering what to share with you today. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Resource Center for Nonviolence, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, Ca, 95060 or Three Americas, Inc. Remembering Nan Fitch:  Our condolences go out to family and friends of Nancy Fitch- she was a long-time supporter of RCNV and active member of St. At 16, Juanita Nelson boarded a train with her mother to travel from their Cleveland home to visit relatives in Georgia.
When the African-American teenager asked if they could switch from what she called their “Jim Crow” car to one that seated white passengers, her mother said, “Oh, Nita, I’m just too tired,” Ms.
Through actions more than words, friends said, she demonstrated her beliefs by refusing to pay federal taxes and by growing and selling her own food, a skill she perfected and passed along to friends and neighbors. Kehler, who was jailed for refusing to cooperate with the draft during the Vietnam War, described Ms.
Kehler and his wife arranged for the Nelsons to settle on a half-acre of land at Woolman Hill in Deerfield, a retreat center owned by the Quakers, the Religious Society of Friends. Although the Nelsons were not Quakers, “some of our best friends are Friends,” she told the Globe in 1985. Juanita Morrow was born in Cleveland and grew up in what she called the city’s “outer slums.” In the oral history, she said she won a poetry contest at 17 and used the money to buy her family’s first telephone. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in Howard University, where she became secretary of the school’s NAACP chapter. Transferring to what is now Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. After registering as a conscientious objector during World War II, he and some friends walked away from their civilian public service camp to work with the poor in Detroit, until they were arrested.
Moving to Deerfield in 1974, they grew beans and other produce and sold the surplus at a farmers’ market. The Franciscan Renewal Center offers peace and nonviolence events and activities and many other programs for the local community, as well as for visitors in search of peace.
Each year, the Franciscan Renewal Center recognizes up to two citizens who are dedicated to promoting societal peace and nonviolence in significant ways. The international Pax Christi organization – literally meaning “Peace of Christ” – awakens Christians to become more conscientious of peace and nonviolence. Do you know of someone in your family, neighborhood, at work or school, in your community (or anywhere!) who  believes in peace and promotes it in a significant way?
Photographs throughout this site have been generously provided by Peter Jordan, Frank Baselice, Peter Gruber, Tara La Bouff, Kim Leach, Donna Portelli, Mark Spomer, Adam Stein and others.
Setting out from New Zealand on October 2nd – the International Day of Nonviolence – this historic 93-day march has already traveled for sixty days through fifty countries on four continents. Simultaneously, an unprecedented social mobilization has been taking place in support of the March, with forums, festivals, exhibits, concerts, sport events, and conferences held in more than 350 cities. There is no shortage of prominent people and newsmakers who have endorsed the March including Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and other Nobel Peace Prize winners, Noam Chomsky, eleven presidents, hundreds of world leaders, celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Penelope Cruz, Cate Blanchett, Martin Sheen and Viggo Mortensen. From New York, the marchers move on to Washington, DC, Montreal, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The March was initiated by “World Without Wars,” an international organization launched by the Humanist Movement that has been working for 15 years in the field of disarmament and nonviolence. The international World March Team arrives in the United States on Monday, November 30 — 35 countries, 4 continents and 60 days after setting out from New Zealand. In Prague, the marchers met with the vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies and other members of the Czech Parliament, and with Jan Tamas an other leaders of the successful effort to stop the development of the US “Stars Wars” missile base in the Czech Republic.
In Berlin, the marchers were officially received by the 10th Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, and entrusted with disseminating the Summit’s “Charter for a World Without Violence” by laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire. Thousands of people joined in marches and public demonstrationsin support of the World March in cities throughout Italy, including 2000 children in Milan’s Piazza Duomo and 1,600 people in Turin who came to the Teatro Regio to attend a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony held in the March’s honor. The World March entered Africa on November 19, traveling through the Moroccan cities Nador, Marrakech, Guelmim, and the capital Rabat, where they met with members of Parliament. In a historical ceremony, a Peace Torch was passed from the Liberian delegation of the World March to the delegation of Sierra Leone on the Mano River Union Bridge, the border between the two countries.
After an exciting kickoff in New Zealand and Australia, the March experienced one of its emotional highpoints on the morning of October 7th when the base team members witnessed the formation of the largest human peace sign ever made, executed to perfection by more than 12,000 students from schools in the town of Lucena, in the Philippines. In a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs World March spokesperson Rafa de la Rubia congratulated Japan for its anti-nuclear status and called on the country’s new government to maintain Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which prohibits an act of war by the state, at all costs. Finnish President Tarja Halonen received a World March for Peace delegation in the official presidential residence in Helsinki. In addition to the main route, two special teams were formed: a Middle East Team, which passed through Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Syria, and a Balkans team, which traveled through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. The World March was recognized in Berlin on Wednesday by the 10th World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.
Through its spokesperson, Rafael de la Rubia, the March was officially presented with the Summit’s “Charter for a World Without Violence,” which it has committed to promote.
The international team arrives in New York on November 30th, its first stop in North America.
The World March for Peace and Nonviolence is the united effort of more than one million people in 7 continents who yearn for peace and are calling outfor the end of war and nuclear arms and the elimination of violence of all kinds. The march aims to generate consciousness of the dangerous global situation in which we are living, a situation marked by the heightened probability of nuclear conflict, a renewed arms race, and the violent military occupation of foreign territories.
Because eliminating wars and violence means leaving human pre-history behind and taking a giant step forward in the evolution of our species.
Because in this aspiration we are accompanied by the strength of the voices of hundreds of prior generations who suffered the consequences of war, and whose echo continues to be heard today in all those places where it continues to leave its sinister trail of dead, disappeared, disabled, refugees and displaced. Because a “world without wars” is an image that opens the future and seeks to become reality in every corner of the planet, as violence gives way to dialogue. We can make that happen by uniting all the forces of pacifism and active non-violence worldwide.
For the first time ever, an International team of marchers will cross the planet from New Zealand to Argentina. The World March will begin in New Zealand on October 2, 2009, the anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, declared the “International Day of Non-Violence” by the United Nations.

Starting in Wellington, New Zealand and ending in Punta de Vacas at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Argentina. The World March is a proposal for an unprecedented social mobilization, advanced by the Humanist Movement through one of its affiliated organizations, “World Without Wars”. The World March has received the endorsement of thousands of people, pacifist and nonviolence groups, a variety of institutions, and renowned figures from the worlds of science, culture, and politics, who are sensitive to the urgency of the moment. In New York, we are promoting the development of hundreds of local initiatives by community groups and associations, elementary schools, high schools and universities, churches, mosques and temples, non-profit peace, immigration, youth, and social services organizations , and at the city government level. We call for all those who agree to join us in organizing, educating and planning for the World March. 100 trips by land (four-wheel-drive, bus, car, motorcycle, bicycle, etc.), including the segments from Paris to Dakar and from North to South America through the Andes Mountains. The Alliance for Gun Responsibility needs faith advocates to help gather the signatures needed to put Extreme Risk Protection Orders on our November ballots.
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME) sent out the following announcement about the deliberations of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Socially Responsible Investment Committee.
Kozen Sampson of Trout Lake was assaulted by a man who came up to him, yelling and calling him a Muslim. She said Saturday the attack on Sampson exposed a problem that extends beyond that single incident.
Washington’s Faith Action Network reminds us that the The Alliance for Gun Responsibility is leading the charge to get I-1491 on our November ballots. To put Extreme Risk Protection Orders in place, 340,000 signatures of state registered voters need to be gathered. 4 (Wed.) Gandhi Essay Awards Ceremony, Cherry Auditorium in Kirk Engineering Bldg, 92 Upper College Rd. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
And so I say to you today that I still stand by nonviolence… And the other thing is that I am concerned about a better world.
Hats off to the clergy and laity of the church who held the conference in the face of intense pressure. The world, including many Israelis, is beginning to demand of Israel, as it did of South Africa, that it become a legitimate member of the world community. Tired tropes invoking the specter of anti-Semitism and the empty appeal to the now discredited “two state solution” aren’t going to stop it.
She and Bert were actively involved in local, state, and national politics. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Lois may be sent to RCNV or Three Americas.
She and her husband Wally were civil rights activists and war tax resisters who advocated for local food. Nelson recalled in an oral history interview recorded by the Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield. Nelson as she moved from car to car, except for a black porter who warned that she might get into trouble. Nelson, who became a civil rights activist, but in later years “it became her conviction that we have to get over race,” said her friend Randy Kehler of Colrain. Nelson, a strong voice in the tax resistance and local agriculture movements, died of end-stage dementia March 9 in the Poet’s Seat Health Care Center in Greenfield. Those activities often go hand-in-hand because tax resistance generally requires a low income and self-sufficiency. Nelson believed that “in this crazy economic world we’re in, everyone has to figure out how to live with less,” Kastanopolous said. Nelson was arrested numerous times over the course of her life at civil rights and tax resistance protests. The Nelsons built a small house with neither electricity nor indoor plumbing, and also planted and harvested in earnest, teaching neighbors to do the same.
While working as a reporter for a Cleveland newspaper, she interviewed Wally Nelson, who was serving a jail sentence. The Season for Nonviolence is an international grassroots campaign to demonstrate that peace is a powerful way to heal, improve our lives and empower our communities. The Peace Committee plans, promotes and executes events for the annual World Day of Peace on Sept.
Participants meet monthly for self-discovery programs that are accomplished through peaceful choices, prayer, study and action. The event will be co-sponsored by World without Wars and without Violence, The Community for Human Development, and September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. They have met with presidents of Finland, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and have been blessed by Pope Benedict XVI. The youth have been inspired, creating the largest peace sign in the Philippines with 12,000 children, a mile-long “Peace Wall” in Chile and the largest peace flag in Italy.
It continues to Mexico, with events planned on both sides of the US-Mexico border, as it heads south through Central and South America.
When I last wrote, the March had just completed its Asian leg, and the marches through the Middle East and the Balkans were winding down as well.
On their final night, five thousand people, mostly youth, gathered in Wenceslas Square to participate in a “Peace Party” hosted by some of the country’s best-known singers, actors and entertainers as well as the NY’s Harlem Gospel Choir.
In Novara, the marchers denounced the Italian government’s decision to purchase 131 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which can carry nuclear weapons and have a completely offensive purpose. Pau Segado, the March spokesperson for Spain, called on President Zapatero to withdraw Spanish troops from Afghanistan, and denounced the government’s “double game” of promulgating peace while selling weapons internationally. In Tan-Tan they marchers danced with the tuaregs, or desert people, and attended a tea ceremony in a desert tent in the Sahara.
In the 90s, both countries were involved in civil wars which have lead to hundreds of thousands of killed and mutilated people.
The base team of marchers has traveled through 21 countries on their journey, over three continents, meeting with individuals, students, groups and organizations, and heads-of-state and elected officials.
For one week, the students, aged 10 to 15, rehearsed forming the giant symbol inside the Olympic stadium.
The occasion was marked by a speech by Silo, founder of Universalist Humanism and an acknowledged inspiration for the March. On December 2nd, delegations from the base team will be in Washington DC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Imagine how life would be if 30-50% of the arms budget went toward improving people’s lives instead of being used for destruction. Out of agonizing and urgent need, millions of human beings are crying out for an end to wars and violence. At the same time there will be initiatives taking place in more than 100 countries linking everything together. It will conclude in the Andes Mountains (Punta de Vacas, Aconcagua, Argentina) on January 2, 2010. It has also inspired an enormous diversity of initiatives in more than 100 countries, becoming a rapidly growing human phenomenon. We are encouraging the development of local, state, and regional marches and it is our goal to have activities connected to the march in each of the 50 states during its 3-month duration. These initiatives will be multiple in forms but singular in purpose: to give a voice to the majority of world citizens who want peace and an end to violence as a means of social interaction.
From the Siberian Steppes, through the Sahara desert and the Atacama Desert (the driest in the world), to Antarctica.

At their fundraising event this week, the Alliance shared many stories of those whose loved ones have died because of gun violence which could have been prevented by Extreme Risk Protection Orders. Please take a look and join the effort to thank the UUA for making this decision … and in the process bolster the UUA against pressures to reverse this decision.
Judy Zimmerman, UU minister from Mid-Columbia UU Fellowship, organized a March 11 peace vigil in Hood River to show support for a Buddhist monk who was assaulted after he was mistaken for a Muslim. Judy Zimmerman, who leads a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Hood River, said more than 150 people showed up Friday evening to light candles, sing together and celebrate a more tolerant, peaceful community.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders will allow families and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if there is documented evidence that an individual is threatening harm to themselves or others by way of dangerous mental illness or a high risk of violent behavior. The organizers understand that BDS is not anti-Semitic, that criticism of Israel has nothing to do with attitudes toward Jews or Jewish tradition.
Peace for Israel will come not with building walls, but with becoming a democracy for all its inhabitants. Care for the oppressed is the core of liberation theology, and at the heart of the Jewish values I was raised on.
In talking about Israel’s “original sin,” Ateek is doing no more than calling Israel to account, as we Americans identify the genocide of native peoples and slavery as our “original sins.” In this we are not calling the existence of our country into question — we are taking responsibility and resolving to do better.
But after these opportunities, the Jews go back to their lives in Tel Aviv and Haifa, and the Palestinians return to the open air prisons of the West Bank and Gaza or to their second-class status in Israel. He had the jacket, the beret, and he had a Black Panther bumper sticker on his lovely little red Alpha Romeo.
He organized one of the first Freedom Rides in 1947, was co-founder of the Congress on Racial Equality, and was active with the Fellowship of Reconciliation since the 1940′s.
The government considered the returns frivolous, and fined her and other protesters $500 for each one sent.
For overflow parking during evening or weekend events, you can also park in the County Building Parking lot at 701 Ocean St. Francis of Assisi lived in a turbulent age marked by fighting between nobles and merchants over money and power.
The marchers have taken their message of peace and nonviolence to some of the past and present zones of conflict: Hiroshima, the Korean Demilitarized zone, the border of Pakistan and India, Israel and Palestine, and the Balkan countries. They will march across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall where a press conference will be held at 3 p.m. The World March will complete its monumental journey in the heights of the Andes on January 2, at Punta de Vacas, Argentina after traveling 99,000 miles. In the last few weeks the marchers have traveled throughout Europe and are now in northern Africa.
In Mallorca, American marchers Charles Lasater and Sinthya Penn met with the President and Vice-president of the Regional Parliament and led a local march in Palma with 2,000 people, the largest peace demonstration ever seen on that island.
Astounded by the spectacle and the beauty of the event, the audience, consisting of base team members, NGOs, politicians, and cultural and artistic groups, could not hold back their tears. Halonen offered her endorsement of the World March stating, “Next year we face the difficult but important task of revising the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. During their tour the Middle East team heard about the conflicts across the entire region in meetings with pacifist, environmentalist, and religious groups, together with various politicians of various levels. We are also designating December 2nd “World March USA Day” and activities will be held in neighborhoods, towns, and cities around the country in support of the March. Thousands of events including marches, festivals, exhibits, concerts, forums, conferences, and social, cultural, educational, and athletic events will take place to raise awareness of the urgent need for peace and nonviolence. Some of endorsers include: Yoko Ono, Jimmy Carter, President Michelle Bachelet, Zubin Mehta, Viggo Mortensen, Abolition 2000, Mayors for Peace. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was present to encourage us to never stop fighting!  Learn more about this initiative on their website.
If you have partially-filled petitions sitting around, please mail them back to FAN at 3720 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98134. The person subject to that order must surrender their guns to police and will not be able to buy, sell, or possess other firearms for up to one year.
As a Jew, I understand the reasons for Zionism, which arose out of Jewish suffering and partook of the nationalist spirit of 19th century Europe. Whatever political form Israel may eventually take, anything else cannot be called “Jewish.” Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has said that not only is criticism of Israel’s illegal policies not anti-Semitic, it is the best way to fight anti-Semitism. I understand all too well the rabbi’s discomfort with the image of a crucified Jesus being tortured by Jews, an image that has caused our people so much suffering throughout history.
To require the same of Israel is not questioning Israel’s “right to exist,” as Rabbi Litvak charges. When rights are restored to Palestinians, we can talk about reconciliation and mutual understanding. As the son of a wealthy merchant and a woman of nobility, Francis was able to see both sides.
Throughout the entire year, special events, programs and prayer are offered for greater peace in the world.
Team members benefit by meeting like-minded people and participate in stimulating discussions. This feast celebrated God’s gift of His Law, given to Moses and the entire Israelite people 50 days after the Passover.
The team later participated at a symbolic act at the border between Pakistan and India, two emerging nuclear powers in eternal conflict. Everyone is invited to join the marchers in one of these points or to help organize an event where you live. But this cannot be the basis of a modern nation state, not now, when the trajectory of history is away from ethnic nationalism, the cause of so much conflict and suffering. But we must turn from a preoccupation with past suffering and toward an acknowledgement, however painful, of how our current quest for safety has turned us into persecutors. Rather we are requiring that Israel cease its land theft and its abrogation of the rights of the indigenous Palestinians. Until then, the only responsible actions for Americans are to petition our government to condition military aid to Israel, and to support global, nonviolent efforts for a future of dignity for both peoples. George was an expert on South Africa, and worked there for many years to abolish apartheid. He renounced his possessions, inheritance and military career to take up the plight of Italian “minores” – the powerless and destitute. You can attend these programs individually or as part of our Nonviolence Leadership Certificate program. Responsibilities and activities include distributing event materials and promoting events of the day.
The man on the cross stands for those crushed under the heel of oppression in every historical period and place.
Time commitments include: attending monthly meetings usually on Sunday mornings, organizing segments of the Peace Day event, implementing day-of activities and reviewing the overall event.
On-the-job training and orientation is provided during monthly meetings, leading up to the event.
From all of us on the Care for Creation Committee at the Franciscan Renewal Center, we thank you for caring.

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