Yesterday was International Peace Day. In the morning, I participated in a Global Day of Listening phone conversation with the Afghan Peace Volunteers, a group of Afghan youth who, with their mentor Dr. Hakim Young, have opened a Borderfree Community Center in Kabul and school for street children. They celebrated International Peace day with the launch of a new international campaign for building a network of peace around the globe. #Enough is a campaign to say that We have had #Enough of war and violence. These are young people who have never lived in a world at peace. Wars have raged in Afghanistan throughout their entire lives. And they are not the only ones.
As a U.S. citizen I see that, on the one hand, my government has been the initiator and prosecutor of those wars. On the other, I see that the people of my own country also suffer in this sea of violence, driven by a few men, mad with power and fear, who are determined to control the world at any cost. Of course, it is not them who are paying. The children of this country suffer too. The poor and people of color are increasingly abandoned under the management of police forces armed with military weapons and protected by a legal system and a fraternal code that diminish the value of the lives of their charges. Once organized to protect and serve the people, the police now protect themselves and a social order that is imposed on the people, especially the poor, immigrants, African American descendants of slaves and Native Americans who have survived the founding genocide of this country. The public education system here is collapsing, the cost of private education increasing.
APV in Blue Scarves Let us join with the Afghan Peace Volunteers in building a better world for ourselves and our children. Yesterday, children from the Borderfree Community Center in Kabul served meals to 100 day laborers and 200 children working on the street to support their families. It is time to look inward to our local communities for resources. It is time for brotherhood, sisterhood within our communities an networking globally with others who wish to do the same. As a symbol of solidarity with the Afghan Youth from the Borderfree Community Center, wear a blue scarf. Write on your palm “#Enough”, take a picture and send it to .
The APV are saying #Enough of war and violence. We must do the same. You can’t end war with war. You can’t build peace with war. You can’t create harmony with force. Their campaign is centered around an agreement they are asking people to sign. It isn’t a petition, they say, because this is something we have to do ourselves. Here is the text of the petition:
War costs us everything and resolves nothing.
War has increased ‘terrorism’
Wars risk spiraling into our destruction by nuclear weapons
To abolish war, we form small, local peace circles or communities of two or more persons in which we agree to ban weapons and war and to build nonviolent systems for every aspect of life.
With autonomous alternatives, we no longer need to participate in today’s warring systems. We opt out, and we withhold support and money from any individual or group that uses war.
We begin to heal and live differently. Students learn better, laborers and farmers work better, mothers worry less, and basic human resources are better shared.
We nurture egalitarian relationships with nature and all human beings and connect to form a critical mass that’s free of borders, going beyond our separate causes and working together for a green and equal world without war. A critical mass is crucial as we can’t abolish war without reversing global warming and inequality; these are global crises driven by the same elite who rule over us by force. We abolish war person by person. We won’t wait for the elite, because they’re the ones who keep waging wars.
We make no distinction as to who wages the war, the scale of the war or the individual justifications for the war. We renounce all violence and wars and agree never to resort to war in any circumstance.
We, the people of the human family, agree to abolish war.
If you would like to sign the petition, you can do so on their website at: http://enough.ourjourneytosmile.com
If you would like to know more about the Afghan Peace Volunteers and the Borderfree Community Center in Kabul, then the go to: http://ourjourneytosmile.com.