the left's peace movement and have been frustrated by the fact that they
insist on attaching their social and economic agendas to their
activism. They then strangely say they have an "inclusive" peace
movement. An excerpt from "An Inclusive Antiwar Movement?" illustrates this point well:
Libertarians are reaching out to the left to stand together for peace. (See "Organizing a Left-Right Alliance Against the War Parties ") This author approached the organizers of the October 16, 2010 peace rally in Philadelphia (See "Raising Eyebrows at a Peace Rally")On other
at their planning meeting a few days before the event. There I was
politely, but firmly, told that they were completely unwilling to change
their agenda for future rallies to accommodate other points of view.
When the left tacks on a social agenda to their antiwar coalitions that
the liberty minded cannot endorse they tell us we're not welcome. We're
not asking any of the organizations and individuals that are part of IAC
or similar groups to change their advocacy. Their speakers can advocate
all the same things they have before. Same with the signs they carry.
All we ask is that the antiwar coalitions themselves be politically
neutral so we can all join them in good conscience.
sides of the political spectrum there are libertarian and conservative
organizations that are anti war. However, while they advocate peace they
are not, with rare exceptions, explicitly peace groups. They also
don't, with few exceptions, hold peace rallies or engage in other kinds
of peace activism.
My recent experience with the Chester County Peace Movement
also attaching their political and social agenda to their activism lead
me to the conclusion that what we need is not to try to change the
existing left wing peace movement but to broaden the movement by adding
to it organizations that everyone can comfortably join. To that end I've
created Focus on Peace, a peace activism group with no political agenda attached. We only advocate for peace, nothing else.
Why should you join us? If you're an anti war conservative or a
libertarian the answer is obvious, you can now engage in peace activism
without feeling like you're endorsing the left's agenda.
If you're on the left I ask you to join us too. Don't leave the peace
groups you're presently working with, we need them strong. Some on the
left that I've talked to have said they like the idea of working with
people of other ideologies. Even if you're perfectly happy with the
peace movement as it is I ask that you join us. We need your support.
Surely, peace lovers of every political persuasion can see the value of
broadening the peace movement.
Focus on Peace will hold its first action on March 19th in King of Prussia, PA to coincide with the World Can't Wait's rallies on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Join us if you live nearby, start your own chapter if you don't.
The wars abroad are less popular than ever. Now is the time to give
people that are not on the left in their thinking a place to go to
engage in activism for peace. Hopefully, Focus on Peace will fulfill that vital role.