The message hasn't changed. Whether you were part of the Peace Movement in 1927, the 1960s or today, the memo remains the same: We are not made for war.
For anyone committed to a peace and non-violence, Saturday's 10 th annual Peacestock gathering at the Windbeam Farm in
Father Roy Bourgeois , peace protestor extraordinaire and peace activist and author David Swanson delighted the crowd with their talks centered on the continued need to work for peace. Swanson, author of the book War Is A Lie, spoke eloquently about the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, which was an international agreement to outlaw war and which was a direct result of the Peace Movement activities from 1927. Don't exactly remember the Kellogg-Briand Pact? Swanson calls it intentional forgetfulness of history and he is correct. But it's all there -- as Swanson noted, even on our State Department's web site .
Swanson, who was our June Progressive Profile , powerfully concluded his speech by saying:
"We need to recognize that war is not in our genes. It's a relatively new creation, sporadically present and absent in various societies, avoided when we choose and not otherwise. It's not created by mystical forces of history or population or resource shortages or testosterone. It's created by a culture's tolerance for it, or tolerance for an unrepresentative government that engages in it. That's our situation. War is a creation of the 1 percent that recruits members of the 99 percent to support it, as well as to do the dirty parts. War and the weapons barons and the oil oligarchs and the Wall Street banksters and the corporate media and the big business lobbies and the crowd of court jesters and sycophants in
"They're afraid of their own shadows. Six years ago they were secretly telling each other to end the wars before we gained more strength. Instead we switched parties and went home, while they breathed a sigh of relief. Yet, now, again they are scared of everything we do. They're spying on every word, comprehending little. What they understand is resistance. Frank Kellogg never understood the Outlawry of War, but he didn't have to. He just had to do what the people demanded. There are more of us in any small town than there are of them in the whole country. We need to realize our strength."
I encourage you to read his entire Peacestock speech, which is posted at his blog here .
Bourgeois, a native Louisianan and Maryknoll priest for more than 40 years is also a
"We are simply not made for war," he said at Peacestock. "Our conscience cannot allow us to continue war. Our conscience informed us in
In 1980 Bourgeois became involved in issues surrounding
After the killing of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and the housekeeper's teenage daughter by rebels trained at the School of the Americas, Bourgeois founded the School of Americas Watch , an office that does research on the US Army School of the Americas (SOA), now renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC, at Fort Benning. Each year the school trains hundreds of soldiers from
"It's a new name, but the same shame," he said of SOA today.
"If you expose injustice with peace and love in your heart, you will not fail, he told the crowd Saturday, acknowledging many from
After 22 years of a non-violent protest to close the School, after hundreds of talks around the world about the work of war and killing that goes on in the name of American people, the School remains open. But Bourgeois noted several rays of hope netted from his relentless pursuit of non-violence. In 2007,