Congressman John Conyers meets with a group of MI activists
at our recent conference in D.C.and gets them pumped up!
"I cannot tell you with what weapons mankind would fight WW3, but I can assure you that WW4 would be fought with sticks and stones."
~ Albert Einstein
There is currently a bill before the U.S. House of Representatives to establish a United States Department of Peacebuilding. This historic measure will augment our current problem-solving options, providing practical, nonviolent solutions to the problems of domestic and international conflict.
The legislation will pass from bill to law under one condition: that a wave of citizen interest rise up from the American people and make itself heard in the halls of Congress.
During the 20th Century, over 100 million people lost their lives to war -- most of whom were non-combatants. Now, at the dawn of the 21st century, the extent and current speed of nuclear proliferation makes the achievement of non-violent alternatives to war the most urgent need of the human race.
A Department of Peacebuilding will work to:
Provide much-needed assistance to efforts by city, county, and state governments in coordinating existing programs; as well as develop new programs based on best practices nationally
Teach violence prevention and mediation to America's school children
Effectively treat and dismantle gang psychology
Rehabilitate the prison population
Build peace-making efforts among conflicting cultures both here and abroad
Support our military with complementary approaches to peace-building.
Create and administer a U.S. Peace Academy, acting as a sister organization to the U.S. Military Academy.
From the growing rate of domestic incarceration to increasing problems of international violence, the United States has no more serious problem in our midst than the problem of violence itself. Prison-building is our largest urban industry, and we spend over 400 billion dollars a year on military-related expenditures. Yet there is within the workings of the U.S. government, no platform from which to seriously wage peace. We place no institutional heft behind an effort to address the causal issues of violence, diminishing its psychological force before it erupts into material conflict. From child abuse to genocide, from the murder of one to the slaughter of thousands, it is increasingly senseless to merely wait until violence has erupted before addressing the deeper well from which it springs.
The problem of violence is a many layered one, and its solution will be, as well. While no one action -- governmental or otherwise -- will provide a single solution to such an entrenched and deeply rooted problem, we must treat the problem itself as an all-systems breakdown requiring an all-systems response.
The campaign to establish a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding is only one aspect of a fundamental response to the problem of violence, but it is critical. It represents an important collective effort, as American citizens, to do everything we possibly can to save the world for our children's children.
Throughout America, there are countless peace-builders and peace-building projects. Those skilled in ameliorating the effects of violence - from conflict resolution experts to nonviolent communicators - have proven their effectiveness at treating root causes of violence. Peace is more than the absence of war; it is a positive state of being predicated on the presence of a peaceful heart. The mission of the Peace Alliance is to move this realization from the margins of our political dialogue to its rightful, central place within our national understanding. The humanitarian impulse to foster brotherhood and justice is not just an utopian ideal; it is an issue critical to our national security.
Domestically, the Department of Peacebuilding will develop policies and allocate resources to effectively reduce the levels of domestic and gang violence, child abuse, and various other forms of societal discord. Internationally, the Department will advise the President and Congress on the most sophisticated ideas and techniques regarding peace-creation among nations.
The Peace Alliance educates and inspires thousands throughout the country with the knowledge, skill and enthusiasm to become powerful citizen activists on behalf of the Department of Peacebuilding and many other initiatives. Our campaign has citizen organizers working in all 50 states. Local activists are mobilizing a mighty wave of momentum by working with their members of congress, writing editorials, doing local radio and TV interviews, organizing local talks and trainings, getting city council endorsements, visiting with Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs, Military Officials, Prison Officials, Directors of Abuse Shelters, School Boards, etc. to share and discuss how a Department of Peacebuilding would benefit their community.