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In the News
Last Updated: 06/23/2003Peace movements
February 15 2003 saw the biggest public demonstration worldwide against the war on Iraq. Since then a large number of the organizations involved have continued to voice their concerns over the occupation of Iraq, although interests have broadened to embrace less high-profile conflict situations The following details a selection of the hundreds of organizations and their plans for helping to bring peace.
The United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) originally launched themselves as a national coalition aimed at uniting local and national peace organizations in the US to coordinate their opposition against the US led war on Iraq. UFPJ were one of the groups who organised the February 15 marches in the US. Following further antiwar protests in March, UFPJ held a National Anti-War Strategy and Planning conference on the 6-8 June. 550 people representing more than 325 peace groups attended the conference in Chicago. The 3-day conference focused on workshops and plenary sessions. Participation was the key to the conference. The 87 actions were proposed at the conference, by a democratic system of discussion, synthesis and voting, 7 actions were decided to be the campaigns priorities:
· Defense of Civil Liberties and Immigrant Rights
· Campaign to Unite the Peace and Global Justice Movement
· People’s Convention/The World Says No to Bush
· Justice for Palestine
· Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security
· Military Recruitment
· Broad Educational Campaign
Global Action to Prevent War is a coalition-building effort to stop war, genocide, & internal armed conflict on an international level. With an international membership that consists of governments, individuals and peace organizations, their principal objectives are to unite these different groups, to try to anticipate potential conflicts on a global basis and then to coordinate the activities to prevent or mediate them before they pose a serious threat. The other side of the organization aims to develop a system of treaties that would that would gradually reduce the capacity of nations to attack others.
Stop the War Coalition founded in September 2001 has one principal goal, to stop the war declared by the US (and her allies) on terrorism after the attacks on the Twin Towers. The membership of STWC consists of both individual and peace organizations. It was STCW who organized the February 15 marches in London and Glasgow and who coordinated their activities on an international level. Members of STWC can join on a national or local level. On a national level STWC coordinates the plans, objectives and strategies the coalition have decided to take on, (as elected by their steering committee.) On a local level it is the groups who implement the actions and spread the word of STWC. They frequently organize marches or protests not solely over the situation in Iraq but Palestine and other human rights violations.
MoveOn aims to give ordinary people their voice in politics. Focusing on the lack of representatives in today’s governments that actually represent the people, MoveOn is a grassroots organization helping at arming the ordinary man with the information and tools he needs to make his voice heard. With some 2million online members can issue priorities for the organization and vote on strategies. http://www.moveon.org
Peace Action of Central New York is a non-profit grassroots organization that has a vision to free the world of oppression and the threat of war and to focus resources onto human and environmental needs. They aim to fulfill these goals by educating the ordinary person about the importance of freeing the world from the threat of a nuclear attack. http://www.cnypeaceaction.com
War resisters League states that War is a “crime against humanity” they publish a monthly magazine called The Nonviolent Activist. The magazine deals with a number of varying issues from general peace movements and individual cases. http://www.warresisters.org
Peace Brigades International is an NGO that protects human right and promotes the non-violent transformation of conflicts. They arrange for groups of volunteers to enter areas of conflict or repression to accompany local human rights defenders who may be threatened by political violence. The idea behind PBI is that if volunteers (especially international ones) are present with members of the ordinary public, perpetrators of human rights abuses are not as likely to commit acts against them. The support of these volunteers gives the locals a safer environment to work towards social justice and human rights. http://www.peacebrigades.org/
Projects4peace is an organization that offers hands on activities for people who want to involve themselves on issues of local, national and global peace. Covering a wide range of different issues the projects currently on offer are: supporting corporations who do not provide services or products for war, organizing peace rallies and coordinating public art schemes aimed at changing peoples perspective to war. http://www.projects4peace.org/
International A.N.S.W.E.R, founded after the September 11 attacks are an organization aimed at organizing world rallies and providing information to their members. They are the people currently behind the planned “world unites against US Militarism” march due to take place on October 25 at the Pentagon. http://www.internationalanswer.org
The International Action Center aims to provide information about activism and resistance to US militarism and corporate greed. They post details of a number of events worldwide and nationally dealing with the antiwar movement, such as protests, marches and rallies. http://www.iacenter.org/