#PeaceDay 2015 – Ten Thoughts on Peace

by Joe Scarry

Rainbow peace sign flag
(Image: @fieldsforever58)

Yesterday was the UN International Day of Peace.

The day nudged me to think about what — if anything — I feel I really know about peace and the movement for peace.

Here are 10 things that are true for me . . . .

(1) Nuclear abolition

The risk from nuclear weapons is so great, the only responsible course is total elimination now.

(See What’s YOUR “appetite for risk”? (Eliminate nuclear weapons NOW!) )

(2) Getting with the times

The means available to us today for eliminating war vary greatly from those available from those working to eliminate war in decades past.

(See Not Your Father’s Antiwar Movement )

(3) Social media power

One means that can be the source of enormous power is social media.

(See News Worth Spreading: “There IS An Alternative to War!” )

(4) Intersectionality

We face a whole lot of obstacles to peace and justice. To be a peace activist means committing to work on multiple fronts.

(See Drone Gaze, Drone Injury: The War on Communities of Color )

(5) Grounding oneself

Where do people find the grounding to sustain their work for peace?

For many people, grounding is found in community and/or faith.

(See Get Outside Your Comfort Zone and Have A Conversation Today (Welcome to the Ministry))

(6) The centrality of nonviolence

Eventually, it becomes clear that “nonviolence” is not just an aspect of style, and somehow optional, but is, in fact, a central source of the essential power needed by anyone working for peace.

(See Chenoweth on Why Nonviolence Gets Results (The “Cliff’s Notes” Version) )


(7) A challenge to the Church

How much attention should Christians give to the work of actually opposing war?

To me it seems clear that Jesus’ “good news” is a subversive, anti-imperialist, anti-establishment, anti-status quo call to action.

(See How Shall We Live in the Face of Empire? (Reading Mitri Raheb) )

(8) Peace work

Peace is a system, and we should approach it as something to work at.

Peace work requires resources: hours, money, skills.

(See A Global Security System: An Alternative to War from World Beyond War.)

(9) Permawar

The main characteristic of war has become its persistence. Why?

(See J’ACCUSE: The Beneficiaries of Permawar)


(10) Go ahead, say “never”

One of the best things we could do is get out of the “little bit of war” habit. Saying “no” is the first step to finding alternatives to war.

(See Greenwald Was Right: “Humanitarian” War in Syria? It’s Just More War )

What’s true for you?

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