Join us in making war and peace issues important in the political campaigns and debates that are taking place in this election year. If you fill out the Peace Campaign Volunteer Form, we will work with you to make your peace activism most effective — in your own community, in your state, and nationwide.
Young people of course have much to contribute to this cause by advocating for non-violence in their schools and communities as well as in the wider world. This page on our website: Recommendations for Action discusses actions young people can take. Something important that they can do right away is sign the Youth Peace Pledge.
Here are other ways in which activists can participate:
Advocate for a “Peace Institute” in your state. Peace institutes can be established in each state to conduct research and create educational materials on war and peace issues. Every state in the nation currently depends economically, to one degree of another, on military industry and military installations. A peace institute can investigate and inform the public about the economic prospects of peace, including conversion of a military economy to a peace economy that meets real human needs. A peace institute can also educate political officials as well as the public about how and why wars take place, and what can be done to achieve alternative solutions to international problems. The formation of peace institutes is explained in more detail on our People’s Diplomacy page.
Candidates for political office and current office holders at every level of public service — community, county, state, and national can contribute by signing this “Peace Legislators Pledge.”
Grassroots activists can contribute by asking candidates and current public officials to sign the legislators pledge. Approach candidates at town hall meetings, arrange to meet with them in their campaign offices: discuss the pledge with them and/or with members of their staff, and ask them to sign. As well, go to school boards, city councils and boards of supervisors — every institution that is staffed by elected officials — and ask these officials to reflect on and sign the pledge. And get together with others — friends, family, colleagues — to organize house parties and town hall meetings to educate the citizens in your community about war and peace issues.
All pledge signers will be listed on the website.
Organizations can support this effort too, by endorsing this pledge campaign. Approach your local Democratic or Republican club, or Green chapter or any other organization you choose, and ask for their support. Endorsing organizations will be listed on the website too.
Upon signing the pledge, candidates and current office holders can follow through as follows:
Support the SANE Act (Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditure) introduced into the senate by Senator Ed Markey and into the House of Representatives by Congressman Earl Blumenauer which calls for substantive cuts in the nuclear weapons budget and reallocation of these resources to support education, health, job creation, climate protection and poverty alleviation in the United States. Join Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND), the global cross-party network of legislators working to reduce the risk of nuclear war, support nuclear non-proliferation and advance the global prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. Current U.S. members of PNND are Congress persons Barbara Lee, Carolyn Maloney, John Conyers, Eni Faleomavaega, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Michael Honda. U.S. Senators Edward Markey (PNND Co-President) and Nan Orrock also belong to PNND.
City and state legislators: End the unbridled lobbying power of the nuclear-weapons corporations by divesting your city or state funds from these corporations. (The handbook Move the Nuclear Weapons Money provides background information and useful organizing suggestions.) Pass peace resolutions, as the U.S. Conference of Mayors has done. Legislators can also seek to intercede when the state’s National Guard is commanded to supply troops for combat. And as mentioned above, support the establishment of a “Peace Institute” in your state.
School boards: Curriculum on the subjects of violence and nonviolence, war and peace, is relevant to every level of education. “Unless we teach our children peace someone else may teach them violence,” comments Colman McCarthy, a journalist and teacher of peaces studies. He notes that “This country has 4,500 colleges and universities. We have about 36,000 high schools and about 78,000 elementary schools. That’s where the peace movement needs to be.”
- Join Global Legislators Organizing for a Better Environment (GLOBE), the global, cross-party network of legislators working to protect the climate and on other key environmental issues.
- Join legislators, civil society leaders and world leaders in New York for the UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament from May 14-16, which aims to make progress on concrete nuclear disarmament steps. Participate, in particular, in the public side event Count the Nuclear Weapons Money which will highlight the massive nuclear weapons budget and on what these funds could instead be spent.
- Endorse the joint statement of religious leaders and legislators: A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Our Common Good, which will be presented to world leaders at the UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament.
These are only a few suggestions about actions that peace-advocating legislators and grassroots activists can take. Be imaginative, collaborate with others local and distant who are like-minded, support peace-minded candidates for public office, bring the issues of war and peace to your community. Remember that local and global are connected: Economic, educational, and cultural exchange programs contribute to mutual understanding and solidarity.
Working together we can move our nation and the world toward justice, reconciliation, and peace.