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U.S. Peace, Human Rights Groups To Promote Peace Events for Sept 11

SAN FRANCISCO - July 30 - U.S. peace and human rights groups have formed a coalition called United for Peace, whose mission is to promote events about peace, justice and healing to commemorate the first anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
“The response to this idea has been overwhelming,” said Medea Benjamin, founding director of San Francisco’s Global Exchange and a founder of United for Peace.

“We’re going to show the world that in hundreds of U.S. cities, people are claiming the anniversary of 9/11 as a time to say YES, a peaceful, just world IS possible, and we are building it.”

Peace events are already being planned in big cities like New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC and small towns such as Seadrift, Texas and Chester, West Virginia. They range from peace festivals, picnics and concerts on the weekend of Sept. 7 & 8 to more solemn events like candlelight vigils and interfaith services on Sept. 11. There are also events planned in France and India.

What ties the events together is their theme: envisioning a world without war and violence.

A group of Sept. 11 victims’ family members is participating in the United for Peace project.

“Please help us honor the death of our loved ones by creating Sept. 11, 2002 events that move us toward a future of peaceful tomorrows,” said Kelly Campbell of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. “We don’t want the first year commemoration of the 9/11 tragedy to be used to call for more war and violence.”

Other groups involved in United for Peace include the National Coalition for Peace and Justice, Fellowship of Reconciliation, American Friends Service Committee, Peace Action, Veterans for Peace, War Resistors League and Global Exchange. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatama Gandhi, has also endorsed the project.

The United for Peace website was launched on July 30. The site will allow people to post information about local 9/11 events and share ideas and resources about issues of concern to peace activists.

“Let’s make Sept. 11 a time to put forth a vision of a safer, more just world—a world free of war and violence, a world that rejects ethnic and religious divisions and celebrates diversity, a world that cherishes the environment, a world were the needs of humans and other living things take priority over profits,” Benjamin said.




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