Groups Celebrate on International Day of Peace

The Social Justice Center of Marin is one of dozens of groups holding events this week for the International Day of Peace, held every Sept. 21. Photo Credit: SJCM

Suzanne Potter
California News Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – September 21, 2017 marked the 36th annual International Peace Day, established by the United Nations back in 1981.

Groups across the state are celebrating with vigils, rallies, and workshops centered on this year’s theme, “together for peace, respect, safety and dignity for all,” with a special focus on aiding migrants and refugees. Angela Parker with Campaign Nonviolence in Marin County said people need to get out and agitate for policies that favor community over greed.

“The formula to heal people and planet is human rights, dignity, economic ethics and ecological integrity above corporate entitlement,” Parker said. “And that’s how we save all of us.”

Events are planned this week in more than two dozen towns, from Eureka all the way down to San Diego, and in thousands of towns across the country – as a way to stand up to violence, racism and environmental destruction. Catholic group Pace e bene is coordinating the campaign here in the United States.

John Bilorusky, president and faculty member at the Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley, is planning a weekend-long conference on making affirmative choices.

“It is a time for people to think about not only what they can do personally, but bigger picture issues that bear on racism as compared to multiculturalism (and) destructiveness and oppression as compared to social justice,” Bilorusky said.

He says he is heartened by the resistance movement that has sprung back to life in the past year since the election to oppose policies that restrict access to health care, harm efforts to slow down climate change and cause great suffering in the immigrant community.