Brother Asaiah would smile! The recent Peace Walk and WKFL Gathering evolved, as organizers in Kindness without Borders had hoped, into a sunny celebration of the community we live in and the world we envision. Many groups came together to articulate this vision, where peace is possible.
Speakers informed us about the link between violence/terrorism and current corporate globalization, which supercedes government's ability to legislate human rights and environmental safeguards. Some speakers explained how specific trade policies have impacted local communities, which have been self-sustaining and culturally rich for eons, prior to dependence forced by these trade agreements, such as those being further set at the "Global 8" meetings this week (the closed meetings we gathered to protest).
These harmful practices can create tension that can lead to terrorism. When people feel powerless, they sometimes turn to violence, and many are seeing how multinational corporations have bought politicians and used power in ways that create much anti-U.S. sentiment; many communities have been forced to leave their land and relocate, as author/attorney Judith Kimerling reported.
We are lucky to live in a community where we can influence public policy, and where local newspapers and radio are models for helping get word out on our rich and diverse local culture.
It is heartening that so many different groups are currently working in their own ways to create a world where peoples need not be identified as "evil," and the U.S. instead uses its power toward being, in the words of Sen. Kucinich's prayer for America, "at the axis of hope and faith and peace and democracy for all."
Sharon Whytal, for Kindness without Borders, Peace with Justice/Hold the Vision, and co-sponsors Vessels of Hope, No Nukes North!, Homer Quaker Worship Group, Cook Inlet Keeper, Kodiak Rocket Launch, Alaskans for Socially Responsible Investing Information Group, Homer Sangha, Amnesty International, Rad Mommies and Unitarian Universalists