North Country Peace Builder
Vol. 53, No. 2, June 2002
News of the Fellowship
Being Present in the Community
Members of the board of Minnesota FOR have staffed tables and given out literature about the Fellowship at several events this year:
A February 10 fund raiser for Altera Vista, the alternative cable peace and justice program, sponsored by the Minnesota Alliance of Peace-makers. Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive (from Madison, WI) was the featured speaker.
The 7th Annual Nobel Peace Prize Festival on March 10, held at Augsburg College.
The ReVisioning: Building Community for a Sustainable Future conference, held at Macalester College from April 26 to 28.
From Member Betty Schilling: Thank you for the work of MN FOR and especially for the newsletter. I continue to speak and act for peace in Woodbury and Eden Prairie as I am able. Keep up the good work.
DATES TO REMEMBER
July 30, 6 pm Annual FOR picnic at Minnehaha Falls Pavilion
September 11, 11 am - 2 pm, Gather for day of peace demonstration and reflections, Loring Park, downtown Minneapolis; sponsored by Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers
November 3 Annual FOR Fall Gathering, with new national FOR leader Patricia Clark (invited)
By MNFOR Member Pat Cloutier
Environment, Scarcity, and Violence By Thomas F Homer-Dixon, Princeton University Press, 2001
Reviewed by Arthur H. Westing, Westing Associates in Environment, Security, & Education, Putney, VT, in Environment 44 (4), May 2002.
"Environment" in the title here refers to the Earth's major renewable natural resources, "scarcity" to shortages in those resources, and "violence" to armed conflict. "in-depth examination of several carefully selected armed conflicts does indeed suggest that environmental scarcity has contributed indirectly to their onset." The author concludes that obvious causal connections between environmental scarcity and armed conflict generally will not be discernible until well into the 21st century.
He predicts that intensified environmental scarcity in the coming decades can be expected to lead to intrastate, rather than interstate, armed conflicts, especially ethnic clashes arising from refugee movements and insurgence, banditry, and governmental overthrows arising from losses in economic productivity and livelihood.
Check Out Our New Web Page
The Minnesota FOR has a new web page! The address is www.mnfor.org/. We thank Katrina Dolezal, board chair, for hosting this web site. The North Country Peace Builder will still be posted at www.osb.org/for/ thanks to the kindness of Brother Richard Oliver OSB, who has included our newsletter on his web site for some years now.
Minnesota Peacemaker Training
August 15 to 21, 2002
Again this year the Minnesota FOR will present a week of peacemaker training, to take place both in the city and in the country. Participants will address issues of interpersonal and systemic violence, e.g., racism, economic injustice, and militarism; learn about non-violence as a way of life and a tool for radical change; and build conflict resolution and organizing skills.
The program is being planned and will be carried out by Laura Wilson (see article below) and Colin Schumacher, both first-year Hamline students who attended, with the help of scholarships from the Minnesota FOR, a national PTI training in January. The Hamline Student Congress has contributed $1,000 to the projected budget of $2,500. The MFOR again welcomes donations from our members for this special activity.
Not in our Name Pledge and Information
Dear FOR Members:
The following has been on the Internet for some time, and I have received it from a myriad of people. Some of you may also have received it. I believe it needs to be shared, for whatever action you might wish to take. Although it calls for gathering together on June 6, and I do not believe there was such a gathering in the Twin Cities, the June 6 date is only the opening phase of this campaign. Let us hope the pledge attracts masses of people who are worried, discouraged, and frightened by the current trend in this country toward an endless "war" and military and economic world domination.
Endorsers of the pledge include Philip Berrigan, New York FOR, Pax Christi Metro New York, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, NY Metro Branch, Starhawk, and many others. To add your name, e-mail email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 212-969-0592.
"On Thursday, June 6, in gatherings across the U.S., people will commit themselves to resist in different ways the horrors that the U.S. government is inflicting on people around the world and here at home. The government claims to do it for our benefit. They claim to do it in our name. Join with us to say:
War on the World--Not in Our Name!
Detentions and Roundups - Not in Our Name!
Police State Restrictions - Not in Our Name!
We refuse to allow President Bush to speak for all the people living in this country. We will not give up our right to question. We will not hand over our consciences in return for a hollow promise of safety. We acknowledge that we in this country have a special responsibility to resist what our own government is doing, from military interventions to supplying arms used to shoot down and terrorize people from Palestine to the Philippines. Together as one we say
NOT IN OUR NAME.
On June 6 we will come together to take the Not in Our Name Pledge of Resistance and invite you to endorse and be part of this effort. We are people from different backgrounds, cultures, communities and political beliefs in common refusal to go along with the government's war without limits, with its roundups and detentions of immigrants, and with its attacks on civil liberties. The event will launch efforts to spread the Pledge throughout society, to strengthen and expand resistance in diverse ways.
The Pledge to Resist is online at: http://notinourname.net/pledge.html
For more information http://notinourname.net/ and www.refuseandresist.org/.
Working to Prevent War in Iraq
Campaign by Friends for a Nonviolent World
In view of Mr. Bush et al.'s stated ambition to dispose of Saddam Hussein by any means, and ominous signs that those means include war against Iraq, possibly using nuclear weapons, Friends for a Nonviolent World has launched a campaign against war with Iraq.
The new executive director of FNVW is Phil Stager, who has traveled twice to Iraq as a humanitarian worker and continues to work on ending the sanctions. Here is FNVW's campaign plan:
- June 12: Meeting at University of Minnesota to hear "Report Back from Iraq: The Effect of 12 Years of Sanctions and War"
- June 14-18: Iraq Forum and Lobby Days
- July 13: "The Art of Survival: Iraqi Refugee Artists in the Twin Cities," Babylon Art and Cultural Center
- July--date to be announced: public event to provide people going to Iraq in August with care packages to carry with them in an act of good will, conscience and solidarity with Iraqis suffering under sanctions and their family members in the U.S. who have been raided by federal authorities for sending home assistance
- August 1-15: Twin Cities delegation to Iraq
- August 6-9: Fast. Pass the Fast (others join in) to September 11
- September 1 1: Participate in Loring Park Day of Peace demonstration and time of reflection, now being planned by the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers.
For delegation and lobbying information, call Phil Stager at FNVW, 651-917-0383 or a-mail email@example.com.
FNVW also has a new bumper sticker, and a new project against military taxes, called M-TAX. M-TAX supports community members in expressing conscientious objection to the use of federal tax dollars for violence.
As part of this project they offer a list of a few of the many nonviolent ways one can practice non-cooperation with War Taxes. They warn that some of these may have legal consequences.
- Write, lobby, and demonstrate to communicate and document your Conscientious Objection to militarism.
- Learn more about the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill and nonviolent alternative service.
- Live below a taxable income level.
- Adjust your W-4 form to reduce withholdings or claim "exempt" to eliminate withholdings.
- Aid and support others who object in conscience to taxes that pay for the military.
- Reduce taxable income by making tax-deductible contributions.
- Refuse to voluntarily pay a symbolic/significant/total amount of federal taxes owed.
- Be self-employed to eliminate the withholding stage.
For information about M-TAX, 651-917-0383 or e-mail m-taxL@fnvw.org.
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North Country Peace Builder
Produced quarterly (September, December, March and June) by the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Fellowship of Reconciliation. Send article, letters, and comments to Leslie Reindl <mord001 @ umn.edu>, editor, in care of
Leslie Reindl, editor
1233 Ingerson Road
St. Paul, MN 55
Or use the online form to send comments or contributions.
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