Another Mother for Peace

Peace Homework

Another Mother for Peace believes that it is our patriotic duty to speak out against war. Our precious democracy allows us as citizens to voice our opinions and to influence the debate in Washington. Peace Homework is how we make our voices heard. Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who started the Green Belt Movement in ecologically devastated Kenya, tells the following story:

One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest – a huge woodland was suddenly engulfed by a raging wild fire. Frightened, all the animals fled their homes and ran out of the forest. As they came to the edge of a stream they stopped to watch the fire and they were feeling very discouraged and powerless. They were all bemoaning the destruction of their homes. Every one of them thought there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird. This particular hummingbird decided it would do something. It swooped into the stream and picked up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals watched in disbelief; some tried to discourage the hummingbird with comments like, “Don’t bother, it is too much, you are too little, your wings will burn, your beak is too tiny, it’s only a drop, you can’t put out this fire.” And as the animals stood around disparaging the little bird’s efforts, the bird noticed how hopeless and forlorn they looked. Then one of the animals shouted out and challenged the hummingbird in a mocking voice, “What do you think you are doing?” And the hummingbird, without wasting time or losing a beat, looked back and said, “I am doing what I can.” Like the hummingbird, we each must do what we can.”

This upcoming election season finds us facing a terrible battle between the raging forces of violence, greed, and destruction, and those of peace, justice, and unity. The battle may feel overwhelming and even paralyzing: “We are too little, it is too much,” we may hear ourselves and others saying. But like the hummingbird’s beak full of water, a single vote, when joined with another vote, and another still, can tip the balance between darkness and light. By casting a single, hopeful, urgent vote, we do what we can to save our beloved home Earth from devastation. The choice is as clear as the words Lorraine Schneider wrote during an earlier time of conflict. CHOOSE SANITY, CHOOSE PEACE: War is not healthy for children and other living things.

CURRENT HOMEWORK

√ Vote for representatives who support legislation that is aimed towards containment of all means of violence- nuclear weapons abroad, escalation of our war machine, and assault rifles that proliferate in our communities. Send letters when you can, there is no delete button for a personalized note. Honor this great American anti- war holiday by sending our cards, giving our baby tshirts, proudly wearing your medallion, an embroidered patch, or placing a bumper sticker on your car. Peace is in season on Mother’s Day and everyday!

“FOR MY MOTHER’S DAY GIFT THIS YEAR, I DON’T WANT CANDY OR FLOWERS, I WANT AN END TO KILLING.”

This has been the message of Another Mother for Peace since 1967 when a handful of women gathered around a dining room table and resolved to speak out against the Vietnam War.

As mothers, and all of the supporters of AMP, we want peace for our children and children everywhere. In a time of peace, flowers and candy would be a delightful way to celebrate the day inspired by one woman’s wish to end our sacrifice of loved ones to war. In the day when our government enacts peace as the priority, that day will be celebrated. For now, we send our most relevant and heartfelt Mother’s Day greeting: War is not healthy for children and other living things.

More than fifty years later, we are still as dedicated to preserving peace as we were in the midst of the Vietnam war, when AMP’s first action was to send a mother’s Day card to Washington D.C. with our bright yellow sunflower design and this statement of conscience, which continued “we who have given life must be dedicated to preserving it. Please talk peace.”

From all across the country, 200,000 cards were mailed to the President and members of congress. Thus began one of the most significant nonviolent protest movements in recent history – and it was women and mothers who made it happen.

√ Donate political posters to the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (cspg@politicalgraphics.org) and help continue their work for social justice and peace.

PREVIOUS HOMEWORK

Make your vote count by following this advice from Billionaires & Ballot Bandits:
1. DON’T GO POSTAL! In a prior election, half a million absentee ballots were never counted, on the flimsiest of technical excuses.
2. VOTE EARLY — Before the Ballot Bandits Wake Up. Every state now lets voters cast ballots in designated polling stations and at county offices in the weeks before Election Day. Don’t wait until Election Day to find out you have the wrong ID, your registration’s “inactive,” or you’re on some creep’s challenge list.
3. Register and RE-Register, then REGISTER AGAIN. With all the purging going on (13 million and counting), you could be x’d out and you don’t know it. So check online with your Secretary of State’s office or call your County Board of Elections.
4. Vote Unconditionally, NOT PROVISIONALLY. If your right to vote is challenged, don’t accept a provisional ballot that likely won’t get counted. Demand adjudication on the spot of your right to a real ballot from poll judges. Or demand a call to the supervisor of elections; or return with acceptable ID if that’s the problem. And be a champ: defend the rights of others.
5. OCCUPY Ohio, Invade Nevada. Let go of that mouse, get out of your PJs and take the resistance door-to-door – to register the vote, to canvass the voters, to get out the vote.
6. Make the Democracy Demand: NO VOTE LEFT BEHIND! If an election is stolen, demand a recount. You can have all the paper ballots in the world, but if you don’t demand to look at them, publicly, in a recount, you might as well mark them with invisible ink.

Register to Vote!!!
Your vote is your voice. We hope you’ll make sure you are registered to vote in your state and that you stay on top of all the candidates’ positions on war and peace.
»»Download a national voter registration form