Monday, September 11, 2006

Today not only marks the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks; it also marks the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's call for non-violent civil disobedience. After the 2001 attacks, we had such an opportunity to begin an open international dialogue; we had such an opportunity for connection and cultural evolution. Instead, our administration squandered this opportunity to further their own power-hungry agenda, a disastrous agenda that has led to the needless deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis as well as thousands of our own troops. I want to focus on the message of Gandhi, the power of satyagraha--the force of truth of love, or non-violence--on a day when our administration and the media will do their best to try to stir a renewed quest for vengeance in the American heart. I plan to attend this local event tonight:

On September 11, 1906, Mohandas Gandhi convened a meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, to mobilize his community to oppose racially degrading legislation. That evening, more than 3,000 people solemnly pledged to disobey the proposed law, despite the consequences and without the use of violence. Here began the model of nonviolent action for achieving social justice, as employed in the Civil Rights Movement in this country via Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We will honor Gandhi’s devotion to nonviolent action, reminding ourselves and our community of our inherent right to peace, and of this powerful alternative to war and violence. We will help each other find the courage to work nonviolently towards achieving justice and peace in our own daily lives, in our local communities, and in the whole world.

September 11, 2006 -- 5:30pm to 7pm

Downtown Mall in Riverside, CA
Event begins with Peacewalk at 5:30 pm
Meet at the Martin Luther King Statue (near city hall at 9th St)
(signs, banners, and candles provided)
continuing to the Candlelight
Commemoration & Program
at the Gandhi Statue, Mission Inn Avenue at the
Downtown Mall

Sponsored by
Inland Communities Fellowship of
Reconciliation (ICFOR)**
and the Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP)**

the Mission Belles, Terry Boyles and John Rockwell of the Congregational Church, plus members of IC-FOR and Unitarian Universalists in Sing Alongs.

Speakers include, among others, Katherine Pitts of the Pasadena Mennonite Church, Jerry Hobby of the Riverside Community Center for Spiritual Living, Linda Dunn of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, and Marilyn Sequoia of IC-FOR. Participants will have an opportunity to speak briefly or to read the Peace Quotes that will be distributed.


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