|Posted: April 30 2005,16:52
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen
progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of
action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?
... Progressive Democrats of America (formerly the Dennis Kucinich
Presidental Campaign) has seen considerable progress toward a culture
of peace ... by the nature of its recent birth & very existence.
PDA was born in the ashes of the Congressman Kucinich 2004
Presidental Campaign at the Democratic Convention in Boston. The
Kucinich Presidential Campaign itself was an inspiring, hopeful social
movement composed of grassroots visionary "cultural creatives" coming
together to exercise their collective political will ... because
they believed in the wisdom of Congressman Kucinich's peace message of
putting people first.
Rep. Kucinich became widely known
as the "Peace Candidate" because of his impassioned, courageous
articulation of "culture of peace" concepts within the mainstream
political discourse -- brilliantly planting consciousness-raising
seeds in the public debate. His peace language in the public
dialogue (even though only a start) was completely unimaginable five
years ago during the 2000 presidental election -- at the start of the
Decade for a Culture of Peace!! Dennis first started speaking about it
back in 2000 but he did not have a mainstream forum then. He spoke
about creating a Department of Peace at a cutting-edge
"Spiritual-Politics" Convention in D.C. during the summer of 2000 at
which time it was considered a brilliant pipe-dream. We have come a
long way since the 2000 election to where the Department of Peace
legislation is now known, often even well-known ... now having many
co-sponsors in Congress with ever-growing Congressional endorsements
through the more highly evolved and organized national Department of
OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?
everything goes back to our fundamental beliefs -which are reflected in
our politics. People essentially do not believe peace is
possible. This belief is reflected in how we govern ourselves on
the planet. Thus, the biggest obstacle to creating a culture of
peace is lack of political will ...for where there's a will, there's a
way. If people really wanted peace and believed it were possible,
a culture of peace might materialize. In a truly civilized
society, man must learn to rise above his brute animal instincts by
using the unlimited powers of his rational mind. But first he
must believe this is possible. On a small scale nonviolence and
conflict resolution have proven that peace is possible because these
techniques work. The relatively new field of Peace Education
continues to expand our knowledge in this domain. If there were
legislation mandating the creation of a structure for peace -- with
nonviolence as the organizing principle, a culture of peace could
Part of the problem is that we simply don't know
yet how to resolve conflicts on all levels of our existence without
resorting to violence -- effective institutionalized alternatives to
violence have yet to be developed. The fact that we are at war in
Iraq right now makes it exceedingly more difficult to talk about a
culture of peace without being accused of being "unpatriotic."
major obstacle is that war is simply more profitable than peace.
As a society, we get what we pay for ... people who work for peace are
compensated very poorly, if at all, many "world-servers" volunteering
their services to humanity for free. If society really wanted
peace, it would compensate peace workers equal to the valuable work
Another obstacle is that we have no really great
and inspiring spiritual leader now such as Martin Luther King or
Mahatma Gandhi -- someone who exudes peace from the depths of his or
her being -- capable of mobilizing the peace movement into a powerful
force. The faith community has for the most part shamefully
remained silent and shirked its duty in speaking out about the
immorality of the war.
ACTIONS: What actions have been
undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and
nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?
Dennis Kucinich presidental campaign was a national effort that
culminated during the Democratic Convention in Boston at the
"alternative progressive convention." It evolved into PDA which
is now carrying on with even more depth and political sophistication -
attracting many different groups and noteworthy individuals. Both
the Kucinich campaign and PDA have advocated for the creation of a
Department of Peace. The national Kucinich campaign encouraged
states to hold Peace Parties for Dennis on the International Day of
Peace as a way of getting publicity for both. Grassroots groups
all over the country concurrently held fund-raisers in 2003 to announce
the start of Dennis's presidental bid. Many of these events
received media attention.
Both the Kucinich campaign and
PDA are relatively recent phenomena in the first half of the Decade.
The fact that they came into existence out of nothing in the
latter part of this period is significant. If PDA keeps going on
with the same momentum and force that spurred it into being, by the end
of the Decade, our vision of a culture of peace may be reality.
ADVICE: What advice would you like to
give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a
culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?
endorsement of Kucinich's Department of Peace legislation (HR-1673) to
be re-introduced to Congress on September 12, 2005 -- that it could be
used as the basis for Department of Peace Ministries in nations all
over the world.
PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and
networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the
global movement for a culture of peace?
of PDA's fundamental grassroots philosophies that of inclusiveness and
partnership with various actors. PDA nationally has worked from
the very beginning with it's sister progressive organization, Democracy
for America, composed of former Howard Dean supporters. It is
attempting to bring together the many other progressive organizations
to consolidate them for strength and unity.
PLANS: What new engagements are
planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and
nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?
Stonger more organized national and state political advocacy for Department of Peace legislation.
Publicity for International Day of Peace.
Postal address of organization
E-mail address of organization
Website address of organization
WWW.PDAMERICA.ORG (national) ... pdanj.org (nj chapter)
Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace
Second priority action domain of a culture of peace
Highest priority country of action (or international)
Second priority country of action (or international)
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