International Day of Peace - September 21st

On September 21, 1982, the United Nations General Assembly resolution establishing an annual International Day of Peace was observed for the first time.

The intent was to strengthen the ideals of peace both within our own countries and among all nations by rededicating ourselves through education and public awareness.

A goal of the International Day of Peace is a day of non-violence and cease-fire around the world. In order to create sustainable peace, the deep causes of violent conflict must begin to be addressed and the practice of peaceful management and conflict resolution learned.

The theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is the “Right of People to Peace” and understanding that the promotion of peace is “vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights.”

The Sonoma County Peace Alliance and the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County encourage our communities to embrace the concept of an International Day of Peace on September 21 this year and every year. Our hope is that we will all use this day as an inspiration for seeking peace within ourselves and with others, not only on September 21, but the other 364 days of the year, as well.


Letter from the Board of the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County

Dear Friends,

We are angry and we are sad.

Violent conflicts rage across the globe with 28 million people suffering. The U.S. just can't refrain from bombing Iraq. Blood flows for oil in a failed policy. Police continue to kill unarmed teenagers of color. At home in Sonoma County, Deputy Gelhaus is back on the streets and the Sheriff's Office has purchased 30 bayonets from the Department of Defense. Feelings of helplessness and distress surge and people visit the Center to have heart to heart talks and call for hugs over the phone.

We can wish the world would change and these feelings vanish or we can use our pain and anger to reinforce our courage, and channel our feelings into nonviolent action. The Peace & Justice Center has a plan to achieve this.

The PJC is launching an exciting new project: Freedom From Militarization. The focus is to address the ever-expanding gray area that exists between military and civilian life that normalizes war and violence. Our emphasis will be identifying and raising awareness of local behaviors and organizations that support the militarization of society.

We'll be seeking your involvement and encouragement as we address four main categories: 1) Law enforcement; 2) Local activities that support the military; 3) Local companies which profit from militarization; and 4) Normalization of the military in culture and society.

Using your tax dollars, the Department of Defense is planning a $65 million commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. A parade is planned for 2015. In tandem with Veterans for Peace, we are making our own plans to tell the truth about this war and counteract the attempt to rewrite history.

This is an ambitious project. To accomplish it, we've created a new staff position. Susan Lamont will become the new Project Coordinator. We will be hiring a new Center Coordinator. But we can't move forward without your financial support.

Please contribute any amount to help kick start this important endeavor, while also supporting the other areas of the PJC. Donations are tax deductible and can be mailed or made on our website –

Experience the rewards of volunteering, donating, participating! Let’s give each other a group hug and then speak truth to power!

Eszter Freeman
on behalf of your Board of Directors


We like to think it's just those in groups like ISIS who are cruel, but our entire system is cruel. We can't just look outwards. What are WE doing? The American Dream was created and is perpetuated upon the backs of "others."

For a company that prides itself on innovation, Apple's supply chain resembles the 18th century triangle trade.

*Also, let's not forget Apple dodges billions in taxes and illegally colluded to suppress the salaries of their engineers and programmers.

100 Thousand Poets for Change

Six Steps Short of War to Beat ISIS

By Phyllis Bennis

President Obama is right: There is no military solution. 

Military actions will not set the stage for political solutions; they will prevent those solutions from taking hold.

Escalating military actions against this violent extremist organization is not going to work.

The bottom line is there is no immediate action that will make ISIS disappear, even if U.S. airstrikes manage to get the right target somewhere and take out an APC or a truckload of guys with RPGs or whatever. 

You can't destroy an ideology — or even an organization —through bombing (look at the efforts to do so with Al Qaeda . . . lots of members killed in Afghanistan, but the organization took root in a bunch of other countries).

- See more at:

To read more:

Join the Peace & Justice Center at the 2nd Annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change March!

Endless War?

People's Climate March Hopes To Be This Generation's March on Washington

On August 28, 1963, 200,000 people swarmed into the nation’s capital for one of the most iconic moments in the civil rights movement: the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. More often remembered today simply as the March on Washington, it was seen by many as a turning point for the civil rights movement, which helped spur passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Today, with hundreds of thousands of people preparing to descend on one of the country’s largest cities for the September 21 People’s Climate March, some are hoping for a similarly transformative moment in the climate movement. But whether the People’s Climate March succeeds in generating the kind of results achieved by the 1963 March on Washington — and whether that is, in fact, a desirable outcome — remains to be seen.

Read more here:

No More War!

Student Labor Activists Renew Spirit of 1964's Freedom Summer

In 1964, the Freedom Summer campaign for voting rights in Mississippi appealed to college students to confront one of the great social justice issues of the age. Fifty years later, labor activists challenging the corporate power of Walmart called on the same spirit to lead a small group of students off campuses and into the fight for economic justice on behalf of the giant company’s low-paid workers. Organizers of the effort, dubbed the “Summer for Respect” hope the program will help inspire a new generation of student labor activism and deepen the links between labor unions and academia.

Adam Reich, the Columbia University professor who led this summer’s student-labor initiative, says the Summer for Respect differed from the historic 1964 effort in a number of ways. The program took 20 undergraduate students from several different colleges and inserted them into active OUR Walmart campaigns in different parts of the country. Student participated in daily organizing efforts, but one of the program’s primary goals was to combine students’ campaign work with the academic goal of documenting the lives of the Walmart workers, and spreading that information to a wider audience. The  students compiled an oral history archive and related materials for use by other workers, activists, students, and historians, explains Reich.

Read further at: