700th Consecutive Weekly Hilo [Hawai’i] Peace Vigil
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 23 Feb 2015
“Restraint Not Vengeance”
Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 marks the 700th consecutive weekly Hilo, Hawaii Peace Vigil held from 3:30-5PM at the downtown Post office/federal building sponsored by Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action based in Kurtistown, Big Island, Hawai’i.
That’s over 13 years and counting. Each week a new peace leaflet is prepared and distributed widely in Hawaii, the U.S. and internationally, via email lists, Facebook, and the malu-aina.org website. Copies are emailed to county and state officials, the news media, and hundreds of additional copies are handed out on the Hilo street corner of Kinoole and Waianuenue Ave. Anyone can sign up at www.malu-aina.org to receive the weekly leaflet free and other information for peace, justice and aloha ‘aina to save the planet.
The Hilo Peace Vigil was initiated by Malu ‘Aina founder, Jim Albertini, and the late Zen Buddhist Roshi, Robert Aitken, on Sept. 12, 2001 as an effort to encourage “Restraint not Vengeance” in response to the 9-11 attacks. To quote from that first leaflet:
“The purpose of today’s vigil is to offer prayers and thoughts for the victims and their families of yesterday’s attacks and to seek ways to end our world’s escalating cycles of violence. Violent retaliation will only escalate the cycle of violence that is making the whole world blind to our need to live together on this planet. This tragedy underscores the urgent need to embrace policies of international cooperation, a more just distribution of the world’s resources, and a direction that moves away from militarism and violence as methods of solving problems.”
Where are we today –700 weeks onward? Trillions of dollars have been spent on war and militarism and what have we bought? Is the world a safer place? In 700 weeks of war millions have been killed, injured, made orphans and refugees. The cradle of civilization in Iraq, and surrounding areas, have been heavily destroyed and contaminated with U.S. military toxins including depleted uranium, causing cancer and birth defects. The U.S. has bombed Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and now Syria. After 13 years of war in the name of “freedom and democracy” the entire Middle East is in chaos and civil liberties in the U.S. have been eroded. The cycle of violence continues to escalate, from “Shock and Awe” to killer drones, targeted assassinations, beheadings, and U.S. Special Operations Forces conducting secret missions in more than 133 countries. Now President Obama is seeking expanded authorization for more endless wars against the Islamic State even though U.S. Middle East wars helped create the Islamic State.
This much should be crystal clear. More war and spending 69 cents out of every U.S. tax dollar on militarism and a national security state are not the answer.
The five core points that appear at the bottom of each week’s peace leaflet may help guide us in a more positive direction. Our key task is to stop the violence: stop the U.S. from continuing to treat Hawaii and the entire world as occupied colonies; and prevent the destruction of civilization and planetary suicide by nuclear war or human induced climate disaster.
Imagine a better world and with every breath of our beings never give up in a non-violent struggle to make it a reality.
Never, Ever, Give Up!
- Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Feb. 20, 2015 – 700th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office
James Albertini is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, and director of Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action – P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawai’i 96760. Phone (+ 808) 966-7622 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.malu-aina.org/
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