“Peace Is Possible” is the Peace Song of the Day for May 20, 2012. This song was created by Fre Atlast and Victoria Christgau.
The Duke and Duchess would like to dedicate this song to NATO, the NATO demonstrators, and the people of Chicago on this dramatic day of discussions about war and peace. The big march for today, Sunday May 20th, started at 2pm from Grant Park/Chicago. Info and details at Occupy Chicago: here.
More about the video and the NATO summit in Chicago at the readmore…
“Peace is Possible” is part song and part chant. It has been performed as part of workshops and celebrations to study nonviolence. It has been used since 2003 to teach the 6 Principles of Kingian Nonviolence (philosophies of nonviolence presented by Martin Luther King, Jr.).
Some Information and Reflections on the NATO meeting, the NATO demonstrators, and the effect of the demonstrations.
Often, people wonder if demonstrations are having any effect. Some of the reasons for demonstrations are: To raise public awareness about problems such as war; to shape the public discourse; to affect the agenda being discussed by leaders; and to solve the problem entirely (ie: end the war.)
With this in mind, it is interesting and heartening that there is a headline today that seems to specifically “give the demonstrators what they want”. A BBC headline featured at Google News is “Nato summit to discuss withdrawal from Afghanistan” Unfortunately, when you read it closer, you see that it is not truly monumental. They are only suggesting that NATO is discussing an already suggested timeline to withdraw by 2014. So, the headline is something of an empty promise that seems to address a concern and alleviate angst, without true substance. But, at least the concern was heard and met with attention (and/or rhetoric.)
Also, important to remember, is that while the discussion and demonstrations happen, the war rages on. So, it should bring all sides down to earth again to note that two soldiers and two children were killed today in Afghanistan. From an AFP story:
Two NATO soldiers were killed in an attack in Afghanistan Sunday as alliance leaders gathered in Chicago for a summit dominated by plans to pull troops out of the Afghan war.
Two children also died and several civilians were wounded as a suicide bomber targeted a NATO convoy in Tirin Kot…
At least 162 troops with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have died in Afghanistan this year, according to an AFP count based on the website icasualties.org.
More than 3,000 have been killed since the US led an invasion to topple the Taliban regime in late 2001…
In the United States, as in other countries around the world, demonstrators are not always met with justice and wisdom by the government and police. In Chicago, there were two instances of what seem to be unfair “round-ups” of possible, potential demonstrators. People are calling one set of such demonstrators “The NATO 3”. It appears that the young men may have had a desire to protest in a totally nonviolent manner (one of them was preparing to be a medic for the event). In addition, the National Lawyers Guild points out that it is totally inappropriate to charge them with terrorism. There is a story at Firedoglake: here.
The United States must embrace demonstrations, the petitioning of government, and nonviolent protest. For police to harass demonstrators — and other travelers — in the lead-up to an event like NATO is wrong, and counterproductive to peace, freedom and democracy.
The Duke and Duchess of Peace offer wishes of hope, trust, accountability, nonviolence, peace, and compassion to the NATO participants, the NATO demonstrators, the Chicago politicians, and the Chicago Police on this important day.