Howe, the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, became so horrified
with the carnage of the Civil War that she began advocating for
a Mother’s Day of Peace She published the Mother’s
Day Peace Proclamation in 1870. By 1873, 18 cities celebrated
Mother’s Day of Peace celebrations — some of these celebrations
continued for 30 years. Still today, we have the enduring legacy
of Mother’s Day.
Now we are
faced with the modern carnage of the occupation of Iraq, and threats
of another war of aggression in Iran. The Iraq policy is fatally
flawed, especially for the nearly 2500 US dead; and for every one
of these there are another 100 dead Iraqi civilians. We have to
do something to build a peace movement that can stop this blood-bathed
foreign policy. We’ve demonstrated, written letters, sung songs,
engaged in civil disobedience, and traveled far and wide engaging
our fellow Americans to demand that the troops come home. Hundreds
of thousands of us marched in the streets of New York City for Peace,
Justice and Democracy on April 29th.
What can we do now? What tools do we have left in this democracy
Now is the
time for the peace movement to get electoral. Americans opposed
to preemptive war need to vote for what they believe in, and not
vote for candidates that support war. Let’s turn the majority of
Americans into an electoral majority that can redirect the United
elections are rapidly approaching, and the primary races come even
sooner. Many are close elections where every vote is important.
Candidates are jockeying for your support. We must tell them — "You
don’t get my vote unless you oppose the occupation of Iraq and will
work to prevent future wars of aggression."
are now a solid majority. We must send a clear message to all candidates
that no longer will we tolerate avoiding the issue of war when it
is spilling the blood of tens of thousands for oil, bankrupting
our nation, and cravenly blocking real solutions to our energy crisis.
We must vote
peace in the primaries. We must vote peace in the general elections.
If there are no peace candidates for federal office in your area
send your contribution, or donate your volunteer time in some other
area that does have a peace candidate in the race.
All we need
is a FEW peace candidates to win for the hawkish powers-that-be
to stand up and take notice.
There is another
important way to register your support for peace candidates.
This May 14th
on Mother’s Day, I am going to sign a Voters
Pledgecommitting myself to not voting for any candidate who
does not publicly vow to bring a rapid end to the Iraq occupation
and to preventing future wars, like Iran.