Pax Christi Michigan Supports “A Moveable Peace”
At the United States Social Forum in Detroit, representatives of peace and justice groups throughout Michigan met to discuss a problem that confronts us all: millions in Michigan care about peace and justice, but too few act, and our organizations are often too separate.
We concluded that too many people feel unheard and so don’t speak or act, and activists don’t cooperate enough in reaching out and listening. We decided to launch an effort creating and expanding the commons, establishing times and places all over the state to advance a conversation: what does peace and justice mean in our hometowns, as well as worldwide? How much money goes for war? And how could Michigan become more of a “state for peace?”
One of our primary goals is to listen to what people say and to develop a petition from the people, urging the creation of an official state of Michigan Commission for Peace and Justice, similar to commissions already established in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Berkeley, California, and to the proposed United States Department of Peace.
Using the Michigan Peace Network as a hub of communication and coordination, we have carried on this vision through meetings and discussions, designing the specific efforts that will make Moveable Peace a reality. We now invite groups and individuals throughout Michigan to join us in expanding the commons, and in creating a lasting culture of peace and justice.
Moveable Peace 2011 will consist of the following events:
Community Events Converging
Moveable Peace promotes community events moving the conversations on peace and justice all over the state, creating a presence in Fourth of July parades, and converging by Labor Day at the Mackinac Bridge walk and in the Detroit Labor Day march with a report on our listening and with a call for a state commission to facilitate the agenda for peace and justice coming from the communities of Michigan.
Mackinac Bridge Peace Gathering
The weekend festival and bridge walk at the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day will be a capstone event of Moveable Peace, uniting our diverse efforts so that we can send a message of peace and solidarity that will be heard throughout the state.
Budget Priorities Roadshow
The Budget Priorities Roadshow will be a mobile exhibit/performance that will travel to communities across the state to engage people in a discussion of the Federal Government spending on various projects, especially the large portion of the discretionary budget that goes to the Pentagon. Through the use of an interactive “penny poll,” participants will have a chance to compare their budget priorities to the Federal discretionary budget spending. Communities hosting the Roadshow will also be encouraged to hold supporting events such as performances, forums, or movie showings.
Peace Walk to Lansing
From July 30 through August 9, groups will participate in a “Peace Walk,” traveling on foot to Lansing from Kalamazoo, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw. The walk’s emphasis is on stopping in towns, cities, and villages along the way, highlighting the cost of military spending, listening to local residents, and then compiling their concerns and hopes.
Commission for Peace and Justice Petition
At many of our events, we will gather support and signatures for a petition to establish a Michigan Commission for Peace and Justice. Our goal will be to present this petition to our governor and our state legislature as the Moveable Peace events draw to a close.
Detroit Labor Day Parade
Moveable Peace will have a presence in the Detroit Labor Day Parade.
For more information about Moveable Peace, or to get involved, click here to contact us by way of the Michigan Peace Network. Be sure to mention that you’d like to join Moveable Peace, and let us know where you’re located.