Friday, November 11, 2011

Honoring peace workers on Armistice Day

As I remind readers of my blog every November 11th, the holiday we celebrate today was originally called Armistice Day. This interesting essay explains why:
Believe it or not, November 11th was not made a holiday in order to celebrate war, support troops, or cheer the 11th year of occupying Afghanistan. This day was made a holiday in order to celebrate an armistice that ended what was up until that point, in 1918, one of the worst things our species had thus far done to itself, namely World War I.

World War I, then known simply as the world war or the great war, had been marketed as a war to end war. Celebrating its end was also understood as celebrating the end of all wars. A ten-year campaign was launched in 1918 that in 1928 created the Kellogg-Briand Pact, legally banning all wars. That treaty is still on the books, which is why war making is a criminal act and how Nazis came to be prosecuted for it.
As usual on Armistice Day, I want honor those who work for peace. This year I would like to honor the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. WILPF was founded in 1915, at the height of the Great War whose ending is celebrated by Armistice Day. Nearly 100 years later, this organization continues to work for peace, disarmament. economic justice, the environment, racial justice, and human rights. Plus, they sponsor this really cool site dedicated to ending corporate personhood.

WILPF, I salute you. In the words of Holly Near, "the bravest warriors are the ones who stand for peace."

(Hat tip to Coleen Rowley for the link to the post about Armistice Day.)

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