Talk of war and peace is no longer relegated to the neighborhood diner. The Internet has become a happening place to gather information, meet fellow peaceniks, sign petitions, download peace posters, buy bumper stickers and even protest.
MoveOn.org is calling on Americans to sign an emergency appeal to the U.N. Security Council because millions of Americans “believe that a war on Iraq would be wrong—especially when tough inspections can disarm Saddam Hussein without the loss of a single life.”
Aside from relevant articles about the potential war with Iraq, the site offers a downloadable poster and even lets viewers watch a commercial the organization has sponsored.
The Win Without War Web site says it is “a mainstream voice advocating alternatives to preemptive war against Iraq.”
The buzz on the Win Without War site is about the March 16 Global Vigil for Peace, which is also being sponsored by MoveOn.org, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many faith-based organizations.
Win Without War also lists its coalition members on the site. Some notables include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Greenpeace, NAACP, National Council of Churches, Pax Christi USA, Sojourners and the Rainbow/Push Coalition.
Eager Americans can send free faxes to Congress and President Bush on the TrueMajority.org Web site.
Started by Ben Cohen, cofounder of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, True Majority says on its site that it “sifts through all the stuff going on in Congress. When your voice counts to create a just and sustainable world, you get an email alert. Then just by clicking one button a fax is sent to your congressperson in your name.”
True Majority is activism for the busy person. It brings the issues to you.
Not in our Name provides organizing materials. Youth and students wishing to organize their own protests can download checklists, sign-up sheets, a sample organizing letter, fact sheets and talking points.
Visitors can also order t-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons, pins, posters, cards and earth flags.
The National Network to End the War Against Iraq posts editorials and news articles from various newspapers and magazines. The network encourages parents to work with their children for peace by making a postcard to send to President Bush.
Visitors to the network’s Web site can also view a photo gallery of various images dealing with war and Iraq.
PeacePledge.org asks visitors to sign a pledge for peace in Iraq, which states: “I support peace for Iraq. I grant permission to use my name and city publicly as an opponent of the ongoing economic and bombing war on Iraq, and of any escalation of that war.”
PeacePledge.org offers several petitions for download and even has a Web button that supporting organizations can add to their own sites.
For those who wish to get out from behind their computers to support peace efforts, Patriots for Peace is sponsoring the Great Race for Peace.
The race started in Montpelier, Vt., March 11 and will end in Washington March 17. The race’s goal is to gather appeals and donations along the way. Interested runners can e-mail Patriots for Peace.
Patriots for Peace offers ideas for staging your own protest, has pictures of protests from around the country and is even “PayPal ready” in order to take online donations.
Jodi Mathews is BCE’s communications director.