A vision for an anti-war coffeehouse event

A lot of pro-peace people say, "It's not enough to be against war, you also have to be for peace."

While I agree with that, I can't help but think: "It's not enough to be pro-peace, you also have to be against war."

Simplistic, but true. What have I done lately to make the world a safer place? Not much.

I had a vision of organizing a Friday or Saturday evening anti-war coffeehouse at the Quaker meetinghouse, with open mic and open wifi. You could versify, sing, or chant. You could have conversations about the issues. You could weep and moan if you needed, or laugh and dance if you were moved to.

You could email your friends to explain your views. You could write letters to your Representative and Senator. You could write letters to the editors of the local papers, which is arguably more effective because it's more public. (And "papers" is plural because the SF Bay Area still has several papers for now, including many freebies.)

If you're originally from somewhere else in the country or world, you could write to your hometown paper and express your views.

(Even if you're not a pacifist, you could come if you're against the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

And you could feel less alone and more engaged. I'd like that part.


Hystery said...

I think this sounds wonderful. I have been frustrated by pro-peace groups in my area that tell participants that they must not carry signs or make statements that are against war. "Too negative! Too aggressive!" But I never understood that. On one occasion, there was a vigil for peace at an interfaith center where I volunteered my time. They didn't want any anti-war signs and they didn't want anyone to stand outside the building making a public testimony of anti-war sentiment. If people felt moved, they could come inside (where no one could see them) and pray quietly for peace. Fat lot of good that did.

I much prefer a public display of grief and anger against war than some polite prayers for peace. I'm not too worried about offending people with my strong feelings against war. What can possibly be more offensive than war?

Chris M. said...

Thanks, Hystery. Too aggressive!? Oh, dear.

A couple of people from my meeting commented favorably on this post when it appeared on Facebook, so maybe we'll actually try it once as an experiment.