Enduring Freedom?

This coming October 7th will mark the eight year anniversary of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Over 760 US troops have died in Afghanistan.  This past August was the deadliest month yet since the invasion.  The death toll for civilian casualties is in the thousands – tens of thousands if you count all the Afghan people who have died due to starvation, displacement, lack of medical treatment, and lawlessness and other indirect causes resulting from the war.  On the home front, families across the country continue to suffer the aftershocks of economic collapse, even as the US military has spent over $1 trillion on the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The costs of war – both economic and human – are staggering.

Haven’t we endured enough?
Simply put: it’s time for peace.  This Monday, September 21st, is the International Day of Peace. Across rural Oregon, ROP member groups and allies are organizing events, marches, festivals and concerts to lift up peace and call for an end to these costly wars:
  • Starting today, friends in Benton County will celebrate a whole weekend of peace events, dance and music, including making hundreds of "Pinwheels for Peace" to decorate the courthouse lawn. 
  • Tomorrow evening, Yamhill Valley Peacemakers in McMinnville will share stories and songs for peace at a concert featuring visitors from the Hiroshima World Friendship Center. 
  • On October 2nd, people from around the state will come to Portland to participate in a march and rally organized by Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (PPRC) in cooperation with Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group and others.
  • Community Alliance of Lane County is planning a march on October 17th in Eugene.
  • Invested in the long haul work of building peace – the Peace Village, which started in Lincoln City, celebrated its 13 year anniversary this summer of bringing together children and adults from diverse racial, cultural and religious backgrounds to learn to deal with conflict using a variety of techniques and approaches.
  • ROP is working with the American Friends Service Committee and PCUN to coordinate a bilingual speakers’ tour this fall, featuring spanish-speaking Latinos who have been in the military, have family in or killed in the military, or are students who have opted-out.  (Details are in the works – contact cara@rop.org if you are interested in organizing a stop in your community!)
What are you doing in your community to lift up peace and work to end war?  Send us details and we’ll add it to the Peace Calendar on the ROP website.
in peace-
PS.  The October 2nd march and rally is being held in conjunction with the EcoNvergence – a Northwest regional gathering on the economic and ecological crises, featuring a full plate of plenaries, panels, workshops, and cultural events from Oct 2nd-4th in Portland, OR.  Check out the website for more info and to reserve tickets for Noam Chomsky’s keynote talk.