WASHINGTON - October 7 - Following is a statement
by Peace Action and the Peace Action Education Fund on today's
military strikes by the United States against Afghanistan:
Peace Action and the Peace Action Education Fund regret today's
U.S. military strikes against Afghanistan. We urge the president
to cease air strikes and refrain from an invasion by ground troops,
and instead to seek an end to terrorism through international legal
Treating the heinous acts of September 11 as an act of war, and
waging war in response, will only escalate the violence and loss of
life. The terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, DC, and
Pennsylvania were criminal acts. The perpetrators of the crimes
should be brought to justice through the international legal
"We fear U.S. military attacks will lead to the deaths of more
innocent people, in Afghanistan, the U.S. and elsewhere.
Ultimately, Americans will be less, rather than more, secure as a
result of U.S. military attacks that began today," said Kevin
Martin, Executive Director of Peace Action and the Peace Action
"Peace Action and the Peace Action Education Fund mourn the loss
of those killed in the horrific September 11 attacks, and want to
see the perpetrators brought to justice through the international
legal system," noted Martin.
Many family members of victims of the September 11 attacks,
including Jennifer Rice of our staff in California, have spoken out
against any retaliatory attacks by the U.S. We should be guided by
their lead in seeking justice, not vengeance.
If we reflect for a moment, we know that violence will only
beget more violence. As Gandhi said, "There is no way to peace.
Peace is the way." Terrorism will only be defeated by a long-term
commitment to building democracy, respect for human rights, and
economic and social development in impoverished areas of the world.
A remarkable movement calling for "Justice not War" and for
protecting the civil liberties of Arab-Americans and
Muslim-Americans has sprung up all over the country in the
aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Hundreds of rallies and
vigils have been held across the nation. Students on hundreds of
campuses have organized anti-war teach-ins.
Today, October 7, thousands will participate in a previously
scheduled peace march in New York City, and supporting events have
been organized in cities around the country including Chicago,
Philadelphia, St. Louis, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Madison,
Wisconsin and dozens more.
In addition to today's events, local Peace Action affiliates and
other peace groups will be organizing emergency anti-war
demonstrations within the next 24 hours all around the country.
Peace Action is the country's largest peace and disarmament
organization with over 85,000 members. Peace Action and the Peace
Action Education Fund advocate peace, disarmament, social justice
and non-violent means of resolving conflict.