The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

John Parker, Media Coordinator

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Harmony Bell for Peace to Open 2009 Department of Peace Conference

Sixth Anniversary of Iraq War Sees Call to Make Reducing and Preventing Violence a National Priority


500-plus activists will mark the start of "Peace Within Reach:
People and Politics Partnering for our Common Security," with the
ringing of the World Harmony Bell at 6:30 p.m. Friday night at the
Hyatt Regency Crystal City.

The national conference, organized by The Peace Alliance in conjunction
with the Student Peace Alliance, will convene and train youth and adult
activists in civics and peacebuilding. Monday, citizens will go to
Capitol Hill and meet with their members of Congress to discuss H.R.
808, the bill that establishes a US Department of Peace.

  • H.R. 808 currently has 66 co-sponsors, including chair of the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers (D-MI).
  • The
    Department of Peace beat out 7,874 ideas to win second place in's "Ideas for Change in America," this past January.
  • H.R.
    808 unites practical solutions including (but not limited to):
    restorative justice, nonviolent conflict management and education,
    sustainable economics, and national/international security policy.

The World Harmony Bell was specially designed from ammunition casings
donated by the Chinese military and combined with recycled scrap metal
collected and donated by Students.

The bell is inscribed with the word "Harmony" in the six official
languages of the United Nations and was first rung in October 2005 at
the United Nations in New York for the UN 60th General Assembly. The
Harmony Bell is being made available through the generosity of Mr.
Frank Liu, Founder and President of the World Harmony Foundation .

The Peace Alliance is a nonpartisan citizen action organization representing a growing constituency for peace. A 501(c)4 organization established in March 2004, our mission is to empower civic activism for a culture of peace. Our vision is a future in which the practical programs and principles of peacebuilding are the bedrock of our personal, national and global interest and investment.