For Immediate Release
No Peace Prize for the War President, Coffin March in NYC
NEW YORK - On December 10, as President Barack Obama accepts the Nobel Peace
Prize in Oslo, Norway, members of the New York City chapter of the War
Resisters League will carry cardboard coffins across mid-town
Manhattan in a solemn and silent procession, to dramatize the human
costs of the war in Afghanistan—a war that the President had pledged
to accelerate in the coming weeks and months.
The group will gather at noon, on Thursday, December 10, at Dag
Hammarskjöld Plaza (East 47th street, near First Avenue), and then
process across 42nd Street to the Times Square Military Recruiting
Station. Joined by members of Veterans for Peace, World Can’t Wait
and other groups, the marchers will carry black draped coffins, and
the faces of war victims.
“Peace prizes should not go to war presidents,” says WRL organizer
Ruth Benn. “Just a week after he announced ‘surge’ of 30,000 troops to
the deadly Afghan quagmire, we feel that President Barack Obama cannot
accept a prize established to recognize—in the words of Alfred
Nobel—‘the person who shall have done the most or the best work for
fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing
armies.’ It is an irony approaching fiction.”
At times, the prize has gone to tireless advocates for peace and
justice like Martin Luther King Jr, Rigoberta Menchu Tum of Guatemala,
Wangari Maathai of Kenya, Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams of
Ireland and Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma. This time, the Nobel Peace
Prize Committee seems to make a choice out of George Orwell's 1984,
where "war is peace.”
The War Resisters League was inspired to organize this simple action,
after reading that thousands will gather in Oslo, Norway to protest
the war in Afghanistan as President Obama accepts the Nobel Peace
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The United States’ oldest secular pacifist organization, the War Resisters League has been resisting war at home and war abroad since 1923. Our work for nonviolent revolution has spanned decades and has been shaped by the new visions and strategies of each generation’s peacemakers.