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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Focus on Peace - Darren Wolfe at the Agora I/O Unconference March 26, 2011 (video)

The founder of Focus on Peace, Darren Wolfe, speaks about the new organization at the Agora I/O unconference in Valley Forge, PA on March 26, 2011. He explains why there is a need for a peace movement that isn't part of the political left. Darren goes into how a politically neutral peace movement, such as Focus on Peace, can bring into the movement many who will now have nothing to do with it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Focus on Peace’s First Action

King of Prussia, PA – Focus on Peace held its first action the "Sign Wave for Peace on the Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq" on Saturday, March 19, 2011. It was a success with five peace lovers coming out to mark the 8th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. We stood on a very busy street corner in King of Prussia, PA. Our message seemed well received there compared to other places I've done this kind of peace advocacy at. There were many "honks for peace" and few insults.

Focus on Peace is a politically neutral peace movement. The website states:
Our purpose is to have a peace movement that welcomes people of all ideologies, creeds, and beliefs. One that makes everyone feel not only comfortable but a part of the movement. No one should feel that they are endorsing someone else's political agenda when standing up for peace. To this end we have only one focus: ending the wars abroad.
Please visit the Focus on Peace web page on the event at:

Pictures of the rally:


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Focus on Peace: A Peace Movement for Everyone

Like most libertarians I want to advocate for peace. I’ve worked with the left’s peace movement and have been frustrated by the fact that they insist on attaching their social and economic agendas to their activism. They then strangely say they have an "inclusive" peace movement. An excerpt from "An Inclusive Antiwar Movement?" illustrates this point well:
Libertarians are reaching out to the left to stand together for peace. (See "Organizing a Left-Right Alliance Against the War Parties ") This author approached the organizers of the October 16, 2010 peace rally in Philadelphia (See "Raising Eyebrows at a Peace Rally") at their planning meeting a few days before the event. There I was politely, but firmly, told that they were completely unwilling to change their agenda for future rallies to accommodate other points of view.

When the left tacks on a social agenda to their antiwar coalitions that the liberty minded cannot endorse they tell us we’re not welcome. We’re not asking any of the organizations and individuals that are part of IAC or similar groups to change their advocacy. Their speakers can advocate all the same things they have before. Same with the signs they carry. All we ask is that the antiwar coalitions themselves be politically neutral so we can all join them in good conscience.
On other sides of the political spectrum there are libertarian and conservative organizations that are anti war. However, while they advocate peace they are not, with rare exceptions, explicitly peace groups. They also don’t, with few exceptions, hold peace rallies or engage in other kinds of peace activism.

My recent experience with the Chester County Peace Movement also attaching their political and social agenda to their activism lead me to the conclusion that what we need is not to try to change the existing left wing peace movement but to broaden the movement by adding to it organizations that everyone can comfortably join. To that end I’ve created Focus on Peace, a peace activism group with no political agenda attached. We only advocate for peace, nothing else.

Why should you join us? If you’re an anti war conservative or a libertarian the answer is obvious, you can now engage in peace activism without feeling like you’re endorsing the left’s agenda.

If you’re on the left I ask you to join us too. Don’t leave the peace groups you’re presently working with, we need them strong. Some on the left that I’ve talked to have said they like the idea of working with people of other ideologies. Even if you’re perfectly happy with the peace movement as it is I ask that you join us. We need your support. Surely, peace lovers of every political persuasion can see the value of broadening the peace movement.

Focus on Peace will hold its first action on March 19th in King of Prussia, PA to coincide with the World Can’t Wait’s rallies on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Join us if you live nearby, start your own chapter if you don’t.

The wars abroad are less popular than ever. Now is the time to give people that are not on the left in their thinking a place to go to engage in activism for peace. Hopefully, Focus on Peace will fulfill that vital role.