Sunday, April 3, 2011

National/International Days, Weeks, Months Peace Project, Alphabetical Order, Annotated

The Pentagon, with its $600 billion, hundreds of billions more for wars, and tens of billions for nuclear weapons, relentlessly drives its agenda of militarism and empire.    Against it, the peace movement is like one speck of dust on an Abrams tank.   But we can be more  persistent in our resistance.  We can do more than feel and talk.   We can actually change the structures that sustain militarism and empire.   

 One way is to consistently strengthen certain national and international days, weeks, and months that affirm life, and to reject those that support killing, oppression, and exploitation.   Fortunately, greatly thanks to the United Nations, many days celebrate and sustain life.   Scan down this list to enjoy this good news quickly.  These days we must accentuate to help empower people’s nonviolent objection and opposition to the corporate-military-congressional-executive complex. 

  In contrast, some days serve militarism and empire.  Our task here is mount a campaign of counter-values until their hold on the public is negligible.   Our ultimate goal
is to eliminate them by replacing each with a new name and set of values.   Thus, Columbus Day becomes Indigenous People’s Day, Mother’s Day becomes Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day for Peace, Veteran’s Day becomes Unity Day, and Patriot’s Day becomes Peaceful Tomorrows, each accompanied by historical analysis of the old and a rationale for the new.  These days are printed in bold.   Several other days, indicated by an asterisk, are old days called into question and, if we are unrelenting, on their way to the dustbin of history--for example, Pearl Harbor Day. 

What days have I overlooked?    Dick

Asian Awareness Month: April
A time to become informed about US alliances with autocracies and with democracies.

(Beginning of Sit-ins-Civil Rights: Feb. 1, 1960)

Bill of Rights Day: Dec. 15
Celebration of the liberties which are asserted there and are frequently under attack.

Black History Month: Feb.
Includes birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  Celebrates the gains in civil rights of blacks and reaffirmation of the struggle.

Banned Books Week: Last week in Sept.
Freedom to Read as essential to an informed citizenry as a cornerstone of a democracy.

Buy Nothing Day: Nov., 4th Friday
Protest against the commodification of everything by US market capitalism.

Christmas: Dec. 25
Time to reflect upon the meaning of Jesus as peacemaker.

Constitution Day: Sept. 17
A day to learn about the Constitution, its Bill of Rights, its government by laws, including treaties.

(Demonstrate for Peace: March 19,  This 2003 day of infamy remembered.  See books at end.)

Domestic Violence Month: Oct.
National self-examination of its violence in its homes and its foreign wars.

Father’s Day: June, 3rd Sunday
True masculinity is explored, the importance of caring fathers and of a society that supports families.

*Flag Day: May 26
A day to study the true meaning of nationalism and patriotism.

*Fourth of July: July 4
What should the 4th of July signify?   What does it lead to?      What should be our national song?   A pledge of allegiance of a peaceful nation? 

(Gandhi’s Birthday: Oct. 2:   Special day to focus on nonviolent resistance.)

Global Day Against Military Spending: April 12
With the Pentagon budget $600 billion, not including the wars and nuclear weapons development, this day reminds us to demand conversion from the wars and the militarized economy to an economy for human needs.

Hanukkah: Dec. or November. 2011: Dec. 20;  2012: Dec. 8; 2013: Nov. 27; 2014: Dec. 16.   How might this day best be celebrated for peace?

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Days: Aug. 6 and 9, 1945
To remember the victims of the bombs, and the consequences of the nuclear arms race that began that week.  

Human Rights Day: Dec. 10
Celebration of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights

*Indigenous People’s Day: Oct, 2nd Monday
An alternative to the genocide that began with Columbus Day. 

(UN) International Conscientious Objector’s Day:  May 15

(UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: Nov. 25.  A day to reaffirm our struggle to defend women against their abusers and the social structures that permit them. 

(UN) International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression: June 4
The purpose of the day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse. This day affirms the UN's commitment to protect the rights of children.

(UN)International Day of Peace: Sept. 21
A UN sponsored celebration of a world without wars.

(UN) International Peace Prayer Day: June 15
For the religious, a day to focus spirituality to strengthen peace.

(UN) International Day Against Nuclear Testing: Aug. 29
The goal is the elimination of nuclear weapons, but in the meantime we must restrain their development.

(UN)International Day of the Disappeared: August 30

(UN)International Day of Interdependence: September 12

(UN)International Justice Day: July 17

(UN)International Migrants Day:  December 18

(UN)International Women’s Day: March 8
Celebration of equity for women.  

Israeli Apartheid Week:  March 7-20
Commitment to a separate Palestinian West Bank/Gaza state.

Juneteenth: June 19
Celebrating the end of the Civil War and legal slavery.

Kwanzaa: Dec. 26
Harvest festival Dec. 26-Jan. 1 celebrated by some African-Americans.

Labor Day: Sept., First Monday
Labor unions now represent less than 10% of working people in US, leaving each worker to fend for herself/himself.   Join a union!

Law Day: May 1
To celebrate the US as a nation of laws (which include treaties)…..often broken by our leaders with enormous harms, including widespread torture and  over 50 illegal invasions and interventions since 1945. 

Make a Difference Day: October, 4th Sat.
This Day has focused on local, small good deeds.   It needs more emphasis upon the significant matters—corporate crime, militarization, onrushing climate change.  Make a difference on national problems.

Marshall Islands Nuclear Victims Day, March 1 (Marshall I. Flag Day)
MI suffered from over 60 hydrogen bomb tests.

May Day: May 1
International workers’ day.

*Memorial Day: Last Monday in May
 Decoration Day to remember relatives and loved ones dead, especially  members of the armed forces killed in war. 

 Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day for Peace: May, 2nd Sunday
A return to the purpose of the original Mother’s Day.

National Coming Out Day: Oct. 11
The GLBTQ Movement for equity, like the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements, is one of the great achievements of our democracy.  

*National Day of Inter-Faith Prayer: May, 1st Thursday
Originally a Christian event, the day is becoming more inclusive, recognizing the many faiths that constitute the USA.  

National Freedom of Information Day March. 16th   (see: Sunshine Week)
The Freedom of Information Act  (and acts in individual states) is another major achievement by and for our democracy, for secrecy is anathema to government by the people.

National Immigrants Day, October 28
Commemorates all immigrants who have made significant contributions to our country.  Could welcome all immigrants.

Nuclear Victims Day
This Day, to draw attention to nuclear weapons and energy, is not firmly established.  Perhaps the first test date would be appropriate.   See google.

*Peaceful Tomorrows: 9-11
Naming 9-11 Patriot Day is unacceptable, since it 9-11 resulted in significantly diminished domestic liberties and the illegal invasion of several countries.  We have replaced it with “Peaceful Tomorrows,” in honor of September Eleventh Families for a Peaceful Tomorrows, a compassionate advocacy organization founded by family members of men and women killed by the destruction of the NYC towers.  (See books on US war-generating myths at end.) 

*Pearl Harbor Day: Dec. 7
Considerable scholarship explains WWII in the Pacific as a colonial, racist war with divided guilt.   Let the peace and justice movement remember it thusly.  (See Roland Worth's book at end.)

(Remembering Dresden: Feb. 13, the horrendous fire bombing of this non-military target near the end of WWII.)

Space for Peace Week: October, first week
A week of resistance against US militarization of space.

Earth Day: April 22
Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 to celebrate the land and all species.

Sunshine Week: March 13-19
A week to celebrate the citizens’ Need to Know,  Freedom of Information, Freedom of Information Act.   See Nat. Freedom of Info. Day 3-16 and World Press Freedom Day May 3.

*Thanksgiving: Nov: 4th Thursday
The peace, justice, and ecology movement can lift this Day from its traditional family, local dimension to include world families.

United Nations Day: Oct. 24
Celebrating humankind’s greatest imaginative leap for peace and justice, for global caring, and for stopping wars..

UNICEF Day:  Oct. 31
One of many UN activities, UNICEF for the children of the world.

*Unity Day: November, 4th week
Originally Armistice Day marking the end of WWI, now as Veterans Day wrongly commemorating all veterans and therefore all wars.  The better name is Unity Day, for which there is growing sentiment.

Valentines Day: Feb. 14
This Day to celebrate affection has been largely commodified.  The pj movement can and should rescue it with meaningful goals.

Vegetarian Day: Oct. 1  (see May 18)
Opposing killing is the rock bottom of the peace and justice movement.  But in addition to this ethical foundation for Veg DAY, we can add health and climate change. 

*VE Day, Victory in Europe Day:  August 15, 1945.
For many of us in the pj movement this is the only legal war the US has waged in over 100 years.  

*VJ Day, Victory Over Japan Day  (see Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7)

Women’s History Month: March  (see: Internat. Women’s Day)
The long struggle for equity and rights for women is celebrated.

World Aids Day:  December 1

World Food Day: Oct. 16
The need for global, cooperative, sustainable agriculture is signaled today.

World Hunger Day: Oct. 12

World Population Day:  July 11

World Poverty Day (see: International Day for the Eradication of)

World Press Freedom Day: May 3  (see Sunshine Week, March 13)
The Freedom of Information Act and the numerous reporters who have been killed gathering information for their readers give this Day its special importance.

World Vegetarian Week May 18-24  (see Oct. 1)

World Water Day: March 22
A Day to remember the urgent need for available, safe water throughout the world.   See World Food Day, Oct. 16.

BOOKS   (a very small selection)
--Blum, William.  Two books:  Killing Hope and Rogue State.
--Paul Buchheit, ed., American Wars: Illusions & Realities.
--Davies, Nicolas.  Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.    Nimble, 2010.
--Dimaggio, Anthony.  When Media Goes to War: Hegemonic Discourse, Public Opinion, and the Limits of Dissent.  Monthly Review, 2009. 
--Johnson, Chalmers.  Trilogy: Blowback, Sorrows of Empire, Nemesis
--Sheehan, Cindy.  Myth America: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution.   For free PDF: ;
--David Swanson, War Is a Lie.
--Wills, Gary.  Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State.  Penguin, 2010.
Edward Wood, Jr., Worshipping the Myths of World War II: Reflections on America’s Dedication to War.  Potomac, 2006.  
--Worth, Roland Jr.   No Choice But War: The United States Embargo Against Japan and the Eruption of War in the Pacific.  McFarland, 1995.

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