Friday, March 11, 2011

National Days, Weeks, Months I


     Nations are composed of systems and sub-systems.   US National and International Days constitute one of the nation’s many sub-systems.   The peace, justice, and ecology movement promotes most of the Days while it opposes some.  Throughout the system certain values are repeated, affirmed, and sanctified—for example, a Constitution Republic.   Mainly these values deserve the allegiance of the movement.   But other values--for example, militarism—do not.  For example, in his Farewell Address President Eisenhower warned against the “military-industrial complex” (sub-system) (add “congressional,” which he was persuaded to omit from his speech; add White House, Corporate Media, as we recognize today). 
     The country’s national and international days are one more conditioning mechanism for national unity, some positive, some negative.   Naturally and properly the peace, justice, and ecology movement endeavors to ensure the presence of its values in these, and all, national structures.  This is concrete action to preserve or change national direction and choice.

*Items distinguished by an asterisk are dubiously celebrated days, calling for analysis and perhaps even alternative days.
(Items in parenthesis are important days but not national days.) 
The list is incomplete and should be considered as a work in progress.    Let me know of additional National Days and Months, whether recognized officially or not. 

Asian Awareness Month: April

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

Bill of Rights Day: Dec. 15

Black History Month: Feb.

Banned Books Week: Last week in Sept.

Buy Nothing Day: Nov., 4th Friday

Christmas: Dec. 25

Constitution Day: Sept. 17

(Demonstrate for Peace: March 11)

Domestic Violence Month: Oct.

Father’s Day: June, 3rd Sunday

*Flag Day: May 26

*Fourth of July: July 4

(Gandhi’s Birthday: Oct. 2)

Hanukkah: Dec. or November. 2011: Dec. 20;  2012: Dec. 8; 2013: Nov. 27; 2014: Dec. 16

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Days: Aug. 6 and 9

Human Rights Day: Dec. 10

Indigenous People’s Day: Oct, 2nd Monday (alternative to Columbus Day)

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: Nov. 25

International Day of Peace: Sept. 21

International Peace Prayer Day: June 15

International Day Against Nuclear Testing: Aug. 29

International Women’s Day: March 8

Juneteenth: June 19

Kwanzaa: Dec. 26

Labor Day: Sept., First Monday

Law Day: May 1

May Day: May 1

*Memorial Day: May 26 (Armistice Day)

Mother’s Day from Julia Ward Howe’s MD for Peace: May, 2nd Sunday

National Coming Out Day: Oct. 11

*National Day of Prayer: May, 1st Thursday (inter-faith)

National Freedom of Information Day March. 16th   (see: Sunshine Week)

National Immigrants Day

Nuclear Victims Day: Mar. 1

Make a Difference Day: October, 4th Sat.

*Patriot Day: 9-11 (depends upon content)

*Pearl Harbor Day: Dec. 7 (unnecessary war)

(Remembering Dresden: Feb. 13)

Space for Peace Week: October, first week

Springfest: April

Sunshine Week: March (see Nat. Freedom of Info. Day 3-16 and World Press Freedom Day May 3)

*Thanksgiving: Nov: 4th Thursday

United Nations Day: Oct. 24

UNICEF Day:  Oct. 31

Valentines Day: Feb. 14

Vegetarian Day: Oct. 1

*Veterans Day: November, 4th week

Women’s History Month: March  (see: Internat. Women’s Day)

World Hunger Day: Oct. 12

World Food Day: Oct. 16

World Press Freedom Day: May 3

World Water Day: March 22

Additional comment on NATIONAL DAYS
      Law Day is another National Day.  Potentially from a justice organization like OMNI, it could be celebrated for example as National Justice Day:  laws should be just.  We could work with the Law School here.
Another:   5/1 May Day - International Workers holiday.  In an oligarchical country that has reduced unions to less than 10% of the working people, this day deserves attention by all peace and justice orgs.   We do have unions in Fayetteville with which we can work.
And another:  National Day of Prayer (1st Thu of May).   This day was established as a Christian event, but under pressure is recognizing our diversity, I think we all should hope. 
     Since all of these days are structures of contestation, for people disagree about their meaning, how they are defined is crucial..  How they are defined conditions the populace one direction or another.    So the pje movement must attempt to define them for pje.  It's not just talk, but actual structural change.
     Nuts and bolts:   a National Days button on our home page and keeping permanent records in our web site for reflection and future guidance are important.   We can change days that promote undemocratic, unjust, unpeaceful behavior; and reinforce those that promote peace, justice, and democracy.
Please give them your strong support.   A general coordinator is needed to take my place, and additional individuals to produce the annual notices.  

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