PEOPLE WITH A
PASSION FOR PEACE
Since 1995, the all-volunteer and interfaith peaceCENTER continues to be a significant community catalyst for peace in San Antonio, Texas. Compassion and Justice are our strong guiding lights. Contemplative Practices, Experiential Education, and Nonviolent Actions are our working expressions throughout the community at large.
285 Oblate Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78216
The peaceCENTER is a 501(c)((3)) non-profit
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March 14, 1980
Archbishop Oscar Romero of Guatemala delivered his last sermon, ten days before his assassination. He said, in part: “I would like to make a special appeal to the men of the army, and specifically to the ranks of the National Guard, the police and the military. Brothers, you come from our own people. You are killing your own brother peasants when any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God which says, “Thou shalt not kill.” No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you recovered your consciences and obeyed your consciences rather than a sinful order. “
On June 15, 1920, Black circus workers Elmer Jackson, Elias Clayton, and Issac McGhie, falsely accused of rape, were hanged in Duluth while a white mob of 10,000 looked on. The lynchings made headlines throughout the whole country. The Chicago Evening Post wrote, “This is a crime of a Northern state, as black and ugly as any that has brought the South in disrepute.” The memorial dedication in 2003 drew thousands of people from all over the area. The first verse of Bob Dylan’s 1965 song “Desolation Row” (he was born in Duluth) recalls the lynchings: They’re selling postcards of the hanging/ They’re painting the passports brown/ The beauty parlor is filled with sailors/ The circus is in town.
March 12, 2012
In Guatemala Pedro Pimentel Rios, a former member of the elite Kaibiles Corp team of the Guatemalan military, was sentenced to 6,060 years in prison for his role in the killings of 201 people in the December, 1982 El Mozote massacre. Rios was extradited from the United States in July.
March 15, 1933
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers.”
March 16 1839
“The great are only great because we are on our knees. Let us rise up.”
March 17, 1912
“We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers. Our power is in our ability to make things unworkable.”
March 12, 1943
Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” premiered in Cincinnati Asked by conductor Eugene Goossens to compose a fanfare celebrating US entry into WWII, he instead riffed off a quote by vice president Henry A. Wallace who proclaimed the dawning of the “Century of the Common Man.”
March 11, 1968
Cesar Chavez ended a 23-day fast for U.S. farm workers in a Delano, California, public park with 4000 supporters at his side, including Senator Robert Kennedy (D-New York). Cesar Chavez led the effort to organize farm workers into a union for better pay, working and living conditions.
March 11, 1811
Ned Ludd led a group of workers in a wild protest against mechanization. Members of the organized bands of craftsmen who rioted against automation in 19th century England were known as Luddites and also “Ludds.” The movement, reputedly named after Ned Ludd, began near Nottingham as craftsman destroyed textile machinery that was eliminating their jobs. By the following year, Luddites were active in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Leicestershire. Although the Luddites opposed violence towards people (a position which allowed for a modicum of public support), government crackdowns included mass shootings, hangings and deportation to the colonies. It took 14,000 British soldiers to quell the rebellion. The movement effectively died in 1813 apart from a brief resurgence of Luddite sentiment in 1816 following the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
March 9, 1964
The Supreme Court issued its New York Times vs. Sullivan decision, which said public officials who charged they’d been libeled could not recover damages for a report related to their official duties unless they proved actual malice on the part of the news organization.
March 8, 1983
While addressing the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, U.S. President Ronald Reagan labeled the Soviet Union an “evil empire”: Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness—pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world…. So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely..uh..declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.
March 7, 1965
525 civil rights advocates began a 54-mile march on a Sunday morning from Selma, Alabama, to the capital of Montgomery, to promote voting rights for blacks. Just after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the outskirts of Selma, the marchers were attacked in what became known as Bloody Sunday. Enforcing an order by Governor George Wallace, the group was broken up by state troopers and volunteer county sheriffs who used tear gas, nightsticks, bullwhips and rubber tubing wrapped in barbed wire. John Lewis, then head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and a leader of the march (and now a member of Congress from Georgia), suffered a fractured skull.
The World Poverty Stone is a commemorative stone marking the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of World Poverty. It is sited to the east of the Famine Sculptures on Custom House Quay in the heart of Dublin’s Docklands. This limestone memorial was commissioned as a gesture of solidarity with people living in poverty around the world. On the 17th of October 1987, in response to the call of Joseph Wresinski – founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World – 100,000 defenders of human rights gathered in Paris to honor the victims of hunger, violence and ignorance, to express their refusal of extreme poverty and to call on people from all walks of life to unite to ensure respect for human rights. A commemorative stone proclaiming this message was inaugurated on this occasion on the Plaza of Human Rights and Liberties – where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948. There are now over 30 replicas of the original stone now located around the world. These sites have become places of honor for people living in poverty in the world, places where people gather to reject the inevitability of poverty and social exclusion and places of friendship and solidarity where people from all backgrounds can gather together. Around the world, annual commemoration take place at the site of the stones to mark the 17th October UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
March 6, 2014
In Ukraine two FEMEN protesters were arrested in Crimea’s capital Simferopol after staging a topless demonstration against Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in front of the regional parliament. FEMEN, a group of topless female activists, describes itself as “fighting patriarchy in its three manifestations – sexual exploitation of women, dictatorship and religion” and has stated that its goal is “sextremism serving to protect women’s rights”