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Religious Leaders, Including Buddhist Peace Fellowship Members, Organize Nonviolent Civil Disobedience to Call for End to Iraq War

The Buddhist Peace Fellowship, September 26, 2006

Washington, D.C. (USA) --  Against the backdrop of reports that U.S. intelligence agencies conclude that the Iraq war is increasing the threat of terrorism, some of the country’s leading religious and activist groups will participate in nonviolent civil disobedience in Washington, D.C. to call for an end to the military occupation of Iraq.

The action on Tuesday, September 26, will be preceded by a rally at 10am in Upper Senate Park (Delaware and Constitution Aves.), and then a procession led by the faith community leaders to the Senate.

Some American Buddhists are standing together with people of other faith traditions to insist that congressional leaders devise a plan for a quick withdrawal and a committed effort to work with Iraqis to rebuild their country.

Johnny Barber, a member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, plans to travel from Florida to be one of those who will risk arrest in Washington. Barber said,  “We must speak out as strongly as we can to bring an end to the human suffering that is resulting from the illegal and immoral war in Iraq.  We call on our Senators and Representatives to take charge in this debate and to represent us by following the demands of almost 70% of US citizens to end this war.”

Maia Duerr, executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, noted that “Buddhists share values of compassion, love, and generosity with Christians, Jews, Muslims, and all those who follow their hearts. It is from these shared values that our serious concerns arise about the role of our country in the world, and about what awaits us in the near and distant future.”

The action is being organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (www.iraqpledge.org), in coordination with the week of activities of the Declaration of Peace (www.declarationofpeace.org).

These actions are the culmination of a week of activities that began at the White House on September 21 where 34 peace movement leaders were arrested in nonviolent protest. More than 350 communities around the country are joining the Declaration of Peace with actions this week.

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ABOUT THE BUDDHIST PEACE FELLOWSHIP
The mission of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF), founded in 1978, is to serve as a catalyst for socially engaged Buddhism. BPF's programs, publications, and practice groups link Buddhist teachings of wisdom and compassion with progressive social change. BPF is an affiliate of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. More information is available at www.bpf.org.



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