I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On the anniversary of the Iraq War this year I attended three events: a Peace Rally and March in Chico (CA); a Peace Rally and March in Redding (CA); and a panel discussion of Peace & Art at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Each event was unique and each had a fairly small crowd. It seems that the American War in Iraq is barely in the consciousness of the American Public. Most people go day to day without giving much thought to the slaughter and destruction that our country is carrying out in a land 12,000 miles away. Why is our country so arrogant and violent? In this case, to make money. 151 members of our own Congress profit from the investments they have made in companies that supply the American War in Iraq. Even the Army Generals who have recently been assigned to Iraq admit that "American interests (that we are protecting) translates as Oil" . We are not in Iraq to help anyone, but ourselves. It is, indeed, a "starless midnight" in our history.
For over a year, I participated in a weekly Peace Vigil in Red Bluff (CA). Then one day I thought that maybe I could do a little more - reach a few more people with the message of Peace. I wrote to several organisations and started producing Peace Art for United for Peace & Justice in New York. They sell my art on T-shirts and greeting cards. In one moment, I went from standing on a street corner and getting the finger regularly, to reaching thousands of people with a positive message in my art. And the response has been so much nicer!
This is one of the cards I designed for www.unitedforpeace.org . There are more that you can check out at http://www.phildynan.com/PeaceArt/ .
The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco is the "oldest and largest public affairs forum in the US" . I was part of a panel of five artists discussing Art & Peace for the "Inforum" programme. Good friend and retired journalist, Bob Loomis, attended the panel discussion. He was one of about 60 people there for the discussion. I don't know that we came to any "conlcusions", but it was nice to be amongst a group actively discussing the American War in Iraq and talking about possible solutions.
I'll continue to protest against the American War in Iraq and I will continue to talk about non-separatism ( see my web site www.Loveisallyouneed.net ). Like Dr. King, I too have a dream, and it is that someday we will awaken to change American foreign policy to be generous and loving, rather than destructive and murderous. I also believe that the day will come when we will find that it is wiser to judge people, if judge we must, based on what is in their head and heart, rather than on separatist "qualifications" like religion, location, gender, skin colour, etc. If I am not here for that day, then I hope my children will celebrate it for me.
In the meantime, how can you help with Peace through Art? How about buying some of my Peace Art or notecards? Your purchase would serve two purposes - it gives you a chance to spread the message and it gives me some income so that I can continue to produce the Art. Win-win situation. Please visit http://www.phildynan.com/PeaceArt/
And don't forget my book Brother Eagle Sister Moon - written about a family in current-day Iraq, it will help the reader understand what it is like under the conditions of war. Based on real people and true situations.