Reclaim Armistice Day 2022

Thanks to all those who came out for the Armistice Day celebration on Friday. We joyfully rang our bells and rededicated ourselves to peace. Afterward, the Fairbanks Peace Choir led us in singing “Dona Nobis Pacem” (Give Us Peace) and “Finlandia” (Song of Peace) by Jean Sibelius. We are very grateful that the Peace Choir could join us on this day. Later, each person gave a brief perspective on what Armistice Day means to them. We are glad to have had this opportunity to gather together and rededicate ourselves to working toward peace.

Haley Lehman from the News-Miner was present and wrote up a nice story about the event, with photos.

Ring in Peace on Armistice Day, Friday, November 11, 2022

Ring Bells for Peace! 11:00 am at Veteran’s Memorial Park

Alaska Peace Center and Veterans For Peace North Star Chapter 146 invite the Fairbanks community to ring bells at 11:00 am at Veteran’s Memorial Park, 700 Cushman Street in Fairbanks, in celebration of Armistice Day on Friday, November 11. Bring a bell if you have one (we’ll have extras if you don’t), in any case bring a friend. The Peace Choir will be present to sing some songs.

Bell-ringing has been a traditional way of celebrating Armistice Day ever since the end of World War One (known at the time as “The Great War”) 104 years ago. It signifies the relief and joy felt around the world when the Armistice was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Bells were rung to celebrate peace and the end of four years of war that killed or wounded more than 21 million people. In the wake of so much carnage, it was then clear to millions of people that wars were not about valor or romantic ideals, but about empire, which benefits a few at the expense of many. A tradition of observing the anniversary of the Armistice by ringing bells to honor veterans and promote peace spread throughout the world.

Armistice Day was first officially recognized by Congress in 1926 as a day that “should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations,” and “with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.” It became a legal holiday nationwide by an act of Congress in 1938, dedicated to the cause of world peace. In 1954 President Eisenhower changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day by presidential proclamation, admonishing us to “re-consecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.” However, in contrast to Eisenhower’s intention, rebranding Armistice Day as Veterans Day has led to a change from celebrating peace to celebrating the military and glorifying war. Armistice Day has been flipped from a day for peace into a day for displays of militarism.

Today there are armed conflicts in 54 countries across the globe in which people are actively being killed. Preliminary statistics show a minimum of 218,290 deaths so far this year from armed conflicts worldwide. This does not include deaths from disease or starvation related to those conflicts. Concomitant with this wanton human destruction is massive environmental destruction. The number of people forced out of their homes and livelihoods and into refugee status is now at the highest level since World War II. Military Forces involved in these conflicts release huge quantities of greenhouse gases and spread pollution around the world. All this is taking place while the world is facing unprecedented problems of climate change, environmental destruction, and pollution that demand human cooperation to solve. It is time to throw “full-spectrum dominance” into the political trash can and apply ourselves to “full-spectrum cooperation!” The huge proportion of the world’s wealth dedicated to militarism and death should be applied to solving the myriad problems facing the world today.

The Alaska Peace Center, along with Veterans For Peace nationally and locally, celebrates the original intent of November 11th – as a day to rededicate ourselves to work toward peaceful solutions to the world’s problems. Peace, not war, is the best way to honor the sacrifices of veterans.

For more reflections on the significance of Armistice Day see the essay by Skip Oliver.

Bell and doves

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts, 4 Nov 2022

https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/3977817

Monthly Meeting Thursday, Nov 3, at 7pm

The Alaska Peace Center monthly meeting will take place at 7 pm on Thursday, November 3, at our office upstairs in the College Mall building (above the Fuji Steakhouse–use the same external door as the Steakhouse). People can also connect to the meeting via zoom. All are welcome!

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84873864114?pwd=RTN3Z0xNNkFpNlhhOGJlcDRURjNxUT09

Meeting ID: 848 7386 4114
Passcode: 555264

Nenana-Totchaket Agricultural Project — Potluck, Presentation and Discussion

Friday, October 28, 2022

Potluck at 6:30, Program at 7:00 pm

Raven Landing, in the Common Room in Building 4, or online via Zoom

(See map to Building 4, and the Zoom link, at the bottom of this post)

Following on last month’s presentation about Land Acknowledgment and Land Back, this month’s presentation looks at the “Nenana-Totchaket Agricultural Project.” 

The  State of Alaska has just sold 1,975 acres west of Nenana in the first phase of the estimated 148,000 acre Nen-Tot project, in the name of food security, and transferring state land into private ownership.  

This area has always been a traditional subsistence area for the people of Nenana, who were not consulted about the project, have their own ideas of what food security looks like, and recognize the value of land preservation. This project has also been criticized for proceeding too quickly and with inadequate planning. 

One or more speakers from Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition and Native Movement will share the latest information about the project, why the local people are concerned, and what future actions might be helpful. 

Join us for a status update and discussion at Raven Landing, Building 4, Common Room on Friday evening, October 28, or join via Zoom if you are unable to come in person. Potluck begins at 6:30, program begins at 7:00.

For background information see https://fairbanksclimateaction.org/blog/nenana-land-sale.

Zoom link:

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83400667036?pwd=aEtvQXU2cUwyZER4NUZqQ0taUEh1UT09

Meeting ID: 834 0066 7036
Passcode: 116449

Map to Building 4.

Photo: John Whipple/Division of Agriculture

Monthly Meeting Thursday, Oct 6, at 7 pm

The Alaska Peace Center monthly meeting will take place at 7 pm on Thursday, October 6, at our office upstairs in the College Mall building (above the Fuji Steakhouse–use the same external door as the Steakhouse). People can also connect to the meeting via zoom. 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84873864114?pwd=RTN3Z0xNNkFpNlhhOGJlcDRURjNxUT09

Meeting ID: 848 7386 4114
Passcode: 555264

Last Friday Monthly Video and Discussion, Sep 30, 6:30 pm

The Alaska Peace Center, with support of Chena Ridge Friends Meeting Social Concerns Committee, will be showing the first hour of the video, “Land Acknowledgment: A First Step Towards Right Relationship with the Land and its People “ Part II, on Friday, September 30 at 6:30pmAK (7:30pmPT), with discussion to follow. 

Join Zoom Meeting:

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83400667036?pwd=aEtvQXU2cUwyZER4NUZqQ0taUEh1UT09

Meeting ID: 834 0066 7036, Passcode: 116449

This video is part of a Pendle Hill and Decolonizing Quakers presentation, featuring Tom Kunesh from Nashville Friends Meeting. His heritage is Standing Rock Lakota, White, Catholic, and he was raised in Minnesota. 

In this Part II video, additional footage which we do not plan to view includes valuable commentary by Principal Chief Dennis Coker, a Delaware Lenape tribal leader, and Nia To Go There, PhD, an enrolled member of the Cree Tribe of Turtle Mountain in North Dakota and heritage including Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana.

If you wish to see the full video presentation, it is available on YouTube:

Part I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VonqmR0m90w

Part II: https://youtu.be/gkf2UnRgaPo

Monthly Meeting Thursday, September 1, 7 pm

All are welcome! It has been a busy summer, but Fall is quickly approaching and it is time to start planning Fall and Winter activities. For our September meeting people will have the option of meeting in person at the Alaska Peace Center office or of connecting over the internet via zoom.

The office is in Room 203 of the College Mall Building, 3535 College Road, upstairs above the Fuji Japanese Steakhouse. The stairs utilize the same external doorway as the Steakhouse. The information to connect via Zoom is as follows:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84873864114?pwd=RTN3Z0xNNkFpNlhhOGJlcDRURjNxUT09

Meeting ID: 848 7386 4114
Passcode: 555264

This Zoom link will be used for all monthly meetings this winter (first Thursday of each month) through June 2023.

Renewable Energy Fair August 14, 2022

The Alaska Peace Center booth goes on the road this Sunday!  — To the Renewable Energy Fair at Chena Hot Springs.  

10am to 4pm, August 14.

Come on out, if you have the time!  It is an inspirational, eclectic gathering of scientists, engineers, activists, businesses, and politicians. A great opportunity to connect in person with people involved in energy development, application and policy.

The focus this year is Hydrogen!

How we make it an energy standard ?

Karl Franke at the 2021 Renewable Energy Fair

Come See Us at the Fair!

The Tanana Valley State Fair opened yesterday and runs through August 7th. Hours are from noon to 10 pm. Our booth is in the Borealis Pavilion near the large door at the east end. The Fair is the biggest opportunity of the year to interact with our community. All booth-sitting slots are filled, but most have only one volunteer. Stop by to say hello, or hang out for a while. Participate in our bean poll, where fairgoers can allocate 20 beans across a half-dozen budget categories to indicate how they would prioritize the national budget. While not exactly a scientific sample, the results are quite interesting compared to how our tax dollars are actually allocated in the current budget.

APC Fair Booth 2017
Dick Farris at the 2017 Fair

Peace Feast Recap and Call for Volunteers for the Fair Booth

The 9th Annual Peace Feast on Saturday June 4th at Pioneer Park was a great opportunity for people to come together, relax in the summer sun, share ideas and interests, and find out about each other’s activities. As we emerge from all the restrictions of the covid pandemic it was great to have a meeting in each other’s presence. It was also nice that the weather was lovely! Our community is blessed with a multitude of small organizations working quietly to make all our lives better, and we heard short, insightful introductions to nine of them this year (see below for a list). Kudos to all the presenters and thanks to all who attended. We are always grateful for people’s support.

APC 2018 TV Fair Booth
Suzanne and Carrie at the Alaska Peace Center booth at the 2018 Fair

Coming up quickly is the Tanana Valley State Fair, which runs from July 29 through August 7. Our booth at the Fair is by far the largest opportunity of the year to interact with our community. Booth-sitters are needed, and we are very thankful for the people who have already volunteered. There are still 5 shifts (3 to 4 hours long) that need to be filled. All volunteers get a free day pass to the Fair. Check out the volunteer schedule and volunteer if you can! To volunteer please contact Maia Genaux at 907-388-0560 or at mg88morgan@gmail.com.

Organizing the Peace Feast and maintaining a presence at events such as Earth Day, Arbor Day, the Tanana Valley Fair, and the Renewable Energy Fair requires a lot of organizing, a lot of help and enthusiasm from many people, and, yes, money. Maintaining a website, maintaining our obligations as a charitable entity in the State of Alaska, maintaining an office where we can keep things and organize from, publicizing our events, booth fees at the Fair, all require a certain amount of money. We greatly appreciate the people who have already responded financially to our recent newsletter. If you would like to make a donation you can send a check to Alaska Peace Center, 3535 College Road Suite 203, Fairbanks, AK 99709-3722 or donate through PayPal. We very much appreciate your support.

Organizations and their spokespeople introducing themselves at the 2022 Peace Feast:

Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition Interfaith Working Group – Charley Basham
First Alaskans tribunals – Carrie Farr
FCAC Renewable Energy Working Group – Mike Musick
Meals on Wheels – Violet Toney
Alliance for Reason and Knowledge – Robert Shields
Roaming Root Cellar – Erica Moeller
Chena Tool Library – Melissa Kellner