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Old 01-02-2003, 03:43 PM
Walter P. Schlomer
 
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Default OT To promote peace (I know that God is on the American side but....)


I spend a lot of time deleting email petitions from my inbox, because
I'm told they're not worth the pixels they're printed with. This is
something else altogether: a lovely and simple metaphorical gesture
that might -- you never know -- have concrete repercussions.

Dana


Dear friends,
This is a lovely, simple, and potentially powerful action we can all
take to promote peace, from the Boulder Mennonite Church. Please
consider it. There is a grassroots campaign underway to protest war in
Iraq in a simple, but potentially powerful way.

Place 1/2 cup uncooked rice in a small plastic bag (a snack-size bag
or sandwich bag work fine). Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag.
Wrap it in a piece of paper on which you have written:
"If your enemies are hungry, feed them. Please send this rice to the
people of Iraq; do not attack them. "
Place the paper and bag of rice in an envelope (either a letter-sized
or padded mailing envelope--both are the same cost to mail) and
address them to:
President George Bush , White House,
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
Repeat the above and address to (no postage necessary):
The Right Honourable Jean Chretien, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A
0A6

Drop this in the mail. It is important to act NOW.
In order for this protest to be effective, there must be hundreds of
thousands of such rice deliiveries. We can do this if you each forward
this message to your friends and family.
There is a positive history of this protest! In the 1950s, Fellowship
of Reconciliation began a similar protest, which is credited with
influencing President Eisenhower against attacking China. Read on:
"In the mid-1950s, the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, learning
of famine in the Chinese mainland, launched a 'Feed Thine Enemy'
campaign.
Members and friends mailed thousands of little bags of rice to the
White House with a tag quoting the Bible, "If thine enemy hunger, feed
him. " As far as anyone knew for more than ten years, the campaign was
an abject failure. The President did not acknowledge receipt of the
bags publicly; certainly, no rice was ever sent to China.
"What nonviolent activists only learned a decade later was that the
campaign played a significant, perhaps even determining role in
preventing nuclear war. Twice while the campaign was on, President
Eisenhower met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider U. S.
options in the conflict with China over two islands, Quemoy and Matsu.

The generals twice recommended the use of nuclear weapons. President
Eisenhower each time turned to his aide and asked how many little bags
of rice had come in. When told they numbered in the tens of thousands,
Eisenhower told the generals that as long as so many Americans were
expressing active interest in having the U. S. feed the Chinese, he
certainly wasn't going to consider using nuclear weapons against them.
" There is a grassroots campaign underway to protest war in Iraq in a
simple, but potentially powerful way.
In Peace, Molly Swan and Norman Feldman




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