Ring Bells for Peace on November 11

Remember the Kellogg-Briand Treaty?

On this Armistice Day, November 11, 2012, celebrating the end of World War I, we invite you to join Veterans for Peace and other organizations, endorsed by WILPF Disarm/End Wars Committee, in an action to call for the end of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to stop the potential war in Iran, by tolling bells on November 11, whether they be church or town hall or hand-held, in as public a place as you can find. While calling for our troops and arms to come home, we should remind people that the U.S. signed a non-aggression treaty 84 years ago.

At the end of World War I, most Americans rejected war as a way of solving problems via the Kellogg-Briand Pact. U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg  and French foreign minister Aristide Briand drafted a treaty in which signatory states promised not to use war to resolve "disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them." Parties failing to abide by this promise "should be denied the benefits furnished by this treaty." It was signed by Germany, France, and the United States on August 27, 1928. Soon thereafter, it was signed by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, British India, the Irish Free State, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. 39 other nations deposited instruments of definitive adherence to the pact by the time it went into effect in 1929.

The US Senate voted 85-1 to ratify.

Legitimate self-defense was allowed, but no wars of aggression, and nations should settle their disputes without war.

Although it hasn't always been respected, the treaty has never been rescinded. It's still there, in force, just nobody pays attention to it. 

If you want to leaflet, you can use information from Wikipedia or from Veterans for Peace.

Let's reclaim November 11 for PEACE and put an end to war! Our government has renamed November 11 Veteran's Day, and made it another day celebrating the military and militarism. The U.S. failure to join the rest of the world in supporting the League of Nations helped sweep the Kellogg Briand Pact under the rug. But now, despite frequent U.S. resistance, we have a United Nations, the World Court, the World Criminal Court and a strong network of international laws including Kellogg Briand. Help End Wars Now!

Let us know what creative ideas you have ahead of time, and send us pictures and reports afterwards.


Image credit: Alotor via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

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