Alliance for peace also looks locally

Classes offered on nonviolence

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Augusta is a military town, but a fledgling group here still wants to give peace a chance.

The CSRA Peace Alliance, begun in 2008, hopes to build a peace movement through public education, protests, lobbying and by building social ties with like-minded people.

The odds appear long against a peace movement gaining support in Augusta, where Fort Gordon's annual economic impact is estimated to top $1 billion a year. About 30,000 government and civilian workers are at the base. The peace alliance's Twitter account shows 50 followers.

That doesn't dent alliance co-founder Aymen Fadel's sense of conviction.

"We want to get our ground forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan and not have any more wars in general," he said. "We have to develop a policy of self-determination toward other countries. That means we don't intervene by building bases there and occupying them."

If the group's goals are global, its actions are local and span across many things simpler than ending wars.

"The term peace to us is broad," co-founder Denice Traina said. "We support human rights, civil rights, children's rights. We deal with anything that diminishes a person's ability to have peace within themselves."

Death row executions and the privatization of the Millen state prison have brought group members out to picket lines locally.

A security officer gave Traina three tickets recently for protesting war and advocating for better veterans care outside Augusta's VA hospital. A federal judge, who was a veteran and an amputee, later dismissed the charges.

"I was within my rights. This is about free speech," Traina said.

"I feel by doing this, I can encourage others to speak out so no one is ever shut down again."

The alliance also wants to promote peace at a personal level. Beginning this month, it will conduct nonviolence education at Augusta's downtown library. Reading and discussion topics will include Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., feminism and civil disobedience.

"We have obviously a political problem, in that our government sees war an option for a lot of policy problems," Fayed said. "But we also have violence in other forms as a society and we have violence as individuals. Nonviolence education is something that we can each personally benefit from."

The classes start at 6:30 p.m. and will be held twice a month beginning Tuesday.

Learn more

To learn more about the CSRA Peace Alliance and its upcoming classes on nonviolence, visit csrapeace.org.

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Dixieman
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Dixieman 06/06/11 - 09:20 am
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This establishes a new low in

This establishes a new low in journalistic bias.
"The odds appear long against a peace movement gaining support in Augusta, where Fort Gordon's annual economic impact is estimated to top $1 billion a year. About 30,000 government and civilian workers are at the base," states the reporter, who then goes on to describe the CSRA Peace Alliance is glowing, gushy terms which read like a poorly-researched sophomore (and sophomoric) term paper on "Siddhartha". One side is portrayed as motivated solely by pure (if naive) motives while the other's principles are venal and for sale. This is a gratuitous personal insult to all servicemembers, veterans and patriots in the CSRA. (After all, what has war ever accomplished -- well, other than ending slavery, defeating fascism and protecting our country from al-Qaeda?)
If Fort Gordon were closed down and stopped contributing to the local economy tomorrow, we would still support our troops and our country. Shame on the Chronicle for publishing such a one-sided smear -- especially on the anniversary of D-Day!!

faithson
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faithson 06/06/11 - 09:57 am
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For what its worth, at least

For what its worth, at least the article gives some exposure of those amongst us who believe in the non-violent movement. thanks Carole!

Dixieman
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Dixieman 06/06/11 - 01:06 pm
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Yes, but that's all it gives.

Yes, but that's all it gives. There is no balance whatsoever in this article.
Perhaps you could explain for me what privatization of the Millen State Prison has to do with "peace"? Other than being part of the trendy lefty agenda, that is.

augustalibertarian
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augustalibertarian 06/06/11 - 08:50 pm
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"Death row executions and the

"Death row executions and the privatization of the Millen state prison have brought group members out to picket lines locally."

Group members have also attended Tea Party rallies, End the Fed(eral Reserve rallies), Legalize Marijuana rallies, Gay Rights rallies and rallies opposing gun control. But none of these activities were CSRA Peace Alliance rallies. Contrary to what Ms. Traina is quoted as saying, the purpose of the CSRA Peace Alliance is (or at least was!) fairly narrowly defined. What its members do outside Alliance itself is up to them.

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