Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Livonia Observer"

Today the "Livonia Observer" newspaper features Citizens For Peace (CFP) on the front page.

The article's three major points:
  1. Rudy Simons, songwriter and music publisher, will speak at the CFP January 8, 2008 meeting about his recent trip to Iran with the group "Fellowship of Reconciliation".
  2. CFP works for the passage of a Department of Peace and Nonviolence, HR 808.
  3. The Peace Collection with books about peace and nonviolence are now in the Livonia Library.
To read this excellent article, Click Here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Peace for All in the New Year

It is up to all of us to create a more peaceful world. The latest research on energy gives the responsibility and power of creating the type of world we live in to each individual! The time has come for each of us to use our collective intelligence to bring forth the world we want for us and future generations.

The Citizens for Peace are dedicated to accepting the responsibility and using our collective power to create a Department of Peace and Nonviolence in our federal government. We are part of the vision that began with the founding of our country. The creation of a Peace Department was suggested in 1793. It seemed logical that a Peace Department was needed to balance the War Department. Unfortunately, despite many attempts through the years, that vision never became a reality. The time is crucial now.

The change will occur when enough individuals realize that what we focus on grows. If we want peace, we must focus our attention on the programs that address the root causes of violence with effective solutions. We must fund the creative and practical programs that have proven to decrease violence.

With our increased scientific knowledge, we have the rationale to support our efforts to create a Department of Peace and Nonviolence. If we can find our own inner peace, educate ourselves and others, use tools such as Nonviolent Communication & Restorative Practices, and join the ever growing network of peace seekers; we can bring about the vision of peace into our government and the world!

We invite you to join us on our journey to create the peaceful world that is possible. Use the power you have within to create this world. Accept the responsibility to “Be the Change you wish to see in the world”! Join the Citizens for Peace and start creating the peaceful world that only we can.

Have a beautiful Holiday Season!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

2008 Citizens For Peace Calendar

Colleen Mills, President, Citizens For Peace reports:

Our monthly meetings are open to everyone. Please invite your friends to help us create the culture of peace we desire. Here is the list of monthly meetings:

January 8th - Rudy Simons will report on his trip to Iran!

February 12th - Kathy Henning will lead us in meditations on Love & Blessings!

March 11th - we will view & discuss the video "Beyone War"!

April 8th - Robert Weir will present "Incentive & Instruction from Christ, Gandhi & King"!

May 13th - Professor Michael Whitty will present a talk on Inner Peace and Outer Peace!

With your help, we will make 2008 a year of peace!
See you Tuesday!
Peace, Colleen
Year 2007 In Review

Citizens For Peace President Colleen Mills made these comments and review of 2007:

Thank you to everyone who helped in any of our activities this year:
1. Tabling at Eastern, Schoolcraft, Body, Mind, Spirit Festivals, Nagasaki Day, the DoP Film Festival, the Spring & Fall Film Festivals, the Restorative Practices Program, the Dinner for Peace, the Royal Oak Main Theater, Muruga & the Global Village Band’s show, the Bake Sale, and Swami Beyondananda’s show!
2. Helping with the Fundraisers at Max & Erma’s, the Dinner for Peace, the Bake Sale, the DoP Film Festival, the Walk for Peace, and the MCHR Film Festivals.
3. Assisting to make the Nagasaki Day event a success.
4. Supporting the library Peace Collection.
5. Attending the Department of Peace Conference in Washington, D.C.
6. Delivering the Peace Pizza and requesting the “Peace wants a piece of the pie”.
7. Developing a Peace Speakers group.
8. Practicing Nonviolent Communication.
9. Attending the monthly meetings.
10. Participating in the Arlington Midwest vigil.
11. Being the change we want to see in the world!
What a year! THANK YOU!!!
We have a new year coming up & I know our seeds of peace will bear fruit!
December Meeting

Hi everyone,
Our December Citizens for Peace meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 11th at 7 p.m. at Unity of Livonia. Click Here for map. We will have a guest speaker from the Michigan Peace Team, Loretta Johnson. She will inform us on the activities of the Peace Team, and share information about her trip to Palestine. Bring a friend!

Colleen Mills, President, Citizens For Peace

Friday, September 21, 2007

International Day of Peace September 21

Today has been designated as the International Day of Peace. Everyone is asked to reflect on peace at twelve noon today. For more information regarding this day click here

What if you should read this post after today? Well, designate that day as a day of peace.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Citizens For Peace 2007 Fall Film Series

All films shown at 7 p.m.
Madonna University, Schoolcraft & Levan in Livonia
Donation: $5.00 per event. Parking in large, free, well-lighted lot.

For more information on each film, click on it's title.

“Why We Fight” Friday, October 5 “an unflinching look at the anatomy of the American war machine.”

“Who Shot My Brother?” Friday, October 12 “As filmmaker German Gutierrez searches for the gunmen who tried to kill his brother, he exposes the root causes of the violence in his native Colombia.”

“China Blue” Friday, October 19 “A powerful and poignant journey into the harsh world of sweatshop workers. Shot clandestinely, this is a deep-access account of what both China and the international retailers don’t want us to see: how the clothes we buy are actually made.”

“Independent Interventions” Friday, October 26 “Focusing on the human costs of war, this film contrasts corporate-controlled media coverage of the invasion of Iraq with independent media reports of the brutal realities on the ground. WARNING: This film show images from war.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

PRESS RELEASE—For immediate release July 16, 2007

Livonia—A unique mini-film festival of peace and nonviolence themes is guaranteed to rejuvenate the social consciousness of all those who attend. Featuring more than a dozen full length and short films, the non denominational showings will provide the viewer with the insights of outspoken advocates of civil rights, best selling authors, religious and spiritual leaders, contemporary thinkers, and enlightened teachers.

The films will be screened in three viewing rooms Saturday, September 15, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Madonna University, Levan and I-96 in Livonia. The festival activities will be sponsored and hosted by the members of the Citizens for Peace.

Some of those being featured are Marianne Williamson, Howard Zinn, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Rev. Michael Beckwith, authors Gary Renard and Mathew Kelly, the Surfing Rabbi, Nachum Shiffren and many more members of the cultural evolution towards peace and non violence. Also to be shown will be the stories of two ordinary men thrown into extraordinary circumstances of forgiveness by the loss of a child; one whose daughter was a victim of the 9/11 tragedy and the other, whose son was murdered, became best friends with the murderer’s guardian, and together they launched a nationwide crusade.

Some of these films have not appeared on television or in theaters. The lineup:

Theater I

Living Luminaries (12:30 & 3:30) A young man’s quest for happiness leads him

to seek out some of the most inspirational

thought provoking minds of our day. A

Michigan premier!

The Secret (2:00) How to achieve success, by those who did it.

Humanity Ascending (5:00) Discusses how to transform ourselves to

achieve our vast potential.

Theater II

The Peace dvd (12:30) A call to join others worldwide in the struggle

for peace and justice.

Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train (2:45) One of the

pillars of the civil rights movement, this extra

ordinary man has been a catalyst for pro-

gressive change for more than 60 years.

Peace One Day (4:00) Shows the power of one man who, in a

remarkable 5-year journey, persuaded

the United Nations to create a global day

of peace, a day of non-violence.

Theater III

Critical Mass (12:30) Follows a young woman’s developing

awareness of the need for a Department

of Peace.

Highlights from the Department of Peace Conferences from Washington, D. C.

(all day)

Forgiveness is the theme of Azim Khamisa’s heart wrenching


Remembering 9/11 – John Titus of Schoolcraft College shares his

thoughts on rising above personal tragedy to create peace.

Marianne Williamson presents a powerful argument for the

creation of a Department of Peace.

Rev. Michael Beckwith, featured in “Living Luminaries,” and

“The Secret,” presents his views on the Spirit of Peace.

Patch Adams, a practicing medical doctor, uses humor to show

how to give unconditional love.

Admission to all three viewing sites, all day, is $15 per person. A one site viewing pass, good for all day, is $10.00. The proceeds are to benefit the Peace Alliance in its efforts to create a cabinet level department of peace.


Department of Peace Fundraiser Film Festival

Saturday, September 15, 2007 12:30pm - 5:30 pm

Madonna University 36600 Schoolcraft Rd. Livonia, MI (Levan & I-96) Map

Theater I -

"Living Luminaries" (12:30pm & 3:30pm)

"The Secret" (2:00pm)

"Humanity Ascending" (5:00pm)

Theater II

The Peace dvd (12:30pm)

"Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train" (2:45pm)

"Peace One Day" (4:00pm)

Theater III

"Critical Mass" (12:30pm)

"Highlights from the Department of Peace Conferences" (all day)

Sponsored by the Citizens for Peace & Madonna University

Proceeds to benefit The Peace Alliance

All Day Pass to All 3 Theaters: $15.00

One Theater Pass: $10.00 (For information: 734-425-0079)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Human Factor
Part I
Look what we have done to the people of Iraq. How will we ever rectify a military invasion of a country that was and is absolutely no threat to the United States? There are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and grandchildren that were or will be injured or killed as a result of this invasion and occupation. There are the brave men and women in our military, who have or will come home in caskets. Many others will survive with physical and mental injuries that will deeply affect their quality of life. The numbers are hard to comprehend, so I put the statistics in human terms and I feel so very sad for these people. There is no justification for what our government has done.
Last summer I attended the regional conference of the Department of Peace Campaign. I talked with Congressman John Conyers from the 14th Michigan congressional district. I asked him if there was some classified information our representatives and senators were given that convinced so many to vote for the invasion of Iraq. He looked at me and said, "We all knew Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with September 11th." I had the need to hear the truth from someone in Congress. I thanked him for his honesty.
Since the massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota on December 29, 1890, our government has ordered 132 military interventions in the United States and throughout the world. Since 1922, there have been twenty one instances of military action in the Middle East. (1) Is our world a better place? Do we feel safe?
Our country is always poised for war. We have a huge military industrial complex that creates thousands of jobs manufacturing and selling weaponry to our military and other countries. We have more nuclear bombs than all other countries combined. Is our world a better place? Do we feel safe?
The United States accounts for 47% of the world's total military spending. The United States spends five times more on the military than China, and eleven times more than Russia. Our government also out spends Iran and North Korea by a ratio of seventy-two to one. (2) Is our world a better place? Do we feel safe?
We need a change of consciousness; it is time to take a stand for waging peace. Martin Luther King explained it so well when he said, "True peace is not merely the absence of some negative force----tension, confusion, or war; it is the presence of some positive force---justice, good will and brotherhood." We have the resources and expertise to become a nation that works for the end of human suffering. It is up to us to create the political will to make it happen.
1. Ziauddin, Sardar. Why do People Hate America; New York, MJF Books; c2002; pp. 92-101.
2. Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation;
The Human Factor
Part II
Political Will
Throughout history there were individuals who took a stand for human rights. There were the abolitionists who saw the evil of slavery and worked to end it. The 13th amendment to the constitution was ratified in 1865, the 14th amendment, stating the rights of citizenship was ratified in 1868, and the 15th amendment gave men of color the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul disagreed with the status quo and worked to change our consititution so women could vote. The 19th amendment to the constitution was ratified in 1920. Martin Luther King, Jr. took the leadership role that resulted in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which created the means to enforce the 14th, and 15th amendments to the constitution. In spite of many obstacles, these people had the political will to work for change.
If we truly want our government to change direction, then we the people must make our position known. With a cabinet level Department of Peace, existing programs will be used and new ones developed to promote peace, social justice and care of the earth here and throughout the world. This will go a long way in changing the self-destructive path that our political leaders have set for us.
Our world will be a better place when we help our cities, small towns, rural areas, and countries around the world to develop broad-based economic development that will enable people to earn a living wage.
Our world will be a better place when we help institutions of civil society become effective providers of education, health care and other needed social services.
Our world will be a better place, when our foreign policy supports governments around the world who are responsive to the needs of their people.
Our world will be a better place when we work for improving water resources around the world.
Our world will be a better place when our public officials support the work of environmentalists.
Our world will be a better place and we will feel safe when it is understood how "we are all related."
The Human Factor
Part III
We are all Related
"It feels like my brothers and sisters are buried here," I said as the tears ran down my face. My friend Leatrice responded, "that's because they are." I was standing by the mass grave in the Wounded Knee cemetery in South Dakota where I draped prayer ties over the surrounding chain link fence.
The cemetery is on top of a hill overlooking a road, a grassy plain and then Wounded Knee Creek. I sat with my friend, looking at this tranquil view, picturing the tragic event that had happened here, and thought what an incredible journey my husband and I have traveled. We volunteer at a Boys and Girls Club on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation located in the southwest corner of South Dakota. We live in a suburb west of Detroit, Michigan. The physical journey is 2200 miles round trip; the spiritual journey is infinite.
My husband, Rick, first visited the Wounded Knee cemetery when he went to the Reservation in 1997 to work on their first Habitat for Humanity house. When he returned home, Rick told me what he had learned about the massacre that had happened there in December 1890, the mass grave, and how people come and leave various tributes: He saw flowers, bouquets of sage, bird feathers, and a teddy bear.
He also told me about the SuAnne Big Crow Boys and Girls Club. The Club was located in a converted factory building with half of it being the Happpy Town restaurant and the other half for the Club. The restaurant was the primary source of financial support.
SuAnne Big Crow was a natural leader, an outstanding student and a South Dakota basketball star, still holding the state record for scoring the most points in a game. She led her team to the state championship in 1991. Tragically, she was killed in an automobile accident in 1992. SuAnne always wanted a place for the children. A safe place where they could play and learn together and support one another and it would be called "Happy Town." For more about SuAnne see
My husband and I were deeply touched by the stories of SuAnne and her family. Out of a personal tragedy Leatrice Big Crow, SuAnne's mother, her family and the tribe took the daugher's vision and made it a reality.
In the spring of 1998, Rick was told that the Boys and Girls Club could use some help. He learned that the restaurant kitchen was in need of many repairs to bring it up to code. Without these repairs, the restaurant, which was the financial source for the Club, would be closed. We managed to raise money for materials and recruited four other people to go with us.
Rick wanted to take a tribute to leave at the Wounded Knee cemetery. He decided to have a wood carver construct an eagle feather. He told Leatrice what he would like to do and she contacted a medicine man to meet with us during our time at the Club. Will Peters sat with us and held the carved feather. He told us in his way about the massacre on December 29, 1890.
The Big Foot band of the Oglala Lakota people agreed to come live on the reservation. It was a group of primarily old men, women and children. They had little food, many were sick and so they surrendered at Wounded Knee to the 7th Calvary. The soldiers demanded they give up their weapons and when they tried to explain that they needed them for hunting, their reason was ignored and the soldiers started shooting. A mass grave was dug for those who were injured and left to die in the snow along with the dead. These people never had a proper burial, and so their spirits still wander there to this day.
I sat and listened to his story and it felt like it had happened yesterday. Will Peters agreed to perform a consecration ceremony at the cemetery. He said that the person who carved the feather has a good heart, and he believed the same of my husband and me. The carved eagle feather was put in a box top surrounded with bouquets of wild sage. Each bouquet was tied together with four strips of cotton cloth in the four sacred colors of white, black, yellow and red. I was given the honor of carrying this offering up the hill and presenting it to Will Peters.
We stood around the mass grave. Will Peters stood by the head stone and started to chant. My eyes filled with tears and ran down my cheeks and I was surprised at my reaction. I reasoned that my ancestors had nothing to do with this. My grandparents came from Europe to Michigan in the early 1900s. As he continued to sing, I continued to cry. His song came from his soul and he was praying that the spirits find a resting place. He then motioned to me to give him the carved feather and his chant continued.
At the conclusion of ceremonies and prayers, Will explained that in the Lakota tradition, everyone joins in and says "mita kuye oyasin." The translation is "we are all related." By the end of the ceremony, I had pulled myself together, pushing away what I felt and started helping people set up and serve the food we had brought.
For two years, I was drawn to the Wounded Knee cemetery. Leatrice came with us. She invited us to pray, she showed me how to make prayer ties, and we were invited to ceremonies. God, Yahweh, Spirit or Higher Power gives us many opportunities for growth, and I truly believe my higher power was not going to let me go until I understood in my soul the meaning of "we are all related."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Elie Wiesel Quote

"None of us is in a position to eliminate war, but it is our obligation to denounce it and expose it in all its hideousness. War leaves no victors, only victims. "

Nobel Lecture December 11, 1986

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thank You Cranbrook Peace Foundation

The Cranbrook Peace Foundation has granted $500 for the Peace Collection. We,The Citizens For Peace, are grateful for this generous gift.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Citizens For Peace 2007 Film Series

All of the films will be shown at Madonna University, 14221 Levan, Livonia, MI 48154., Click Here for a campus map. Fridays, 7pm. Click on the title for a review.

Friday April 27, 2007 Iraq In Fragments”

Friday May 4, 2007 “Thrist”

Friday May 11, 2007 “Black Gold”

Friday May 18, 2007 America’s Brutal Prisons”

Friday May 25, 2007 “The Fence”

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Peace Doves Game
The Peace Doves game is one to learn about the proliferation of nuclear weapons. How much do you know? I know people who will have know problem with playing this game. I found out how much I didn't know.

It takes about 15 minutes to play. It's educational and fun to play. The game is designed for persons 15 and older. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Are you ready? Just click here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Elie Wiesel Nobel Peace Prize 1986
It is worth the time to read Elie Wiesel's acceptance speech. While reading it, I had to remind myself that he spoke those words over 20 years ago. Some of the things he said are no longer so. For example Mandela is no longer in prison. However so much more, sadly to say, is still true today. The Iraq War and Occupation, torture, racism and many other problems he mentioned.

While your at the Noble Prize web site browse around. There is so much there about peace, nonviolence, ways to oppose nuclear weapons etc.