Non-violence has a new name in southwest Riverside county: Peace Works in Temecula Valley.
Growing out of the original Murrieta candlelight peace vigils, we are "people of the Temecula Valley working together as members of the global community to recognize and honor diversity and support active, peaceful responses to local, regional, and world conflicts."
Our members see a threefold purpose for our organization: to gather socially to encourage each other as we live in a predominantly conservative part of the state and our views are a definite minority; to educate our community on the value of nonviolence, especially the young people of our valley; and to promote awareness of candidates who support peace and encourage voter particpation in the upcoming 2004 presidential elections.
We meet every other week on Sunday nights for potluck dinners and working meetings in the homes of our members, where everyone is encouraged to participate and share. One of our first projects is to organize a history of the success of non-violence in America, so that we can show when and how peace has worked -- an important supplement to the war-centric education our students receive.
To celebrate the American tradition of peace, Peace Works has declared the 4th of July as a Day of Peace in Temecula Valley, and we will be having a picnic and party. Our dissent is not at all unpatriotic; in fact, it is through our expression of non-violent practices that we fully express our love for our country.
At Peace Works, we don't see peace as simply the absence of war, but rather as a positive process for resolving differences without violence -- one that is endorsed universally by the religions of the world. Through tolerance, understanding, and acceptance we can build together a peace that truly works in Temecula Valley.
For more on Peace Works in Temecula Valley, please see our Web site at PeaceWorksinTV.org.