Peace conference to explore causes of
April 1, 2002
By Jennifer Reeder
Special to the Herald
America may be at war, but some Durango
residents think it should give peace a chance.
This week, the Peace and Justice Conference
will be held in Durango with the goal of teaching and
promoting peace through education, participation and
The conference will feature several days of
workshops and discussions. Presenters range from author Jim
Hightower to elementary school students reading essays about
what peace and justice means to them. The event culminates
with a candlelight march Saturday evening down Main
Members of the community and Fort Lewis
College’s sociology club have organized the event.
"We’re not trying to further the division of
the people who are for the war and people who are against it,"
said Lisa Knoblauch, an organizer. "We’re trying to bring
awareness to larger issues and look at what created these
problems in the first place, and what people can do to prevent
them through awareness and action."
Knoblauch, 23, and about 10 other community
members concerned by the events of Sept. 11 held a peace
"teach-in" last October to generate dialogue about current
events. That day, about 250 people put their names on a list
of citizens interested in being involved with future actions
to promote peace.
But some have accused Knoblauch and her
co-organizers of being unpatriotic for their stance.
"For me, it’s not about being patriotic or
unpatriotic, it’s about fundamental human rights," Knoblauch
said. "Whether it’s an American life, an Afghan life or an
Iraqi life, a fundamental human right is to exist in a world
of peace and justice."
Arthur Knox, a 25-year-old organizer, said
opposing war doesn’t make someone unpatriotic.
"In times of war, the meaning of the word
‘patriotism’ gets narrowed. Patriotism simply becomes
‘nationalism,’" Knox said. "In truth, the word includes a
great deal more than who or what our government chooses to
fight in any given year."
Knoblauch said she is pleased that the event
has attracted speakers from outside the area, such as
representatives from the Denver-based Colorado Campaign for
Middle East Peace.
"One of our goals is trying to bring people,
not just from Durango, but from the region to try to start a
movement," Knoblauch said.
For more information, call 375-2662.
Schedule of Events
p.m. Film and discussion by Cornell West, Harvard
professor of African American studies, "Progressive
Politics in These Times: From Vision to Action." Fort
Lewis College, Noble Hall 125. Free.
p.m. Jim Hightower speaks about U.S. foreign policy. FLC
ballroom. $3 students, $8 general public, $5
a.m.-4:30 p.m. Workshop and discussion series featuring
professors Tom Eckenrode and Mark Seis presenting
"Crisis in Conflict in the Mideast 2002" and
"Surveillance Blowback and Civil Liberties." FLC
a.m.-5:45 p.m. Local justice issues panel, puppet
making, fourth- to eighth-grade essay readers,
non-violent civil disobedience workshop and group
drumming with Fara Toino. Mason Center on East Third
Avenue and 12th Street. Free. At 5:45 p.m., candlelight
march for the inclusion of human rights in U.S. foreign
policy. Mason Center.