Get your fill of peace and love this weekend at Peace Congress 2003.
The local peace rally is scheduled to begin this Saturday, Jan. 18 at 11:00 a.m. in Alameda Plaza. Activities will include a march for peace followed by live music, panel discussions, speakers and activities for children.
Peace Congress 2003 will present both a rally for peace as well as a celebration in the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Its sponsors and organizers hope to educate and motivate the public with regards to current issues as well as provide a forum for its participants to encourage and inspire one another. The goal is to express their belief that “another world is possible.”
Saturday’s activities will be sponsored by the Santa Barbara chapter of Not in Our Name. The organization was founded in October by citizens concerned with the actions of the U.S. government following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. NION will sponsor similar rallies across the nation this weekend.
Other local sponsors include the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, Hope Dance, the Fund for Santa Barbara and Veterans for Peace.
The march for peace will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will include the Parents for Peace Stroller Stride. Most of lower State Street will be closed at this time to accommodate the demonstration. The rally and event activities will begin at noon. Live music will include a performance by Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket.
Participating groups will include Amnesty International, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Global Village School, Dos Pueblos Youth Action Committee, United Nations Association and the Green Party of Santa Barbara. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.
Indoor activities will be held at the Unitarian Society at the corner of Santa Barbara and Arrellaga streets. Here activities will include the documentary film “Hidden Wars of Desert Storm,” and a panel discussion entitled “No War Against Iraq: The Quest for Global Security,” featuring Princeton University Professor Richard Falk and the founder of NAPF, David Krieger. Peace and love face painting and a peace calendar contest will be held for children.
De La Guerra Plaza will host a number of local and regional bands including Car Mechanics, Antara and Delilah, MILES, Messenger, SPIRAL and other special guests. Local activist and SB City College student Carter Yarbrough organized the music for the event. Yarbrough has also organized a small nonprofit organization called STUDENTS 4 PEACE with hopes of developing it into a national association.
Yarbrough began as an environmental activist at the age of 12 and described himself as apolitical until two years ago when he began to feel “that the national political structure had turned into a dictatorship.”
“Free speech and media are out the window,” Yarbrough, a senior multimedia major, said. “The [Federal Communications Commission] has been bought. The only way people will listen is through music.”
STUDENTS 4 PEACE will host another benefit concert Jan. 19 at SoHo nightclub beginning at 6 p.m. Yarbrough described it as a singer/songwriter acoustic showcase that will feature artists such as Kristen Candy, Crosby Loggins, Rigsby, Catfish Charlie and Yo Mango.
Local participants encourage students and young people to join in the activities on Saturday.
“The people who will be impacted [by the war] will be the young people,” local activist and rally organizer Toni Wellen said. “Theirs are the lives that will be disrupted.”