Regular UFPPC meetings & a short history of UFPPC
- Written by United for Peace of Pierce County
Regular meetings of United for Peace of Pierce County are held at 6:30 p.m. on the 1st Thursday and at 7:00 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month at First United Methodist (423 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma).
Meetings are open to the public and all those who subscribe to the group's mission statement are welcome to participate.
Decisions of UFPPC are made by consensus and require endorsement by two thirds of those present at a regular meeting.
A short history of United for Peace of Pierce County
UFPPC's inception dates from a meeting of four members of People for Peace, Justice, and Healing on Nov. 7, 2002 to call on residents and organizations in Pierce County to form a group opposing war in Iraq. The call was answered by about 70 people on Nov. 14, who organized a Dec. 8 rally and march around the Tacoma Mall (see the News Tribune of Dec. 9, 2002). At its second meeting, the group adopted the following mission statement: "We gather together nonviolently to oppose a war on Iraq." At its sixth meeting, the group decided to affiliate with the national organization United for Peace and Justice. On Feb. 15, 2003, UFPPC organized a rally and march in Tacoma from Portland Park to the Federal Building, followed by a festival of the arts of peace at the Washington State History Museum.
On March 20, 2003, the day after US forces invaded Iraq, UFPPC issued the following statement: "Millions of people have devoted billions of hours trying to avert the catastrophe of the Iraq war. For this war is a catastrophe. It is a disaster regardless of the military outcome. It is a disaster for the nation, and a disaster for the world. Our nation has, for the first time in its history, consciously embraced an aggressive pre-emptive war against a country that posed no imminent threat. And, despite overwhelming opposition, the world community has been unable to prevent it. Whatever the president and the president's people may say, this was an unnecessary war, misusing our troops and traducing their high ideals. We mourn the lives that are being lost. How can we, as Americans, reclaim the ideals of this nation? We are not sure of the answer, but we refuse to give them up. At this dark hour in the history of the United States of America, we remain united for peace in Pierce County."
UFPPC has continued its peace activism since the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003, issuing occasional statements and organizing visiting speakers, benefit concerts, and vigils at various locations in Pierce County. In May the group revised its original mission statement to the following: "We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy." UFPPC has adopted more than 50 statements, which are available on its web site.
UFPPC has brought several nationally known activists to speak in Tacoma: Medea Benjamin, Jan Adams, Stan Goff, Daniel Ellsberg, and Norman Solomon. In 2007-2008, a speaker series was inaugurated.
UFPPC other activities have included vigils, rallies, marches, concerts, film screenings, panel discussions, salons, demonstrations, lobbying of legislators, etc. Since the summer of 2004, an ongoing book discussion group called "Digging Deeper" has met weekly on Monday evenings at the Mandolin Cafe.
On Apr. 21, 2005, UFPPC adopted a statement calling for the impeachment of the president and vice president of the United States.
About 5,000 people have been involved in UFPPC activities to date (meetings, rallies, marches, concerts, speeches, vigils, and leafleting).
UFPPC's web site has experienced a remarkable increase in the number of visitors. In January 2008 the site was receiving more than 8,000 visits a day, compared to about 380 in April 2004.