Political Freedom Identity Genocide Malnutrition Health Care Activism Equal protection Non-violent Activism Forgiveness Boycott Civic values Change Religion freedom from persecution Peaceful Assembly Police misconduct Bonded Labor Choice Freedom from Violence Attivismo Sociale Giustizia Accord education Discrimination Rights Values Justice Human Rights Citizenship Free Expression Power Social Movements Racism Freedom of Expression Needs and wants Refugee Government Accountability laogai Equality Personal Security National Identity Indigenous Rights Access and Equity Civil rights Factors of production Environmentalist Reform Degradation Fair Treatment Quality of LIfe China Global citizenship Decision making Labor Childhood rights Peace freedom from discrimination Compromise Caste System Dialogue Political Participation Individual responsibility
From Bystander to Active Peace Builder
Individual responsibility Police Brutality Transparency Government Accountability Forgiveness Oppression Conflict Resolution Cycle of Violence
Mairead Corrigan Maguire was not actively involved with the Northern Ireland peace movement until she came face-to-face with violence in 1976. On August 10th, Danny Lennon and John Chillingworth of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), were driving through Belfast, with a rifle in their car. The IRA wanted to form a united Ireland through physical force that would be outside of United Kingdom control.
British troops, claiming that the rifle had been pointed at them, opened fire on the car instantly killing Lennon and seriously wounding Chillingworth. The car veered onto the sidewalk striking Mairead’s sister Anne and three of her children. While Anne survived, her three children died. Another peace activist, Betty Williams, also witnessed the crash and assembled 200 women to march for an end to the violence. When the marchers passed by Maguire’s home she quickly joined in.
Shortly after the march, Community of Peace People was founded by Maguire and Williams. Based on their shared belief that reconciliation was possible through the gradual integration of schools, residential areas and athletic clubs. Community of Peace People organized summer camps for Catholics and Protestants youths in an effort to create friendships in a secure and tolerant environment. The organization also published a biweekly paper, Peace by Peace, and provided families of prisoners’ bus service to and from Belfast’s jails.
In 1976, Maguire and Betty Williams were awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for their contributions to the resolution of the problems in Northern Ireland. Since winning the award, Mairead Corrigan Magurie co-founded the Committee on Administration of Justice, a human rights organization that has been actively involved in the attempt to free political prisoners world-wide, from Nobel Peace Prize winners Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi to China’s Liu Xiaobo of China.
Blueprint for Peace
One of the architects of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, an agreement between Israel and Palestine, Shimon Peres has been involved in the government of Israel since 1952. During his long political career he held many cabinet positions, including Prime Minister. In 2007, the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, elected Peres as its President.
Born in Poland in 1923, Peres spent the formative years of his youth under the tutelage of his grandfather, Rabbi Zvi Meltzer, where he learned the Talmud and followed Haredi Judaism, which is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism. In 1934, Peres and his family moved to Tel Aviv, which was still part of Palestine. During World War II, all of Peres’ remaining relatives in Poland were killed for their religious beliefs.
Peres began his career in government when he was appointed Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Defense in 1952. He became a Member of the Knesset, Israel’s legislative body in 1959, but is perhaps best known for his work as Israel’s Foreign Minister starting in 1986.
As foreign minister, Shimon Peres participated in 14 separate meetings in Oslo, Norway, with Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat negotiating a path to peace. Throughout the lengthy meetings, both sides stayed in the same residence and often shared meals together, leading to a growing bond between the people involved. The Oslo Peace Accords were eventually signed by both sides on September 13, 1993 at the White House in Washington, D.C.
The Nobel Peace Prize 1994 was awarded jointly to Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East. In his Nobel acceptance speech Peres stated that "classical diplomacy and strategy were aimed at identifying enemies and confronting them. Now they have to identify dangers, global or local, and tackle them before they become disasters."
In 2007 Peres was chosen by Kadima, a centrist and liberal political party in Israel, to run for President. Peres was elected by the Knesset on June 13, 2007. He was sworn in as President on July 15, 2007 for a seven-year term. He is the first former Prime Minister to be elected President of Israel. He continues to work on building a peaceful future as the President of Israel.