Peace and Nonviolence
Peace: The Path to Prosperity
As a student of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela, I have long believed that peace is the true way for change. In recent years, this belief has been further validated through studies which examine the economics of peace. Countries which are more peaceful internally and with their neighbors are often wealthier nations.
I believe that generations have forgotten how effective peace and nonviolence can be as an ideology and as a tool. If we prevent acts of violence on our streets, in our schools, there is no need to incarcerate. If we prevent war, there is no need to cut education and social insurance programs to cover the costs.
Over the years, I have sponsored briefings examining the economic benefit of peace and looking at movements of nonviolent protests around the world. I also am a proud supporter of protecting the U.S. Institute of Peace which teaches conflict resolution around the world and is a key partner to the Departments of State and Defense.
In tribute to the unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and Gandhi’s birthday, I reintroduced –
- The Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Act; and
- The Securing American Families by Educating and Training our Youth (SAFETY) through Nonviolence Act
This year, I also introduced the Cost of War Act, a bill that requires the Department of Defense and the Internal Revenue Service to calculate the cost of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya to each American taxpayer.
As the debt and deficit debate continues, many are considering cutting Medicare, Social Security, and programs serving the elderly, the unemployed, women, families and children. I believe that before any drastic decisions are made, everyone must have an honest accounting for a budget.
More on Peace and Nonviolence
Rep. John Lewis made this statement today on his bill H.R. 267, The Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Park Act of 2017. The bill expands the physical area of the park to include the Prince Hall Mason Lodge, and upgrades the King historic district to a national park, the highest designation within the National Park Service, offering it the maximum support and sustenance the NPS can offer any site. Rep. Lewis made this statement in support of the act (video link):
As the cost of war skyrockets and its contribution to the federal deficit continues to increase, it is important that Americans fully understand where their tax dollars are spent and how they are spent. This accounting is especially important as cuts are proposed to important safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security, as well as to services for the unemployed, elderly, women, families and children.
In advance of Nelson Mandela International Day and in response to recent violence, Congressman Lewis introduced a revised and updated version of the Securing American Families by Educating and Training You (SAFETY) through Nonviolence Act and the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Act. These bills help provide the basis for a 21st century recommitment to the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence by helping to support and renew peace and nonviolence strategies in the United States and around the world.
Today, Rep. John Lewis made comments about the series of shootings American communities have faced in recent days, including the horrific murder of police officers in Dallas. This statement is based on the comments he made during a Congressional Black Caucus press conference today.
Like so many Americans, I had a chance to view the murder of Alton Sterling on video. I am not an expert, but to me, it looked like an execution. I cannot understand why any citizen who is complying with police commands should need to fear for his life and then be murdered. The lives of his wife and children are shattered. How can they ever be repaired?
“The world community has lost a giant—one of the most dedicated, committed champions of human rights it has ever known. He transmuted his survival of the worst horrors of the Holocaust in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald camps to become a gifted, poetic voice that called for the liberation of all human kind.
Reps. John Lewis (GA-05) led members of Congress to register their complaints about recent mass raids and deportations by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted under the name Operation Border Guardian. Reps. Lewis, G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), Hank Johnson (GA-04), and Alma S. Adams (NC-12) shared their deep concerns in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released today.
WASHINGTON – Congressman John Lewis (GA) spoke on the House Floor this morning to condemn Congressional inaction to mass shootings and gun violence in the United States. He made this statement and led a sit-in against the inaction of Congress on this crisis of violence:
“On occasion, Mr. Speaker, I have had what I call an executive session with myself.
"It was one year ago today that Charleston, SC and this nation lost nine precious souls. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Tywanza Sanders, Myra Thompson, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Daniel Simmons, Sr., Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, and Rev. Clementa Pinckney: they were mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. They stood for the power of love to overcome the chaos of hate. Their singular faith in this principle, even in the face of death, should be a lesson to us all. Now it is our duty to realize their vision of human unity in this nation and the world around us.
“As the details of this tragic incident become more clear, I am deeply saddened and very disturbed by what has been visited on the Orlando community. As I said earlier today, how many more must die? How long must we wander through this dark killing field filled with the broken bodies of hundreds—even precious little children—before we finally take strong action against the accessibility of assault weapons in this country?