Phi Beta Cons

“Peace Games will incite joyful cooperation and winners all around.”

Such is the promise of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Cambridge Peace Commission (né the Cambridge Commission on Nuclear Disarmament and Peace Education). Should your Saturday find you in Boston and short on laughs–or even just laden with the urge to form a giant human peace sign–cross the Charles and mosey down to Cambridge’s City Hall to catch all the fun.

Sadly, the event’s original announcement was taken down from the city website–probably because a humorless Cantabrigian bureaucrat realized just how absurd it sounded. But thanks to a diligent graduate student, it was saved from the dustbin. It is just too precious not to be repasted in full below.
That the most serious action is going down at the “Senior Center” tells you a lot about a unique Cambridge demographic: its large, insular population of aged hippies.

Cambridge Celebrates Peace Day June 2!!!

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Cambridge Peace Commission, the City Council on February 5, 2007, declared Cambridge as a City of Peace and invited all of Cambridge to find ways to honor peacebuilding in the year to come.
On Saturday, June 2, from 1-5 p.m., Cambridge City Hall (795 Mass. Ave.) and the Cambridge Senior Center (806 Mass. Ave.) are opening their doors for Peace Day. There will be opportunities for people of all ages to recognize Cambridge as a City of Peace. At City Hall, young and older poets will share their poems, Cambridge students and performers will delight with ballads, hip-hop, percussion and instrumentals. Choruses from CRLS will join with the voices and instruments of Jeff Robinson and AfroDZak. Exhibitions of art will feature Jameel Parker and his students and a piece from Donald Shambroom.
Across the street at the Senior Center, there will be more activities for joining discussions, making peace flags and folding cranes, and workshops for “healing the body.” Dancers of Universal Peace will lead dances. True Story Theater will engage with stories of peacemaking. Peace Games will incite joyful cooperation and winners all around. And military families and veterans from Iraq working for peace will lead a conversation on talking with families about peacebuilding in the midst of war.
Outside on the sidewalk, peace groups, community organizations and justice workers will share their wares and resources. Neighborhood anti-violence projects will offer resources along with Mass Peace Action and Cambridge United for Peace with Justice.
The program will open on City Hall steps at 1 p.m. with trumpets, words and invocation. The Raging Grannies will share their tunes of protest and peace along with drummers for justice. Underground Railroad Theater’s Debra Wise will provoke and entertain and the Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band will delight with their 11 piece circus band and group of traveling performers.
Peace Day is a time to participate, be with friends and neighbors, learn about the many expressions of peace making in the city, be in conversations about and celebrate 25 years of peace initiatives in Cambridge.
At 4:30 p.m., everyone is invited to make a human peace sign in front of City Hall.
“Even for those who cannot be at City Hall on the 2nd, we are inviting people to work for peace on that day offering an alternative to the sea of injustice and war which engulf us,.” said Peace Commission director Cathy Hoffman. “It is a small piece of trying to build a world and community in which every day will become peace day.
Peace Day is one of the 2007 events in the city commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Cambridge Peace Commission. In 1982, the Cambridge City council voted to create the Cambridge Commission on Nuclear Disarmament and Peace Education to promote awareness about the dangers of living in a nuclear age for a municipality and peace education. Over the past 25 years, the Peace commission has shortened its name and expanded its mission to challenge all forms of the roots of violence, affirm diversity and build community within our city. Dedicated to the concept of thinking globally and acting locally, the Commission links the municipal government with neighborhoods, city youth, peace and justice efforts and anti-violence coalitions. It has fostered international relationships through the Sister City Program both sending and receiving delegations.
For a schedule of events, to volunteer to help, or to join in the festivities, you can call the Peace Commission at 617-349-4694 or via e-mail: peace@cambridgema.gov.

Travis Kavulla is director of Energy and Environmental Policy at the R Street Institute. He is a former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners who held elected office as a Montana public service commissioner for eight years. Before that, he was an associate editor for National Review.

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