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Peace Groups Are Urging Restraint
Students, Activists Set to Hold Rallies Across the Country

By Eric Pianin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 20, 2001; Page A04

Ending their silence after a week of mourning the victims of
terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, a broad range
of religious leaders, social activists, entertainers, student
organizations and business figures are beginning to publicly urge
President Bush to show restraint in his response and to carefully
calibrate the use of U.S. military power.

As part of the budding peace offensive, over 1,200 members of
the National Council of Churches and a diverse coalition --
organized by Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover and Rosa Parks
-- issued strong statementsyesterday noting that, while the
attacks' perpetrators should be brought to justice, wholesale
military action would incite more terrorism, not end it.
Demonstrations and teach-ins are planned on scores of
campuses today, and some of the groups that had geared up to
protest the International Monetary Fund and World Bank
meetings in Washington are joining forces, instead, in plans for a
peace gathering here on Sept. 30.

Some protesters bring a special moral force to their argument.
Judy Keane, whose husband, Richard, was killed in the World
Trade Center during last week's attacks, spoke out against
military retaliation during a prayer vigil that she helped organize
near her home in Wethersfield, Conn., Sunday evening. The
event drew more than 5,000 people.

"The World Trade Center [attack] was in retaliation for
something else, and that was the retaliation for something else,"
she said in a telephone interview yesterday. "Are we going to
continue this in perpetuity? We have to say at some point, okay,
let's find another way of doing this."

Business executive and CNN founder Ted Turner argued
against a military solution yesterday at the United Nations as he
delivered a $31 million check to cover part of the United States'
U.N. dues. "We should not, I don't think, go around and
indiscriminately start bombing countries that we suspect the
terrorists are in because there are terrorists everywhere, here in
the United States," he said. "What were [Oklahoma City
bombers] Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh but terrorists?"

The statement by the National Council of Churches declared:
"We must not, out of anger and vengeance, indiscriminately
retaliate in ways that bring on even more loss of innocent life."
The coalition of more than 100 people organized by entertainers
Belafonte and Glover and civil rights legend Rosa Parks said in
a separate letter: "Our best chance of preventing such
devastating acts of terror is to act decisively and cooperatively
as part of a community of nations within the framework of
international law."

Organizers say there is a fast-growing network of peace
activists who will likely outnumber the demonstrators who
rallied during the Persian Gulf War a decade ago. Student
groups are planning peace demonstrations on 105 college
campuses in 30 states today. More than 1,000 students and
community members from nine Boston-area schools are
expected to participate in noontime rallies that will converge in a
march from Boston to Harvard Yard, while close to 3,000 are
expected to march and mourn on the campus of the University
of California at Berkeley.

"There's pretty much a consensus among students in this group
[that] we want to prevent the continuation of the cycle of
violence by averting war," said Brad Hornbake, 22, a senior at
Emerson College in Boston.

Meanwhile, the Washington Peace Center, a pacifist and human
rights group, is planning a major "peace event" in Washington
on Sept. 30 as an alternative to the canceled meetings of the
World Bank and IMF. Organizers stressed that the event will
not involve any of the "confrontational tactics" that were used
during previous meetings of the international agencies.

"We don't want the violence here to be perpetrated somewhere
else," said Maria Ramos, a coordinator of the event. "The U.S.
has the moral high ground now . . . . This is a time for building
alliances based on law and strengthening international tribunals
[for] cross-border terrorism."

Special correspondent Colum Lynch contributed to this

         2001 The Washington Post Company

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