San Diego Peace Corps Association

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from Pacific Waves, March-April 2003, v16,n2

Peace begins when the hungry are fed.

Peace-Promoting Events -- 1

Food for Bombs:
An Idea for Creating Peace instead of War

Place 1/2 c. uncooked rice in a small plastic bag (a snack-sized bag or sandwich bag work fine). Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Wrap it in a piece of paper on which you have written:"

If your enemies are hungry, feed them. -Romans 12:20.
Please send this rice to the people of Iraq; do not attack them.

Place the note and bag of rice in an envelope (either a letter-sized or small padded mailing envelope--both are the same cost to mail) and address them to:

President George Bush,White House,
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW,
Washington, DC 20500.

Attach $1.06 in postage. (Three 37 cent stamps equal $1.11.) Drop this in the mail TODAY. It is important to act NOW so that President Bush gets the letters as soon as possible. In order for this protest to be effective, there must be hundreds of thousands of such rice deliveries to the White House. We can do this if we all forward this message to our friends and family. Quakers, Mennonites and Churches of the Brethren are involved in the campaign and it is spreading beyond.

There is a positive history of this protest:
"In the mid 1950s, the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, learning of a famine in the Chinese mainland, launched a 'Feed Thine Enemy' campaign. Members and friends mailed thousands of little bags of rice to the White House with a tag quoting the Bible, 'If thine enemy hunger, feed him.' As far as anyone knew for more than ten years, the campaign was an abject failure. The President did not acknowledge receipt of the bags publicly; certainly no rice was ever sent to China.

“What the activists learned a decade later was that the campaign played a significant, perhaps even determining role in preventing nuclear war. Twice while the campaign was on, President Eisenhower met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider US options in the conflict with China over two islands, Quemoy and Matsu. The generals twice recommended the use of nuclear weapons. President Eisenhower each time turned to his aide and asked how many little bags of rice had come in. When told they numbered in the tens of thousands, Eisenhower told the generals that as long as so many Americans were expressing active interest in having the US feed the Chinese, he certainly wasn’t going to consider using nuclear weapons against them.”
[from People Power: Applying Nonviolence Theory by David H. Albert, p.43]
--received via Storymakers, a group of sister-writers of the Editor

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever does."

--Margaret Mead

Some of our readers have asked about local peace-promoting events. There are many groups that have been active, among them:

  • San Diego Veterans for Peace
  • United for Peace and Justice,
  • North County Coalition Against the War
  • Operation SOS
  • Mothers Acting Up
  • Old Women for Peace
  • Bearing Witness
  • Psychologists for Social Responsibility
  • Community Coalition for Environmental Justice
  • San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice.

Get on the web, do a search, review the group’s purpose and principles, and choose one you like. For the computer challenged, all public libraries now have internet access and librarians to help the timid.

SD Coalition for Peace and Justice ( is a good place to start as they list other groups’ events as well as their own.

Try also San Diego Insider website (although lately it has been undergoing renovation, and when I tried at press time my system froze).

“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.”
--General Omar Bradley

See also the url about the RPCV national effort that places ads in the New York Times. Another grassroots effort received in our email and reminiscent of the 1960s for those of you who experienced them.