International Activism

Peace vigil

When the US government was debating military action in Afghanistan, and later Iraq, several members of the meeting began a weekly 1 hour silent vigil outside the US Capitol to encourage our elected officials to “Seek Peace and Pursue It” (Psalms 34:14)

This weekly silent gathering has continued since October 2002, as a witness to our concern for peace in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East, and around the world. Started by a Quaker from Langley Hill Friends Meeting, it sought to send a positive message. We are encouraging the Congress and the nation to seek peace and to build peace. We believe that a reverence for life should guide our nation’s actions, and that our country’s great strength should further the ideal of an international community based on respect and law. We see many positive opportunities for diplomacy, trade, aid, multilateral organization building and military restraint that will sow the seeds of peace rather than plant the seeds of war.

The vigil takes place every Saturday at noon for one hour on or near the West lawn of the U.S. Capitol. All who are seeking peace are welcome to join us in silence for our time here. As is our custom, we stand silently,with only our banner with a quote from Psalms 34:14, “Seek peace and pursue it.” During our time here we are grateful for the support of our fellow citizens and foreign visitors who are also seeking peace in their own way. In our silence we are praying for all those affected by war, service people and civilians. If you would like to join us for only a minute, or for the entire hour, that would be most welcome. Together we can hold your loved ones and the concern for peace in The Light. We welcome all peace-seekers, of any belief, race, or nationality, to gather with us in this silent witness.

Nelson Mandela - “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

Dwight Eisenhower - “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. - “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

Albert Einstein - “We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.”

Weaponized Drones

Langley Hill Friends Meeting has expressed its concerns with regard to the use of weaponized drones. We have great concerns about the changing face of warfare as it moves from “state to state” warfare to “state to individual” type warfare. The issues are complex and we seek the understanding of what actions our concern leads us to.

The Peace and International Outreach Committee is working to inform the community as a whole about issues raised by the use of weaponized drones. We will work together to seek a better understanding of our corporate concern and how we are led to act.

Conflicts in Africa – The African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI)

Langley Hill Meeting has been supporting the peace work of Friends in the Great Lakes region of Africa (Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) through member participation and through financial contributions.

Currently the Meeting is supporting a specific project of the African Great Lakes Initiative in Burundi where upcoming elections are intensifying the possibility of violence breaking out and escalating. In a series of workshops sponsored by AGLI, local people, including youth, are being trained in Alternatives to Violence Programs (AVP) and Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC). Participants in these workshops will be prepared to oversee safe and fair election practices, strengthen the bonds among people and lessen the likelihood of violence.