miriam berg
9th month, 2010
Published in the Berkeley Meeting Newsletter

Last month there were two moving messages in meeting for worship. The first posed the question, Why does God permit the suffering of humanity, especially in the form of debilitating disease and in the form or wars such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan? The second went further, and posed the question, Why do WE ourselves permit all this suffering and killing, the cost of which has now reached ONE TRILLION dollars ($1,000,000,000,000)?

Of course, one can always argue that nothing we can do will stop such wars from occurring. But it came to me during that same meeting for worship, that while i have worked to get minutes against war approved by the Meeting, and while i was a war tax refuser for many years, the wars and preparation for wars still go on. And i am doing nothing at the present time that can be said to be working to end the war.

So I asked myself, what else could i possibly do that might have a chance of being effective? And the answer came, i could go on a hunger strike as a protest, i could fast for an end to the war. Not that i am any Gandhi, or could have the powerful effect that his fasts did, but it would still be a visible way in which i could show my opposition to continued war and destruction of humanity.

I will be bringing this up at the next Peace and Social Order committee meeting on the first Firstday in 9th month (September), to see if this would be a form of witness against the war which the Committee and the Meeting and others want to participate in. We would of course invite Strawberry Creek Meeting and Friends Church to participate, and other churches as well; we would gather in the Meeting House and remain for as long as we could, and publicize our protest, and hopefully get some attention in the press and be able to make public and loud statements against war and this war and these wars.

Can Friends and friends think of any other ways in which we could make a strong and visible and effective opposition to the present wars?