Ten years ago a small group of local residents founded Juneau People for Peace and Justice. The war in Iraq had just started and people wanted a voice.
Since then, Juneau People for Peace and Justice has been a visible and vocal organization dedicated to cultivating the message of peace.
JPPJ will commemorate the decade on Saturday with a Celebration of Hope that peace really will be given a chance in this war-torn world.
It started in December 2002, when the group took out a newspaper advertisement in the Juneau Empire.
Founding member K.J. Metcalfe says it was signed by people of all political persuasions.
“Had over a thousand signatures of local people saying war was not the answer,” he says.
Many of those people later joined in a march across the Douglas Bridge that also swelled to more than a thousand people.
“So there was a fair amount of discussion going on in the community and some people would walk that walk and come out and not only talk about peace but also be on the streets,” Metcalf says.
Similar groups across the country had formed, and their messages were being heard. JPPJ got the ear of at least one member of the Alaska delegation, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who participated in a town meeting-type forum protesting the war.
It was held the day after Memorial Day. Rich Moniak was there.
“And she said that our event, with all that dissent about the war, was every bit as patriotic as the Memorial Day celebration she had seen the day before,” Moniak recalls.
JPPJ is holding a community Celebration of Hope from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Northern Light United Church. Bring a dish to share.
- A lawsuit filed in federal court this week seeks to remove the residency requirement for people gathering signatures for state ballot initiatives.
- For the second time in two years, a Skagway political figure has been ordered to pay a fine for incomplete financial disclosures. Assembly hopeful Dan Henry failed to disclose substantial debt on his candidate paperwork. He will still be able to run for office in the upcoming election.
- Administration officials have a mouthful of a name for it: the “capped hybrid head tax.” It's a flat 1.5 percent of wages and self-employment income, with a maximum of twice the value of that year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.
- A federal district court has sided with conservationists fighting to preserve the U.S. Forest Service's "roadless rule" that limits road building in national forests. Alaska conservationists opposed to expanded logging in Tongass National Forest hailed the ruling as a victory.