When the left first picked up the torch of peace they used it to protest the evils of the Vietnam war and nuclear proliferation, which were valiant causes and their activism helped to shape public policy and the social consciousness. In recent years however, they have forgotten what peace truly means and have instead focused on the letter in front of a politicians name; wars waged by an (R) are immoral mass murder, but if the president has a (D) then war is not just ok but it is our moral obligation as Americas to agree with them. This rejection of principles in favor of politics has besmirched the anti-war movement and has reduced it to a laughing stock and token political buzz word. As libertarians, we are poised to take up the torch of peace and use our unique philosophy of peace through trade and voluntary interaction to once again effect real change and stand up against the onslaught of slaughter.

As a Senior Campus Coordinator with Students For Liberty, I have worked to start this conversational shift by creating the Peace, Not War Program. Based around the Mises quote “Peace and not war is the father of all things” and stemming from a day of tabling next to military recruiters; the Peace, Not War Program seeks to utilize diverse, on the ground student activism to re-frame the issue of peace and war through a libertarian lens.

To achieve this, the PNW Program has developed and release the Digital Activism Resources, which is effectively a digital tabling kit with everything you need to promote or host anti-war activism. The resources include flyers for a better than bombs event, war is the health of the state handouts, fact sheets on the economic and human costs of war, a flyer of seven reasons to rethink enlisting, and a list of activism ideas to get you and your group thinking about how to promote these ideas. In conjunction with SFL’s and the Atlas Network’s absolutely amazing new book Peace, Love, & Liberty, these resources will be invaluable tools for any student activist looking to stand up for peace on their campus. And the possibilities for activism are endless, from a march on city hall to a peace rally or from drone victim remembrance to anti-recruitment; the Digital Activism Resources have been made with decentralization in mind and allows student groups to use what they like and alter any of the resources as needed.

On top of the Digital Activism Resources, the PNW Program has hit the ground running and has announced the first annual Week of Peace. Starting on October 20th, this campaign will consist of four days of  nonstop activism coordinated with campuses across North America that will have a huge impact with a decentralized approach to allow student groups to cater their activism to fit their local areas. Best of all, on October 22 at 8pm EST we will be hosting a live discussion with Angela Keaton, Director of Operations for Antiwar.com through SFL On Air on the topic of peace. During this week, students will host anti-war tabling, pro-peace events, tune in to the SFL On Air discussion with Angela Keaton, and wrap it all up with a social such as a group dinner or Dance for Peace. This will be an wonderful week that will not only help put the PNW Program on the map, but will start to re-frame the issue of war away from bombs and towards nonintervention.

The Peace, Not War Program has been a labor of love, and thanks to the help and support of the fabulous CC’s and Executive Board Members with Students For Liberty we’ve been able to take an idea I had after getting angry at recruiters all the way to a continent wide movement for peace. If you or someone you know is interested in getting access to the Digital Activism Resources and/or are interested in participating in the Week of Peace, you can register here, and if you have any questions about the program feel free to contact me at wsmith@studentsforliberty.org. Lets save the world together.