Michiana Peace and Justice Coalition

MPJC Mission Statement

The Michiana Peace & Justice Coalition is an organization of concerned individuals and organizational representatives living in the border region of Michigan and Indiana that advocates and promotes peace and justice. We are supported by and we support the Peace Education Fund of Indiana, Inc. The coalition believes the terms peace and justice to be mutually dependent. As Pope Paul VI suggested, "If you want peace, work for justice."

The MPJC supports the resolution of conflict through peaceful, legal, and diplomatic means, rather than through aggressive tactics based on the notion of "might makes right." The coalition is not a pacifist organization but rejects all forms of military aggression, including preemptive war -- attacking to prevent a feared future attack upon one's country. The coalition believes that attacks by stateless terrorist groups should be dealt with as the crimes that they are, not as a pretext for war.

We are a voice in our region critical of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our members include activists who have fought militarism for years, and individuals who have been moved to activism by the current wars. We are young and older, men and women, workers and professionals, students and retirees.

We believe that there is a connection between war and social injustice. Every dollar that goes to military spending takes one from health care, education and other social services needed at home. Furthermore, the very social and political forces that have advocated, planned and carried out military adventures abroad--from Vietnam to Iraq--are the same ones whose policies justify and increase inequality, racism, and poverty in the U.S. We participate as a coalition in activities directed towards remedying social injustice in our communities and our country.

As a coalition we include representatives from the following constituencies:

  • St. Joe Valley Project-Jobs with Justice
  • Catholic Peace Fellowship
  • Democracy for America
  • Indiana Peace and Justice Network
  • Saint Mary's College Peace Not War
  • IUSB for Peace and Justice
  • NDPFSA (Notre Dame Progressives Faculty-Staff Alliance)
  • Military Families Speak Out
  • U.S. Labor Against the War
  • High School student peace organizations from South Bend and Dowagiac High Schools.
  • War Resisters League
  • Working Families Coalition
  • Michiana War Tax Refusers
MPJC speaks out and takes actions in the following ways:
  • A local vigil each week to witness against the war and to keep the issue in the public's eye.
  • Participation in rapid response demonstrations, for instance, the January 11, 2007 demonstration at the greenspace in front of Morris Civic to close Quantanamo and withdraw from Iraq.
  • Letters to our elected representatives (currently Donnelly, Lugar and Coats)
  • Support the growth of the next generation of anti-war activists by sponsoring student peace coalition meetings for area college and high school groups.
  • Maintain a volunteer speakers list for other groups interested in hearing alternative views of the war. (see the web page)
  • Sponsor and distribute a new pamphlet on the impact of the war in Michiana.
  • Maintain a website which includes contact information, current activities, the speakers list, the cost of war pamphlet, and an archive of meeting minutes, letters to representatives and newspapers. [community.michiana.org/justice]
  • Active listserv, now with over 90 participants, providing information and discussion of issues to members
  • Media presence: Contact with local media outlets, two designated press contacts, "talking points" which reflect the thinking of members on current issues
  • Meetings held approximately once a month to plan our activities and to keep our materials up to date. These meetings and their agendas are announced to the listserv in advance and are open to anyone who is interested. This keeps us working as a coalition and makes sure that peace and anti-war voices can be more widely heard and understood.
  • There is no membership fee. Contributions are voluntary and tax-deductible if paid to the Peace Education Fund of Indiana..

Note: In any demonstration sponsored by MPJC, we ask all participants to abide by our nonviolent discipline.