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Readings

December 2006

[Go back to related issue of Nonviolent News]

'Readings in Nonviolence' features extracts from our favourite books, pamphlets or other

Living well

Roberta Bacic. 30th November 2006

The 40th Peace Award of the War Resisters' League 2005 was given in New York to Karl Bissinger and Ralph Di Gia

Last month we dedicated this section to Adam Curle who recently died. This month we dedicate it to these two great men who got this Peace Award when they were already over 90. They are still active and keep going.

At the dinner Noam Chomsky reminded us of what Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein said 50 years ago. At the time they said it, Albert Einstein was War Resister's International Honorary Chair: "Here, then, is the problem which we present to you, stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to human race, or shall mankind renounce war?"

Matt Meyer introduced the award receivers by saying: "Karl and Ralph have always been quite different people, with different politics, positions and perspectives. . .Ralph and Karl can teach us the nuances of bringing together diverse people, who may not always find it easy to agree, but who have much to gain by working in collaboration. They are our icons of concrete work to make the world a better place."

On the award we can read:

"To Ralph, who walked the long march towards peace, over more than half a century of work, from prison during World War II to keeping the books for Liberation magazine and the War Resisters League to bicycling across Europe for peace."

"To Karl, who walked the long march towards peace, over nearly half a century of work, turning from the success of photography and fashion to commit himself to the quiet work of the peace movement".

A special booklet was published on this occasion which talks about them as human beings, strugglers and gives at the same time an account of people and organisation that value them and have walked together, even if far apart, the rocky roads of non-violence in this violent world.

Using two pages of the book, in big writing Yoko Ono says:
To Ralph and Karl:
Imagine Peace,
Love,
Yoko
Spring in NYC 2005

Toshi & Pete Seeger wrote in handwriting:
Hooray
For Karl; & Ralph!
"a time of love
a time of hate
a time of peace
I swear it's not
Too late"

In September 2004, Joan Baez met Ralph in Hamburg and dedicated her performance of "Joe Hill" to Ralph and Michael Moore. The book shows a photo of Joan and Ralph with a big friendly smile.

Ordinary people like each of us also dedicated pieces to them in this lovely initiative of putting together feelings, memories and thoughts around these two men and the peace movement.

" Congratulations to Ralph and Karl whose persistence keeps the flame of nonviolence burning in a dark world".
Larry and Lenna Mae Gara

"Our admiration and love to Karl and Ralph, our comrades in non-violence.
Happy 90th and many more"
Connie Hogarth and Art Kamell.
"To Ralph and Karl:
Thank YOU for a lifetime of service".
Hal Davis

Well known organisations to our Peace Movement have said:

"We honour funding Board Member Ralph Di Gia and present Board Member Karl Bissinger not for living long, but for living well.
Their lives are a testament to the saying:
"There is no way to peace - Peace is the way."
A.J.Muste Memorial Institute
New York

The Fellowship of Reconciliation
Honours
Karl Bissinger
Ralph Di Gia
For their decades of
Courageous Resistance to War
And Work for Peace
FORUSA

Proud to join Ralph and Karl
In the struggle for Justice and Peace
West Side Jesuit Community

The booklet is full of these greetings, memories, insights, testimonies and encouragement. Let us join this mood and keep our road of simple testimonies of struggle and persistence lively and animate others to join us.

Copyright INNATE 2016