Work for peace—really

Paul Anderson is a manager at Kline Music in Sacramento who helps his wife, Cindy, organize peace events

At the last peace demonstration I attended we sang the usual, “Give Peace a Chance.” As I was watching the people drive by in their cars, I started to re-think the lyrics.

The obvious interpretation is for the whole world to give peace a chance and everything would be beautiful. But I started thinking about each individual person. How does one give peace a chance?

Nothing is going to come about—especially something as precious as peace—if you don’t do something to help it along. If I asked 100 people about the war, I’d get at least 50 percent who’d say they were against it—that’s a far more conservative figure than the latest polls show. Out of that 50 percent, how many do anything about it other than honking their car horn when they drive past a peace demonstration?

At the demonstrations I’ve been to, there are usually anywhere from five to 100 people. In a city of 500,000 people with 50 percent opposed to the war, something doesn’t add up. Where are the additional 250,000 people, and what are they doing?

It’s time for each person to ask themselves: Just how important is peace? Is it one of your human values, something you want your kids to grow up believing in? If your answer is yes, then it’s time to go beyond yelling at the television and join the peace movement.

We have a rogue president and our Congress seems to be following close behind. They need to hear from us: We don’t want our country in this war any longer.

The only reason they’re able to get away with murder is the same reason that only five to 100 people show up at peace demonstrations: We’re asleep at the wheel. If you really want to “give peace a chance,” you must work for it.

Go to and check out the next peace demonstration near you. It’ll take an hour to make a sign and about two hours to stand on the corner holding it up. The first car that goes by honking and waving the peace sign will make your heart surge.

Then after you’re done singing “Give Peace A Chance,” you can start in on John Lennon’s other protest favorite, “Power To The People.”