by Robin Lloyd, PJC founder and member
Why do I want to take part in the Poor People’s Campaign, especially its focus this week on militarism and gun violence? I’m not a poor person, but I have an aversion to injustice and violence. Maybe its from my genes: my grandmother, Lola Maverick Lloyd , was among a group of women who tried to stop World War and founded the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
She crossed the Atlantic with others from this continent six months after the war began, and met with women from both sides, whose sons and husbands might have been fighting and killing each other. Together they visited the men leading the neutral and warring nations. They proposed mediation. They said, why kill? TALK!! Mediate! Conciliate! Create agreements backed by laws! A peace forced by the victors on the vanquished will not be a lasting peace! (They were right about the Versailles Treaty that ended the war).
Some people think that brutality and force is the default position of mankind. But a powerful counterforce declares that peace and nonviolence can build a powerful path away from violence, and that it must be practiced with commitment and diligence, as we are doing now with the Poor Peoples Campaign.
My grandmother and her colleagues did not stop the war, but they formed an organization that still exists and is one of the sponsors of the Poor Peoples Campaign today: the Women’s international League for Peace and Freedom: one hundred and three years old and still marching! Go women!