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'Readings in Nonviolence' features extracts
from our favourite books, pamphlets or other
The 40th Peace Award of the War Resisters' League
2005 was given in New York to Karl Bissinger and Ralph Di
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
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
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
"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:
Spring in NYC 2005
Toshi & Pete Seeger wrote in handwriting:
For Karl; & Ralph!
"a time of love
a time of hate
a time of peace
I swear it's not
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
" Congratulations to Ralph and Karl whose
persistence keeps the flame of nonviolence burning in a dark
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".
Well known organisations to our Peace Movement
"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
The Fellowship of Reconciliation
Ralph Di Gia
For their decades of
Courageous Resistance to War
And Work for Peace
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.