The mission of the Peace Abbey Foundation is to create and install public works of art that promote peace and nonviolence; and to administer and care for Abbey Interfaith Peace Chaplaincy, The Pacifist Memorial, The Animal Rights Memorial, Cremation Cemetery for Conscientious Objectors and the National Registry for Conscientious Objection. Throughout the year, the Foundation presents the Int’l Courage of Conscience Award at conferences and peace ceremonies and extends the impact of the Peace Seeds interfaith prayers for peace through their dissemination worldwide.
We conduct and support programs that bring together and promote the cooperation of people of different faith traditions and non-theists as well. We do this in the spirit of the 1986 International Day of Prayer for World Peace, as celebrated that year by religious leaders from around the globe in Assisi, Italy.
The Foundation supports grassroots efforts to link the many dimensions of the peace movement with a committed emphasis on human rights and animal rights. We recognize these two dimensions of intrinsic rights as inextricably interconnected, just as social and economic justice requires environmental sustainability and deep respect for the biosphere. Read more.
“Civil Disobedience is a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless and corrupt.”. – Mahatma Gandhi
On February 5th at noon, a group of local citizens gathered at the Gandhi statue in Sherborn to protest the impending Senate acquittal of Donald J. Trump without witnesses or evidence permitted.
Following the reading of the two Articles of Impeachment issued by the US House of Representatives, the group from MetroWest took turns stating grievances they had against the Trump Administration. Expressed concerns included civility, xenophobia, immigration, and climate to women’s rights, nuclear proliferation, gun control and the treatment of animals in society.
As the demonstrators moved into the street holding the long Peace Chain to unify them, a half dozen police officers stopped traffic as the protesters stood their ground until the third and final demand to retreat or be arrested was given. Lewis Randa, Director of The Peace Abbey, refused to obey the final order, as he had informed the police earlier that the peaceful protest would conclude with his arrest. ”Civil disobedience”, Randa said quoting Gandhi, “is a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless and corrupt.” Randa was arrested, booked and fingerprinted at Sherborn PD, and transported to Framingham District Court.
Following the reading of the charges by the State Prosecuting Attorney (disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct), Randa was allowed to speak directly to the Judge. Explaining the reason for his actions, he pointed out that the protest, which violated the law, was done in part to establish the necessity of testimony and evidence in a court proceeding, his own case serving as an example. “Witnesses and evidence are the pillars of our system of justice and are required in both impeachment trials and trials for civil disobedience”, said Randa.
Randa was released on his own recognizance. Pretrial court date was set for April.
The Peace Abbey is gratified to announce that the memorial stone honoring Unknown Civilians Killed in War will be placed on public display at the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Buddhist Temple in Washington DC during the inaugural year of its annual rotation at religious sites in our nation’s capital.
Touching the hearts of those who visit, the storied civilian memorial stone serves as a reminder of the true cost of war. It will travel annually to different places of worship (churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, gurdwaras, et al.) until such time that it is permanently placed at either Arlington National Cemetery or Washington National Cathedral.