NH Peace Action - Hopkinton Peace Conference

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Kathy Kelly To Speak at Hopkinton Conference


Hopkinton, NEW HAMPSHIRE – On Friday, March 20 at 7 pm, Kathy Kelly, a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will speak at Hopkinton High School as part of a two-day peace conference marking the sixth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The title of her keynote address is “Eyewitness to War, Witness for Peace.” The lecture is free and open to the public.


“We invite everybody interested in peace to come hear Kathy Kelly and attend this conference,” says Rev. Gordon Crouch of Hopkinton, one of the conference organizers. “Even though the Obama administration has toned down the rhetoric of the ‘Global War on Terror,’ it still firmly supports military engagement as a solution to the threat of terrorism. Creative nonviolence is our greatest hope toward a new world of peace, justice, and security.”


To help educate and inspire people to be witnesses for peace, a variety of one-hour workshops will be offered on Saturday, March 21 at Hopkinton High School from 8:30am to noon. Some of the workshops include “Nonviolent Alternatives to the Global War on Terror,” “Abolishing the Death Penalty,” and “Nonviolent Economics.” Kathy Kelly will lead several of the workshops. A $10 donation is suggested.


Kelly’s work for peace and justice has taken her to Iraq and the Middle East dozens of times since 1996. From 1996-2003, she helped form 70 delegations that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq; she lived in Baghdad and maintained a presence there during the first year of U.S. occupation; during five months of 2008, she lived in Jordan amongst Iraqis who fled violence in their country; and she just recently returned from aiding victims of war in Gaza.


In making these many pilgrimages to war torn lands, Kelly’s mission is to do whatever she can to help victims of violence and demonstrate for peace. As long as the activity is nonviolent, she has been willing to be arrested, go to jail, and even risk her life. “I feel passionately prepared to insist that war is never an answer,” says Kelly. Her mission in speaking to groups in the U.S. is to give a uniquely personal face to war’s innocent victims, and to call on her audience to do all they can to stand up for these victims by standing against war.


A significant component of the two-day conference is the participation of students from around the state. A number of young people, including members of high school peace clubs from Hopkinton, Concord, and as far away as Durham, will be in attendance and taking on leadership roles throughout the conference. There will even be a youth overnight at Hopkinton High School following Kelly’s talk on Friday evening. Overnight activities include a viewing/discussion of the film “Soldiers of Conscience,” and sign making for a peace march and rally in Concord on Saturday afternoon.


The conference is being co-sponsored by the NH UCC Peace With Justice Task Force and NH Peace Action. For more information, go to www.nhpeaceaction.org .