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COMMUNITY OPINION: We're still here because they're still there

The Hollister Peace Vigil will complete its 17th year of streetcorner demonstration in April.

This community opinion was contributed by community member Franz M Schneider. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.

“We’re still here because they’re still there.”

Hollister Peace Vigil started as Hollister In Black in April 2002, as a response to the U. S. invasion of Afghanistan. Seventeen years later, U. S. soldiers are still fighting in Afghanistan and the Peace Vigil is still going on in Hollister every Friday afternoon.

During those seventeen years we have seen our soldiers also fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and several other places. Some of our military goals have been achieved, not many of our political goals have been achieved. So the Peace Vigil continues, hoping to promote the search for nonviolent ways of reaching those goals.

Standing on a street corner with signs an hour a week will not bring about world peace by itself, but it’s a way of being part of the conversation. It’s a way of continuing to raise questions about our government’s policies and actions. It’s not partisan; the Vigil went on through all eight years of the Obama administration. It’s also a way of filling a personal need to take some kind of action in opposition to things we believe are wrong.

When our government spends pretty close to as much on the military as all of the other countries in the word combined, it’s reasonable to ask if that money is buying us what we say we want. It’s reasonable to ask how our airstrikes and other activities around the world are viewed by the people who live there. Do they think we are bringing them freedom? It’s reasonable to ask why we can decide what’s good for them, especially when we know so little about them.

The Hollister Peace Vigil doesn’t have an exit strategy. We don’t know what could happen for us to stop the vigil. Bur we do know that while our government continues to prioritize military responses in dealing with the rest of the world, and while we are capable of standing up, the Vigil will probably continue.



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How about peace in our own country? How about a stop to the hate, intolerance, fear and distrust that has been created?  Hate crimes are on the rise, bullying is one the rise and where does it stop? With us.  Stop the violence. Stop the ugliness. Stop the spewing of hate. And yes, stop the wars. Anger and force are no solution to anything. Peace. 

Submitted by (Robert Gilchris...) on

Donald Trump has actually taken steps to reduce our involvement in war. The military has fought his efforts tooth and nail. Are you willing to support his efforts? 

I give him credit for working to reduce our troop numbers in Syria and Afghanistan.  I think his proposed military budget is way too big.  I disagree with his plan for a Space Force.  I think his support of Israel and his policies in Europe and Iran do not contribute to peace.


Submitted by (Robert Gilchris...) on

As the saying goes, the perfect is the enemy of the good. 

Submitted by (Jesus Rivera) on

Man has not known peace at the tribal or empire level this is our history.  War will continue even after the fall of America which will come as is the course of any empire. Most of the world will be destroyed billions dead a new dark age will emerge. A new power will rise and the whole thing will repeat     Just read some history. It’s never one person like Hitler or Trump it’s all of us who do this to each other. After I got back from Iraq I realized that at 19 years old  what did I know? I got on a military plane with my standard issue M16A1 and terrorized a bunch a people I did not know for some fake news about weapons of mass destruction. Enjoy life be kind and quit hurting yourself be hurting others. 

Submitted by (J Riv) on

I wanted to say quit hurting yourself by hurting others. 

Words that many can and should take to heart. 

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