On February 23, 1991, more than 350 people representing over 60 communities throughout the state responded to a call from Representative Frank Boyle and crowded into the Assembly Chambers of the State Capitol to gather strength from one another in their frustration and concern about the Gulf War.
On that day, the ground war began.
Out of that gathering arose the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. Since that time, the Network has grown to include over 170 peace, human rights, religious, labor, and environmental organizations throughout the state.
Photo by Jeff Miller / University of Wisconsin-Madison
Founder and Wisconsin State Representative Frank Boyle of Superior said in February, 1991:
'The country’s ethical compass has snapped. We’re careening through violent military adventures abroad, converting this country into a two-class state of rich and poor, vastly increasing the inequalities in education, health care and employment, all of which feeds a social disintegration creating hopelessness, violence and crime. Instead of awareness and feeling, we’re given platitudes and thought control. This country is in deep trouble. Knowledgeable and courageous people joining together can demand a new course and stop this disintegration. That’s the definition of patriotism!'
Frank Boyle, Midge Miller, Fred Risser and Nan Cheney; some of our WNPJ founders
Bonnie Block, Nan Cheney (1930 – 2010) and Judy Miner compiled a history of WNPJ from 1991-2012.
WNPJ History: 1991-2012 Download here
From the WNPJ Board, December 6th, 2020:
A Statement of Solidarity with Ukraine and the People of Russia Who Are Demanding Peace
Global citizens are witnessing a transgression against humanity and a violation of international law as Russian military might continues to roll over the independent nation of Ukraine.
Debates over what triggered this moment must now take second place to the very pressing need for peace. There is no debate about the ravages of war, of innocents killed, of destruction of the earth, and of human beings displaced from their homes and their way of life.
The Ukrainian people are asking for help. And brave Russian citizens are standing for peace even as the threats of imprisonment and charges of treason are held against them. Let this be the moment when people of goodwill unite and demand a change of course.
As a Network we have the opportunity to raise the voice of peace. Peace internationally, as well as peace right here with one another, with each organization, and each community throughout our state. We must be in solidarity for peace in Ukraine, as well as oppose the current trends that weaken voting rights, civil rights and workers’ rights and increase militarism in our own backyard. It is all part of a bigger human rights tapestry.
We invite you to stand for peace in whatever way you can, in whatever way calls you. Thank you for all of your efforts. May peace prevail.