Antiwar song inspires peace movement

Antiwar song inspires peace movement

Unitarian Universalist Association and UU Service Committee join 'Where is the Rage?' project, protesting Iraq war.
Jane Greer


Certain songs of the ’60s, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” are indelibly linked to the antiwar movement. But the war in Iraq didn’t have any songs, according to UU folk singer and Vietnam vet Pat Scanlon. So he wrote one. “Where Is the Rage?” has become the signature ballad for a peace movement that now includes the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and the UU Service Committee.

Last week the Where Is the Rage? project, founded by Scanlon and Veterans for Peace, kicked off its program by sending out a peace package to 2,200 UU congregations, Quaker meetings, and community and college radio stations. Each package includes documentation from each of the member organizations, 2 DVDs, a “Where Is the Rage?" CD, an open letter from UUA President William G. Sinkford to members of Congress asking them to stop funding the war, and a letter from Charlie Clements and Wayne Smith of the UUSC. Another 1,300 packages are yet to be sent.

In addition to the UUA and the UUSC, the project includes nine other groups, including the American Friends Service Committee, Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Gold Star Families for Peace, and United for Peace and Justice.

Fifty UUs and other group members gathered Thursday, May 24, for a peace package packing party at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover, Mass. The party was held just before the start of the Memorial Day weekend.

“This package is like a tool kit,” Scanlon said. “It puts literature right in the hands of the congregations and peace groups. If an Iraqi vet comes in and asks how to get involved, you can tell him about groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War.”

“Sometimes you’re so focused on your own little world,” he continued, “that you lose sight of the bigger movement. You don’t have access to larger resources.” The documentation in the package is designed to provide those resources.

One of the ideas behind the Where Is the Rage? project is to encourage coalition-building between UU congregations and veterans’ and military family groups to end the war, said Susan Leslie, the UUA’s director for Congregational Advocacy and Witness. “We didn’t want to make this about partisanship—Democrats and Republicans—but about coming together with people who know the horrors of war,” she said.

The UUA General Assembly passed a resolution in 2004 calling for withdrawal from Iraq and in 2006 endorsed the Declaration of Peace campaign, a national movement calling for an end to U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

Related Resources