For centuries, people have sought a "moral equivalent to war." While risks have always been taken in situations of war, we are learning more and more that risks must also be taken for peace. We are beginning to discover what it means to wage peace with the discipline, sacrifice, and willingness to suffer with which people have waged war.
The Witness for Peace is an experiment in nonviolent action at the border between Nicaragua and Honduras, where an escalating war is causing great human suffering. The cause of the violence is the invasion of counterrevolutionary forces, or contras, from Honduras into Nicaragua, who employ tactics of terror, torture, and murder against the Nicaraguans who live in the frontier. The source of the violence is the U.S. government, which has orchestrated and financed this covert, and now overt war against Nicaragua.
This action by the United States is both illegal and immoral, but thus far all efforts in the United States to change this destructive policy have gone unheeded. Our protest having been ignored, we feel that it is time to take more direct action.
The Witness for Peace has grown out of the experience of both the many hundreds of North Americans who have visited Nicaragua since the revolution in 1979 and those who were present along Nicaragua's border with Honduras in July, 1983 (see "For Penance and Peace," Sojourners, September, 1983, and "A Shield of Love" on page 10 of this issue). This group that went to the border reported of their action for peace in moving words: