The Organization for Positive Peace aims to make a contribution in the struggle for a positive peace, which is not just the absence of tension but the presence of justice. A just world is one in which each human being can develop to realize their infinite potential, uninhibited by color, poverty, or lack of opportunity. The absence of war is a precondition for the building of such a future, along with the availability of medicine for the sick, food for the hungry, and education for children. We strive to create the conditions for such a future to be realized through the struggle for ideas.
We are based mostly in Philadelphia, and associated with the Saturday Free School for Philosophy and Black Liberation. The statement below is our statement of principled unity with the Saturday Free School.
The Saturday Free School and The Organization for Positive Peace in the struggle for peace, justice and unity
May 12, 2020
The Saturday Free School and the Organization for Positive Peace ground our moral and political approaches to the current crisis and the future in Martin Luther King’s idea that we are all wrapped in a single garment of destiny and his conception of a positive peace. Further, we seek to contribute to achieving Dr. King’s “world house” and his beloved community.
Within our organizations, and among the people, we have attempted to build meaningful and revolutionary relationships among peoples historically divided. We call this form of unity intercivilizational unity. Intercivilizational unity is needed in this time of globalization and the decay and disintegration of the capitalist world order.
In our visions for the future and in our day to day practice of struggle we have acted from our principles and what we believe to be right. Hence, we have faced criticism from many sides. Recently, OPP has come in for sharp criticisms for essays published in the April 2020 issue In Battle for Peace and Democracy. We have investigated and critiqued, for instance, the relationships between the queer movement and white supremacy. We have looked at pop culture products such as the film “Sorry to Bother You.” Both are part of the ideological and cultural landscape of a society in crisis. We were questioned not just concerning the content of such essays, but our very right to critically examine the film and the queer movement. Similarly, the Saturday Free School has been attacked for its celebrations of the 150th anniversaries of the births of W.E.B Du Bois and Mahatma Gandhi. While many of these attacks come from a position of identity politics or white leftism, both of which we fundamentally disagree with, we find it necessary to write about the entire ideological and cultural landscape, a landscape that impacts the world.
The Organization for Positive Peace was founded by young people, majority Asians, who are also members of the Saturday Free School. The Saturday Free School and the Organization for Positive Peace are united by deeply held moral, ideological and political views. The Saturday Free School is a unique organization. Based in North Philadelphia and located at the Church of the Advocate it attempts to creatively apply the liberating ideas of W.E.B Du Bois, James Baldwin and Martin Luther King Jr. to 21st century struggles. The Saturday Free School and through it, OPP is not only anchored in many ways to Black Philadelphia, but significantly to the Black proletariat. The Saturday Free School has an ideologically advanced character and our unity imparts this to OPP; an ideological character unusual among youth and students.
Anchored to the spirit of the African and Asian anti-colonial struggles and the African American Freedom Movement, and composed of workers from the shipyards, the auto and telecommunications industries, and various service industries, the Saturday Free School manifests in embryonic form what is possible in struggle and what a new society can look like. OPP and the Saturday Free School share these rich legacies and extraordinary possibilities. As we struggle among the people, and especially its most advanced contingent, the Black proletariat, we must be ever mindful that the unity we seek to achieve among the people must be exemplified in how we represent ourselves to the people. In other words, we are not satisfied with abstract unity or unity in word, but seek to achieve the highest form of unity, unity in practice. On this basis the people will determine if we are sincere. We seek to work with utmost sincerity to win the trust of the people. Through our relations and united political work, we seek to be an example of King’s world house.
We believe, in the end, that all progressive forces should unite against war and fight for peaceful coexistence, especially in a time of escalating crisis and the rise of Asia. At the same time, we believe that this society needs a revolution of values. We will continue our role in the struggle for ideas, and stand with those ideas which lead to truth, peace and justice.