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PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2017 


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"Welcoming Community" Celebrated in Week of Peace

Vigils are planned around the world today to celebrate the International Day of Peace. (Pete/Flickr)
Vigils are planned around the world today to celebrate the International Day of Peace. (Pete/Flickr)
September 21, 2017

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Communities in Oregon and across the country are celebrating a week of peace and nonviolence.

In cities across the Beaver State, marches, vigils and rallies have been going on during the Campaign Nonviolence Week, which runs through Sunday, Sept. 24, to support world peace and also refugee and immigrant communities. The campaign has been building up to the events today, the International Day of Peace.

Mary Ryan Hotchkiss with Saint Pius Parish organized a rally in Beaverton on Wednesday called "We Are a Welcoming Community" to highlight the intersection between peace and sanctuary.

"It's a pushback against those people who are afraid of immigrants and don't realize what a richness immigrants bring to our community in terms of people who are anxious to work, who work hard to get an education, who are law-abiding, who pay taxes even though they may not benefit from those taxes,” Hotchkiss said.

Events are being held in Ashland, Bend, Corvallis and more to mark the day. They're being held in conjunction with the grassroots movement Campaign Nonviolence, a worldwide movement to celebrate peace, justice and sustainability.

Hotchkiss said the week of rallies has been especially important this year as President Trump continues to push for a ban on refugees from six majority-Muslim countries and has discontinued the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Hotchkiss said the current administration has been using these policies to its advantage.

"Who want to set up a divide between the ‘uses' and the 'thems,' who don't realize that we're really all in this together and that, if we work together, we can have a kind country again,” she said; "not just pertaining to greatness that only helps a small percentage of the people."

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the UN General Assembly. In 2001, the Assembly unanimously voted to designate the day as a period of nonviolence and ceasefire.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR