Delco Peace Center In memoriam
By Bob Small
I received on Jan. 10 a notice that the Delco Peace Center was closing.
It was founded in 1986 with a mission to “create a welcoming community space dedicated to peace and justice” by the still active Brandywine Peace Community at Springfield Friends Meetinghouse, 1001 Sproul Road, Springfield, Pa.
During my years of involvement with the Peace Center, through Cinema Resistance, Poets for Peace, and other groups, our primary goal was to deliver a non-partisan, pro-peace message and to enjoy doing it. This began with Delco Pledge of Resistance, founded 1986.
Then, most of us were with alternative parties (the Green Party, Socialists, etc), or were registered to vote as independents. The Democratic Party had not yet co-opted the peace movement.
Cinema Resistance featured screenings of Hollywood, independent, and international movies such as these. We would introduce a film, watch it together, and then have a discussion. At least until the popcorn ran out. We also served as a clearinghouse for other area peace-related activities, which I co-coordinated.
Like any other group, we had our share of “infighting” over such issues as whether to hire a paid coordinator, the role of politics within the group, and others.
At a certain point, not having stopped any wars, we (my wife and I) withdrew from this activism, and began to focus on the attempted gentrification of our little borough of Swarthmore, where we won some, lost some,
In the pre-Covid years, when the Peace Center still had Christmas gatherings, film showings, and musical events, my wife and I would attend them, keeping in touch with old friends.
That was then, this is now. Now we’re busy fighting proposed condo monstrosities, the PECO tree cutters, and the proposed “Poultry Police” in Swarthmore.
I’ll leave the last sad words to my friend Roger Balson, a co-coordinator of Democracy Unplugged: “Just another example of how the peace movement in our area is fading away. Now that the Democrats have cemented their commitment to endless war, I guess this makes sense.”