Bank of America Site as I.V. Peace Center?

Daily Nexus

University of California at Santa Barbara

Thursday, April 7, 1983

Bank of America Site as I.V. Peace Center?

By Ed Evans

Nexus Daily Staff Writer

A center to promote world peace has been proposed for the former Bank of America building site in Isla Vista.

A recently formed group of Isla Vistans, seeking to create the local peace center are proposing to call their organization the "Isla Vista Memorial Peace Commission."

The project is currently in the hands of Bill Hess, a long-time area resident who is acting as the legal and financial advisor to the group, and David Crockett Williams, who is involved in planning the activities and goals of the proposed peace center.

According to Williams and Hess, the idea for a peace center was conceived by Dr. David Bearman, a long-time community leader in Isla Vista.

The reasons for selecting the Bank of America building as the site of the peace center are related to the role of the bank building in the I.V. riots of 1970, which began as a protest against the support Bank of America was giving to various companies involved in the manufacture of arms and chemicals that were used in Vietnam. After the original bank was burned by protesters, a temporary bank was established. During further rioting a young man named Kevin P. Moran was killed while trying to prevent additional destruction of the temporary bank.

A memorial plaque for Moran at the building site convinced Williams of the appropriateness of the bank building as the site for the center.

"I just looked at it (the building) and I knew that it had to be done there, with everything that happened," Williams said.

Both Hess and Williams see the peace center as having a number of uses for the community, besides its role as a promoter of peace.

"The purpose of the building would be to hold concerts, meetings, religious services, movies, classes on various subjects, and perhaps a kind of whole earth market," Hess said. He believes that the Goleta area needs a conference center, and he feels that the peace center could fill this need.

"Several real estate developers have shown interest in the project. Mario Perrell, a developer, is at the moment trying to raise funds for acquisition of the building," Hess said.

There is, however, another group aside from the one in Isla Vista interested in making use of the building as a peace center. According to Williams a group of Japanese Buddhist monks, Nipponzan Myohoji, is trying to build a "peace pagoda" in Santa Barbara, and it is possible that their efforts would temporarily be coordinated out of the Isla Vista peace center.

Currently the I.V Memorial Peace Commission is working toward becoming a non-profit organization. The group plans to file the necessary paperwork to become a non-profit organization in Sacramento by April 18.

The April 18 date is significant to the peace center organizers, because it was on that date 13 years ago that Moran lost his life working toward peace. It is also the date of the first blood of the American Revolution being spilled at Lexington and Concord.

According to both Williams and Hess, the peace center will hold some activity to honor the April 18 date. The two men also see this as a chance to raise money for the center and to gather volunteer help.

"If we could have everyone in I.V. come by on that day and leave a dollar, or sign up to volunteer even an hour a month, then we could raise the $13,000 that we need and have 13,000 manhours of staffing," Williams said.

The group needs $13,000 to get the lease on the building from the Bank of America. This amount covers the first and last months rental on the building. In addition to the $13,000, the organization will need to raise the $6,500 for monthly rent on the site.

Williams and Hess both emphasized the role of the center in the worldwide peace movement. Citing the recent demonstrations for peace and against nuclear power in Europe, both men see a growing involvement of people in the cause for peace. They envision the I.V. Peace Center as eventually being an important part in organizing and coordinating this movement.

Williams envisions this peace center as being the first step not only to world peace, but also the first step to a new age for man of harmony with nature. He calls this new age of natural harmony and changed human thinking the "tetronic age."

Between now and April 18 the peace commission will have someone available at the bank with information on the project, petitions in support of the project, and with the means for people to make contributions or sign up as volunteers.

--------end transcribed article, made into a flyer it had a symbol for the Memorial Peace Commission, ie, a circle with another circle inside, as though tangent to an equilateral triangle with apexes touching inside the circle, with an arrow from bottom left to top right with the point at about 2 o'clock position.

The flyer had the slogan,

"All we are saying is give peace a chant."